I've been looking forward to the interview with this mother-daughter writing team. I've yet to meet Amberly, but Brandilyn is a friend.
God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Brandilyn: More Seatbelt Suspense® novels for me. Amberly and I also will be doing a third Rayne Tour series book, which will release in the spring of 2010. (The second book in our series, Last Breath, releases in September.)
Tell us a little about your family.
Brandilyn: My husband, Mark, and I have been married for 28 years. Amberly is the youngest. She has two brothers, both living in the area of Spokane, WA, near our Idaho home.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Amberly: Yes! I never read the end of the book first anymore! Haha. It's an author pet peeve of my mom’s, and now I understand why. It ruins the twists in a book—especially suspense—if you know what’s going to happen.
What are you working on right now?
Amberly: I’m plotting the third book in The Rayne Tour series. It's going to be a great ending to the series.
Brandilyn: I’m writing another adult Seatbelt Suspense® novel, which will release next year. After I’m done with that I’ll write the third Rayne Tour book that Amberly is now plotting.
What outside interests do you have?
Amberly: I'm currently in school to earn a degree in fashion merchandising, with a minor in marketing, so I'd say fashion is a big interest of mine. Also, I'm in a sorority, Alpha Phi and that takes up the rest of my time. And I have the cutest little puppy, a Yorkshire Terrier. His name is Bear.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Amberly: We started with San Jose, California for the first book, Always Watching, because that’s where Mom and I have attended concerts. Since it’s close to our California home, we were easily able to go and tour all the backstage areas in our research. (Mom had a broken ankle at the time and had to do the tour in a wheelchair. I pushed her around.) For the second book, Last Breath, we chose a large arena in Denver, because that would be a logical next stop for a touring group. The third one will be in southern California, where Shaley and Rayne—and all the band—live.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Brandilyn: It’s a lot harder to consistently write to deadline than I thought it would be. Truth is, having your first novel published is just the beginning, not the end. It’s not always an easy career, but it’s the one God called me to, so I’m very grateful.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Amberly: How to depend on Him during time of new adventures like releasing a YA series!
Brandilyn: He’s continually teaching me to trust Him more—in all circumstances. That’s an act of will, not emotion.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Brandilyn: 1. Keep working on your craft. Write, write, write. Attend conferences. Join writers’ groups and critique groups—whatever it take to help you learn your craft at a deeper level.
2. Read a lot. Read books in your genre especially. Learn from your reading—what works and what doesn’t work. And reading in general keeps you aware of what’s going on in the industry.
3. Most importantly, dedicate your writing to God—and allow Him to lead you in it.
Now, tell us about the featured book?
Always Watching is the first in the Rayne Tour series--young adult suspense featuring Shaley O’Connor, daughter of a rock star. The series is targeted to readers around the ages of 12-16. We thought it would be exciting to write about a girl like Shaley. What is her life really like? For a girl who seems to have it all, what would her private struggles be? Then—what would happen if a murder suddenly turned her life upside down—with all the world watching?
From the back cover:
This daughter of a rock star has it all—until murder crashes her world.
During a concert, sixteen-year-old Shaley O’Connor stumbles upon the body of a friend backstage. Is Tom Hutchens' death connected to her?
Frightening messages arrive. Paparazzi stalkShaley. Her private nightmare is displayed for all to see. Where is God at times like this?
As the clock runs out, Shaley must find Tom's killer—before he strikes again...
Here is a link to the trailer for the book:
Please give us the first page of the book.
It’s not my fault I have to kill.
He’d been watching since the tour began. Eyes straight ahead, keeping cool, like he wasn’t even paying attention. But he noticed everything. Even got a sense for what was happening behind his back. His past life had taught him how to do that—out of necessity. When it was something bad, he felt a vibration in the air, pulling up the hair on his arms. And he’d know. He’d just know.
Sometimes he acted behind the scenes. Nothing that would be noticed. Just ended up in a certain place at a certain time—a presence that kept the wrong thing from happening. Other times he’d say what needed to be heard. Real casual, not sounding like a threat at all. No, he was just talking, shooting the breeze about some previous experience. But beneath the words there’d be a point: don’t cross me or mine.
Sometimes people were too dumb to get it. He’d give them every chance, trying to be the nice guy. Trying to do it the easy way. But no. Those kinds of people had stubborn minds and black hearts. Couldn’t be trusted. They were headed for a fall and about to take some good people with them. His people.
That’s what it had come to now.
“Hey, can I see you a sec before you go?” He motioned, and the one who must die came, humming.
Like a lamb to slaughter.-------------------------------
Read the first chapter, which introduces Shaley, here.
You have me hooked. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Brandilyn: Web site
Amberly: Rayne Tour fan group on Facebook
Teens 13-18—enter our Live Like a Rock Star sweepstakes! Grand prize is an $850 night on the town, including dinner for six at a restaurant of your choice and limo service. Enter here.
A very interesting interview. Too bad I'm more than 18 years old. Thank you, Amberly and Brandilyn for spending this time with us.
Readers, if you can't wait to get your hands on this first book, here's a link where you can order it:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Your only notification about winning will be the announcement post on this blog. So be sure to check back on Saturday in two weeks to see if you won.
If you're reading this on Facebook or Amazon, go to this blog to leave a comment: