Everything’s green, everything’s growing, the snow is finally melted…!
And week after week you can come back for our Monday Morning Author Interviews.
Today we have Kara SB Brown, who is brand new on the scene! Let’s give her a warm welcome and listen to what she has to say!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was traveling with my Daddy, who was a truck driver. We were in Arizona, at a 3-way stop. A tumbleweed rolled across the road, and I saw a roadrunner waiting at one of the stop signs. I asked, “Daddy, are cartoons real?” His answer, which I can’t recall verbatim, was something like “Karebear, cartoons are created based on people’s lives. So yes, in a way, they are real, just as books can be real in your mind.” He introduced me to his cousin, Martha Bolton, and I began writing short stories. Unfortunately, traumas and bullying convinced me I was ‘too stupid’ to write a book, much less a series. Years later, after meeting my fiancée, I started to see who I am. Journaling helped me in the process. My therapists all encouraged me to practice prolonged exposure, but I didn’t trust myself to be safe, as I had lived in a fantasy world most of my life. In 2016, I decided to start writing my story, sharing my life and my PTSD healing journey. Since then, I’ve written my first book and one-quarter of my second book, both in the series “The Coral and the Kingdom.”
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Most of my ideas are based on life experiences and traumas I’ve experienced or witnessed. Other times, I gain ideas from watching Dragon Ball Z (plus the other Dragon Ball affiliated shows), reading fantasy books, and studying the sciences, especially chemistry and astronomy. Sometimes, I like to practice math (I’m not the best) to increase the logical aspects of my writing. Also, music. I sing, am learning the piano and sometimes ocarina or guitar, and am writing songs for my series.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I’m still figuring out my schedule. With C-PTSD, Depersonalization/Derealization Syndrome, and other potential developmental brain issues, it’s hard to figure out a schedule that works. Each day is different. On stressful days, I struggle with out of body experiences where it feels like I’m stuck between dimensions. Hours of my day are spent in meditation or yoga/singing, I clean when I can, help with the housework and taking care of our pup-cats, who also take care of us. I also train our service dog and emotional support dog, the latter of which is in chemotherapy for Lymphoma.
I’m working with my therapy team to train my brain to focus, while staying in the moment instead of ruminating or completely disconnecting from reality.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I love to practice the magic I create in my head. Meditations help me visualize the world and connect me with the Universe. They also help me stay sane enough to write, edit, or brainstorm!
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I began writing my first book (The Scarring of the Roshanra, in the final stages of editing) in 2016, when I was confused about life and myself. I was 32.
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What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
dance like an idiot
draw or paint
learn an instrument or language (currently piano, Russian, and French, while maintaining my Dari language skills)
watch true crime stories or silly shows, depending on my mood.
running and Muay Thai when my body cooperates (I have Fibromyalgia).
I also love the time I spend with my fiancée, who taught me the basics of guitar and helped me realize I could be myself. Cuddling with our pups and kitties is also great.
I practice what I call “hooey mystical stuff” daily, and meditate every day, sometimes twice a day.
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What does your family think of your writing?
So far, I’ve heard my writing style is great, but they didn’t like the cursing. Really, cursing is worse than torture?
That I was meant to write books. I’ve recalled my love for writing out definitions when I was a kid (and adult) and I invent new words. My favorite is “crainwackberzerkoball,” which I created when I was 14—crazy wasn’t a strong enough word for me.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
So far, I’ve written 1.25 books. I think my first one is my favorite right now because it’s almost done. But my second book will show much more progression outside of captivity, how difficult it is to cope when you’ve been stuck in a traumatic situation for so long.
What is your schedule like when you’re writing?
I write when I can, or plot out scenes or ideas because I’m learning to structure my life. When I edit, I focus on editing. When writing, I focus on writing. On a good day, I can write as many as 3,000 words. Most days, I push myself to write at least 25 minutes a day, sometimes doing the Pomodoro technique, 25 minutes working, 5 minutes break, X 4. When my brain starts to swim, I stop writing for at least an hour, if not the rest of the day.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I didn’t know what I wanted to do, except to help others through entertainment or services. I dreamed of being an author, a singer, a songwriter, a poet, and at times, I wanted to be a pediatrician. I wanted to see the world, as my Daddy had. Writing and singing were the two things I continued to do over my lifetime.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Don’t judge your book’s worth on your first draft. When you start writing, you may hate your writing one day, but realize its worth when you read through again and edit. Don’t edit until after you’ve written the first draft—I ended up rewriting 40,000 words because it “wasn’t good enough,” but ended up putting a lot of it back in the book in a different area
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
This is an interesting one. When writing, I try to balance the work and the fun, saving up for the edits I know I will need. In that aspect, my spirit animal is a squirrel. I’ve also had aspects of the owl, the wolf, and the dragon in my writing, because many of the memories in this book are my own. It’s scary sharing my story with people, yet I know it can help others.
How can your fans connect?
I have a website, http://www.earnestsbbrown.com, and I’d love to hear from them there! They can also sign up for my newsletter, which I am just getting going, and of course they can reach me on Instagram at @earnestsb
Thank you so much for coming by!
Happy to be here!
Go vote for her book as Best Fantasy of the year!