Interview with Calle J. Brookes

Published 2018-07-16.
What are you working on next?
Currently, I'm working on more spin-offs in the Finley Creek universe and the Masterson County universe. These two worlds (and the PAVAD world) do overlap greatly. I have titles in each series planned for years to come.
Who are your favorite authors?
Nora Roberts will always be one of the greatest influences, but Sherrilyn Kenyon, Linda Howard, Elizabeth Lowell, and Sharon Sala are also high on my list. I actually still have the first Sharon Sala book I ever read--at the age of 11.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
First and foremost, it will always be my family. I am very fortunate in that writing has allowed my husband to come work with me, allowed us to pursuing homeschooling our daughter, and now my mother also helps us run our publishing business. We get to spend each and every day together. It doesn't get any better than that.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, swimming, RVing, cooking, and sewing top the list of my favorite activities, but the biggest thing I do is being with my daughter. She's at that age where she's really entertaining. We have lots of fun together.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I am an oldie-but-goodie reader. I tend to go backwards and look up favorite authors from years ago. Then I'll check out their new releases. I rarely do random searches for ebooks any longer.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh boy, do I?! I was in third grade and we did our first creative writing project. She gave everyone a photo and we had to write the story of what was happening. I got a whale in the middle of the ocean. All you could see was his tail. I had a 3 page story written within hours. I was absolutely hooked.
What is your writing process?
I am a very organized writer, except that I do not plan my books out ahead of time. I know when they are on the schedule and about how long they will be, but each individual book is completely pulled out of thin air as I am writing.

I am up at the computer at 10 a.m., twenty days per month. I stay there until 6 p.m. I do my words first. If you don't have new words written, you don't get new books out. That's been my philosophy since day one. Once the words are done for the day, I go on to book covers or booking ads.

At the end of the day, I look for business or craft information online. I read about the publishing industry for at least an hour each day. I have done this since the beginning of my writing career, in 2011.
How do you approach cover design?
All of my covers are done in-house. I choose the artwork from stock sites and manipulate it to meet my needs until I am satisfied with the cover. I may then run it by extra eyes to look for anything I've missed.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read romance, of course. Lately, however, I've been getting into non-fiction, personal essays, memoirs, and business books. I think it's because I spend so much time in "story" each day that I need a break from it to relax.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Viking Pro 12 inch tablet. I do have vision issues and standard tablets like Kindles are just far too small for me to see comfortably.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Writing the next book, hands down. I do very little marketing, outside of an occasional ad on sites such as Bookbub or Robin Reads.

I see more growth from a new book than I do from ads promoting earlier titles, so I stick with what works. Besides, it's much more fun to write another book with characters I love, than to book an advertisement!
Describe your desk
**maniacal laugh**

I have a U-shaped desk cobbled together from IKEA, that is temporary. We just moved, and I don't have my office exactly the way I want it yet. I do have two large monitors, a desktop, and a laptop within easy reach. Some of this is because of vision issues. I need large screen space to see what I am doing. I also am a 'visual' worker. I need things to be right in the open for me to find them. No closed drawers around here. I am also addicted to whiteboards and bulletin boards. They are everywhere in my office.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am a small town girl. We spent much of my childhood bouncing around southern Indiana. Most of the towns we lived in had less than 2000 people. I think that made me more aware of people in general. Similarities and differences, especially. And the things that people value. I want my books to be about people first, and how they are all connected. It's all about the people. Big city or small farm--or demon realm--it's people.
When did you first start writing?
I was nine, and started in third grade with a homework assignment. Shortly after, my grandmother told me that I could write books forever. And that is exactly what I am doing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My family. I have always written, but I was at home with a chronically ill infant. No daycare would/could take her in our small town and our family were too far away to help. I couldn't work. So after one title published with a small press, I decided to try self-publishing, to supplement the freelance non-fiction projects I was working on.

My family is still my prime motivator for this path, but I will also always love the books. Rereading one of my stories, and seeing my characters again, always gives me a zing.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords was the first place I uploaded to. I've continued to use Smashwords, and have seen growth here over the seven years since I started. I've taken part in a few promos here, and have found them helpful.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The characters. Each one is so unique to me that I love learning who they are.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Storm Damage
Price: $1.49 USD. Words: 12,960. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » General, Fiction » Romance » Western
DESTRUCTION IS EVERYWHERE. Detective Mike Evers has always had a thing for assistant M.E. Daryn Mabry. She thought he was the scum of the earth. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get her to change her mind...
Storm Warning
Price: $1.29 USD. Words: 10,970. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Series: PAVAD: FBI Romantic Suspense, 1. Price: Free! Words: 90,910. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
(5.00 from 8 reviews)
Hellbrook will do anything to protect his team, even the woman he never wanted on it in the first place. By keeping her at his side, he grows closer to her until the flame between them erupts and consumes them both. As they get deeper involved with the case and with each other, they do not realize someone else is watching, someone whose descent into madness threatens everyone around them.