Interview with Tiffany Michelle Brown

What's the story behind your latest book?
I love prompts. I delight in taking a truly random idea and fleshing it out to unveil a very specific story. A couple years ago, right around Halloween, I put out a request on Facebook for my friends to throw ideas at me -- concepts, song lyrics, characters, you name it -- and if it stuck, I'd write a creepy Halloween story about it. One of my friends, Shannon Dodge, posted something about a turntable and time travel, and I immediately latched on to that idea. I loved the concept; it seemed very much in the vein of Twilight Zone -- in other words, right up my alley. I let the idea marinade for a couple years. When I was ready to meet Walter (my protagonist) and dream up a magical world in which time travel and music made sweet, sweet love, I was ready to write SPIN: A Novelette. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Hanging on tight and enjoying the ride. There are times when I'll be typing furiously and it's only when I go back to re-read my work that I know what I've written. My characters truly drive the story for me, and I definitely get swept up into their worlds. When I have an almost out-of-body experience writing a particular character, I know that I'm on to something good. It's so much fun to see them develop on my computer screen. They surprise me all the time.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have always dreamed of being published traditionally, but I have yet to write something that I could shop to a traditional publisher. Right now, I specialize in short stories, novelettes, and novellas, which can be difficult to market and publish. I do plan to write novels in the future, but I'm not there quite yet.

And I had to share SPIN: A Novelette. I'm extremely proud of this work and I know that readers will enjoy it. Self-publishing seemed like the perfect platform to get SPIN out into the world.
What are you working on next?
My next project is a collection of short stories in the horror genre. I have a killer concept ready to go and a number of the stories already written. Now that SPIN: A Novelette is finished, I can truly devote my time to this new work. It's going to be a creepy good time!
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many! Neil Gaiman leads the pack for sure; his writing is sublime. I also draw inspiration from Stephen King, M.J. Rose, Courtney Summers, Gillian Flynn, Dan Simmons, Sara Dobie Bauer, James Baldwin, and Ernest Hemingway.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't remember the first story I ever wrote, but recently, while I was packing to move from Phoenix, Arizona to San Diego, California, I found a folder filled with all of the short stories and "novels" I wrote in grade school. And they are hilarious. I had a flair for the dramatic very early on, so my stories are filled with cliche romances and vampires and conspiracy plots. It's obvious that I was attracted to magical realism, horror, psychology, science fiction, and fantasy from a very early age. A friend of mine suggested I do a public reading the stories I found in that folder, and I don't think it's a half bad idea. I'm definitely considering it!
How do you approach cover design?
For SPIN: A Novelette, my boyfriend, Bryan, designed my cover. I am so spoiled to live with an artist. We sat down over sushi one night, I relayed the most important pieces of the plot to him, I sent him a draft of the novelette, and voila, I had a cover. By virtue of living together, he completely understands my aesthetic and personality. He understands what I'm trying to accomplish with this piece. So I left it in his very capable hands. And I cried when I saw the cover he'd designed. It's so perfect. I'm extremely happy with how it turned out.
What do your fans mean to you?
Authors write for two reasons: 1) we'd probably go crazy with all these ideas in our heads and no way to get them out; and 2) for others to read our work. Every great author is also a voracious reader. And we want our work to be consumed, too. We want to tell stories and transport people to another place and time through words and imagination. Having fans means the world to me. Readers allow me to be a storyteller and there's simply nothing better to be than that.
What is your writing process?
It varies. If there's a deadline, I sit myself down at a desk, turn on a themed Pandora station, insert myself in the world I'm writing, and make the work happen. Other times, it's much more relaxed and I'll only write if I have a brilliant idea so that's it's more organic and not forced. One time, I dreamed up a concept for a short story while driving and had to pull over and dart into a grocery store to pick up a pad of paper and a pen to hand write the first few lines of a story before they left my brain. You never know when something great will come to you, so getting started is a little unpredictable. However, I always know how my story will end and then I work toward that ending, allowing for some twists, turns, and surprises along the way.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. Consequently, the concept of heat tends to make it's way into my writing. Writing about warm desert landscapes is second nature to me, because it's what I know. However, I'm moving to San Diego and I anticipate my change in address will change the settings of my stories. Stay tuned. Perhaps oceans and fog and water will show up in my future writing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Love. Dogs. Whiskey. Yoga. Storytelling. Coffee. Sunshine.
Published 2015-06-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Spin: A Novelette
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,990. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Forty-one years ago, Walter made a split-second decision that cost him everything he held dear. Ever since that fateful day, Walter has lived with regret in his chest and an ache in his heart. Now, he has a chance to travel back in time and right his personal wrongs. Will Walter be able to change the past and build the future he always dreamed of? Or does fate have something else in store for him?