Interview with Courtney Brandt

When did you first start writing?
I've been writing forever! My mom has a picture of me at age 7 or 8 on our front porch with my little notebook and a pencil. I've kept a journal since I was 11 and for as long as I can remember have actively been creating something. I finished my first book when I was 26 and haven't looked back!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Room 702 was dreamed up (quite literally!) in the W Hotel in Doha, Qatar. I was visiting with my husband (we now live in Qatar) and when I couldn't sleep, I wondered, 'who else has slept here?' That sparked the idea for the book, which I wrote in 2011 and recently edited for publication. As it's my first 'adult' novel, I'm very excited to see where it takes me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Connecting with my audience. To date, I've found my readers to be among the most amazing and supportive group an author could dream of. Also, as I meet many of them when they are in high school, it's interesting to see them grow and mature over the years - if they go to college, what they major in - I feel lucky to have met them and continue to be in their lives.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! Honestly, they continuously motivate me. If I were a traditionally published author, perhaps I wouldn't have the direct relationship I do with my fans. I love that they approach me.
What are you working on next?
I'm semi working on three projects at once. I have an untitled project (which I'll call Fates I), which is nearly ready to go, but I need to find an editor to push it to the next level. The sequel to that book, Fates II, is just about to undergone a big rewrite and I'm 25,000 words into another rough draft, Lucky Penny.

There are also two children's books I have idea for, but as of yet, have not seen a lot of my time.
Who are your favorite authors?
I will read pretty much anything in any genre. Favorites include Stephen King, Chris Cleave and Meg Cabot. Also notable, Megan McCafferty, Tamora Pierce, Maud Hart Lovelace, and Gail Carriger.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Promoting my work? Just kidding (not really). In my free time, I love to travel. As an ex-pat, I'm afforded this luxury and typically average 5-6 countries in a year. I'm planning my next trip - Nepal - now!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I'm a big fan of the free books on Kindle. I'd say that 1 out of every 10 books will inspire me to buy other books by the same author. Because of where I live (the Middle East), libraries aren't possible, so I have to get my reading fix somehow!
What is your writing process?
I do what works for me. With over 10 novels written, I'm not saying my process is any better than anyone else's, but I find it's helpful. Essentially, I get an idea. I let that idea sit in my head for some time. It could be a few months, it could be a year. And then one not so special day I start writing. Generally once I start, a novel will take 5-6 months to complete. And then it goes in a virtual drawer (read Stephen King's On Writing) for another while. And then another not so special day, I will print it and begin ripping through it with a red pen. And back to the drawer and then I will begin incorporating the notes. During this draft, there may be additional plot lines, or further research. The book may sit awhile then, but if I feel confident, it will go out to friends to read and add notes. With notes addressed, at this point, I may pay for an editor. I may not. The final draft is the fine tooth comb that gets uploaded into Scrivener and then voila - a finished book!
How do you approach cover design?
Very carefully. :) I've always had a bit of a cinematic edge (if you don't believe me, nearly every reader has mentioned all of my projects would be great cinema projects). This film approach follows through to cover design. I've usually thought of the covers as moments from the book come to life. I've been fortunate to know talented photographers and designers who have been relatively easy to work with to arrive at my ideal completed version.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I used to use a Kindle, but then I dropped (and killed) two. My husband surprised me with the iPad mini for my birthday this year. Before then I had been reading on my iPhone!! The iPad mini is the perfect size and I regularly use the Kindle app.
Published 2013-08-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.