Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Debbie Brown!
What are the names of your books? Who is the publisher?
AMBIGUOUS AFFAIR, published by Austin Macauley Publishers
Magnolia Edwards, a business woman, a mother, and a neglected wife, is swept off her feet in a secret, flirtatious love affair with a tantalizing younger man, Aaron Freeman, whom she believes to be her soulmate. Passion consumes the two of them, until Magnolia feels deceived after Aaron admits that his intentions toward her weren’t always genuine. Magnolia’s controlling husband, Joe, is acting shadier than usual, which leads her to undertake some detective work. She discovers a common link between alluring Aaron and her husband, which is far worse than she ever expected. The chemical attraction between Magnolia and Aaron has left a permanent yearning on both of their hearts. Aaron tries to regain her trust, but can Magnolia accept Aaron’s apology and give into her constant desires, or will she remain in her sham of a marriage for the sake of her children?
Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published book.
One day I was feeling particularly happy, and I had a couple hours of free time, so I sat down and said, “I’m starting my novel today.” I jotted down a bunch of ideas that I thought were interesting, and I picked the best one. From there, I spent a few hours everyday adding to my story, and after several months had passed, I was finished. I submitted my cover letter, synopsis, and manuscript to different publishers. I chose Austin Macauley Publishers because of their high-quality standards, and they were willing to involve the author as much as possible in the publication process, including choice of front cover.
How long have you been writing?
I think I’ve been writing off and on for my whole life. I can remember writing stories and poems for fun as a teenager and as an adult. After my children were born, I wanted to improve my craft, so I decided to take a couple of writing courses from the Institute of Children’s Literature. Since receiving my diplomas, I have continued writing which has led me to the publication of AMBIGUOUS AFFAIR.
What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
Romance is my preferred genre. Relationships can be complicated and wonderful experiences, and as an author, it’s exciting to be in control of shaping the bond between two characters into a destiny full of deception, or one of beauty.
What ICL courses have your taken?
Writing for Children and Teenagers
Writing and Selling Children’s Books
How has taking our course helped your writing and/or career?
The writing courses I’ve taken have improved the quality of my writing. I was taught to cut out all unnecessary words from each sentence, and make sure that the words I am using are helping to move the story forward. The courses have also taught me how to properly submit a manuscript, including a cover letter/query letter, and synopsis.
Have any of your class assignments been published? If so, where and when?
Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Tip for Writers Block – On a separate piece of paper write down every thought that pops into your head, don’t stop until your thoughts have cleared. Go back and read over everything you’ve written down and you should be able to piece together enough information to form a sentence or two, this will help you to proceed with your story.
If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
If I could travel back in time and give myself one piece of writing advice, I’d tell myself to stop editing my own work when I’m tired. When you are tired, it is harder to find typos, and spelling errors. All of the words blend together and you don’t read all of the letters as they are written, you read them as what you perceive them to be. Also, the more times you read the same thing, your memory of the story takes over, making the errors harder to spot especially when you are lacking sleep.
Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL.
One of the most valuable things I learned from the Institute of Children’s Literature is the importance of planning the story plot. Every story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Like a puzzle, all events in between must be linked together, including a satisfying story climax. If you are having trouble writing the story in chronological order, it is acceptable to skip ahead to a part that flows easier from your thoughts, and later, go back and write the parts you’ve skipped.
How do you know if people will like your style of writing?
You don’t. I think that you write what feels right for you and hope that the reader will feel a connection to you through your words. Some readers will not like your style, and others will. Just be yourself and write what comes naturally.
R. Victoria Patterson is an ardent writer and a romantic enthusiast. After earning two diplomas at the Institute of Children’s Literature, she decided to follow her passion and shift genres to contemporary romance from children’s stories. Victoria believes that your perfect destination is just up the path, keep moving forward no matter what.