We are thrilled to have the lovely and talented author Brieanna Robertson chatting with us today about her new release, The One Inside the Looking Glass.
It’s wonderful to be here with you, Mousey. The hot chocolate and snacks are hitting the spot.
I’m glad. I got up super early so they’d still be warm when you arrived.
I‘m honored. Thank you for making early mornings way better.
Are you ready? Yes? Then I’ll begin. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and why?
I was a writer before I even knew what a writer was. One of my most vivid memories was of the soccer field when I was in grade school where the kids would always play tag and whatnot at recess. It had a chain-link fence covered with what in my adult life I have come to know as a Creeping Virginia, but when I was a kid, it just seemed amazing to me. It overgrew this spout to a drainage ditch…I know, it doesn’t sound particularly awesome when you are old enough to know what everything actually is, but to a child, and me in particular, it was magical. It became a gateway to another world where all these creatures existed. In the younger grades, my friends and I would travel to this world and have adventures with said creatures. It wasn’t until about the fifth grade that my “friends” started to question my sanity. While they were starting to like boys, I wanted to find the elixir that would make my race of cat-people well again from their strange sickness. They called me a freak. I shrugged and went and did my thing by myself. I’ve always been very fine with myself that way lol.
Thank goodness I was put in a creative writing program in the sixth grade. Otherwise, I might just be in a padded cell. I thought everyone had stories in their head. I thought people who didn’t were crazy.
Needless to say, when I found my outlet, I found my calling. While all those “friends” still
thought I was a freak, I knew what I was and I knew what I wanted to be. A writer.
That is so cool. I’m glad you had the opportunity with the creative writing program in school. What is your creative process like?
Chaos. Pure and simple.
Sounds like my usual process. What makes a story “good” to you? What are pet peeves that make it not so good?
Character development is HUGE to me. I cannot deal with a story that has weak characters, and by weak I mean rushed and not developed. Even a short story has the capability of having a rich character if the author takes the time. When the author doesn’t take the time, or merely follows a “formula” of what is popular, I want to tear out my eyes. I’m not kidding. Ask my husband. He has heard me go on rants about this for years.
Also, I can’t deal with stories that I can tell were written just to make money, jump on the newest trend bandwagon (that’s basically just stealing the original author’s idea and manipulating it), or are written (or published) carelessly. It doesn’t take a lot to go back and proofread your work, or at least make sure you know your story well enough that all the information is consistent.
A “good” story to me is one that I get lost in and can’t put down. That is the “formula” for a good book as old as time. If it doesn’t match that for me, it’s just not for me.
Is there any genre you refuse to write? Why?
I will never write erotica. Both because of my own personal belief system and because I think the market is flooded with it at nauseam. True, there are some great quality works out there with good plots, great character development, etc. I have read them and I applaud those authors. But so many just try to market off of the sex angle, and I can’t get on board with that. I’m no Jane Austen by any means, but I want my story to mean something more than a roll in the sack with crude language. If that works for an author, that’s great. We all have to do our own thing and carve our own paths. It’s just not my path.
I prefer a really intense mystery. Or something with a bit of comedy. What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?
This one is easy. Meeting my greatest muse—Tuomas Holopainen, the keyboardist, composer, and lyricist of the Finnish metal band Nightwish—and then managing over the course of a year to obtain legal rights to use his lyrics in a novel of mine. By myself. No publicist, agent, nothing. Me, a giant dream, support of some amazing people and a really awesome friend of mine (ahem, Janet) and that’s it. It was a wild ride, ending in me being able to hand deliver copies of my book to both Tuomas and the band manager, talk to the band members about the subject at hand, and me even getting a wave and nod from the man himself during the performance of the very song in question. I will tell this story in detail to anyone I can until I‘m dead, I’m sure.
I know the band you are talking about. I totally love them and their music. But that is a bit off topic. Tell us about your newest release. What was your inspiration?
My actual inspiration was a trip I took to Las Vegas with my husband and some very good friends of ours. My husband found this amazing hat right before we left and, being eccentric as he is, decided to take it to Vegas with us and dress up as his version of the Mad Hatter two nights in a row. It was fun, conversation-starting, and revealing, as I (who am not necessarily a “jealous” woman) came to find out that if too many women take my husband’s hat and put it on their own head, I get very territorial. I don’t know why, but when I got home, I had this great idea for a modern day homage to Alice in Wonderland brewing in my brain.
And does the story follow true to the tale?
No, it’s more abstract, but if you are a fan of Alice, you will definitely be able to pick up on the references. That was one of the more fun things, in my opinion, of writing the story—knowing that super fans of Lewis Carroll would be able to pick up on all the subtleties and references throughout the story. It’s definitely an homage story, not a redone story, if that makes sense.
It does. I’m a tad drawn to comics myself… Get it. Drawn. Okay, moving on after that look. Can you describe the best date you’ve ever been on? (Or the worst!)
The best date I have ever been on was one where I first started dating my husband. We went to dinner, then had drinks and played Shuffleboard, then trudged back to our cars in the snow, went back to his place and continued to talk until dawn. Dawn. Who does that in their adult life? I never even did that in my teens. It was perfect, amazing, and my favorite memory of anyone I have ever dated.
Being a mouse from the south, I’m not a big fan of snow. I don’t mind it once in a while. So, what makes a perfect day for you?
Waking up snuggled with the hubs. No work, no edits. I spend the morning writing while he spends the morning playing video games. After, we go on a hike, go to dinner and drinks, come home, talk, listen to music, and talk some more until we are too tired to continue. I have been lucky enough to have some of these already.
Nice. What do you want your readers to take away from your story, The One Inside the Looking Glass?
The same thing I want readers to take away from all of my stories—be yourself, follow your dreams, don’t be afraid of who you are, defy the odds, take the “road less traveled.” That was the name of my first and best-selling book. Rightly so because it is the theme of my life and my work. Do as Robert Frost said. Take “the road not taken.”
Where can we find you on the web?:
I want to thank everyone for spending the morning with us. To learn more…
Later on that day…
To learn more about The One Inside the Looking Glass by Brieanna Robertson, Click on
the link provided below: