Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Authorsday - Chicki Brown

Today I welcome author Chicki Brown.
Chicki Brown began writing in response to an inner urge to record the stories that had been accumulating in her head. A job layoff nudged her into the decision to write full time. She is the author of Have You Seen Her? a contemporary, multicultural romance and is currently working on her eighth manuscript.

A New Jersey native, and the mother of two grown daughters, she and her husband live in metro Atlanta, Georgia.

Her web site is
1. How long have you been writing?

Back in 2002, while I was working for a company that was experiencing a downturn in business. In an effort to keep myself occupied, I began typing a story that had popped into my head, which gradually morphed into a 400-page novel. The company laid me off a few months later, and I haven’t stopped writing since.

2. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?

I am definitely a plotter. The first thing I do before I write a word is to do a rough outline of the story. Next I complete character profiles for all of the main and secondary characters. Once I figure out the setting, I start researching the city, neighborhood, etc. The research continues as the story unfolds.

3. Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your work?

My decision was a long time coming. For several years I submitted to agents and editors on my own without success. I signed with an agent who didn’t sell a thing for me for two years. I terminated our relationship and recently signed with a well-known New York agent who is interested in my current manuscripts.

I had been reading author Joe Konrath’s wonderful blog for the past few years, and was fascinated by his experience publishing directly to Amazon’s Kindle. As a result, I decided to perform an experiment of my own by publishing my debut novel through Amazon’s Digital Text Platform. With them I control the content, the cover and the price. The freedom to get my work out to readers is exhilarating.

4. What do you consider your strengths in terms of writing?

Dialogue is definitely my strength. I love recording the conversations I hear in my head between characters. Strangely, I’ve been told by my critique partners that I write male dialogue particularly well. Go figure. 

5. What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it?

My weakness is pacing. If I’m not careful my stories can wander in the middle. Thankfully my critique partners are faithful to alert me when the pacing begins to lag.

6. What’s your favorite quote?

My favorite writing quote is from Nora Roberts, “If you need to believe in the muse, let’s say, fine and dandy. Whatever works for you. But don’t tell me you can’t work today because the muse has left you. Go track down that fickle slut, drag her back, chain her to your keyboard, and get to work.”

My favorite non-writing quote is from the Bible, “Blessed is she who has believed, for there shall be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” – Luke 1:45

7. What three things would you want with you on a desert island?

A knife (for food and protection)

A box of 5,000 matches (for cooking and warmth)

My Bible (for comfort and focus). They are all necessary for survival.

8. What’s your favorite thing about your book?

My hero, Taylor Villanova, the delicious bi-racial nightclub bouncer. He’s a real alpha male, and I had a ball writing him. Even though wrote this story almost three years ago, and I can still visualize his every move in different scenes. There is one particular scene where Dani sees him in a club where a certain song is playing. Every time I hear that song, the details of the scene flash back into my mind.

9. Who is your greatest cheerleader?

The ladies in my critique group. They assist, correct, encourage and most of all, understand me. I couldn’t find a better group of women anywhere in the world. We’ve been working together for several years now.

10. Where do you write?

Mostly away from home. Even though I have a lovely home office, it’s a must that I get away from the Internet, because I am very easily distracted. If I’m anywhere near a computer, I compulsively check my e-mail, read Facebook and Twitter messages and visit blogs. In order to get any work done, I take my AlphaSmart and head to Atlanta Bread Company, my favorite spot to write. Also, when the weather is cool enough (I’m in Hotlanta), I drive to a local lake and park by the water.

Thanks for this opportunity to share my book with your readers, Chris.
Marcia Hadley, Santa Barbara, California socialite has been married for seven years to the heir of a family fortune. He sees to it that she has the finest home, cars and clothes. Yet that isn’t enough to keep Marcia from running.


Dani Reynolds, Atlantic City nightclub cocktail waitress works on her feet seven hours a night, five days a week for less than minimum wage in a crowded, smoky nightclub. She lives in an aging, run-down apartment, rides the city bus, and she’s happier than she’s ever been.

Marcia and Dani have more in common than anyone could imagine. They are the same woman.

Only Taylor Villanova, the club’s sexy bouncer can help her reconcile her two distinct personas, face her greatest fear and discover a love greater than she’d ever imagined.


Chelle Sandell said...

Great interview! You've definitely made a fan of me!! It's nice to know I'm not the only one to have to get out of the house to write. My downfall is the need to clean or projects around the house.

Chicki Brown said...

Hey, Chelle. Thanks for stopping by.

Yes, it seems a writer's work is never done, but you do whatever is necessary to get into the zone -- even if it means locking yourself in a closet. LOL!

Zee Monodee said...

Wonderful interview, Chicki! Love your fighting and writing spirit - you're an inspiration!
Big hugs, keep it up, girl! XOXO

Sharon Cunningham Cooper said...

Nice blog and interview, Chris. I'm already of fan of Chicki's, but its always nice to learn more about a person! Congrats, Chicki!

KM Fawcett said...

I hear you about compulsively checking emails. I was able to get a lot of work done this summer while my kids were in tutoring for 2 hours. All the other parents dropped off their kids, so I was the only one in the waiting are. No distractions. Just the laptop and me.

KM Fawcett said...

oops. That should be waiting "area". :)

Chicki Brown said...

Thanks for stopping by Zee and Sharon! It's always nice to "see" a friendly face.

KM, it's amazing the great places you can find to work away from home. I rcently found a McDonald's in an upscale area which secluded booths. A perfect spot to write.

Phillip Thomas Duck said...

Great interview, Chicki! It's interesting the twists and turns that life takes us, and those which allow us to do the things we love (write :-)). Looking forward to sharing your favorite scene on my blogspot as a feature starting Monday. (

Chicki Brown said...


Thanks for stopping by! I am so thankful for authors like you and Chris who are willing to help newbies like me.

Anonymous said...

That was a great interview. I hate i've delayed in getting the digital download of your book. I'll correct that mistake this weekend.
-B. McKibben