Welcome to my in-depth writers series Fighting Prose. Where I talk to authors in the industry on what their process is like and what it takes for them to keep on creating, through all the odds. This week we’re talking to Brittney Kristina. An award winning teen author (that’s still a teen)!
I had the pleasure of meeting this young lady many years ago when she was a sweet sixteen-year-old trying to sell her self-published book. I remember being so impressed with her. I was well into my thirties before I was brave enough to publish a book! I asked her, “What do people in school say about you? Have they read your book?” She said, “They call me the girl who wrote that book.” This made me laugh because people will be inspired by the girl who wrote a book in high-school for the rest of their lives. Of all the things I could be remembered for, I think that’d be one of the best.
Check out Brittney’s interview below!
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing since I was about 4 -- I was always telling stories, according to my mom. All I know is that I finished writing my first 60-paged book in the 4th grade.
Of the books on your shelf, which is your favorite?
My favorite book would have to be (oh, this is tricky) Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. But, I must warn you -- my favorite book changes every day!
What's your favorite genre to read? Write?
Physiological Thriller and Dystopian, but most certainly Weird Fiction. I love anything that causes me to question this world's existence, anything that blends words together so well and so strangely that I'm always asking. I love to be confused, curious. That's why I write such unique books. I want my readers to be curious about things.
Tell me about your process: how do you get in the mood to write? How do your characters come together? How do you get your ideas?
Well, space is key. I love writing beside a big window with a tree out front, beneath dim lighting, the soft, warm glow of a lamp, my essential oils diffusing into the air, a cup of fresh coffee at my side. I love those aesthetics. My characters come together slowly, as the story gets on, so that way they build naturally, and my readers can feel most infested, and so can I. I find my ideas everywhere, randomly. They're hard to find, but they're easy to see.
What do you admire the most about the writing world?
Just... writing. The fact that everyone can come together and make something from nothing and support each other. We can bounce ideas off one another and therefore come up with extraordinary stories that the world can read and bond through.
If you're not busy writing, what are you busy doing?
I love yoga, running, swimming laps, doing anything active, really. I bullet journal, re-organize my room nearly every day, read, and watch (probably too much) YouTube. I have a blog where I suppose I do write posts, but I also manage that, as well as manage a bookstagram account. I'm also a full-time college student and a part time Student Editorial Assistant for my college's Alumni Magazine. I keep myself pretty busy, aha.
Have you ever had writers block? If so, how did you get out of it?
Funny you should ask. I'm actually in writer's block right now -- I have not written anything, really, since finishing up my second book, Fifty Days. I'm sort of in a creative rut when it comes to fiction. I just began a Creative Writing class (My first one ever, actually!) at University, so I hope that gets me motivated to plan and work on more creative projects! In the past, I'd just sit down and make myself write. That's how I'd get out of it, and it usually worked. However, in middle school and high school, writing was the only hobby I had besides swimming for the swim team. Now, life is a little busy. It's a little harder to sit down and find the time, especially when you're not completely motivated or don't have any new ideas.
For a writer starting out what advice would you give them?
Just. Write. Stop putting it off and doubting yourself. If you really, truly want to write, you'll find the time. Clear your mind and dive into your story and let your mind create a world you've always dreamed of seeing on paper.
Have you always been creative? Has it always been writing?
Yes, I've always been pretty creative. I love bullet journaling, drawing, painting, cooking, organizing and decorating my room, and I'm just now getting into fashion. I've always had a lot of creative interests.
What is your dream writing location?
On a balcony in Paris, France with a latte and a paper and pencil, a lovely view, chill air, a few trees, light French music. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it!
In reference to your books, what question do you get asked the most?
"How much money have you made?" It's actually quite annoying, and causes me to doubt myself as an author, wonder if this is really what I want to continue doing. I have made $16 this summer, just off my second book, which is nothing in comparison to other authors, but is indeed something. I'm proud of it, but others may not understand. It's important to keep your head up and remember that it's not about the money, it's about doing what you love. Any profit is something, even if it's 25 cents. It's also difficult (but possible, if you work hard) to make a profit from a self-published book. If you want to solely make money, self-publishing novels probably isn't for you, haha. Write for you, and you alone, and THAT'S how you write a great book.
If you could bring one of your characters to life who would it be? Why?
ACE! Definitely Ace! He is the male character in my second book, Fifty Days. He was my best friend during my senior year of high school, I don't even care how crazy that sounds, aha!
Good Luck with Everything Brittney!
If you happen to know an author that would be great for my Fighting Prose series be sure to send them my way!
Thanks for reading!