Interview with Romance Author – Bree Livingston

Hello:

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It is so very nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy? 

I’m originally from Charleston, South Carolina, and I currently live in Lubbock, Texas. I moved here about ten years ago, and I love living here. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, spending time with my kids, or hanging out with the Hallmark channel.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

The answer to this is weird. I woke up in the middle of the night with a story, found a yellow legal pad and wrote four pages. This was back in 2003. It was years after that I even tried to write something else. In 2013, I started writing a story and in 2016 I published it. 2018 is the year that I really took my writing seriously. As of today 9/8, I’ve written eleven books.

Who is your favorite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you? 

Oh, my favorite author. That’s a hard one. I read a lot, and many inspire me.

What genre do you enjoy reading? What’s your favorite book and why?

I love reading romance, but as long as the voice and the story pulls me in, I’ll read just about any genre (except horror. I can’t handle that stuff.) I love Ender’s Game. I believe that is one of the best books ever written. I hope to write as well as Orson Scott Card one day.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? 

I learned that proofreading was a must, so shortly after I published my first one, I looked into hiring a proofreader.

If you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

The first series I published was a Billionaire Romance series. The common theme was that money doesn’t equal fulfillment or joy.

billionaire series

What was it like creating back to back stories that link? 

It was rather easy with my series as the characters changed from book to book, and they were stand-alone books.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could, what genre would you like to dabble in? 

Oh, yes. I love YA. I’ve dabbled in that. In fact, I’ve got a four book series written. I’m even considering a mermaid YA urban fantasy. Just to give me something a little different to do.

What has been your most proud moment as an author? 

When my books allowed my husband to quit a very unsatisfying job and pursue his own business. My girls got their father back because he wasn’t working seventy-hour weeks.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Yes. Goodness, yes. Microsoft makes me want to toss it at times. Especially when it shuts down for updates and I’m not ready.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer? 

I’m a full-blown pantster. I have no idea where the story is going before I get there.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing? 

I’m  comma, comma, comma chameleon. I use them like Shatner uses pauses.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer? 

  1. Find critique partners who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
  2. It will hurt the first time you’re told you need to start over. Do it anyway and learn from it.
  3. No matter how successful you are, you didn’t get there alone. Remember to be kind to those who come after you.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on the fifth book in my fake marriage series. I’m going to try my hand at a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I have this idea, and I’m hoping I can make it work and people will love it.

I’m also working on a collaborative project with four authors to bring a novella series to life early next year. All of the books will be stand-alone books that are set in a fictional Texas town.

So… where can we get your books?

All of my books can be found on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.

How would you define what being a successful writer means?

I believe that means being a blessing to people reading my books. I want them to find joy and meaning in them.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think it can hurt when people get too big for their britches. I want to stay me. I’m just a plain girl, living in a small Texas town, who happens to love writing romance.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? 

I research as I go along.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? 

I sometimes do. Of course, it hurts to see a bad one, but I do try to learn from them. There’s one reviewer who disliked every book I’ve written except one, and I must say I did a little cheer when they loved it. It was like my personal goal to write something they would enjoy. (And I hope I can do it again.)

What was your hardest scene to write? 

The kissing scenes are the hardest for me to write because there is such a fine line between sweet and not-so-sweet. It’s also hard to make each scene different and unique to each character.

What’s your writing schedule like?

Ha! I wake up, make coffee and while I’m drinking it, I play a little game on my phone. When I’m done, I take a moment to pray and then I start writing. I write almost every day of the week.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with a lot of authors. Victorine Lieske encouraged me to be writing in romance. Most of the writer’s I’m friends with know that sometimes we need to tear something a part to make it better and I appreciate their candidness.

How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story? Is the process the same for every book you write? How long does it take you to write a book?

It really depends on the idea. There are times when I’ve got the beats to a story and I’m filling in the spaces between. Then there are times when I’ve got partial beats, but I don’t really know where I’m going. When I’ve got my beats and I know where I’m going, I can typically write a 50K novel in about 8 days.

How have your family and friends accepted your career as a writer? Are they supportive?

Yes, they’ve accepted my career and they’re very supportive. As cheerleaders go, they’re amazing.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I typically do a little of both. Take one scoop of courage, add a little self-doubt…you get the drift. It’s really about making the character feel real. Giving them life experiences and reactions that readers can relate to.

What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction? 

I’m currently working on the fifth book in my fake marriage series. I’m trying my hand at a Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Where would you like to travel to and why? 

I’d love to visit Scotland and travel through Europe. I think it’d be wonderful to see that part of the world in person.

Tell us about how you develop your characters? 

Well, because I’m not a plotter, they develop as I write.

Which one of your characters is your favorite and why?

Oh gosh. I love all of them, but I have to say the character in the third fake marriage series is one of my all-time favorites. I love the big, strong guys who are also gentle and soft-spoken. The kind that you peg as one thing and find out they’re not anything like you imagined.

What would you like readers to know?

I love this job. It’s one of the best jobs in the world. I get to daydream all day long and let it spill onto a screen. Then people take that daydream and read it. So far, I’ve managed to produce daydreams that people love to read, and I’ve been so blessed with good feedback. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m good at something and it’s an amazing feeling.

Contact:

Website: https://breelivingstonwrit.wixsite.com/breelivingston
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BreeLivingstonWrites
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BreeLivWrites
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/breelivingstonwrites
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/breelivwrites

About eve culley

Children's Author, micro-farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother
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