Ask the Author: Robin Brande

“Ask me a question.” Robin Brande

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Robin Brande This is a tough question! So many great fictional couples out there. But I'm going to go with Meliara and the Marquis of Shevraeth from Sherwood Smith's CROWN DUEL. Love the strength and independence of both of them. I appreciate any heroine who can hold her own in both physical and intellectual battles. And when her love interest respects and admires her FOR those qualities and not despite them... that's the kind of book couple I want to read and reread.
Robin Brande Hi, Natalie. Thanks for asking, but I don't have anything on the schedule right now. I've got my head down and I'm writing more installments of The Bradamante Saga. Once I come up for air again (next year?) I'll probably be itching to be social again!

Robin Brande Hi, Samantha. Thanks for your question. The Good Lie is an example of authors writing about the things that make them mad. I feel very, very strongly about the rights of children and teenagers to control their own bodies. I get very angry at stories in the news about adults who have abused their positions of power and control--whether they are parents, teachers, clergymen, etc.--to commit horrible crimes against young people.

The lawyer in the book, Angela Peligro, is based on a lawyer I know who made a career of suing people and institutions who committed abuse against children. I know a lot of people in the community found her tactics too harsh and aggressive, but I really admire what she did. I admire people who stand up for children.

In the same way, I'm sure there are some readers who won't like the outcome of The Good Lie, but it stems from a very protective policy I have when I write my books: nobody messes with my girls.
Robin Brande Hi, Jacob. Thanks for your question! I grew up in a church much like Mena's, and had a lot of her same questions--questions my Sunday school teachers didn't really like me asking.

And I hate bullies. Especially when they try to use religion as an excuse for treating someone badly. I saw a lot of that when I was growing up, and it still really bothers me.

On the lighter side, I wanted to write something funny and also thought-provoking. Hope I accomplished both!
Robin Brande I get all my ideas from a combination of places: my own life, experiences my friends or family have had and told me about, things I've read in the newspaper or seen on TV, things I've read. I read a lot of science and adventure books--that's just what I'm interested in. I also do a lot of outdoor adventure myself, and I always get fresh ideas when I'm out backpacking in the wilderness for a few days.

A lot of my young adult books are based on experiences I had growing up. It's so much fun to include bits from my own life and then write better outcomes than I might have had myself! That's the beauty of being a writer: you get to retell your own story and make it better and more interesting.

My adult books are based on experiences I've had, too, for example my years being a lawyer.

The main thing is to pick topics that I know I'll be interested researching for as many months as I need to so I can write about them intelligently. If I'm not interested enough in a topic, I won't touch it. I need to have fun writing my own books!
Robin Brande I read great books by other people so I can be inspired to do better with my own. I watch great TV shows and movies by smart, clever writers (for instance, Sherlock on PBS and other smart shows) so I'll be inspired to write smart, clever works of my own.

I've found the secret for me is to be careful what I allow into my mind. I don't feed it scary, violent, or stupid images or stories. I like to give it the best nutrition possible with great storytelling by master storytellers. Rereading the Harry Potter series every year is part of it!
Robin Brande A science fiction novel and a fantasy novel. Both to be finished very soon!
Robin Brande Read as much as you want all the time. Read exactly what you want, no matter whether someone else might think it's not "worthy" somehow. Who cares what anyone else thinks? Feed your brain what it loves.

Second, write something every day. Whether it's writing in a journal or writing poetry or songs or scenes from a story you're working on, keep that writing muscle in your brain exercised and limber. It's hard to get started on something when you haven't written in a while. If you make writing part of your day every day, you won't be so nervous about writing something new.

And third, do something interesting in your life every day. Learn something new. Talk to someone new. Make new discoveries. You'll have more to write about if you're actually living your life and not just reading about other people's. Go be interesting and then tell us about it.
Robin Brande The absolute best thing about my writing life is that I get to live in story all the time--whether it's writing my own books or reading someone else's or watching some great movie or television show. Once I realized I didn't have to feel guilty for wanting to read as much as I do, and that in fact it was part of my job description, I've been happy every day since! It really is my childhood fantasy come true.
Robin Brande First of all, I refuse to believe in writer's block. Instead I prefer to think I'm just tired or hitting the wall, in which case the solution is always to stop and get away from the computer. I don't write well when it feels forced. So I go for a walk or watch a movie or watch some TV program I've recorded. I try to feed my mind great storytelling, so I keep a lot of great mysteries and dramas on hand to inspire me creatively. But the main thing is to get away from my computer for a while and let my mind have a vacation.

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