Friday, September 14, 2018

Interview with Christine Brae, EIGHT GOODBYES

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Thanks for having me!  My latest book is Eight Goodbyes, releasing on August 28. It is a standalone book about two very different people who meet in places around the world and fall in love.  Obviously, life and diverging priorities get in the way. People who have read advanced copies of the book said that they enjoyed getting lost in love in different locations. I think that our two main characters, Simon and Tessa, also feel the same way.

Do you have a favorite character?
I have quite a few, actually, some mine and some from other books I’ve read. But the latest book character I really loved has to be Simon from Eight Goodbyes. He wears his heart on his sleeve, which is different from most of the alpha males we read about. But he is also so introspective, I loved getting in his head as I was writing this book.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I thank my lucky stars all the time that I didn’t have to do that. After my second book was self-published, I was approached by a handful of agents. I’ve been with mine for four years. Her name is Italia Gandolfo and she is honest, kind and genuine. I think every author needs someone as transparent as she is.

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
I chose to go with the agent who is honest and open about the opportunities that are out there for a writer in my genre. I find myself so fortunate that my agent and I became fast friends rather quickly. This enabled me to place my trust in her and to go by the publisher that she felt was the best one for me.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
Two years ago, I signed with Vesuvian Media as well as Spark Publishing (Asia) to publish two books. Eight Goodbyes (latest release on August 28) is going to be my first book with them. Having a full time career outside of my writing life precludes me from having the time to query, promote and market my book. There are obviously creative downsides with traditionally publishing your book (where you lose creative ownership at times) but the marketing aspect of going with a publisher is really what I love about my decision. This publisher also gives me creative ownership of many things other publishers normally don’t. For instance, I asked to use my own cover creator and cover model for this book. I also asked that I use my own formatter, given that I love the style of my formatter and I’ve been using her for years.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
First, I will allow my muse to take me everywhere and anywhere. And then comes my editor, Jim Thomas, who will tell me where my gaps are in terms of arcs and context. I do map out an arc of events, just to make sure I don’t duplicate how I want the story to flow – but after that, I could have my eyes closed and I would still know what story to tell. Sometimes I think I’m crazy  because I hear the characters’ voices in my head telling me where they want to go.

What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
When I first self published my first series of books, I learned that it is such a lonely journey. I realized how many books were releasing every single day and how easy it was to get lost in the shuffle. I also realized that just because you think you’ve placed all your effort into writing a decent book, it will be for certain people and it won’t be for certain people. You won’t please everyone, and you certainly need to manage your expectations. My heart breaks every time I see a young author post about her disappointment about how his/her book has been received.

When you write for yourself, when you write because you have stories to tell – it all comes down to that and nothing else matters. Once, I shocked some interviewers when they asked me how my sales were doing – because I don’t even know how to go into the Kindle report things to look at my sales. I just don’t do it.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Get into the business for the right reasons. Own your words. Every single one. And keep writing.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I am so blessed to be able to participate as a Board member of some Not For Profit organizations whose platforms are truly amazing. I love being able to use my experience and influence to mentor young business minds and to support diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night? 
Dogs, chocolate, coffee, talk, night.

What’s next for you?
I get to do this again in 2019! I am currently in the editing process for my next book, The Year I Left. While I wrote Eight Goodbyes coming out of my previous book which was full of sadness and angst, this next book is an honest look at all the chances we wished we had to redo our lives and make amends.

I also have a senior in high school and I promised him I would spend all the time I can with him before he leaves me to go to college. I intend to be the best non stay at home mom with millions of things to do, ever.

Eight Goodbyes
Christine Brae
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 28th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance

One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.” –Unknown
When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.
Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.
Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.
To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

Author Bio:
Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Her second book, His Wounded Light was released in December, 2013.
Christine’s third book, Insipid, is a standalone that was released in June, 2014, and her fourth book, In This Life, released in January 2016.
When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.
Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin Literary Management.

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