Today we talk to Callie Browning.

Callie BrowningQ) Tell us something about yourself.

My imagination comes alive when I write. I’ve been writing since I could hold chalk, pencils…you name it. I read on a tablet but once the book is good, I always buy a physical copy. Does that make me weird?

Q) Tell us about your latest book. Why do you think the readers will like it?

My first book, The Shadow Guardian: Lost Dreams, is what some of my readers has described as a touching tale of finding yourself. I’ve heard over and over again that the characters are relatable, the plot is fresh and exciting and that my writing is witty.

Q) How did you come up with the title of the book?

I feel like so many of us have something inside of us that helps to protect ourselves; a sixth sense if you will. I used certain aspects of my life to help write the book and there was a time when I felt that something inside of me kicked in and changed my thinking and helped me to come to my senses in difficult situations. That’s entirely what helped me to come up with the title.

Q) What kind of research did you do for your book?

All kinds: I spoke to people about Barbadian myths and legends, I did Internet research, I went to the library, I started paying closer attention to various aspects of Barbadian culture. Another thing that I started doing and haven’t been able to stop, is that I’ve started really trying hard to understand people and their motivations. It may seem strange but your characters are the vehicle that really moves the story along. If their behaviour doesn’t ring true, the story can never thrive.

Q) Which of the Characters in your book are your favourites and why?

I love this question. To be honest, I love quite a few: I love Tillie the most. It’s narcissistic though: I based her on me! I also have love/hate relationships with Danny and Miss Hoyte. Some readers actually got upset because of what Danny did in the book and asked me to do a full re-write because of it. But I felt like it had to happen that way for the book to really be worth its salt.

Q) How did you formulate this character? Is it based on someone you know?

Sigh. Here’s the sad part: I actually dated someone just like Danny once. The details are different in the book but the end result was still sad. Miss Hoyte is a caricature of two different people I know, but I turned up the boost on her behaviour. Lol!

Q) Every Author has a distinct writing style. How would you describe your style and how do you think you came to form it?

It’s funny, but I actually just rush to write things down as they happen in my head. Whenever I sit down to write my characters take the wheel and show me the way. My writing is very much like me: it’s clever and witty and full of enthusiasm.

Q) How long have you been working on this book and what inspired you to write it?

I worked on my book for two years and initially it started as a cathartic exercise for me to deal with some feelings I had. Eventually it just turned into something else. I changed details and I genuinely hope it can light the path for other people’s metamorphosis, going from not believing in yourself to truly owning who you are.

Q) When did you start writing and when did you realize you want to become an Author?

I’ve always written. Literally, my mother still has some of my very earliest works back when I still had milk teeth. She was the first person who saw it in me. But not until three years ago when I realized the sheer joy that I get from writing, did I really start trying to polish my techniques.

Q) Who are some of the Authors you like and how do you think their work inspired you?

Definitely J.K Rowling tops this list. Her writing made me realize that there was a place for all kinds of writing. Before her work, I felt that many books tended to fit a certain mold in my mind. She broke barriers and her personal story also touched me and to this day, I find inspiration in that.

Q) What do you think is the most difficult part about writing and publishing a novel?

Having to be a one-woman show is definitely challenging. I dream of giving up my day job and doing this full time. I love the creative aspects of it all, but it’s time consuming. You spend so little of your time writing your books and so much writing to agents, writing blurbs, editing your work, trying to sell on different platforms. And all along you make mistakes and sometimes you’re not even sure what they are! You wish that you had someone to help, but a lot of other people are just as lost as you are.

Q) What is some advice you will like to give to people trying to write and get their stories published?

Have a great idea and believe in it. Criticism is going to come with the territory and it MUST be taken, digested and turned into a positive. I love getting critiques – then I know where I’m weak. When people say nothing, I can’t get better.

Q) Tell us something about what you are working on or about some of your future projects.

I just finished a short story and three flash fiction pieces. But now I’m back to working on two new book simultaneously. One is a follow up to my first book and the other is a love story. But the great part is that both of them are set in Barbados J.

Q) From amongst all the novels ever published if you had to write any one, which one would it be and why?

I love historic novels so they would be a close runner up, but I would have to choose any of the Harry Potter books. I just love how unique they are in their premise and how effortlessly they take you through a world that is so foreign to the uninitiated reader.

Q) If you had to convince someone to read your book in 5 lines what would they be?

Rachel Stephens isn’t sure why, but some strange things have been happening recently. And she’s pretty sure that her ghost-like twin has something to do with it. Plagued by dreams that always coincide with an unfortunate incident, Rachel can’t help but to think that life will only get worse.

Rachel’s love life and career have hit a rut with no signs of ever getting better. Eventually, Rachel will have to confront everything she ever thought she knew to find her way – and ultimately – herself.


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