For this inexorably late twelfth episode of Writer’s Spotlight, we have Brandy Sharpe – another member of the Scribes’ Circle and fellow ‘A Haunting of Words’ author whom I have gotten to know well over the past year. Brandy is one tough mommy, a talented writer, and very patient with bloggers who disappear for two weeks without notice. (thank you!).
What names do you write by?
Pen name: B. Sharpe
Give us a short introduction to you.
Originally from a little town near Panama City, I now live in South Carolina with my husband of 12 years and 4 children.
How long have you been writing, professionally and/or as a hobby?
I fell in love with writing in 3rd grade. I’m now 33 years old. However, I only recently got serious about it.
In what genre(s) do you write?
I try for Horror or Literary Fiction. I also have interests in Science Fiction. I guess I really don’t have a specific genre.
Do you outline your stories ahead of time, or do you let the story grow as you write?I write better when a story is outlined ahead of time.
Which authors have influenced and inspired you the most?
Alexandra Sokoloff, Carol Goodman, and Kim Edwards.
Do you write in other ways, such as poetry, songwriting, technical articles, etc?
I wrote in a particular Poetry Journal from the time I was 14 until I turned 30. I still write poetry from time to time, but not like I used to. I blog from time to time. I’m looking into writing articles online, but I haven’t found anything particularly lucrative yet.
How has your life experiences affected your writing?
I try to infuse as much of them as I can into my writing. When they say, “write what you know,” I think this is what they mean- that for your characters to be relatable to your readers, they must also be relatable to you. So, the character might be in a situation I haven’t personally experienced, but I may have been in something similar and can use those in my writing.
What scene that you’ve written has moved you the most, and why?
Honestly, that’s in a piece I don’t push a lot. It was in Beast Within, for the Muscular Dystrophy anthology. In the piece I strove to show what it is like to be haunted by a past event. In the story, there is a scene where the Alice, the main character, stands in an old bathroom in front of a medicine cabinet. She is inundated with this really terrible memory that seems to come out of nowhere and she comes face to face with the root of her drug addiction and her cutting addiction. Orphne, Alice’s character foil, is right next to her and is trying to argue her out of these destructive behaviors. Orphne has been there all along through this battle and it’s been this painful thing for her to watch. It moved me because I have family members that have fought these battles, so it came from an interesting place.
Beta Readers – Yes or No? Why?
Yes. I have found that the right beta reader can help you and your story grow.
What inspires your story ideas?
Life, in general, inspires my ideas. For me, there’s a magic in the mundane. Someone dancing down the street can inspire a story. It really doesn’t take much.
Do you belong to any Writing Groups?
Scribes’ Circle, Fiction Writing, etc.
Tell us about all of your works in progress (include your favorite snippets).
His madness was a black sun whose shadowy flames licked away his humanity. He hugged himself tight, terrified, desperate to contain that which obeyed nothing. He trembled, knew the witch approached. Powerless, he felt the black flames destroy the earthen walls of his brain.–Black Butterflies, AHOW, due out June 1st, 2017.
Have you been published?
I have been published, thus far, in two anthologies. The first is Beast Within for the Muscular Dystrophy Anthology, and the second is Coming Home in Unbound. The Beast Within is about a girl that visits her childhood home and finds that either she or the house is haunted by a terrible secret. The second is Coming Home in Unbound, about a Reservist that comes home from a grueling military training exercise and finds out just how glad her husband is that she’s come home.
[JMA – Since this interview, Brandy’s story Black Butterfly has been accepted into the ‘A Haunting of Words’ anthology. You can get the ebook NOW, and the paperback June 1st here – http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words]
How can readers follow you?
Is there anything else you want readers to know about you?
I am also a part of an organization, For the Life of Us that is championing the reality of Mental Illness that so many face. If interested, please follow us at https://www.facebook.com/ForTheLifeOfUs/
Thanks, Brandy, for taking the time to share a little piece of you with us, and being patient with my delays!