Interview with Brenda Grace de Jong

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have been a long-distance runner for many years, so that stops the noise in my head from taking over.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, and I think I may have it somewhere. I think I was in perhaps third grade and I remember I got an A. Then I did not write for many, many years, which I now find sad.
What is your writing process?
I much prefer to hand write my work and transfer it onto my laptop much later. I know it is very impractical, but it has a much different voice when it is written pen to paper. It eliminates the temptation to edit while writing, and I feel it is purer and more genuine when I do it that way.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Probably something by either Steinbeck or Hawthorne. I was drawn to their works. Also Poe for my teenage angst years.
How do you approach cover design?
I usually have an idea of what I want based on the story. I work with a wonderful artist who captures my thoughts and emotions, as well as a graphic artist who chooses the layout and puts it all together.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Illusions by Richard Bach for its wisdom.
The Alienist by Caleb Carr. I love the way he blends history and fiction.
Dutchman Historical Mystery Series by Mann Meyers for its historical view of NYC before it was New York.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for the romance.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill because it is the scariest book I have ever read.
What do you read for pleasure?
Pretty much anything; I don’t have a specific genre that I favor. It depends on what mood I am in when I select it.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I just got a Kindle Paperwhite to be able to read in the daylight.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Public media and dropping copies in airports, hotels, etc.
Describe your desk
I actually wrote a short story on it entitled, “This Old Desk”.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Brooklyn in an old brownstone that had long, dark hallways and rooms that were odd. This setting got my imagination in gear and paved the way for me. Also, my mother predicted that I would become an author although I wanted to study law.
When did you first start writing?
I have always written, but it was not until about ten years ago that I became serious about it and began identifying as an author.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
The back story to “My Name is Elpee” is complicated, but the story itself is a whimsical and deep journey to find one’s identity.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Time, or lack thereof. Like most indie authors, we often have day jobs and lives other than banging away at a keyboard. I simply could not bring myself to split myself even more and solicit publishing houses or literary agents with query letters and sample pieces.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Honestly, seeing my name in print after all those hours creating a story or a book.
What do your fans mean to you?
Honor and Validation. The fact that anyone would follow my work is truly an honor and validation that just maybe I got this writing thing going on.
What are you working on next?
Another novel, which is very different than the Trilogy. It is a story of two people who are completely opposite of each other and the love affair they begin and struggle to maintain.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to list without leaving out a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
By scanning sites for what is new and exciting and upon recommendations.

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