MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR BRIT LUNDEN
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I write adult romance as Brit Lunden, but my other pen name is Carole P. Roman. I have written over 52 books as a children’s author and then decided to try my hand at adult fiction. So far, so good! The Bulwark Anthology has been received very well. Book Trib has called Bulwark an adult version of “Hansel and Gretel meet Friday the 13th.” One reviewer has said of Bulwark, ” … the concise readability of Ms. Lunden’s supersonic prose means this book is not merely derivative of its precursors in the horror genre. For a start, there is that compelling pace, punchy prose, and accelerating plot that so easily hooks a reader and keeps him going.”
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
A few authors asked if I’d like to participate in an anthology for a Halloween release. I had only published children’s books and one self-help book, so I was intrigued by the idea of writing to an adult audience. I am squeamish. I have never watched a horror movie, I just can’t. I don’t read horror- it scares me and then I agreed to write a horror book. And then, the characters spoke to me. I wrote the book in one afternoon. It started with a picture in my mind of a courageous but wounded sheriff. The first scene played out vividly in my mind, and the characters sort of took over. I don’t know when the idea of a wicked witch who kidnaps children came in, but the book developed that way. Author K.C. Finn has written of it, “If you’re looking for dark, mysterious fiction that touches on the world of fairy tales, then this short, sharp read is sure to please you. Brit Lunden writes with great atmosphere, making a highly readable experience that continued throughout. Clay was a well-developed and likable hero, one whose befuddlement at the strange goings-on gives you, as a reader, a kind of superior feeling, enabling you to figure out the mystery one step ahead of him sometimes. I loved the connection to fairy tales from the likes of the Brothers Grimm, retaining their dark qualities and translating them into modern day incidents with some new twists that surprised me. Overall, Bulwark is a collection of excellent thrilling mysteries which build to an overall story based around their central hero, and it was a highly enjoyable read.”
The anthology never developed and I published the book on my own. A year later I was approached by RL Jackson and she suggested we get a group of authors together and do the anthology. We did, and I write JB Straton’s story. He was a minor player in the second chapter. I opened my book arbitrarily and JB told me his story. While it is more romantic, people love the paranormal edge. One reader has said, “The Knowing, as its title suggests, makes a compelling pull in such a short space of pages, absolutely filled with emotion and conveying a powerfully romantic storyline in sharp contrast to the previous book, but also very fitting of the town and its tone. Readers seeking an immersive new series where they can experience all different story types within the same, dark mysterious world are certain to love The Knowing and the Bulwark Anthology in general.”
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I love to read. I read between two to four books a week. Writing just pours out of me. Both Bulwark and The Knowing told themselves. I had been to Georgia as a teenager. We did a drive through the state when I was a teenager. My father didn’t have money to stop of a motel, so we drove all night and stopped there for breakfast at an all-night diner. I’m talking about a family trio fifty years ago. It was pitch and the silence was profound. The area smelled of the lush peach trees that scent filled the air. I got out of the car and stretched, the endless night sky filled my vision. I had never seen so many stars before. I was surrounded. I felt a part of the universe. I never forgot the awe of that back country road, and maybe it helped develop that side of me, the whimsical part that fills my imagination. Clay Finnes took me right back to that moment in my past and I knew that Bulwark existed and was as real to me as my home in Long Island.
What kind of research did you do for your first book?
No research, for either book- all imagination! With The Knowing, my brother helped me with the references to Bear Bryant and football. I have never watched a football game in my life. Sometimes I think I am nuts for taking some subjects on, but they speak to me and give me no choice.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
No goals. I start my day at five AM. I have a day job and am CEO of a rather large company. I answer emails and meet my kids and the rest of my staff at work by 630 AM. I do travel a lot, about other than not being at my office, my schedule is the same. We have meetings until twelve and then I switch to book business. I market and promote both my son’s and my own books. I have 52 or maybe 53, books under the Carole P. Roman name. My son, author Michael Okon, Micheal Phillip Cash, Michael Samuels, publishes under three names and has close to twenty books. I am is momager and do all of his marketing and promotion. I have a monthly blog radio talk show with author RL Jackson, and we founded Indie Author’s Monthly Magazine together as well. I write at night after I read until I go to sleep. Whether it’s creative or blogging, I write at least five days a week.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I am working on a joke book for kids right now. I think Dayna Dalton is nudging me for a story of her own. I just let everyone know we will be doing another installment of the Bulwark Anthology for the summer.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I love their names, but I feel that they tell them to me. A name is really important, it’s the first real identity of your character and very often will define their quirks and personalities. When I read 1984 when I was a kid, I realized the importance of a character’s name. Winston Smith, the main character’s name was a compilation of Winston Churchill, the most important man in England during World, War 2, and Smith, the common man’s name. It showed me at 13 years old, the power of using the right name for your character. I picked Clay for the deep, red clay soil of Georgia. He’s molded from the earth and is as solid a foundation as he is the bulwark of his community. That’s where the name of the series came from.
Where do your ideas come from?
I think all ideas come from the combined memories of your life. I am as foreign to the setting of Bulwark as chalk is to cheese. I live on Long Island and have spent only weeks in the south my entire life, yet when a buddy from Georgia read The Knowing, she said it was like I was a native. She remarked that I captured the essence of Southern life. Don’t ask me how, I have no idea, but the conversations and scenes played out in my head like a movie.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Marketing and trying to get reviews. Writing is as easy to me as breathing. I can’t catch my mistakes. My eyes read what I thought and that is bothersome. I usually send my books out for three professional edits, but mistakes rise up and annoy the crap out of me.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I am a motivator. It runs in the family. I can get people to believe in themselves and have the confidence to follow their dreams. I see the best in them and then do my best to cultivate it. There is no room for negativity in my life. I have boundless confidence in the rightness of the universe and feel there are no mistakes in life, just lessons.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Where do I start? I began my writing career at fifty-eight. I love this community! I have met a great group of diverse and creative people. I am having the time of my life. I blog, I have three radio shows, I produce a magazine, I’m traveling back and forth to LA for movie talks for my son’s book. I help other indie authors get their books published. I am having the best time of my life.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to have one of my books turned into a movie or streaming on a network. I hope to add NY Times Bestselling author to my resume. I would like to have many more adult series under my belt and see my children’s books in schools and libraries everywhere. I would like to see indies respected and revered for the unvarnished talent that we are.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Brit-Lunden/e/B079F4W5HQ
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/britlunden
Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/BritLunden