Indie Author Interview With Brittney Rzucidlo

Sunday, 7 February 2016

In this interview we chat with indie author Brittney Rzucidlo about the craft of writing and why she enjoys telling a good story.

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it? 

I use the pen name Brittney Rz. I used it because I like the ring it has to it. I also have a complicated last name that is difficult to spell. I figured shortening it would make it easier for people to remember and find me. 

Why do you write?

I write because I love stories. I have loved stories since I was very young. The adventures I would go on between the pages gave me somewhere new to explore. They also supplied a place where I always belonged. I write because I want to give that back to my readers. I write because I love to look at the world in a new way as well and I want my readers to be able to see the world through a new set of eyes.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have always loved writing but I became serious about it when I made it my major in college. I changed my major to Creative Writing in my Sophomore Year of school. That was when I decided that writing was what I wanted to spend my life doing. 

What genre are your books?

My books are usually Fantasy and Science Fiction.

What draws you to this genre?

I love the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres because in them nothing is truly impossible. You can make up new rules for your world and explore the unknown in ways you can’t in some other genres. I love to go way beyond our real world and these genres allow me to do just that. 

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I have used to write fanfiction, mostly for the Harry Potter series, but I knew I had original stories roaming around in my head as well. I wanted to put them to paper and see what I could do. I changed my major and had to write for class and that gave me the opportunity to explore and find my voice. 

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I currently write part-time. I work as an intern of a nonprofit, waitress and do side work for a family member, all while working on my next novel and marketing my current book of short stories, Is There More? I hope to one day be able to write full-time. 

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I have never been one to structure my day in any manner. I do not have a specific time when I write, I don’t wake up early or go to bed late. I write when I have a handful of hours at my disposal. I write when an idea strikes me and I can devote time to doing the story justice. I have tried to create routines and schedules but I just cannot stick to them. 

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

As I stated I used to write fanfiction, because I had these ideas of what should happen in the Harry Potter books. Then I changed my major to Creative Writing and I had to find my own voice and creativity and it was difficult at first. I struggled to figure out exactly what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I tried different styles and finally found the way I liked to write. I was in one of my writing classes and was given the assignment to write a story about anything. I wrote about books who can whisper to you and they were not happy books. My professor really liked it and called it intriguing. It was the first time that someone ever called anything I wrote intriguing or interesting and I wanted to keep going. I started to follow in that vein. I stopped trying to put my writing into a box and began to write these stories that seem odd but also familiar.

What have you written?

I have written a number of things but many have not and will not see the light of day. I self-published a book of short stories called Is There More? in September 2015. It is 9 stories that all have a Twilight Zone feel to them. Books whisper to writers, apps can find soulmates and hearts exist outside bodies. I loved my short stories and wanted to get them out for others to read, as well as providing an idea of who I am as a writer.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?

It all depends on what I am writing. My first draft is usually just me writing. I have a vague outline but I don’t stick to it that much. The second draft and on are more following an outline. I use my first draft to get the idea out in a messy fashion and then use outlines to make it more coherent.

For short stories I just write and see where the story takes me. I then print it out and read it over and edit it, either making it more concise or extending portions. Again it depends on what I am writing. 

How do you market your books?

I am working on what best works at marketing. I currently use my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blog and Goodreads accounts to do most of my marketing. I am working on figuring out what works, and what doesn’t. It is definitely a learning curve. 

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

None that I can say at the moment. 

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?

I haven’t done all that much at the moment. I am still trying to decide what I can do and what would work best for my book. I haven't had any mistakes yet, but I also haven't been doing it all that long yet as well. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. I know that when you state to people that you are a writer they begin throwing questions out at you. They want to know what you have written and what your sales are. You are always having to prove yourself to those who don’t understand the career choice. I have had my fair share of questions and down turned noses but I try to ignore it (not the easiest task). I know this is what I enjoy doing and I do it well, I have had some good responses to my book so far. It is not going to be easy but just know you have stories to tell and there are people out there that want to hear them. 

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? 

My short story collection has a number of main characters. They all vary about what makes them special. I try not to have the same motivation for everyone. The main character in “Always Been Ours,” learns quickly that neglecting what you got you to where you are will harm you. The main character in “I Like a Good Fight,” is guarded but learns quickly that letting down the walls is not always a bad thing. While the main character in “GoodBye,” learns that helping a friend solve their problems is easier then solving their own. 

Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from a number of places. I hear a song or hear a quote and it strikes an idea. “Always Been Ours,” short story came from the idea of asking what if books could whisper to you? While “So Many Faces,” came about because I wanted to write a story about a letter. And “Whole Again,” came about when I heard the song “Where to Broken Hearts Go?” by One Direction on my Pandora. It was an interesting question that sparked a story in my head. 

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest thing about writing is not getting in your own way. I tend to have an issue when I write of self-editing early drafts as I go. I get frustrated when the plot is not advancing or things do not come out in a nice fashion. I tend to then stop writing instead pushing through and seeing where the story ends up. Trusting that the story will tell its self can be difficult sometimes. 

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

My latest book is a collection of short stories and those can be difficult to end. I had issues sometimes not putting paragraphs of description into pieces and bogging down the story. I would also find myself wanting to pull out events until they would be novella or novel length. I may one day go back and extend some of those stories into longer ones. Ending the stories was probably the most difficult, as well as choosing the ones that fit into the collection. 

Which writers inspire you?

My number one inspiration for writing is J. K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series was the reason I wanted to become a writer. I became engrossed in the series and still am. I love that it is a story that has lived on even after the last page was turned. She created this world that captured the hearts of so many. She also loves the series as much as the readers. She lives in the world with us and I love that about her. 

What do you do to get book reviews?

I am still working on how best to manage this. I created giveaways through Goodreads and provide review copies to those who ask for them. I am still working on the best way to accomplish this task. 

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

It has not been the most successful at the moment. I am still new at it and trying to figure out what works best. 

What is the current book you are promoting?

I only have one book at the moment and that is my short story collection, Is There More? That is the one I am promoting while I work on my next novel. 

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

I love my main character, Lila, in “I Like a Good Fight.” She has an attitude and can be a bit sarcastic. She is very reluctant to embrace change but changes her mind when necessary. She is a lot like me and I loved writing her dialogue.

Who is your least favorite character and why?

I do not have a real least favorite character. One I guess I do not care for the boyfriend in “Keep Them,” because he is controlling. I wrote him as the antithesis of what I would want in a significant other. I don’t think I could write him in a longer novel because he would annoy me after too long. 

What is your next project?

My next project in a novel. The working title at the moment is, “Unraveled.” It is about someone who is in charge of keeping alternate realities from interfering with one another, but the stress becomes too much and she leaves the position. Things start to deteriorate and those whose lives are affected go looking for her to bring her back. Though their issues may not be all because of the unraveling of the realities.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

I have so many fictional characters that I love. In the Harry Potter series, Sirius was my favorite. He was strong and he wasn’t afraid to fight for those he loved. He was also the one true family member that Harry had for a short time and I loved their relationship. 

Snape is another of my all time favorite characters. The depth of his character and his complicated storyline is one that impresses me the most. He was the most complicated character which made it fun to read as he changed and new pieces were discovered about him. 

I have also recently fallen in love with the Sigma Force series and Seichan is one of my new favorite characters. She starts the series as a villain but she is complicated and begins to change. I love the progression and depth of her character 

What one person from history would you like to meet and why?

I would love to meet Walt Disney. I grew up as a Disney fan and love the stories some of those movies tell. They are all different and the characters are interesting. I would love to talk with him about how he started, how he overcame his trials and tribulations and where he got the idea of some of the movies from. 

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?

That is a difficult question. I think one of the main issues this world faces is the inability to understand where someone else is coming from. We get our opinion and we refuse to think any differently. I think if we could somehow be able to stand inside someone’s life and see what they see and experience what they experience for a short time we could stop fighting amongst each other so much. We have to understand that we are all different and that is okay. We have to stop thinking we are superior to our neighbor and realize we are all one human race. Opening our minds to different ways of thinking and understanding that different is not wrong, I think is important for changing this world for the better. 

How do you write your books?

I actually handwrite my books first. I love to write with pen on paper, usually colorful pens. I then type it up, editing in a light fashion as I go. Then I print it out and edit it again. I then will rewrite by hand again. I repeat the process until I get to the final copy that I want to use. 

Where do you come up with your stories?

I come up with stories in a number of places. It all depends on what I hear and see around me. It can be the car, at work or in the shower. All depends on where the idea strikes me.

Who is your favorite author? J.K Rowling. She created the Harry Potter world that I love and adore. She has also created adult novels that captivate me just as much. Her ability to ensnare a reader is something I admire and would love to be able to emulate. 

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? 

To trust the story. I have tried to force a story to go in one direction, thinking it would work the best but I was wrong. The story knows what it needs and if an idea comes up, go with it and see what happens. Don’t try to be too controlling in the beginning. 

What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

I hate the uncertainty of it. I would love to have a talent with more stability but it also makes life interesting and exciting. I don’t know when an idea will strike and if I can do it justice but I will always do my best. 

Tell us something unique about you:

I love to travel. I would spend all my time traveling if I could. I studied abroad in London, England the summer before my senior year of college. I have been to Italy and France and this summer I am going on a safari to Africa with one of my best friends. I love to experience new cultures and new places in the world. 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Readers can discover more about me through my social media links and blog. Also they can email me at brittrz88@gmail.com for review copies or with any other questions. 






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