The horror genre has had its share of great writers, both male and female. With the rise of self publishing, we are now able to enjoy the work of many new independent authors. Brooklyn Ann is one such author. Brooklyn is from Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, and has an impressive 21 books to her name so far.
Brooklyn attended Coeur d’Alene High School, graduating in 2000. Soon after she continued her education at North Idaho College where she studied English and Auto mechanics. She is a former auto mechanic , however along the way she discovered her passion for writing. Brooklyn is the recipient of the 2016 Reader’s Choice Award, for her “Heart of Metal” series. She’s also won critical acclaims for several other series she’s written. These include Scandals with Bite, Brides of Prophecy, Heavy Metal. Her latest series is a nod to the horror films of the 1980’s, but with a romantic touch. Her writing covers a wide variety of subjects, which include the historical paranormal, urban fantasy, contemporary, heavy metal, and the broken hearted.
When Brooklyn is not writing, enjoying her favorite car (a 1980 Datsun 210), or enjoying life with her son, she spends her time doing various hobbies including art, scratch boards, making quilts, and lately she has been hitting the convention circuit across the country. Brooklyn is an impressive young writer, and her fan base has grown by leaps and bounds, which makes her one of the most entertaining authors for this generation.
Tony Northrup – What was life like growing up in rural Idaho?
Brooklyn Ann – It’s more suburban Idaho and it’s pretty nice. I can do all the downtown city-ish stuff and then be in the mountains in a little over twenty minutes.
TN – I understand you have a couple past times you enjoy, heavy metal music, and playing darts. Who is your favorite band, and are you a pretty good dart player?
BA- My favorite band is Megadeth. I used to be a semi-pro dart player, but I’m long out of practice.
TN – I’ve read you are an auto mechanic. What inspired you to take up writing?
BA – I used to be a mechanic until my shoulders got messed up, so I can’t do it professionally anymore. I did general repair and diagnostics. The imaginary friends I had when I was younger eventually came to the page as they took on more life in my mind.
TN – Who were your inspirations as you began your writing career?
BA – Stephen King, older Anne Rice, Judith McNaught, Eloisa James, Virginia Henley, and JR Ward.
TN – I understand you are a big Stephen King fan. How did he impact you as a writer? What is your favorite book by him, and why are you afraid of clowns? Is it because of King’s book IT?
BA – I am a HUGE King fan. His book, “On Writing”, is my bible. I think he impacted me as a writer because he taught me the importance of character-driven stories, and allowing characters to be genuine in their weirdness. My fear of clowns is likely genetic. I was scared of them long before I saw or read IT. So was my mom. Funny thing, IT is my all time favorite novel, and I’ve read it thirteen times so far.
TN – You’ve written three book series: “Scandals with Bite”, “Brides of Prophecy”, and “Hearts of Metal”. Why did you decide to do three series? Which series do you enjoy returning to most?
BA – Brides of Prophecy was my first project, but then I wrote the first Scandals With Bite book by accident, after my mom passed away. That one landed me a three book deal. Hearts of Metal was also written on a whim, but found a home. I can’t pick a favorite between the three series, but I do enjoy going back and forth between worlds. Scandals with Bite will be wrapping up after two more books, so I’ll probably have a new historical series going soon.
TN – Lets talk about your latest books for a moment, WYNTER’S BITE. What can fans expect from this sequel, and what would you like new fans to take from this series?
BA – Wynter’s Bite features a premise I’d been wanting to do for awhile, an asylum break-out. New readers of the series can start with book 3, Bite at First Sight, to get caught up on past events and rules of my vampire world, but for the most part, each book stands alone. What they can take from this series is unconventional characters, and tidbits from 19th century history that they probably didn’t learn in school.
TN – When I read the book, your lead characters Justus de Wynter and Bethany Mead, reminded me of the two lead characters from the cable channel STARZ tv show, OUTLANDER. Who did you have in mind when you created these characters, and who would you like to see play them if it were made into a tv series or film?
BA – I’ve never seen OUTLANDER, but I want to. I didn’t really have anyone in mind. Those characters emerged from the plot of the previous book, His Ruthless Bite. And oh man, I’m not up to date on celebrities to think of a cast. Maybe the guy who plays Tormund on Game of Thrones could play Justus, if he shaved his beard.
TN – How have your characters changed since that very first book, BITE ME, YOUR GRACE?
BA – Bite Me, Your Grace, was written after my mom passed away, so the tone of that book is more light-hearted than the rest because I wanted a cheerful escape. The other books grow progressively darker.
TN – Was there anything in particular you wanted to bring into this story that your fans haven’t seen yet in the series? Any surprises they can expect? (*Note: MY interview with Brooklyn took place between 2018 and 2019. Since this question was first asked, the next book in this series has already been released. It’s called, The Highwayman’s Bite).
BA – In all previous books, rogue vampires have been portrayed as villains. In Wynter’s Bite, you get to see the rogue’s side of the story.
TN – What is your greatest moment so far in your career?
BA – Probably the RWA national conference when I had a line of readers waiting for signed copies of Bite Me, Your Grace. In previous writer events, most people didn’t know who I was. When I saw that line, was the first time I felt real.
TN – You do a lot of conventions and book signings. Tell us about your experiences with that, and what do you enjoy most about them? What are your fans like?
BA – Well, I don’t do that many. Only 1-2 a year. They’re exhausting, but so much fun with all the parties and people I get to meet. I LOVE my fans. Readers are probably the best fans. They’re so supportive, and I couldn’t keep writing books without them.
TN – For those who don’t know, you have a trade mark black Top Hat you wear all the time. How did that first come about, and what does it represent?
BA – I’ve wanted a top hat since I can remember. When my photographer friend did my author photo shoot, I wore it. Then everyone insisted I don the hat for my first book signing. After that, it’s become my signature.
TN – Lets talk about your latest book, HIS FINAL GIRL. What inspired you to turn to the 80′s slasher genre as your next book series?
BA – I’ve loved those movies since I was a toddler. And though I enjoy writing my paranormal and heavy metal romance novels, I wanted to do something different for my next series. I’d always wanted to write horror, but my characters always fall in love. My boyfriend said, “Why can’t you do both?” So you can credit him for that.
TN – What were some of your favorite slasher and horror films of the 80′s?
BA – Nightmare on Elm Street 1, 3, and 4, Night of the Demons, Christine, Return of the Living Dead, Hellraiser, Creepshow, the Phantasm movies, and so many more.
TN – There are a lot of nods and cameos to those slasher films in the book, were you nervous of what you could “get away with” in regards to copyrights of famous horror names and things you put in the book?
BA – Names and titles can’t be copyrighted, so one can use those. Now if I were to use lines from someone’s book, or copy whole plots, that would be a different story. Well-known tropes and movie clichés were a blast to use, and the only thing I was nervous about is whether or not they’d be well-received.
TN – What can your fans (and new readers) expect from this new series?
BA – My current fans know me from my romance novels and they can expect me to keep the promise that romance genre offers: every book in this series will end with a HEA (Happily Ever After). It’s just that there will be a little more murder and mayhem than usual.
New readers can expect a fun popcorn-read that doesn’t take itself seriously.
TN – Was it your original plan to have the first book as a tribute to the “Friday the 13th”/summer camp slasher films, or did you have something different in mind originally?
BA – I had ideas for 3 out of the 4 books contracted for this series. The summer camp slasher was the first, but I was close to starting with my haunted house story. But that will be book 2.
TN – How long did the book take from start to finish?
BA – It’s hard to say because I was writing “His Final Girl” in tandem with my urban fantasy novel “Melding Souls”. Maybe 4 months?
TN – Will any characters , locations, or key storylines crossover to future books in the series?
BA – Some characters will probably pop up in future books, but the common thing between all will be the setting. The fictional town of Amteep, Idaho.
TN – How has the feedback been from your fans about the new series compared to your other series they have already read?
BA – So far, it’s been really great. Of course, some are reluctant to read any horror, but I’ve found new readers as well.
TN – Tell us a little about what your experiences are like going to the conventions you’ve been to recently? What do you like most about them, and what are the fans like?
BA – They’re a lot of fun. I get to meet thousands of readers, other authors, and there are fun parties and book signings. My social anxiety sometimes gets the best of me, but not as often since book people are MY people, and romance readers are amazing people with a delightful sense of humor.
TN – Tell us about the process for the cover of HIS FINAL GIRL and the “actors” you chose for the cover?
BA – My publisher and I generally go through stock photos and purchase a license for ones that fit the story and characters. This one had a couple who resembled the couple in the story, and a proper forest background. I also chose the fonts for the title and for my name. I LOVE that my name is in the Nightmare on Elm Street font.
TN – Lastly, What can we expect in the next installment of the series, and when will it be out? Any idea how many you plan on doing?
BA – As of now, there will be four books in the B Mine series. Book 2, “Her Haunted Heart”, will be released on October 8th, 2019. I’m really excited about it.
TN – What advice do you have for upcoming writers?
BA – Research the industry, hone your craft, and keep working at it. Read Stephen King’s, ON WRITING.
TN – And lastly, what is next for Brooklyn Ann?
BA – As mentioned before, I’ll be starting a new historical series when Scandals with Bite wraps up. I also signed a new contract for three more Hearts of Metal books, and someday I want to delve into horror. I’m hoping to go to Crypticon in Seattle in 2020 and hang out with fellow horror fans.
THANK YOU… Brooklyn Ann, for this wonderful interview, and taking the time out of your very busy schedule to speak with me. Your writing is as bright and enjoyable as your spirit, and you certainly are a true fangirl of all things romantic and horror.