Welcome to an indie author, where I publish interviews with self-published “indie” authors.
Find out more about the why, over here.
You can connect with the interviewer (me!), Jas Hothi, on Twitter.
Whether you’re a writer, avid reader, or both, I hope you enjoy this week’s interview with Noelle Brighton.
Hey Noelle! Where did you grow up, and what were your childhood years like?
Hi Jas! I grew up in the great state of Montana. My childhood was spent reading, writing, and creating “pretend” games with my friends. You know those games…”Pretend we are…” :)
You talk fondly about the act of writing on your website. What was it that got you into writing in the first place?
I started reading when I was five and discovered how wonderful it is to live in so many worlds! I wanted to create worlds of my own, so I started getting those worlds down in notebooks as soon as I could write, starting with the “pretend” games and progressing from there. The stories in my head can be very demanding and won’t be ignored until they are written!
What was the first piece of creative writing you can recall, that you were proud of?
I was seven years old, created a story about an imaginary world in the woods where I lived. It was my first piece of writing in cursive! :) I still have it - yes, I am that kind of nerd, ha!
Ah, that sounds awesome! When was it that you decided you wanted to write a book?
I participated in Nanowrimo for the first time in 2010 and that hooked me on writing books. Up until then, it was short stories, creative nonfiction, essays, and poetry.
So, you have written a novel called The Raven’s Wrath. What’s it all about?
The Raven’s Wrath is the book I wrote during Nanowrimo 2010. Yes, It took me that long to get back to it and start editing! It’s a NA story about a young woman named Samantha, from Wyoming, who has an opportunity to study overseas. She arrives and struggles a bit with the culture shock, but meets another young woman that she almost instantly bonds with. Her friend disappears one night and Sam finds herself in the middle of a mystery as she sets about finding her friend. I don’t want to ruin the story for readers, but let’s just say that a group of very frightening people with a Satanic background is involved with her friend’s disappearance. These people are definitely not nice!
Thank you for sharing that. How did the idea for the book come about?
I had an idea for the story and had been kicking it around right before Nano and it started a life of its own after I started writing.
Talk to us about the writing process?
The writing process - such a broad subject! It’s very diverse; I believe everyone has their own process and no matter how many books or articles you read to learn more about it, you simply must find your own way. I think the fundamentals are crucial, though. Getting that first draft down is all-important - even if it’s complete garbage, you have to get it down. That’s when the real work begins! :) Editing, editing, editing. Get other eyes on it and edit some more. Get feedback and edit some more! I still look at my first novel and think of how I can change it, make it better. I also learned a great deal from that first novel that I am putting to use in my current work-in-progress.
And what made you choose self-publishing? How did you find this process?
I have researched both independent publishing (self-publishing) and traditional publishing for years, even wrote a paper on the pros and cons of each in college. I decided I wanted to write and share my stories and have complete control of them, from beginning to end, the entire process. It’s challenging because I think there’s a stigma regarding self-publishing; that it’s not a legitimate form of publication. I think the evolution of publication has legitimized this, however, and I like that my projects are mine and mine alone.
Are there any lessons you’ve learned from the writing or self-publishing process so far?
Yes, quite a few! The most important one is the importance of self-marketing! For introverts, that is SO difficult. I still fumble a bit when someone asks me what my books are about; I sort of hem-haw about, trying to figure out what to say! :) Marketing is crucial, though, and starting early is very important. I’m learning that is okay to talk about your work, both in-person and on social media.
How have you been marketing yourself & your book, thus far?
Honestly, my first novel has been more of a learning tool for me, learning the ins and outs of self-publishing, what marketing is and how to do it, so up until now I have presented it on social media and am keeping extensive notes about how best to move forward with my new book, which I plan on publishing in 2020.
Do you enjoy any blogs or podcasts? (writing-related or not)
There are several blogs I follow that I enjoy! The Creative Penn is a great one. Joanna is a wealth of knowledge and is wonderful about sharing what she has learned. I also enjoy following the blogs of several incredible writers on Twitter - Ryen Lesli, WB Welch, DK Marie, Rowena Tisdale, and yours, Jas! I especially enjoy the INF blog!
Are you enjoying anything on TV/Netflix (etc) right now?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do enjoy binge-watching from time to time. Lately, I have been watching Hannibal and Downton Abbey. I am pretty eclectic in my viewing, listening, and reading pursuits. :)
Fiction and blogging aside, do you do any other form of writing, or have another creative outlet?
I still enjoy essay-writing and submit essays and creative nonfiction to online publications. I also spend a lot of time on my sportbike. Riding is a big part of my writing - for some reason, my motorcycle is both an adrenaline rush and a form of therapy.
What advice do you have for your younger (writer) self?
Don’t be so afraid to write your stories! Don’t let yourself be overcome with doubt and fear that you won’t be good enough or that your work will suck. You’re good enough and your work doesn’t suck!
Where can we find you online, & where can we purchase your books?
You can find me at noellebrighton.com as well as several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest. You can also find me on Amazon, where my books will be sold. I’m planning on expanding that soon, though, as Draft2Digital has caught my eye, so you will also find me there in the near future!
Who do you think would enjoy your books?
I think anyone who likes mystery and character-driven stories will enjoy my books. The Raven’s Wrath is a mystery suited for young and old, but my current work in progress is definitely for mature readers. I plan on sharing more about this work in the near future!
Do you have any other books planned?
I do! My current work in progress is a series of four books centered around a very difficult premise. This is the first time I am sharing any info about it! The storyline is pretty heavy - human trafficking, the definition of family and family dynamics, and the struggle to know oneself, to begin again.
And finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I want to thank you for asking to interview me, Jas! This is the first time I have done this and you have been so kind!
Thank you, this has been great, Noelle, and it’s been a real pleasure :)