On Wednesdays on social media, people use the hashtag #WriterWednesday to chat about all things author, book and writing, including authors promoting their own work. As we love to support self-published authors, we thought we’d join in and we will be featuring a UK self-published author every Wednesday on the website. This week, we met Brindy Wilcox to find out more...
Please tell us about yourself; when did you first become interested in writing?
I loved writing stories and poems as a child but didn’t really carry that on in my adult life. About 10 years ago I got 2 dogs, Brandy and Brinkley, and started blogging about them as pups. After a few posts I began to write as if Brinkley was writing them, telling how they were discovering the world around them and I fell in love with the idea of writing stories.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don’t remember the first story I wrote but I do remember writing a play with a friend when I was about 15. It was based on Snow White & The Seven Dwarves with a humourous twist. I think it was something we did for the Girl Guides’ Christmas Show. We were both into heavy rock music at the time and some of the script was influenced by songs we loved. It had Dopey coming on stage at one-point declaring ‘I am Iron Man’ which was from a Black Sabbath song. We thought it was hilarious when we wrote it but I’m not sure that the audience got it.
What genre/genres do your books fall under?
I write for children with a reading age of 8 and upwards. I always wanted to write for children as books were such a huge part of my childhood. I remember so many more books that I read when I was young than I do from being an adult, they had such an influence on me and my style of writing. I love history now but as a child I was really switched off to it and I wish I’d had books that had instilled an excitement about the past. I decided I wanted to write books that children could enjoy and also learn a little bit about the past at the same time, which means research is a huge part of my writing.
What is your latest book called, what is it about and what was the inspiration behind the book?
The book I have out now is my first and is called Through Time to London. I love Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and thought it would be great fun to send them back in time to meet King Charles who the breed was named after. This means that the dogs travel back to 1665 London in the middle of the Great Plague. I get to tell the story of the plague through an adventure story. My dogs, Brandy and Brinkley, are the main characters and I had great fun working out how they time-travel and the various characters they would meet on their adventure - some real, like Samuel Pepys the diarist, and others totally fictitious like the gang of street dogs they encounter.
Besides your current book, do you have any new projects coming up?
I am working on the 2nd book in the series which sees the dogs in caveman times in Cheddar Gorge. There is a twist in this book and it expands the time-travel theme. I already have the 3rd book planned as well. I have also just published my partner’s first novel – The Ghost of the Fishersgate Mariner.
Where can people find your books?
My book is available on Amazon, both as paperback and kindle download here http://amzn.to/2i3PbfT.
What has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
I love that it has opened up an ability to go into schools and talk to the children about being a writer, about my book and to talk about my love of reading. I like to show them that if you have a dream you need to keep working on it and that writing is something anyone can do. I visited my old primary school this summer which was fabulous. I left in 1969 and to go back and see how much it had changed and how much hadn’t was wonderful and the kids were amazing.
Besides writing, what hobbies or interests do you enjoy in your spare time?
I love visiting big historic houses and finding out the stories behind the families who lived there. I also enjoy watching films on the big screen, there is something a bit special about seeing a film at the cinema for me, I think it brings back memories of childhood treats.
Which novelists do you admire?
Ooh, that’s easy to answer. I have 3 – firstly, Terry Pratchett, I was fortunate to discover his books at the beginning of the Discworld novels and used to wait impatiently for every next book to come out. I have queued for hours to get books signed by him and just loved the way he created a whole world. My second is Enid Blyton, there is no doubt that her books were massive in making me a reader. I loved her Mallory Towers, Famous Five and Secret Seven books and read them over and over again. She is a huge influence on my style of writing and why I write for children. And finally, Agatha Christie – I love her books and the way she weaves the stories.
What has been the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
Probably that to be a writer you have to write. Something, anything. It won’t all be good but at least you’ll have something to work with.
Do you have any tips or advice for other indie authors?
Try and make your book as good as you can. A good cover gets the book picked up in the first instance and good blurb gets them to buy it, so don’t under-estimate the importance of this.
You can find out more about Brindy and her books at her website or via Facebook or Twitter.