Since we last met…
Have you published new novels or short stories? Tell us about them!
Ain’t Too Proud to Beg
Hollywood film star Vaughn Breland has wrecked his beloved Lamborghini, lost his latest movie role, the use of his legs and possibly his fabulous good looks. He’s depressed and mad at the world then he meets Trenyce Clark, his new physical therapist. Trenyce, and her beautiful three-year-old daughter, give him a new outlook on life.
You Make Me Feel Brand New (novelette)
One year ago, personal chef Jan Davis signed her divorce papers after a miserable twenty-five-year marriage. She is single again, and romantic attention is as foreign to her as ancient Carthaginian cuisine. When she meets her new client, sports management agent Mac Sinclair, who is eleven years younger, Jan’s life takes a complete turnaround. She’s thrilled, but everyone in her life isn’t as pleased.
A Woman’s Worth (Book One in the Stafford Brothers series)
Gianne Marvray has been through the worst two years of her life physically and emotionally. After a battle with cancer and all it entails, she is finally ready to start living her life again. She wants to see new places, meet new people and experience new things, but she isn’t ready for the rollercoaster ride she’s about to embark on when she meets Las Vegas personal trainer and raw vegan foods advocate, Marc Stafford.
After a four year absence, Marc comes home to Atlanta to attend a family celebration in one of his brother’s honor. He’s not thrilled about seeing his father, but he has promised his mother that he won’t throw off the family balance by being the only one of their six sons absent. All Marc wants to do is make an appearance at the event and spend a little time with his brothers. Little does he know that this is the night he will meet the woman who will forever change his life.
Till You Come Back to Me (Book Two in the Stafford Brothers series)
Driven to make a difference in the lives of the injured and deformed, Atlanta plastic surgeon, Charles Stafford gives up his successful practice to work with a medical organization in Nigeria. Awaiting him at the small village hospital is the beautiful and compassionate nurse, Adanna Okoro, who is everything he has ever wanted in a woman.
Adanna has returned to her homeland after graduation from a London nursing school. Her two desires in life are to help the sick in her nation and to marry a smart, motivated man. Charles enters her life like an answer from heaven, but cultural differences separate them. Must Adanna choose between tradition and the man she has come to love?
Have you reached any personal milestones as a writer?
Chicki: When my books received a mention in HEA, the romance column in USA Today, it was a personal milestone. I know it’s not as awesome as making their bestseller list, but it ran a close second for me!
Attend book signings, conferences, and/or writer events?
Chicki: Not as often as I would like, because conferences are so expensive, but I do attend local events.
Chicki: I’ve reduced my blogging to twice a week. It’s difficult for me to come up with interesting topics when I’m in the middle of writing. Many times I open my blog up to fellow authors to do cover reveals, or new release announcements.
Ever make a book free?
Chicki: Yes, I have offered a couple of my books for free on KDP Select for a limited time. Also, my novelette, YOU MAKE ME FEEL BRAND NEW, is permanently free on Kindle, Kobo and Smashwords.
How has experience changed the way in which you set your writing goals? How about dividing your time between tasks, or choosing what to outsource?
Chicki: When I first published in 2010, I had been writing for years and had an “arsenal” waiting publication. Between June 2010 and December 2011, I released five books. With all of the necessary promotion and marketing, I almost worked myself into complete exhaustion. That experience taught me to pace myself. Now I release two books a year, and that’s perfect for my mental and physical health.
How has your writing evolved over the past three years? How about the ways in which you develop book plots, create your characters, and script a book’s dialogue?
Chicki: I am a plotter by nature, but over the last few books, I’ve discovered that I’m pantsing more. Even though I still start out with a general outline and do character profiles for my main characters, after writing nine books, I’m able to trust myself to wing it a little more. So far it’s working out all right.
What are three marketing tactics you have used that you would recommend to newly published authors?
Chicki: Do a combination of social networking promos (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) along with low-cost paid advertising on well-known book sites. Also print some full-color postcards with your book cover(s) on the front and the description(s) on the reverse side. You can hand these out to people you meet in person.
In your experience, which has the “take me to the top of the charts” advantage: a standalone novel or a series? Why?
Chicki: For me it’s been the standalone books. I find that a lot of readers don’t like to read series, because they don’t like having to catch up if they didn’t discover the series at book one.
If you could be a character in any book (other than one you’ve written), who would it be, and why?
Chicki: I guess I would choose to be Mary, the human woman who married Rhage, of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (author J.R. Ward). Not only is Rhage the most beautiful of all the vampires, but he is the best warrior among them. He is so in love with her that just the sound of her voice soothes and calms him.
Marc pulled up at the hotel entrance and got out of the car to open her door. She hadn’t seen that in a while. Actually, she’d never seen it. Not in her life, anyway. This man had definitely been raised right.
“You don’t look like a Prius man,” Gianne remarked once he re-entered the car.
“I try to go green whenever I can.”
She frowned. “You’re not one of those carbon footprint evangelists, are you?”
“Wow! I never heard anyone put it that way before, but no. I’m the same way about what I drive as I am about what I eat. It’s my choice, and I don’t try to pressure anyone into doing the same. This is a rental.”
“Good.” She giggled. “Because I think this is one of the ugliest cars on the planet.”
“Well, it’s not built for style.”
Like you are, she thought.
“I think I’d better tell you about my family before we get there. They’re good people, but like any family, we have our special folks. My sister-in-law, Ramona, is a flirt. My brother Jesse is…” he pursed his lips, “fighting a lifelong battle with jealousy. His wife, Cydney, is a sweetheart, but right now she’s too busy battling twenty-four-hour morning sickness to care about much else. “The rest of my brothers are great. My mother is an angel, and my father is the king of judgment.” His laugh held a touch of bitterness.
“Sounds like a reality show in the making.”
He laughed again. “Why do you think I moved to Las Vegas?”
“Yeah. My family is very close, and I got tired of being involved in all of the–” he waved his hand around in the air. “Stuff.”
“Why is Jesse jealous? He’s a successful doctor, isn’t he?”
“Quite successful, but it doesn’t have anything to do with that.” Marc said, making it clear he didn’t want to say any more, so she changed the subject.
“Are they used to you bringing a woman with you?”
Marc took his gaze from the road for a moment and looked directly into her eyes. “I haven’t been home in four years.”
That said it all.
About Chicki Brown
Number of books and short stories currently published: Nine
Bio: Shades of Romance Magazine 2011 Author of the Year, Chicki Brown has published nine novels and one novella, all of which have made different Kindle bestseller lists. A voracious reader since she was a child, Chicki grew up reading everything she could get her hands on. Now she concentrates on reading romance, women’s fiction and suspense. When she is not writing or reading, Brown devotes her time to helping aspiring authors.
Mother of two and grandmother of five, Chicki was born and raised in New Jersey and now calls suburban Atlanta, Georgia home.
Purchase links for Chicki Brown’s Books
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/l2kjXQ
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/IWndcB
CreateSpace: www.createspace.com/4887727 & www.createspace.com/4889747