Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Kathy Fischer-Brown author of Winter Fire.
1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?
I can’t say that I favor one method over another. To be truthful, I’d rather spend my time writing. I’ve done virtual tours, which are fun and enabled me to interact with readers and potential buyers. I’ve taken out ads, entered contests, done guest posts… All have value. But I really can’t say one particular method wins out. If any have resulted in a sale (or two or three), it quickly becomes my favorite J
2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?
Since 1999, I’ve had a number of publishers. A couple “went under.” Others did next nothing to publicize my books. In 2010 when Jude Pittman of Books We Love asked me to submit my historical romance, Winter Fire, I couldn’t resist. Jude had by then well over a decade of book marketing expertise on the web and with BWL, there was a noticeable difference. My books started to sell. Unlike the other publishers I’ve dealt with, BWL actively seeks venues to advertise their growing backlist and new authors. Having cover designer Michelle Lee on staff is also a big advantage.
3. What do you have under your bed?
Probably dust bunnies, but I avoid looking. This is prime real estate for our dogs and they despise the vacuum cleaner.
4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
Definitely a pantser. I have a pretty good idea of where the story is going, but how to get there is part of the adventure. Unexpected things always happen, some leading to dead ends. But many times, a character materializes out of nowhere and before long, he or she becomes an integral part of the story.
5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?
I love working with a critique group. Years ago, when I was an RWA member, I was part of an amazing bunch of writers. It’s difficult to work in a bubble with no one but my hubby to read my words and comment on them. Thankfully, he’s a teacher, director, and playwright, but still… he’s my hubby and his comments and suggestions are not those of a completely objective writing partner or group.
6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?
My ideas come from a variety of sources—not the least of which are dreams—and at (sometimes) the worst places. Many a time, late at night while walking my pups, an idea or “aha!” moment will pop into my head and there’s no way to jot it down. I have learned not to trust my brain, so I repeat a word or phrase over and over until I’m at my desk. Otherwise it vanishes into the ether. And then there’s the shower, which never fails to gift me with fully realized scenes and the choice of jumping out with my hair full of shampoo to jot it down, or rinse off and hope I’ll remember at least a part of it. If something from a dream captures my imagination, I don’t have to do anything. It will simmer on the back burner and when it’s ready, it lets me know…kind of like a tea kettle letting off steam. At that point, it becomes unavoidable unless I’m in the midst of another project. Then I just turn down the heat and let it continue simmering.
7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?
I’ve been using WordPerfect since its DOS days and consider it my favorite word processing program of all time. During my years working in offices, I was forced to learn Word, and I have a copy on my computer for final edits and submissions. I also keep a notebook on me at all times. My favorites are the little hardcover ones from Moleskin. They fit in my purse or a pocket and you can write in them pretty much everywhere (except the shower). When I take notes, I’m very particular about my pens. One has to have a good weight and balance and feel comfortable in my hand. It must also have a click top, a medium point, and black ink. I used to write with a fountain pen, but a leak in my purse put an end to that.
Other tools I couldn’t live without are dictionary and thesaurus programs. I used to pull my Roget’s off the shelf, find an entry, flip through the cross referenced pages, and by the time I’d find a suitable synonym, my train of thought would have vanished around the bend. Today, I use a program from Word Web, and another from Babylon. Both are exceptional; one even dates its entries. So now, my compact OED and Webster’s are gathering dust.
Authors get their ideas in a variety of ways. For me, it’s mainly from dreams—very cinematic dreams—that stay in my head long after I’ve awakened. Mostly these night flicks are nothing more than a collection of cryptic and often unrelated scenes that need to simmer on the back burner while my muse helps to add seasoning and substance to the mix.
I’ve always loved history. Way back in junior high, my mind would wander from dates, battles and treaties to musings on what it might have been like to live in another time. Family vacations always included visits to Civil War or Revolutionary War battle sites, tours of colonial houses and restored villages, which, even these many years later, serve as inspiration.
Born in New York City, I live in central Connecticut with a long-time husband, a grown-up daughter and two dogs. 2012 was a big year for the family as we welcomed our first grandson into the world.
Blurb for Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown
When Ethan Caine pulled the unconscious woman from the half-frozen creek, he had no idea that his world was about to explode. Dressed in quilled doeskin of Iroquois design, she stirred up dark secrets from his past. At the same time, she was everything he desired. But she was more Indian than white, and on the run for murder. He needed to know the truth. He needed to find it within himself to trust her.
Banished by the Seneca Indians who had adopted and raised her, ostracized by the whites in the settlement, Zara Grey wanted only to be accepted. “Ethancaine” treated her with kindness and concern. It was easy to trust him. But her Indian ways disturbed him, and in her heart she would always be Seneca.
Buy from Amazon
Excerpt from Winter Fire
Anticipating a deer come to water, he quickly dug a foothold in the snow and, bracing himself, raised his rifle.
Immediately, he lowered the weapon and expelled an impatient breath. Just his luck! Not a deer at all. A woman.
And a foolish woman to boot! She had wandered out onto the thin ice, and now stood stock still—as if in fear or uncertainty—-her faded brown wool cloak seeming to tremble all around her.
“Get back!” he shouted. “The ice won’t hold you!”
She whirled around in alarm.
And in that split second, he saw her eyes. Those startled doe’s eyes. Zara Grey!
In the next instant, a crack—like a musket shot—echoed through the ravine. She reeled as the ice heaved up beneath her amid an angry surge of black water. And then, her face frozen in a look of surprise, her mouth open in a semblance of a silent scream, she disappeared through the widening breach.
His gaze fixed on the roiling chasm, Ethan hurled himself down the slope. She surfaced—flailing arms and legs, and gasping desperately for air—churning up the black water into an icy froth. She grasped at the splinters of ice.
“Keep your head up!”
Racing along the bank, he ripped off his deerskin jacket and hurled it, along with his rifle and belt into the snow. If she went under again, she’d be trapped. Already the current had taken her, sweeping her like a bobbing cork toward the opposite bank where the ice was thicker.
“Keep your head up!”
But the frenzied movement of her arms had slowed. She gasped at the water along with the air. She could barely keep herself afloat. As if she had made a conscious choice to surrender herself to a stronger power, he saw the spirit drain out of her. An eerie calm settled over her eyes as her gaze met his, then she slipped under again without a struggle.
Without stopping to think, Ethan tore off his shirt and moccasins, and dove through the opening.
Praise for Winter Fire
“Kathy Fischer-Brown recreates the terror of the Indian wars and vividly evokes the wonder of newfound love.”
— Faith V. Smith, Romantic Times
“Kathy Fischer-Brown weaves a tale of intrigue set to a backdrop of history and romance…. This is a touching story, the characters are vivid, the history is accurate, and the details really give the story a sense of place.”
— The Romance Studio
“Reminiscent of ‘Last of the Mohicans’ with its raw, haunting mood, Winter Fire, by Kathy Fischer-Brown, is a compelling story of love and hate, acceptance, and forgiveness. Oft times painful, it is a rich, exciting read through a dark time told exquisitely by an exceptional writer.”
— Bonnie Napoli, author of Shadows of the Eclipse
Buy Winter Fire from Amazon
Other Books by Kathy Fischer-Brown
Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter (Book 1, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy)
Courting the Devil (Book 2, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy)
The Partisan’s Wife (Book 3, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy)
Kathy Fischer-Brown Special Edition
Historical fiction, historical romance, historical novels, Native American romance, bargain ebooks, ebook, Romance novels
Thank you Kathy for being my guest. I wish you best sellers.