Author Spotlight: Brandon Barr and Britney King

We have so many amazing and talented authors here at Instafreebie, and we’re really excited to introduce them to you. Instafreebie’s Author Spotlight gives readers the chance to meet some new authors and see it first before anyone else!

Brandon Barr – Science Fiction and Fantasy Author

Exclusive The Seeker From the Stars by Brandon Barr

The Seeker From the Stars by Brandon Barr

What inspired you to write “The Seeker From the Stars”?
During my teens and early twenties, I devoured classic sci-fi short stories by authors like Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and dozens of others. I was also reading more contemporary speculative fiction in magazines such as “Analog,” and “Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.”

My love for the art of short story telling is due mostly to Ray Bradbury, whose prolific writing is one of my favorite to read. “The Seeker from the Stars” is a little tale about the innocence of childhood, about monsters, and about the hunger of the soul. I wrote it to be a sort of children’s story for adults.

Where does “The Seeker From the Stars” take place and what inspired you to choose that setting?
The story takes place in a small Wyoming town on the campus of an elementary school. Where else would a hungry monster land?

But what exactly is the monster hungry for? I love rural settings. There is a mystery to the countryside that the city lights chases away. The stars are brighter there, and life is too, in my opinion. I don’t live in the countryside, but I wish I did, and that’s why I set many of my stories there. Ray Bradbury wrote a story (the name of which I can’t remember) about how the street lights ruin children by chasing away the darkness.

Outside the city, that’s where the magic happens…and that’s where the monster chooses to arrive.

How many hours a day do you write?
I write about three hours a day. I would spend more time writing if I didn’t suffer from severe fatigue. I’ve battled Leukemia the last two years, and after all the chemo and two stem cell transplants, I’m thankful to be currently in remission, but medication and lingering medical issues make writing a challenge.

But I accept that challenge and write as much as my body and mind will let me because it is what I LOVE to do! I hope in a few years to be back into full writing form, putting out three times as much fiction as I am currently able to write.

What is your writing process?
I’m a discovery writer at heart, but I do plot out my stories. I always know the ending I’m heading towards, but how my characters get there sometimes surprises me. Lately, I’ve learned to plot more rigorously, writing out scenes and sticking closely to K.M. Weiland’s story structure template. It really helps me write faster and cleaner first drafts.

My short stories aren’t plotted out so much as just being one big idea in my head from start to finish. I get an idea, then let it percolate in my brain until it becomes a fully fleshed out story. I still discover a lot of things as I write.

I also have a very dedicated writing schedule. I usually wake up between 3 and 4 a.m. and write for an hour and half. Then, later in the morning I squeeze in a half hour here, an hour there. I’m quite looking forward to the fatigue going away. Back a few years ago, I could wake up at 3 a.m. and write straight until 7 a.m., eat breakfast, then go 7:30 to 11 a.m.

Why are you letting us read “The Seeker From the Stars” for free?
I love sharing my short stories for free. I have a big newsletter following, and one of my favorite things to do is give them exclusive stories throughout the year. I also serialize portions of my sci-fi and fantasy novels for my readers to enjoy.

I love my readership, and my goal is always to give them exciting stories! And who doesn’t like free?! I figure if they are going to take the time to open my emails, I have the duty and honor to make it worth their time.

There’s nothing better than receiving emails or reading reviews in which a reader shares how much they loved something I wrote. That’s why I do what I do. Stories are meant to be shared. Sure, I’m trying to make a living too, but as the saying goes, it is better to give than receive.

Britney King – Psychological Thriller Author

Bedrock by Britney King

Bedrock by Britney King

What inspired you to write “Bedrock?”
At the time, a lot of the very popular top selling books featured characters that were just starting out in life. YA and new adult novels were very popular and still are. While I see the appeal, I also really wanted to see a protagonist who was in a similar or later stage of life- whose decisions were directly a result of that.
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I wanted more of a selection in domestic and psychological thrillers and I wanted a protagonist I could watch face difficult choices. Ultimately, I wanted to understand how the reader reacted to those choices.

Where does “Bedrock” take place and what inspired you to choose that setting?
“Bedrock” takes place in Austin, Texas where I was born and raised and still reside. It’s a city near and dear to my heart and therefore seemed like a logical choice and setting for my first novel.

Who was your favorite (or least favorite) character to write and why?
If we’re talking about this series, I would have to say my least favorite character was Penny, the protagonist’s mother-in-law. While I think most people can relate to terrible in-laws, whether in fiction or in real life, I think Penny was interesting. It was really tough for me to see her as all bad even though I really wanted to. On some level, I could relate to her need to be right about her beliefs, no matter the cost. I think as humans we can really get attached to the expectation of a certain outcome and many times this expectation can be self-fulfilling and if not then we’re left with the very real possibility that we were wrong. And most people don’t like to be wrong. Especially where they have strong convictions. 🙂

What motivated you to become an Indie author?
The death of my brother. I’d always said I’d wanted to write a book. But it was a pipe dream in many ways. The sudden loss of my only sibling was a reminder that life is short and there are no guarantees that “someday” will come.

Why should I read “Bedrock?”
I don’t actually think that everyone should read “Bedrock.” I think if you enjoy psychological or domestic thrillers, if you enjoy picking apart the nuances of what makes something right or wrong then it makes for an interesting read. Many readers have compared the novel to films like “Fatal Attraction” and “Unfaithful” and if you enjoy those types of films then this novel ​might be right up your alley.

If you enjoyed the interview, please let the authors know in the comments! And be sure to thank them for their generosity by reviewing, sharing, and reading their work!