Where The Wicked Read.... My Spot To Talk About, Review, Share My Love Of Books, and Anything Else That Comes To Mind..

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday's Author Spotlight & Giveaway Featuring: Brooke London

Today's Featured Author is my good friend Brooke London.

Brooke is the author of Pitch Dark, her debut  Romantic Suspense Novel. You can read a review of Pitch Dark by me here, or visit Brooke's website http://www.brookelondon.com/

Pitch Dark

Welcome to Wicked Readings Brooke!
I am so happy you could take the time to answer a few questions for me and my readers. This is my first Author spotlight/ interview, soo....  I'm hoping we will still be friends at the end of this interview... LOL
Soo....  here I am jumping right on in...

WR: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

BL: LOL! I think I must be strange. I think I realized I wanted to be a writer after I had finished the first draft of my book. Until that point, I was reserving judgement because I wasn't sure I could finish a full-length novel. And then I still held my breath when I sent it off to an editor I hired - if the editor had told me my book was trash, I probably would have said, "Okay, that's obviously not what I was meant to do." But the editor didn't. During the writing of Pitch Dark I discovered a certain freedom that came with writing - I could express whatever I wanted to say, I discovered a lot about myself and what made me tick. So there wasn't any one point that I said I want to be a writer. It was a thousand different moments that coalesced into "I want to be a writer."

WR: That's fascinating and inspiring.. So, what are your favorite and least favorite aspects of writing?

BL: Sometimes when I'm writing, things go...sideways on me. Characters start doing things I hadn't thought of, never intended, and they do a really good job of writing the scene. That's my favorite part - when the characters take over. Least favorite aspect? Probably the isolation factor. Writing isn't something you can really do with someone else, so I think as a writer, one tends to exist in a bubble of their own creation. I have to make an effort now to interact with other people, instead of just going to a job where other people are always around.

WR: From what I understand, a lot of writers feel that way. It's a good thing we have Twitter, fb, myspace, etc.. they make it a lot more easier to interact with people on a global scale. So, Why did you choose to write romantic suspense Vs other genre's?

BL: I've always loved suspense and mystery. I've always been intrigued by the dynamic of good guy vs bad guy vs grey guy. I enjoy reading a large cross-section of romance genres but Pitch Dark was the story I wanted to tell. I wanted to put everything into it that I enjoyed reading. I aimed high, at a well-respected, well-known romantic suspense author, and I think while I may not quite have reached my target, I think I came very close. Back when I was a teenager, I was fascinated with terrorism, both religiously motivated and state sponsored terrorism. And I wanted to write something that could possibly happen. And since I didn't see too many vampires or werewolves in my neighborhood, I borrowed from my real-world knowledge of technology, energy and terrorism. It seemed like a natural genre to write for me.

WR: Tell our readers about Pitch Dark?

BL: Pitch Dark was based on the question: what would happen if terrorists took out the Saudi Arabia oil production machine? The reason this question is important is that SA is this biggest single player on the world oil market. The have such a huge excess of production each day that they are able to step in at any time and stabilize the world oil market on the spot. The reason the oil market is so important is that the world economy is based on the oil market. If there were suddenly no oil, the world economy would crash and not recover in the foreseeable future. And I'm not talking there would be a recession or a depression. I'm talking about no jobs for anyone, any where. The only people who would make it would be the farmers, who can grow their own food. Cities would empty out, mass migrations across the world would happen - there would be total anarchy.
 So given that, SA is not the only place where oil is found. Canada has the second largest proven oil reserves in the world but much of it is locked up in the oil or tar sands, also known as bitumen. It's a very intensive process to separate the sand from the oil and it's very environmentally damaging. Everyone in the oil sands is working on methods to extract the oil from the sands without so much environmental impact. It costs the Saudis about $2USD/barrel to extract oil from the traditional oil reserves beneath their sands. It costs anywhere from $25-$35USD/barrel to extract oil from the oil sands. When the price of oil spiked a number of years ago now to $140USD/barrel, the oil sands became a viable proposition and the world's oil companies moved in.
So if someone came up with a way to cheaply, and in an environmentally-friendly manner, extract oil from the sands (which is also a premise in Pitch Dark), then the terrorists would have a huge incentive to shut down Alberta/Saskatchewan oil sands production.
So I had my basic premise and then had to imagine my characters and what kind of person would have the most difficult time trusting in a world of lies, spies and dangerous guys :) And Alyssa Tiernan was born. And her former spy love interest, Connor Donnelly.

WR: I loved Alysa's character, I thought she was a strong lead and her character was very believable.That said... Which character was the hardest to write, and which was the easiest?

BL: The character that was easiest to write was Connor. Connor has all those qualities that I want in a man and Connor just flowed - I knew what I wanted his reactions to be, I knew who I wanted him to be. I had the exact polar opposite in real life, so it was easy to know what I wanted him to be because I had thought about it a zillion times before I even considered writing. The hardest character to write was Alyssa. Until Pitch Dark, the only writing I had done was technology-related - specifications, technical writing, documentation. All very cut and dry writing - no emotions, nothing lurking under the facade. Writing Alyssa, I really had to stop and think about why she was doing what she was doing. The first few thousand words in, I found that I was describing actions while leaving out her reasoning and feelings. I think I was doing this for two reasons: one, that's how I wrote technical things and two, a number of her reactions were my reactions. I had to go deeper and explore her psyche and push those feelings and reasonings to the surface. And some of it was not pretty, not ladylike, not acceptable. Getting in touch with Alyssa's feelings forced me to get in touch with mine.

WR: Does the character Alyssa have any of you characteristics or traits?

BL: A few people have picked up on the similarities between myself and my first female character. We're both intelligent, both driven, both perfectionists, both planners and have both dealt with some difficult emotional events as children and adults. The difference is in degree. I had her go much further, go through much more, than I ever had to go emotionally. I threw that poor woman off the cliff sometimes. So in the basic things, we are similar but in a broader perspective, she is more out of control than I am, more emotional than I am, more impulsive than I am.

WR: LOL... Name three things you must have when you write?

BL: Music, a touch of misery and my Macbook. :) You're probably wondering about the 'touch of misery' part. When I'm writing suspense, especially the emotional or scary parts, I find I can't be in a happy, friendly place. it just doesn't mesh for me. So I use music as a mood-inducer to get me into the mind-space where I need to be and I starting pulling difficult emotions and fears out of my characters, which comes out of me. I also use music for love scenes, exciting scenes, happy scenes - whatever kind of scene I'm writing, I have music to match the tone of the scene.

WR: I can honestly say I know of your love of music and poetry from being friends with you on fb. You are always posting some beautiful poetry, or some type of music that have me smiling. Are you working on anything now?

BL: I am finishing a new novel now.
WR: I am so excited for you! Last but not least... What's coming up next for you?

BL: I am looking at a sideways step into another sub-genre after I finish the book I'm working on. It'll either be paranormal romantic suspense or urban fantasy - the story could go either way and I'm playing with the plot now.

WR: I can't wait to see what you come up with.

I would like to thank Brooke again, for being here with me today. I enjoyed her book Pitch Dark, and I hope you all get a chance to read it too..


One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Pitch Dark & A $10 Amazon GC!
Just leave a comment at the end of this interview with your email address, if you don't feel comfortable leaving it on here you can email it to me at..  tl.etheridge31(at)gmail.com with (BL contest) in the subject line.
A winner will be picked on Sunday April, 18, 2010. This contest is open to US and Canadian residents only.


  1. Great interview. Please enter me in the contest.

  2. I would love to be entered for this giveaway! Thanks for the interview!
    email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  3. Great interview. Sounds like a really good book. I would love to be included.

    Thanks for the chance.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  4. great interview :) I can't belive you decided to be an author *after* you sent your book out! LOL That is funny


  5. I enjoyed the interview! I didn't know that Canada has the second largest oil reserves in the world. Pitch Dark sounds intriguing. Please enter me in the contest!


  6. Okay. I want to win. Love the feature.

  7. Thank you for the interview, Brooke and Tawania.

    I really dig Brooke's postings of poetry excerpts on Facebook, and the discussions that ensue. It's wonderful to know that even in the age of social nets, texting, blogging, chatspeak, and 140-character tweets, poetry and the love thereof are alive and well!

    About Brooke' discussion of romantic suspense in general and what inspired her in particular, I must note that as a reader, I find works in this genre and other types of thrillers more compelling if they revolve around something or someone I well and truly consider dangerous in real life. Too often these villains aren't anyone I feel threatened by, such as vampires, stalkers, and serial killers. But running out of vital resources and responding inadequately to the problem---now there's a threat!

    Keep up the good work!

  8. PS---My e-mail addresses are maryannelanders@centurytel.net and arachne22000@yahoo.com. I check the former more often, but it's also more likely to screw up.


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