Tuesday, September 26, 2006

An Interview with Author and Editor Faith Bicknell-Brown

It's Tuesday again, so time for another in my interview series. Today I'm switching things up a little bit and am chatting with author and editor, Faith Bicknell-Brown. Here's your opportunity to find out what Freya's Bower editors are looking for in submissions.

Amanda: Welcome! Tell us a little bit about yourself, Faith.

Faith: Thanks for inviting me! I'm a mother of four--two girls and two boys--and happily married to a big, red-headed good ol' boy. I'm a professional writer. I'm also the managing editor for Wild Child Publishing and Freya's Bower.

I love to read, and I write several different genres. I'm an artist too. I love history, the paranormal, and faerie lore. I'm an avid bowler and love the outdoors.

Amanda: Writer, editor...is there anything you don't do?!

Faith: LOL, sometimes I wonder! I have several hobbies, but finding time for them all is a challenge.

Amanda: Which hat do you prefer to wear, author or editor?

Faith: That's a tough question. I love working with authors who are eager to learn and grow, but I find that it's hard for me to manage my editing time and my own writing time.

Amanda: How did you begin your journey in writing?

Faith: It began with a green crayon on some brown wrapping paper. I penned my first story at the age of six and wrote stories for my school mates all the way into high school. I wrote my first novel when I was fifteen. It was all in long hand and illustrated too. I still have it. Most of what I've learned about the mechanics of fiction and dealing with publishers, editors and agents has been from my own trial and errors.

Now, I write for various national men's magazines. The pay is good, but the work is boring. I prefer writing novels.

Amanda: How were Wild Child Publishing and Freya's Bower Publishing born?

Faith: Wild Child came into existence in the fall of 1998. It began as a small ezine, the brainchild of Marci G. Baun and Barry D. Gilfry. Barry asked me to write for them, so I did, and a year later, I was the romance and horror editor. Marci bought Barry's half of the magazine and eventually branched into eBooks.

Marci and I became great friends, and in early 2006, we began discussing the boom in erotic romances. We brainstormed, and Freya's Bower was born. Marci asked me to manage both WCP and FB, so here I am, LOL!

Amanda: Great story! Anyway, speaking of great stories, what are you looking for in a story? What things do writers do that immediately turn you off?

Faith: I love material that inspires a reaction or makes me laugh. Well writtenmaterial is a plus, but I don't mind working with a writer who has potential. However, the quickest way to turn me off is to send me something that is full of passive tense and telling. I hate numerous POV switches too.

Amanda: What themes/genres would you like to see more of?

Faith: For WCP, I'd like more mystery, mainstream romance, and fantasy. For FB, I'd like to see some romantic suspense and sweet romances.

Amanda: Can you explain the submissions and editorial processes of your publishing house?

Faith: Submissions come directly to me. I look them over and divide the wheat from the chaff. The manuscripts with potential and the ones that I know are going to be winners based on the first chapters are reviewed more thoroughly. I recently hired two assistant editors who help me go through stories and makedecisions.

Sometimes we offer conditional contracts. This means that a manuscript might have problems, but if the writer is willing to work with us and revises it, then he or she will receive a contract when the revised ms is returned.

After a contract is signed, I assign an editor to that manuscript. The writer works with him or her, and after two or three revisions, the ms goes to proofreaders. We're not like most ePublishers. Every editor with each division is professional and knows fiction, grammar, punctuation, plot, etc. We edit thoroughly.

Amanda: I know you've heard it before, but I'm going to say it again. FB covers are gorgeous! I absolutely loved mine for She's Got Legs. Do authors get much say in their covers?

Faith: Authors and editors work with the cover artists, too. They bounce ideas back and forth until everyone is satisfied with the cover.

Amanda: If you could sit down and have coffee with any of your characters, who would this be and why?

Faith: I'd have to say it would be Hazel from the novel I'm peddling to agents again. Hazel is my protagonist who finds herself pregnant and no recollection of having had sex with anyone. She gives birth to twin girls, but one is stillborn. She's only 17 and must raise this little girl who is evil incarnate and suffering battles with humanity. Hazel discovers she has powers and she realizes who the father of her child is, fighting to near death to save herself and her dead daughter so she can have her returned to her. Imho, I think Hazel is an amazing young woman. She walks through fire to solve her dilemma and have a "normal" life.

Amanda: Sounds very intriguing. If you had to get rid of all the books on your bookshelf except for the work of a single author, who would you keep around?

Faith: Bonnie Jones Reynolds, author of The Truth About Unicorns. She wrote only two books, but her work is pure magic. Both books are out of print, but I did manage to find an autographed hard copy at Amazon.com!

Amanda: So, what's next for Faith Bicknell-Brown?

Faith: Well, I'm looking for a new literary agent. I have four requested partials with some big names right now, so I'm hoping I'll be offered a client contract soon. Not having to peddle my novels would be one less thing to do, LOL!

Also, Wild Child Publishing and Freya's Bower are printing select titles due out this fall and spring. I'm excited about this and look forward to seeing our books in stores and other various places. It's wonderful to talk with authors who are ecstatic about seeing their books in print.

Amanda: Sounds like some exciting stuff going on! Thanks for coming to chat with us.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:49 AM :: 17 comments

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