I’m back with no vengeance. Hahaha. Kidding aside, due to hectic schedule at work and some major things happened to me recently, I somehow lost my interest in everything.
Anyway, I decided to start my October with an author interview post that was supposedly posted months ago.
I was lucky enough to read Wrong in All the Right Ways by Tiffany Brownlee. Tiffany reached out to me around March thru email if I’ll be interested to review her book (read my review here). Who am I to reject an interesting novel? And then again, after the success of her book launch on July, I had a chance to interview Tiffany.
Are you curious? Excited? Without further waiting, read my interview below 🙂
Tiffany Brownlee was born in San Diego, California, and, as with many authors, her love for reading and writing began at an early age. Because her father was in the Navy, she and her family moved around far more often than she would have liked (she went to five elementary schools–not kidding!), but despite the many moves, her love of education, books, and writing remained.
Her family’s final move brought her to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she went on to study for and earn her B.S. in Psychology at Xavier University of Louisiana. Immediately after graduation, she began work as a Teacher’s Assistant while also pursuing a teaching certification from The University of Holy Cross. Juggling both school and work as a full-time teacher’s assistant was a little hectic for her, but she still managed to squeeze in some time to read and work on a YA novel idea that she’d thought up while rereading Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights (one of Brownlee’s favorite classics). That idea eventually became Wrong in All the Right Ways, her debut novel, which is set for publication July 17, 2018.
Tiffany Brownlee currently works as a middle school English teacher in New Orleans.
Wuthering Heights inspired you to write Wrong in All the Right Ways, if you could change one thing/part in Wuthering Heights, what is it and why?
If I could change one thing about Wuthering Heights, I would make it so that Catherine ends up with Heathcliff. During the novel, she spends a great deal of time trying to decide who she wants to be with more: Heathcliff or Edgar. In the end, Catherine chooses to marry Edgar, and every time I read Wuthering Heights, I still root for Heathcliff even though I know how it’s going to end. Catherine’s relationship with Heathcliff is difficult and tumultuous, but there’s something about their love for each other that makes my heart smile. In my opinion, it should have been him.
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
I’m definitely a plotter. I love making outlines for the entire project before I begin writing. This helps me reveal every possible twist and turn, so I can write with those things in mind. For the most part, I try to stick to my outlines, but occasionally, I’ll get an idea in my head that throws the outline off a little bit, but I always know that it won’t be long until I’m back on track with the way I’ve planned to go.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read all the time. Sometimes, I wish binge-reading were an Olympic sport, because I could probably take the gold. There are times where I spend the entire weekend on the couch reading a book because I just can’t put it down. Those days are the best because it’s like even though I don’t move (physically), I still get to go on an adventure in my head because that’s what’s happening in the book. It’s great! And YA contemporary novels are my weakness, so my favorite authors right now are John Green, Julie Buxbaum, and Becky Albertalli.
What were the challenges in writing Wrong in All the Right Ways?
Believe it or not, I didn’t have much trouble writing Wrong in All the Right Ways. After outlining, I wrote my first draft in twenty days. I didn’t run into trouble until I started going back to change things during the editing phase. I would revise something in the latter half of the novel and forget to change a portion in the beginning that was related to it, and when I would read through it, I would find a ton of inconsistencies. It made my early editing process difficult.
Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?
Of course! I mean, I know the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but the truth is: we all do it every single time we step foot into a bookstore. Readers head for “the one with the pretty cover,” and I totally get that. It’s just in our nature to be drawn to things that are aesthetically pleasing. So, yes, book covers are an important role in sales, especially since the that’s usually the first connection we make with a book we want to buy. Danielle Mazzella di Bosco designed the cover of my book, and I am forever thankful that she did because it is GORGEOUS. I fall deeper in love with it every time I see it. I hope my cover lures readers in, but I also hope that the story beneath the cover makes them cherish it.
Writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
Not exactly. I think it’s different for everyone. I know a few writers who are extremely social and outgoing, but I also know authors who like to keep to themselves and are very reclusive. It just depends on the personality and preferences of the author. There are also authors who fit into neither of these categories, like myself. I fall in the middle; some days, I’m social and gregarious, but on others I can be a bit of a homebody, and I don’t interact with anyone at all.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
My favorite scene to write was the pre-game locker room scene where Karmin uses her expertise to teach Emma to be flirty and fun. Karmin is such a scene-stealer here and I absolutely adore it! I cringe every time I picture how awkward Emma must look next to Karmin in the mirror when they’re practicing, but I think it’s a true representation of their friendship: they may be polar opposites, but they’ll always have each other’s backs in times of need.
Does your day job ever get in the way of your writing?
Yes and no. I’m a teacher, so during the school year, most of my days are dedicated to teaching my students, grading work and tests, and planning for future lessons. I work about 9-10 hours a day at school, so by the time that I get home, I’m completely spent. I can usually get about an hour of writing done once I’m home, but then there are other obligations to worry about, like cooking and cleaning. So, yes, it gets in the way sometimes, but by the same token, I get summer vacations off, and interacting with my students at school inspires me to write. There are times when I’ll get an idea in the middle of class and write it down on a notepad so I can remember to include it in the project I’m working on.
What realizations do you think you want for your readers to make after reading Wrong in All the Right Ways?
I would like readers to see that falling in love can be one of the greatest experiences of all time if you allow yourself to be open. Emma’s a careful planner and she never expected herself to fall for Dylan, and readers will see her struggle as she suppresses her feelings for him. But once Emma opens herself up to the idea of falling for Dylan, we start to see a change in her. Sometimes when you have feelings for someone, you can talk yourself out of acting on it because you’re afraid of the what other people will say or how the person you like will react, but I want readers to see that yes, it’s scary, but you should go for it anyway because it could end up being the greatest decision you’ve ever made. You’ll never know, though, if you don’t take that chance.
Any upcoming novel?
I’m currently fine-tuning the first draft of my second novel, and I can’t say much about the project yet, but what I can tell you is that it’s a YA romance that will tug on your heartstrings as it brings light to the issue of teenage homelessness in the United States. In addition to that, I recently signed on to contribute to Inkyard Press’s upcoming anthology YouToo?: a nonfiction collection of #metoo essays edited by Janet Gurtler. It’s scheduled for publication Winter 2020.
Well, what are your thoughts? Share it in the comment sections! 🙂
And don’t forget to buy Wrong in All the Right Ways: