About Gledé Browne Kabongo:
My love affair with books began as a young girl growing up in the Caribbean. The town library overlooked the Atlantic Ocean, and I was trading books and discussing them with neighbors before Book Clubs became popular.
I suppose becoming an author was inevitable. My mother was obsessed with books and I don’t know if by osmosis that transferred to me.
I write psychological suspense novels featuring whip-smart, flawed yet courageous female characters up to their eyeballs in secrets and diabolical schemes. My first novel Conspiracy of Silence was a #1 Amazon bestseller. My follow-up Swan Deception was an Amazon bestseller as well. My new releases for 2016 include, Game of Fear, the first book of the Fearless Series, and Mark of Deceit, part of the Eye of Fear Anthology. I live in Massachusetts with my wonderful husband and two amazing kids.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always loved writing as a form of creative expression. When I was 11 or 12, I wanted to be a journalist and after college I became a freelance news reporter. But that creative spark never left me. That’s when I knew I wasn’t cut out to be a journalist long-term. I get inspired by everything and anything; a conversation with a friend, a news story, a documentary or ideas that suddenly come to me.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m definitely not a pantser. I like to have a general outline of the story before I begin writing. As a matter of fact, I’m delving deeper into outlining now because it makes the writing process a bit easier. I use everything from flash cards to MS Word to do my outlines. I recently purchased Scrivener so I’ll be looking to use it down the road.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters per se but there is that interaction when I’m writing or at three o’clock in the morning. Usually, a character that was intended to be minor takes on a life of his or her own and becomes a bigger part of the story than I intended. That happened with my recent novel Game of Fear. It’s a suspense/thriller with a romance sub-plot. The male love interest was originally intended to be a thorn in my protagonist’s side, an annoyance she was supposed to swat like a fly while she focused her attention on the imminent threat hanging over her head. Well, it didn’t work out that way. Christian Wheeler ended up being a much more significant part of her life and the story. Another character that was minor in earlier drafts of the manuscript also turned the story on its head, for the better.
What advice would you give other writers?
You’re never too seasoned or too much of a novice to really dig deep into studying the craft of writing. Invest in good editing and cover design (I learned some hard lessons). Sometimes your characters take you places you never anticipated, it’s okay. Don’t let anyone force you to choose between plot and character. You’ll be asked if you’re a plot-driven writer or character-driven writer. Refuse to choose, it’s possible to have both in your stories. Grow thick skin (I’m still working on mine). Not everyone will like your work and that’s okay too. Know who you’re writing for. Know that it takes a while to discover you readership/target audience. Don’t try to mimic other writers; it will only lead to pain. Admire, take notes but never imitate. Take joy in the process. There are times you’ll want to quit. Don’t give up if this is what you were meant to do. If it’s just something to check off your bucket list, well, that’s another story.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I actually started out querying literary agents and publishers for my first novel Conspiracy of Silence. I met an acquisition editor from a major publishing house at a writer’s conference and she loved the manuscript and read it several times. Unfortunately, as these things sometimes go, she ran into opposition from her boss and it didn’t work out. I decided to self-publish. It wasn’t a smooth ride the first time around but I’m about to release my third novel and I’ve learned so much. I’m still interested in traditional publishing and wouldn’t mind being a hybrid author. For new authors, you have to decide what your goals are to help you make the decision as to which publishing path is best for you. If you’re married to the idea that a traditional publishing deal is the be all and end all for you, then be prepared to be extremely patient. You could get lucky on your first try in getting an agent or publisher but for most authors, it takes years. On the other hand, if you believe you have something to share with the world and you’re not prepared to wait years, then be prepared to delve in all the way. That means hiring professional editors, book cover designers, and constantly honing your craft. It also means you have to get up to speed on book marketing. You’ll be running your own business so you have to be the CEO, CFO, operations person, marketing person etc.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think we’ll continue to see disruptions as new technologies emerge, more acquisitions and mergers take place within traditional publishing, and new sales channels continue to evolve. I also think you’ll see authors continue to spread their wings in terms of the kind of stories they want to tell. In other words, the genre lines will become somewhat blurred.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Psychological suspense, suspense/thriller
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.