Hi Zetta and welcome. I am so glad you could join us here at
RomanceJunkies. To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
Thanks for having me! Y'all are the kind of junkies that are good to have.
I'm working on several projects; some are my own and some are for others.
When beginning a new book, do you plot and plan or are you a "seat of the pants" kind of writer?
I'm both. I get an idea and will start writing scenes or snips of dialogue when they invade my mind. Then, if I have a strong idea or sense of story, I'll start to plot and plan and do more research. But when it comes to the first draft, I just write it out.
What do you like most about being an author? What do you like least?
I like letting my imagination run wild and creating stories. If I'm lucky,
other people will like what I've written, but in the end, I'm writing what I'd like to read.
The thing I like least when I get an idea for a story--when I'm supposed to be/need to be working on something else--but I don't have time to follow it through until later. I'm in that situation right now. I'm being pestered by a story but I have two other writings that have to be done before I can really spend time on it.
What was the best piece of writing advice you've received?
Apart from the ubiquitous, "show don't tell," I've actually learned a lot
from some friends I used to have who were film students. I followed (or was dragged) to film after film where they analyzed everything. I didn't know it at the time but copying their method really helps when plotting scenes and keeping continuity.
With a deadline looming, are you normally ahead of schedule, on schedule, or convincing yourself that you work “better under major-stress”?
I hate to admit it, but I do work well under pressure. Some of my best work I've churned out under a tight deadline and it's been appreciated. I would much rather manage my time more wisely, and I suppose I do that 80% of the time.
If you could go anywhere you wanted, no worries about packing or getting there, where would you go? Have you been there before?
I'd go to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. My husband and I have been there twice before and we're considering getting a holiday home out there even though our Spanish is mucho grande pathetico. It's just of the west coast of Africa and in January, the temperature is in the high 60s/low 70s.
Which room in your home is your favorite? Which one would you love to wave a magic wand and change?
At the moment our home office is my favorite room because I now have a (mostly) organized desk and bookshelves with all my books. One of our TVs and our DVD collection is in there too. Could that be the reason why I'm always in a mad rush at deadline time? Anyway, my least favorite room at the moment is our bedroom because we need to do some major redecorating and get some more storage space.
Do you have any special hobbies or collections? Is there a new venture
you’d like to start if only you could find some time?
I love comic books and if you read MESSALINA - DEVOURER OF MEN, you'll see what I mean. I collect Archie and Harvey Comics from the "Bronze Age" and earlier. So basically, comics from 1980s and earlier.
Recently, I've decided that I want to rebuild my library with books I had from my adolesence, which includes a lot of romance novels. But not just any romance novel. I'm looking for specific authors and editions because I love the cover art. To be even more specific, I'm looking for Fawcet Crest books from the 1950s-1970s. I'm also building up a Nancy Drew library—not the modern re-releases, but the editions with the vintage cover art.
As far as a new venture, I'd love to get into real estate, believe it or not. Prices rise and prices fall, but everyone needs a home.
How did you and your husband meet? What was it about him that made you know he was “the one”?
THAT'S the $64,000 question! My husband and I met online--and not on a dating site. We were both members of a writing group when we started chatting "offlist" and in private. I knew he was the one because I could tell, even though we corresponded through email and instant messaging and later by phone. He was "the one" because my BS Detector didn't go off.
I've heard a lot of BS from men and can smell it before they open their mouth. I got none of that from him. It's a good thing I trusted my instincts but it required me to move from Texas to Scotland just to be with the man!
I was asked to write an article about our romance a few years ago. You can find it here:
What is the best way to spend a quiet evening at home?
Here's my G-rated answer: snuggled on the couch with my hubby, a bottle of wine, a belly full of good eats, and a DVD marathon of favorite movies or TV shows.
How do you describe Zetta Brown? How does Zetta Brown’s husband describe her?
I describe me as being "eclectic." I like many different things that a black woman stereotypically shouldn't like, let alone have knowledge of. I'm impatient, have a temper, and have no time for fools. But despite all this, I'm actually easy to get along with.
My husband isn't afraid to call me a "moody coo" when I'm on the warpath but otherwise, he says "I can't describe life without you."
Who is the person who has had the biggest influence on your life? Whom will you pass this “influence” on to?
I'd have to say my Dad. I'm a big Daddy's Girl, and he always told me and my sister the same thing his father told him. He said that his job as a parent was to make sure we would grow up and be able to take care of ourselves as responsible adults, and then his job was done. A lot of people tell me he's done a good job. :)
I don't have children, but I hope my sister passes this on to her sons.
Me? Heck, I'll pass that bit of advice to anyone who'll listen.
What is your culinary specialty? What is the one that no matter how many times you try it, it always manages to fail you?
I've discovered that I can make a good lasagne and kick-ass fried chicken. But I can't cook eggs. I don't like eggs, but my husband likes his done "medium"...WTF? Just scramble them and call it a day!
Name one thing most people don’t know about you.
That I've done community service (back in the early 90s). DWI – driving without insurance. Why? What did you think it was??? I've done some silly things in my life but...really!
What is your favorite pair of shoes? Which ones should’ve stayed at the shoe store?
I got some black, ankle-strap, platform sandals that are really
comfortable. But I got some low-heel mules with a cute rhinestone
decoration that won't stay on my feet for nothing. They can go back to the sweat shop for all I care.
And lastly, no interview of a writer would be complete without this question: what is your favorite comfort food?
Watermelon Jolly Ranchers and Haagen-Daas Chocolate-Chocolate Chip...not necessarily together.
Oh gosh…I haven’t had Jolly Ranchers in ages! I love how they last forever! Thank you so much, Zetta, for spending time with us at RJ, and continued success with your writing!