Interview with Author Brae Wyckoff

Thank you Brae, for taking the time to join me today!  Let’s start off the those pesky questions that everyone asks authors!

What inspired you to become a writer?
 
I remember watching the first Star Wars movie with my dad when I was six and I can still visualize the huge never-ending Star Destroyer attacking the smaller spaceship. That moment really caused my imagination to run wild. When I was in high school, a group invited me to play a game with them. It was called Dungeons and Dragons. Now this was “nerding out” times ten but I was hooked.
When I combined the visuals of movies and the visuals of D&D roleplaying, that is when it truly started to connect in my mind that I wanted to write stories and entertain people. I have been working on The Orb of Truth for over twenty years and some of the characters in my books are past heroes developed in my D&D days.
I also had some amazing encouragement along the way. It came from my 10th grade English teacher who pushed me to write and praised my short stories I turned in. She read them aloud to the class and told me that I had a gift.
 
Why did you choose to go indie?
 
To put it simply: CONTROL. I have complete control over my book, over the direction I want to take it, the marketing (which btw, you have to market everything yourself even if you are with a publisher), the pricing of my books, and the most important factor is that I get most of the profit for each sale. Indie authors cut out the middle man, the publisher. The publishing industry is broken and stuck in the old days of doing business. They need to review their systems and get on board before more people lose their jobs and they have to close their door.
My wife and I ended up making our own publishing company called LR Publishing and we plan on helping other authors achieve success through LRP.
 
It looks like you’re doing great on Goodreads! What are some marketing tips you’d give to aspiring indie authors?
 
I have learned as I go and it takes time and commitment to understand all of the social media fronts. Goodreads was something that I wasn’t familiar with for quite awhile but I soon discovered the importance of this site (and guess what, so did Amazon). I would suggest authors get involved with the listopia feature and get your book in the ranks of those lists by having people vote for your book. It creates visibility. The other thing is to have your book on the giveaway. My first giveaway generated over 1400 people to place my book onto their “to read list”. This doesn’t bring initial sales but it does bring more visibility to your book, which in turn can be potential sales down the road.
Join in the discussion groups but be warned it is not a place to sell your book, but you can drop hints.
Make sure you create your author page…a must for all authors on Goodreads.
 
What was behind the idea of the Orb of Truth?
 
It is a message of HOPE. In this classic good vs evil tale, I take the heroes of the story on a grand adventure that they never planned on going and during their travels they face sacrifices, obstacles and many choices.
I relate to the main hero, Bridazak, a Halfling, which I coin in my books as ordakians, because in my life I have asked the questions, “Why am I here? What is my purpose in life?” I have taken these questions and wrapped it all together into the story and delivered a message of hope. I’m a fantasy lover to the core so when you read The Orb of Truth you will not be disappointed.
“It’s a cross between Lord of the Rings and the Wizard of OZ where you will be swept away into a magical land of Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings.”
—Brae Wyckoff
 
Taken from Goodreads: In the hundreds of years since the Holy City disappeared, darkness has fallen over the land. Human kingdoms have seized control of the realm, scattering the other races into hiding.

Bridazak, a skilled thief, and his friends, a Dwarf and a fellow Ordakian, have dared to remain within the human communities and live relatively quiet lives, until they discover a mysterious, magical artifact. The three friends are thrust into an adventure that will challenge their faith, their purpose, and their destiny as they chase a forgotten and lost prophecy across the realm of Ruauck-El, where they hope to discover the origins of the strange item and their place in its history.

An ancient, unknown enemy threatens the completion of their journey at every turn. Bridazak is about to face the biggest adventure of his life, one that may change the known realm, and answer the questions he has carried all his life. Will they unlock the truth?

Did you end up making any changes to your plot that you didn’t initially expect to?
 
The plot never changed. It was always there, but many subtle changes happened all throughout the book writing process. There were name changes, additional story added, etc.
For example…my editor suggested we add in an entire new opening to the book, including the Prologue portion. So we tackled the Prologue and then added in a brand new chapter one where the heroes pull off a heist in the market. I love my editor! (Krisann Gentry)
 
Tell me about the average day in the life of Brae Wyckoff!
 
 
Without boring you with the mundane, I will tell you the things that I’m involved in.
Marketing The Orb of Truth, working with my PR Manager, Aileen Aroma, fielding comments with my Orb Street Team and my many facebook pages, running an international ministry called The Greater News, hosting a Blog Talk Radio show called Broadcast Muse, working with graphic designer for book covers, working with my editor for the 2nd book of the series (due out this year), writing the 3rd book of the series (The Vampire King), writing a short story, interviews, blogging, managing all my social networks, being a husband, a dad, a grandpa, and taking care of all the life things such as our home, dogs, dinners, cleaning, etc. (Now I’m tired just thinking about the above)
 
Let’s have a little fun now. If you were stranded on an island with one of the characters in your book and you had to depend on each other to survive, who would you want to be with?
 
Interesting question, I would say the human fighter named Abawken. He is extremely loyal, is an excellent protector and provider and would do well on the island.
On the flip side of this one, I would NOT choose the dwarf named Dulgin. He would just be too grumpy to converse with and argue each step of the way. He is very stubborn dwarf and wouldn’t get along well with the natives.
 
What’s the one question you wish people like me would always ask you, that we never freaking do?! Now go ahead and answer it too!
 
How difficult is it to truly be an author? This is the question that nobody asks. On the outside, people say, “How hard is it? You just write a book and then you are famous.” At least this is the impression I get from most people.
Well, it is extremely difficult first off to write a book and write something that will stand up to a potential of millions of readers. Any author will tell you that once your book is out there in the public then it better be good enough to stand on its own. It is not like you can take it back and then redo it (well, I guess you can these days, but it shows up as a negative).
I’m a storyteller. I want to be entertained and to bring my readers on an adventure. I want to give the reader an outlet to get away from reality but at the same time immerse a sense of hope that they can take from the book and apply into their own lives. Some will get that while others will just enjoy the ride, and both are okay.
I saw a T-Shirt slogan floating around on facebook the other day and it said, “Save a Writer. Buy a book.”
And now just a couple of fun ones:
 
While you’re writing:
 
Night or Day? Both
Coffee or Tea? Iced Chai Tea Latte
Pen or Keyboard? Keyboard
Music? What kind? Definitely music and I usually listen to the top 40.
Straight Through or Edit As You Go? Never edit as I go. I write the story straight through then hire the editor after I get it critiqued and do some re-writes. 
 
Okay! Thank you so much for your time, Brae!
 
 

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