E: Hi, Brenda. Welcome to the blog. Care for some candies?
B: Yum! I’ll take a chocolate mint please…Delicious!
E: You have a new book coming out from Jolly Fish Press, Dependent. What can you tell us about it?
B: Dependent is the story of a military spouse, Ellen, who has lost her sense of self—something easy to do in the military lifestyle. Through a series of events—early pregnancy, marriage at a young age, frequent moves, abuse of power by her husband’s superior officer…she becomes a dependent in the true sense of the word. The story follows Ellen as she rebuilds herself and finds her inner strength. It’s a story of love and loss and regrowth.
E: You also have a book that you self-published, Treasure in the Flame. What can you tell us about that one?
B: One of my favorite places is the world is a living museum on the East Coast of Canada called Kings Landing. It’s like walking into history when you walk through the gates. My kids were there for a week of summer camp—wearing traditional costume, milking cows, making butter and working in the carpentry shop. I was walking around visiting them and thinking that it would be a great place to set a story…and the story just sort of grew in my head. It became my NaNoWriMo project for the year, and I wrote the first draft in just under a month.
E: What factors went into your decision to self-publish over traditional publishing with your first book?
B: I did start with an eye toward traditional publishing, but only sent out about five queries. Of the five, I had a full request and a partial…so I knew that the story had some merit. I also had a small market (the museum gift shop) and the desire to learn more about the publishing business. After a year of waiting for responses I decided it was time to move on, and started searching for editors, graphic designers and formatters. Treasure in the Flame was published about 8 months later.
E: What has your experience with traditional publishing been like so far?
B: I’m publishing with a small press, so there are many similarities. There are no huge advance checks and no big-business powerhouses behind you with a small, independent press. It’s a trade off—I lost some control of things like cover design (although I had input) and publishing dates, but I gained the expertise of other like-minded book professionals. With my publisher behind me I also gain exposure to foreign rights and things like movie rights that wouldn’t have been available to me before.
E: Have you learned anything through this process that you wish you had known with your first book?
B: I had a great experience with my first book, so I learned a lot. I know how difficult it is to get in with big box book stores, I know the work behind book publicity, and I know how a book gets put together. What I didn’t expect was the support of other publisher and agent mates, and the sense of community we have, through Facebook groups and email. I’ve met many authors (virtually) and have a wonderful source of information that I didn’t have before.
E: You have plans for a sequel to Treasure in the Flame. Will you self-publish that one as well, or will you go for the traditional publishing route?
B: Good question. I’m in discussions with my amazing agents at Literary Counsel about the Treasure sequel and where to take it. I’m certainly not against the idea of traditionally publishing it, but the Treasure series is my little project. The feedback has been so positive for my first little story. I think with the right publisher and at the right time I’d happily sign a contract. More publishing support equals more time to write!
E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, etc?
B: Dependent will launch from Victoria, BC, Canada (at the Chapters on Douglas) on August 2nd. It’s going to be an amazing day! After that I’ll be doing signings and events throughout Vancouver Island, Mainland BC and the Seattle area over the summer. I’ll update my blog (brendacoreydunne.blogspot.ca) as things are finalized.
Thank you so much for allowing me to hang out on your blog, Erin! Really appreciate it. And good luck in all of your writing endeavors!