Author Spotlight: Brooke Burgess

Here is the second in my new author spotlight series – head’s up, Indie authors can join in the fun here to also feature on my blog – welcome, Brooke Burgess!

The Cat's Maw Brooke Burgess

Tell us a brief summary of your book’s plot.
In the sleepy town of Appleton, a young loner follows a stray cat onto the road and is struck by a car. A leg is shattered, a summer is ruined, and the troubled life of Billy Brahm goes from bad…to cursed.

When the mysterious cat appears at his bedside, Billy is haunted by strange and prophetic dreams — the creatures in them speak of Watchers, and Shadows, and the Enemy that Awakens.

Does this impossible realm hold the key to healing the broken boy? Is the golden-eyed cat there to help him…or to make the nightmares come true?

Too frightened to share the truth with his strict adoptive parents, Billy realizes that the only ones he can turn to are the local vet’s daughter, the town’s ‘crazy cat lady’…

…and a mystical tiger, beckoning from his dreams.

What was the inspiration for this story?
The Cat’s Maw is based on a true (and pretty scary!) story from my childhood 🙂

(Echo’s note: Read all about it here and bring tissues).

Do you have any writing habits you would like to tell us about?
Other than procrastination? 😉

I find the frequent habits appear to be productive ones — meditation, yoga, a mug of something caffeinated, a purring cat near my feet, and maybe a little prayer/offering to the Muse.

What is the hardest thing to manage when you start writing?
Overcoming perfectionism, by far! For me, the most daunting thing about tackling a book (versus, say, a screenplay, article, or shorter prose piece) is the urge to fix things on the fly. Which inevitably leads to hating what I’m doing, with a very real risk of trashing everything and considering career barista training.

Name the three books currently topping your To Be Read list?
READY PLAYER ONE: As a contract game writer/designer, this has been high on my list for a while. I’ve been avoiding it because of the announcement of movie development (spoilers), but I think it’s high time I took the plunge.

KAFKA ON THE SHORE: I’ve had several people recommend this after reading The Cat’s Maw, and I dig Murakami’s style. Plus…CATS.

WONDER: Nothing but raves for this children’s debut, so I’ve gotta see what all the fuss is about 🙂

How important do you think a book’s cover is?
Essential! In fact, I’m already redesigning The Cat’s Maw cover to better gel with an overall visual theme for all 5 books in the series, the website, and (currently being designed) mobile app.

In the age of ebooks, the thumbnail first impression is king — to underestimate the draw of a compelling, striking, and well-designed book cover is foolishness.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose?
Neil Gaiman, without a doubt. Good Omens showed me what was possible with an author collaboration — apparently many readers were mistaken in their attachments of specific chapters to Gaiman or Pratchett — their styles blended very well, with a great deal of mutual editorial overlap. And I think Mr G and I have a parallel penchants for detailed descriptions, emotional writing, and the slow ratcheting up of dread.

Keep an eye out for Brooke’s Shadowland Saga as it unfolds over the years to come, by following him on Twitter @brokensaint or checking out his website.

You can find The Cat’s Maw (Vol. 1 Shadowland Saga) here on Amazon.


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