Posted on February 8, 2024 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Today we're interviewing dark fantasy author Tracy Brown.

Brown lives in the Finger Lakes of New York State, dreaming up epic stories and quirky characters. She believes magic still exists; you just need to look in the right places.

She is the author of the Door to Door Paranormal Mystery Series, three books penned under the name T.L. Brown. She is also the author of the adult dark fantasy Bellerose Witchline books.

SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.

T.L.: When I start to write a new book, I usually form the plot by “stitching” different scenes together.

These scenes are often inspired by the music I’m listening to — an image will form in my head with the music serving as a soundtrack. Often, I’ll write that scene with the song playing on repeat. 

It’s not unusual for me to draft or write scenes out of order. Then, the plot forms as I rearrange them.

I do have a basic plot in mind at the get-go — I know the big things I want to happen in the book — but the fleshing out happens as the music-inspired scenes come to me.

When the book is finished, I share a curated playlist of the songs I listened to while writing as a fantasy soundtrack for readers.

SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to trade places with?

T.L.: This is such an interesting question because it’s the same character for each piece of criteria (most and least).

Lucie Bellerose, the beleaguered witch in my Bellerose Witchline series, has an amazing inner core. She is strong in her convictions and beliefs, but she’s not invincible. She’s not all-powerful. Lucie is confident in her abilities as a witch, but she’s forced to stand up to real challenges that take her to her limits. 

Lucie faces threats from within her own community, yet she does not back down. It’s her sense of doing what’s right that I most identify with — or at least hope to.

One of her choices is to keep a half-demon bound to her to protect him from a horrible fate. He was not a good man, but Lucie can look past this and see that he paid for his crimes. She is willing to live in the “gray area” and let go.

This connection costs her, but she will not refuse to help him.

SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?

T.L.: I’m fortunate. Most of my readers providing feedback are kind and complimentary. I am grateful for that.

I’ve also been lucky to connect with other authors who enjoy my books. A supportive writer community is a gift.   

One of my favorite dark fantasy authors wrote in her review of A Thin Witchline Between & Hate: “The darkness Brown brings is the marrow within the bones of this tale...”

It touched me to my core that she understood what I wanted to craft for my readership. She’s a brilliant writer, and her words meant so very much to me.

SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?

T.L.: Much of life happens in the space between black and white. Motivations aren’t always what they seem, and rarely is someone all good or all bad.

This doesn’t mean real evil gets a pass, but at least be willing to challenge your beliefs before casting judgment. I explored this theme more deeply in my book Crossing the Witchline.  

It’s okay to go against the grain to help someone who might not seem worthy of it. People can change. Often, second chances are possible. 

SADYE: What advice, as relates to your writing career, would you give your younger self?

T.L.: As you begin writing, you will likely seek out guidance to make sure you’re “doing it right.” That’s natural.

Keep in mind not everyone is offering the best advice or direction. Even the experts — self-appointed and actual — can be wrong.

If you’re inclined to incorporate someone’s opinion or direction into your writing practice, take some time to think about it. Learn to listen to your inner voice. 

And finally, write the story you want to tell. Write what’s in your heart and gut no matter your worries over what people may think. Write honestly. Be fearless. You are an artist.

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Learn more about T.L. Brown on her website, where her books can also be purchased; like her page on Facebook; and follow her on YouTube and Instagram

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Categories: Author Interview

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