Today, I’m fortunate to present C.K. Brooke, author of the Jordinia series with 48fourteen Publishing, and the American Pirate Romances with Limitless.
Hi, C.K., thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Thanks for having me! I loved meeting you at Rust City Book Con in Detroit this summer.
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
I originally grew up in Maryland, but have spent the last ten years of my adult life in the Midwest. Washington, Michigan is my current home, but I can’t lie, my heart is still in my other former home of Toledo, Ohio!
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
A good story, in my opinion, isn’t one-note. It strikes lots of chords. I love stories that incorporate not just adventure and intrigue, or a mystery that keeps me turning the pages, but heart, humor, romance, interesting characters, and good pacing between it all!
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
My debut novel, The Duchess Quest, was born of my fascination with Anastasia Romanov – the last Grand Duchess of Russia – and adventure romance stories like The Princess Bride. I thought, what if we could combine a lost duchess myth like Anastasia’s story with an adventure-quest between three men who couldn’t stand each other? I combined these ideas (and a few more) to create my first published novel.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
As a stay-at-home mom of a young child, I used to get all my writing done while he was napping or in bed for the night. Now, I try to write while he’s at school, or when my husband gets home from work to take over the parenting for a little while!
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I outline EVERYTHING! I leave nothing to chance or unaccounted for. I am extremely anal and detail-oriented about it; I have to have at least 20 pages of outline before beginning a new story, if not a notebook full drawings and notes. Other writers think I’m crazy, but I swear, it works like a charm to stave off writer’s block – or writing oneself into a corner.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
My latest release was The Duchess’s Descendants via 48fourteen Publishing in June 2017. It’s the third full-length novel in my Jordinia series, and is an upper-YA romantic fantasy adventure like its predecessors. My next release will be out on 26 September 2017 and is a clean adult romance, Commanding His Heart, the second installment of my American Pirate Romance series with Limitless Publishing.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Creating my first book was full of surprises. 164 rejection letters were VERY surprising. Having the tenacity to try a 165th time and receive my first offer letter from a publisher was an even bigger – and much more welcome – surprise. 😊
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
I’m currently working on the final book in the Jordinia series, The Emperor’s Daughters! Here’s an exclusive excerpt, just for you:
Gathering her nerve, Benedicta made up her mind, broke apart from the prime minister, and followed him. “Mr. Petigya?”
He didn’t turn.
“Mr. Petigya?” she repeated firmly.
There. That wasn’t so hard. Benedicta softened her tone. “I was wondering what I might do to help.”
At last, he turned to look at her—really look—and Benedicta felt her cheeks burn under his scrutiny, even beneath the cool shade of her parasol. When he spoke, his words were as flat as the Bainherd Plains.
“You can watch.”
Benedicta scrunched her brow. “But, there must be some mistake. I didn’t take the locomotive all the way down here just to sit and watch your crew work. I came here to be of service. Like you asked me.”
He lifted an eyebrow. “Like I asked you?”
“Why, yes. You came to Pierma, recruiting volunteers, and I…” She faltered, already feeling foolish in her prim clothing, under her lacy shade. Abruptly, she lowered the parasol and snapped it shut. The sun blared in her face, but at least she could look him in the eye now.
“Want to help, princess?” He sounded irritated. “Give out water.”
Her mouth hung agape as he stalked off again. “Isn’t there something I can build?” she asked after him.
“Nothing that won’t soil those fancy gloves of yours.”
She looked down at her hands and hastily yanked off her gloves. Stuffing them into her skirt pocket, she bounded after him.
“Water’s over there.” He bobbed his chin impatiently, indicating a few barrels resting under a cluster of palm trees. Drinking gourds and empty coconut shells littered the ground, some crawling with flies, all looking used and unwashed.
Benedicta frowned. “But—”
“That is helping.” He flashed her a sudden smile, yet it was obviously forced, for her sake. “Working men need hydration, no?”
Benedicta stared at him. He didn’t look away.
So, it would be like this, would it?
Stromberg was right. When Raul Petigya had asked for volunteers, he didn’t mean her. Why would it matter to this Heppestonian man who Benedicta was? Regardless of whatever Prime Minister’s Uxo believed, Halai had no real need for a Jordinian duchess. It needed able-bodied workers who could pull their weight. And what did Benedicta appear to be, other than a delicate young woman? It would always chalk down to her appearance, would it?
Not if Benedicta had anything to say about it.
She straightened to her full height, although she had nothing on the man in front of her. “Mr. Petigya, I may not seem strong or powerful, but I assure you, I can be.”
Though he remained stoic, a flit of curiosity darted in his eye.
“And anyway, you were the one who said there wasn’t a thing I could not learn,” she reminded him.
She thought he might smile, was almost sure she saw the beginnings of one. Alas, he offered no change in expression, only facing her off in the sand, waiting for her to finish.
Benedicta narrowed her eyes, all pretenses dropped. “Now, I’m going to rinse out those filthy gourds you call drinking cups, and give water to your crew. Excuse me.” She turned on her heel, heading for the barrels.
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
Expect the final Jordinia book, as well as an all-new upper-YA urban fantasy (with romance) in 2018!
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I’ve ever spent as a writer has been registration to every book convention I’ve attended, as well as my RWA (Romance Writers of America) membership. The friends I’ve made and professionals I’ve networked with have been a priceless font of support, friendship, and resources.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
If you’re reading this interview, I’d love to hear from you! There’s a contact form on my website, www.CKBrooke.com, and my email address is on there as well. You can find my books on Goodreads, Amazon, my website, and my publishers’ websites. Check out all my social media links below.
And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter at CKBrooke.com/VIPClub for freebies and fun!
Free eBook of The Last Empress: A Jordinia Prequel Novella at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072MHXFRH
About the Author
C.K. Brooke is an Amazon bestselling, award-winning indie author of over a dozen romantic fantasy novels and novellas. Her books have been published by 48fourteen and Limitless Publishing, as well as self-published. Her debut novel, The Duchess Quest, was selected by Shelf Unbound Magazine as a Top 100 Notable Indie Book of 2015 and received five stars from Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Awards Contest. In 2017, her YA novel, Secrets of Artemis, received the Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award. More of her publications have been nominated in the 2017 RONE Awards and Global EBook Awards. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and son. Visit CKBrooke.com and subscribe for a free eBook!
Books by C.K. Brooke
The Duchess Quest (48fourteen, 2014 and 2017)
The Duchess Inheritance (48fourteen, 2015)
The Duchess’s Descendants (48fourteen, 2017)
The Last Empress: A Jordinia Prequel Novella (2017)
WORLD OF JORDINIA NOVELS
The Red Pearl (48fourteen, 2015)
The Wrong Prince (48fourteen, 2016)
AMERICAN PIRATE ROMANCES
Capturing the Captain (Limitless, 2016)
Commanding His Heart (Limitless, TBR September 2017)
Secrets of Artemis (2015)
NOVELLAS & OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Fool Moon (2015)
Heiress Heist (2016)
The Golden Dove (2016)
Deepwood: A Haunting (2017)
Elphame Realms E-Zine #1 (Elphame Press, 2017)
Elphame Realms E-Zine #2: Something Witchy This Way Comes (Elphame Press, TBR October 2017)
The Duchess Quest: The Album
Enjoy a musical soundtrack to the story! Includes over 30 minutes of 14 original songs written, performed and produced by the author.
Full Audio CD on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Duchess-Quest-Album-C-K-Brooke/dp/B01KWB2CHK/
Listen on YouTube to 7 FREE tracks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLupAA1FZu8AVce1WI34p0LKnnt6EIWH4X&v=HRWQ-Bpme9