I'm really excited to have Addison here with us today! She was one of the first supporters of the LoveRomanceReads website and it makes me so happy to learn more about her. But I'm going to get out of the way and let her introduce herself.
LovRRs: Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
AB: Thanks so much for spending some time with me, Carissa. I’m Addison Brae, author of new adult romantic suspense and contemporary young adult. My roots are in East Texas and I now live on the edge of downtown Dallas, Texas.
LovRRs: How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
AB: I started writing professionally for commercial audiences in college and still do today, but writing fiction is another story. My first fiction words hit the page in 2009, but I didn’t tell a soul until I had 30,000 written when I knew I could finish a novel. Since then, I’ve completed another young adult novel that I’m working on finding a publisher as well as Becker Circle, which released in 2018.
LovRRs: I have to ask, for what kind of commercial audiences do you currently write? Are you talking advertising? Journalism? I'm so curious!
AB: The commercial writing is for corporations and non-profits—ghost-writing articles, creating marketing materials, and video scripts. Lately I’m writing about artificial intelligence and using AI ethically, which is sparking a cool novel idea.
LovRRs: That's a very timely topic and super interesting! But getting back to your author journey...
AB: Another author inspired Becker Circle. We were cleaning up after a writing workshop, and I mentioned being in a hurry to make it to my friend’s bachelorette party. “Why someone our age would go to a bachelorette party?” she asked. The response was simple. “My friend’s getting married.” I was at the beginning of a fresh start, and our conversation made me realize how stuck in social norms and expectations we are. The next day, I launched a blog that led to Becker Circle. While the heroine is fresh out of college, it’s very much about starting over on your own terms and at any age.
LovRRs: I can so relate to that feeling of wanting to start over and on my own terms. What a great backstory to what inspired you with writing Becker Circle! Do you still have the blog?
AB: The blog was all about single life. The day I met my love was the last day I posted to the blog. The inspiration wasn’t there anymore since I wasn’t living the life. I have a new blog (addisonbrae.com/blog) that has some similarities.
LovRRs: What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
AB: I’m at the nail-biting stage of writing the climax to the Becker Circle sequel. It picks up where the last novel left off with many of the same characters readers love and hate. The fun part is bringing in a really edgy cybercrime angle—cryptojacking. Some authors, like me, feel every painful and joyous emotion along with their characters. This one is so emotional and thrilling it takes a lot out of me to write, which is a good sign readers may feel the same.
LovRRs: Cryptojacking? What's that?
AB: Cryptojacking happens when criminals use technology to steal cryptocurrency. I think of it as virtually pickpocketing digital money. Cryptocurrency has been in the news since Facebook is starting its own digital currency.
LovRRs: What is the most challenging part of writing romantic suspense?
AB: My natural instinct is to write in first person, present tense because I very much like to live in the moment. That means the page only shows what the main character knows. In a thriller, mystery or suspense, keeping track of who knows what is constant. I challenge myself to write this way because many readers like to see, hear, smell with the main character and experience the suspense right along with her. They feel the joy, pleasure, fear, and pain at the same time, which can make it even more rewarding to escape into a fictional world.
LovRRs: What kind of research do you do when you set out to write a new book?
AB: I typically write about settings I understand and create characters with whom I can relate. For the details, I delve into the environment. Becker Circle is about a bartender, so I spent lots of time talking to bartenders and observing them as they worked and interacted with customers.
LovRRs: That sounds like fun - hanging out in a bar with a purpose (besides the obvious one!). While watching these bartenders, was there one interaction or one story that stood out for you?
AB: Indeed, but more from patrons than bartenders. One random Tuesday, I was with friends on our neighborhood bar’s patio. It was after one in the morning, and the bar was packed. Lots of alcohol had flowed. A driver slammed his SUV head-on into the concrete wall that circled the roundabout across the street from where we were sitting. Onlooker reactions are imprinted in my memory, and many weren’t what you might expect. There’s a scene in Becker Circle after a death that closely mirrors the aftermath of that tragedy.
LovRRs: Do you have any work experience involving the elements of romantic suspense (such as working in law enforcement or in the military)?
Paid jobs, no, but life experience, hell yeah!
LovRRs: You can't just leave it at that! What type of life experience do you have with romantic suspense?
AB: I thought I could get away with the easy answer! Two really bad relationships, a few decades of facing tragedy with close friends, and three years living single in an upscale urban area where drama the Kardashians wouldn’t believe has left me with a litany of romantic suspense life experiences.
LovRRs: Wow! Thanks for sharing that! It's crazy what life throws our way and what ends up shaping us and, ultimately, inspiring us to be who we are in the world. And along those lines, who is a person you greatly admire?
AB: Diana, Princess of Wales has been a role model since I was a young teen. I lived in England during her fairytale engagement and wedding. I saw her wedding dress and had a couple of Diana sightings. What inspires me most is how she wasn’t afraid to buck tradition to stay true to herself. It took tremendous strength for her to show her sincerity and kind heart, which touched so many directly and indirectly. Her spirit will live on forever in so many ways.
LovRRs: I loved Diana as well - I still tear up at her story. How were you lucky enough to be in England during that time? Were you studying abroad?
AB: I was in high school when my dad’s company transferred him there. As a girl who had only lived in the same small East Texas city, the time there changed my life.
LovRRs: Now for the fun part! Speed round! City, suburb, or small-town?
AB: Definitely a city girl!
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate?
AB: A rich, luscious dark chocolate hits the spot.
Wine, whiskey or punch?
AB: I’m a red wine girl – South American Malbecs, cabernets, or blends are my favorites. Sipping with good friends or my amazing other half makes it special.
Leather, lace, or silk?
AB: All three together, of course, but one has to be the star of the outfit.
Cats, dogs, or exotics?
AB: Cats – Lucy is my sidekick. She has a white diamond on her back. Her foster family named her—either for the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles, Elton John, and The Hooters, or because she has the personality of I Love Lucy. We kept the name because she is truly a Lucy!
LovRRs: Do you have any final words for our readers? Is there a link to sign-up to your newsletter?
AB: Readers – please engage with authors on social media. Ask questions and share your ideas, life struggles, and victories. We love hearing from you, and please keep reading! Please text AddisonBrae to 555888 or go to my website (https://addisonbrae.com/contact) to sign up for occasional newsy text messages (no more than once per month).
New starts mean new rules. Can she triumph through the challenges?
My boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub, smack in the middle of drama central, where almost every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me.
A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and we intend to prove it. Digging deeper, we’re drawn closer to each other. Then we make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer.
More about Addison
Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. As a child, she was constantly in trouble for hiding under the bed to read when she was supposed to be napping. She has been writing since childhood starting with diaries, letters and short stories. She continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.