Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An interview with the author of Concrete Rose, Brandon JusBleave Ellerbe!



Thanks for stopping by Write Like a Wizard, Brandon. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?

Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Thank you for having me!
Well, I currently live in NYC, but I am a North Carolina boy lol

K Nycole Lee

Excellent! You're the third NC author we've had the pleasure of interviewing!

Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

We must represent!

K Nycole Lee
When did you start writing?


Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe
I began writing when I was 12
Actually between summer of eighth and ninth grades, I wrote my first novel!

K Nycole Lee

That is incredible! Was that Concrete Rose?

Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

No, it was actually a sci fi!

K Nycole Lee

Oh yes! Tell us a little about that one! We love sci-fi here at Write Like a Wizard.

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Yes! I thought that would interest you!

 K Nycole Lee

You know me too well!

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe
 It didn't have a name, but it involved two different time zones and a boy who could teleport.

 K Nycole Lee

Sounds very interesting. When can we expect to see that on Amazon?

Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Oh, that one was just for fun lol
I might release it when I'm more well known, so no one will judge me haha.

 K Nycole Lee

I'm sure! We'll be looking out for it! Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you balance your writing life with your family/work life?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

I would absolutely love to write full time!
Wishful thinking.
I try to set aside at least one day a week to just write.

 K Nycole Lee

Excellent. That is key to perfecting your craft. Have you held any jobs that have influenced your writing?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

I helped with several companies to write training templates when I first arrived
Obviously I wouldn't call that a direct influence.
But it afforded me time to do what I loved for a living.

 K Nycole Lee

You mentioned that you set aside time each week to write. Can you explain your writing process to us? I know I like to close the door, light candles, and turn up the movie soundtracks. How about you?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Well, that sounds like an amazing idea! Why didn't I think of that lol

 K Nycole Lee

Lol!

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

I love to go to parts of NYC that are peaceful and open
Like Central Park and by the river. TO me, NYC is like a writer's dream.
Never a deficit of good material.

K Nycole Lee

I can see how that would be incredibly inspiring! There is so much to see in NYC. I bet there is some excellent people watching potential.

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

My favorite pastime!

 K Nycole Lee

How fun! So, you released Concrete Rose and it has received rave reviews. Can you tell us a little about it? Or even share an excerpt.

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Yes!
I have been receiving great feedback and as a first time author, it was very gratifying
Concrete Rose chronicles a young, African American woman who was raised in a tumultuous environment
It is set in the present day, but includes flashbacks of very eventful times in her childhood
It surrounds themes of forgiveness, letting go.
I can share an excerpt to give you a vision.

 K Nycole Lee

We would love that!

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe
 

From the first chapter, with the protagonist, Diedra Brown, at age 8...

 The party was well underway, with several more guests arriving. Mothers kissed their girls and hugged their boys and promised to return in two and a half hours to collect them, being it were a school night. 

 Diedra’s mother, Pauline Brown, had purchased streamers and balloons of assorted colors from the near by Family Dollar just moments earlier. She made a delicious chocolate-on-chocolate layer cake, knowing it was Diedra’s favorite. Diedra was unusually giddy, seeing as her mother rarely went so far out of her way to do something for her youngest daughter. 

Well, she might as well be her only daughter. Pauline had two older daughters, Shamika, who was twelve-years-old, and Marcella, ten. Shamika stayed with her father and Marcella with hers. And Diedra stayed with hers, and her mother, of course. 

She could never grasp why her older sisters could not stay with her, as both fathers adamantly refused it, barely allowing them to pay visits. In fact, Diedra only met Marcella on three occasions and Shamika on two. 

Yet, somehow, she could slightly understand why their fathers were so disapproving. Pauline was an alcoholic, in all sense of the word. She drank at all times of the day. Early in the morning, Diedra would watch her take down half a bottle of Vodka before leaving for the suburbs of Detroit, where she served as a housekeeper to the Smiths, a wealthy, political family. When her mother would return home in the evening, she would finish the bottle of Vodka and start on a forty-ounce of beer. When her father, Kevin Johnson, would return home from his factory job, he would yell at her mother endlessly for not cooking dinner. They would begin a relentless screaming match that would sometimes result in physical violence, especially if her father decided to partake in the drinking festivities.


 K Nycole Lee

Powerful! I can see why readers were hooked. You definitely know how to keep the reader wanting more. Thank you for sharing that with us!

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Thank you for your feedback!

 K Nycole Lee

You're welcome! Tell us about your journey as a writer. How did you go about getting published? Did you go the traditional route, or make your debut as an indie writer?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Well, in my initial quest for JK Rowling success lol, I pursued the traditional route
I sent off queries
Sent manuscripts
And then waited months to hear something back lol
After my patience wore dangerously thin lol, I decided to try another method
I came across CreateSpace from Amazon and admired their author-first approach
Indie is the new way to go, with the rise in digital reading, so I did my research and dived in.

 K Nycole Lee

We're certainly glad you tried another method!
Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe
So am I!

K Nycole Lee

The publishing industry is changing, and it is giving talented authors such as yourself a chance to share their voice.

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

And you, too! Congratulations by the way!

  K Nycole Lee

Thank you!
Are there any writers that have inspired you?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Oh, my absolute favorite author is Jackie Collins!

K Nycole Lee

You've met, right?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Yes! A dream come true!

 K Nycole Lee

That must have been mind-blowing!

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe
And she called me handsome!

 K Nycole Lee

Nice!

 K Nycole Lee

Who are you reading right now?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

I love James Patterson as well
He started writing middle school aged books, so I am checking it out

 K Nycole Lee

Excellent. Are you working on anything else right now?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

I am. And I'm very excited about it!

 K Nycole Lee

Oh! Can you tell us anything?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

It's called Chronicles. A departure from the dark tones in Concrete Rose.

 K Nycole Lee

Love the title!

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

It includes four young girls, three who moved to NYC and 1 heiress with a penchant for sex!

 K Nycole Lee

Whoa! Sounds exciting!

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

I'm actually in the editing phase and I have solicited an old high-school friend to illustrate the cover!

 K Nycole Lee

Good luck with that! We cannot wait to see that come to fruition. Is there anything else that you'd like to say to your readers?

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Thank you! I'd like my readers, and hopefully potential readers to know to expect a different style with each novel.

 K Nycole Lee

Very sweet! Thank you for stopping by Write Like a Wizard, Brandon. It was truly a pleasure and we hope to see more great things from you very soon!

 Brandon Jusbleave Ellerbe

Yes, thank you for having me! I can't wait to do it again!

For More on Brandon JusBleave Ellerbe:
 
Facebook
CreateSpace
Amazon