Author Spotlight Interview: Brighton Walsh
Today’s interview is with Award-winning USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Brighton Walsh. Brighton is a seasoned contemporary romance author and she shared with us details about her writing style, upcoming projects and life outside of writing.
HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet?
BW: I’m a sucker for a hero who’s all in, so that’s who I tend to write about. Strong willed heroines and the heroes who are completely gone for them. All the better if the heroes fall first and then have to work hard to win the heroines over. I love a swoony book boyfriend.
HG: So good. You recently released Fearless Heart, and it’s available in Kindle Unlimited. Tell us a bit about this story and what readers can expect.
BW: This is the third book in the Starlight Cove series, but all the books can be read as standalones. The series follows a group of siblings—five brothers and their baby sister—as they navigate small town coastal living while trying to right their family’s failing resort.
Fearless Heart is a marriage of convenience, enemies/rivals to lovers, forced proximity romance. Ford needs a date to his ex’s wedding, Quinn needs a husband to buy the town’s clinic, so they strike up a deal. But the thing is that he’s secretly been obsessed with her since they were high school rivals, and he spends all his time trying to win her over and make her love him.
It’s lighthearted on the surface, but the characters also have to come to terms with some childhood trauma and work through those issues before finding their HEA.
HG: Sounds great. What feeling do you hope readers are left with when they finish it?
BW: Whenever they read any of my books, I hope they’re left with flushed cheeks, a giant grin, and the warm fuzzies.
HG: Love that. What’s up next for you? Any other projects in the works or recent projects you’re excited about?
BW: Next up will be the fourth book, Reckless Heart. I’m busy doing some character building and plotting, and I can’t wait to start writing it. I don’t like to give too many details about my upcoming books, but I’m going back to my absolute favorite trope—grumpy/sunshine—and I’m super excited!
HG: We’ll keep an eye out! Switching gears, could you tell us a bit about your publishing journey? How did you know you were ready to take on the “author” title?
BW: I fell down the rabbit hole into this world via fanfic, actually. I spent several years there and wrote about half a million words in it before I switched to original fiction. I had a couple novellas first published with Carina, Harlequin’s digital imprint, before I got an agent with my first full length novel, Caged in Winter. That sold to Berkley around the same time a separate two-book series sold to St. Martin’s Press. I officially hung up my hat as a professional photographer in 2014 when writing began to demand more time than I had to give it, and I became a full time author. In 2016, I shifted to hybrid and self-published my first book. I’ve since published a few things with traditional publishers (all under undisclosed pen names), but the vast majority of my catalog is now indie produced.
HG: Is there anything you’d do differently? Advice to aspiring authors?
BW: My best advice is to find a group of people you can trust and count on. This career can be isolating and lonely, and it’s so, so important to have people in your corner. The kind who will mention your name in a roomful of opportunities.
HG: Tell us a little bit about your actual writing process. Do you write at home? Do you set a daily word count goal?
BW: I’m a feast or famine writer—or a Phoenix for those familiar with Becca Syme’s classifications—which means I don’t write every day. I will sometimes go months without writing, actually, and then a novel pours out of me in four weeks. It’s…stressful. LOL But it’s how I’ve always done it, so I don’t know any different.
I’m a character based writer, so it’s important to me to know my characters before I get started writing. I’ve amassed a collection of about 350 questions that I answer as my characters. In my character work-up, I also include things like their astrological sign, Enneagram, MBTI, Strengths, and Archetype when building them. One Stop for Writers has amazing character creation tools that I just started utilizing. I’ve always been a fan of their Thesauruses, but their website is a treasure trove of info and guidance.
Once I have a strong character base, I dive into the tropes and figure out what scenes I need to add into my book in order to hit reader expectations. I mesh them all together in an outline and then I start writing. I don’t have a daily word count goal, but I do try to write at least a chapter a day.
Pre-pandemic, I would write in various places, like coffee shops and cafes. But after three years of being an at-home writer, I’m not sure I could concentrate in the hustle and bustle again. I do love grabbing an Airbnb by myself and pounding out a good chunk of chapters away from the pressing responsibilities at home.
HG: That’s so awesome how you answer all of the questions as your characters! What inspires your writing? Do your books require a lot of research before writing?
BW: I can be inspired by anything—a movie, another book, a photo, a song, a single sentence someone randomly tossed out as an aside… I hate research, so I try to avoid it at all costs. LOL Thankfully, my books usually don’t require too much—info on location, vocations, and character specifications are about it.
HG: Nice! So, what do you enjoy doing when not writing?
BW: Reading, of course!
HG: With that being said, what was your last 5-star read?
BW: Daisy Jones and the Six. When I finished the book, I wasn’t sure if I loved or hated it, but it made me think about it for days after, so that gets 5 stars in my book.
HG: For fun, before we wrap up, let’s do a fast five! First one…coffee or tea?
HG: Bonfire or fireplace?
HG: Tropical beach or rustic mountains?
HG: Are you a morning bird or night owl?
BW: Night owl
HG: eBook, audiobook or paperback?
HG: For readers that want to find out more about your stories and keep up with you, where should they go to connect or learn more?
BW: They can find me and all the places I am online at brightonwalsh.com/quicklinks.
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