Saturday, December 20, 2014

Author Saturday Spotlight: Brandon Witt *Interview & Giveaway*

I have never "met" Brandon Witt. I've seen him post amazing pictures of his adventures on social media and I've been wildly entertained by the wonderful books he's written. When I asked him to be my spotlight author this week his genuine excitement made me smile. He's an awesome person both behind the laptop and away from it.

I truly hope, if you haven't already, to read his work. He captures emotion brilliantly. I am a fan!!!

Brandon has an awesome giveaway for not ONE but TWO readers! He also answered some of my questions while he was at it.

Let us look at some of Brandon's work, shall we?

The death of his wife four years earlier left Travis Bennett a shell of the man he used to be. With his dog by his side, Travis raises his three children, manages his business, and works as a ranch hand. But every day, every minute, is an aching emptiness.

Wesley Ryan has fond memories of the small Ozark town of El Dorado. Seeing it as a safe place to put his failed relationships behind him, Wesley moves into his grandparents’ old home and takes over the local veterinary clinic. An early morning visit from Travis and his dog stirs feelings that Wesley seeks to push away—the last thing he needs is to fall for a man with baggage and three kids as part of the package.

Life, it seems, has other plans

After a tortured childhood and years of soul-searching, Brooke Morrison has finally settled into a comfortable life. While his sexuality prohibits him from practicing his degree in youth ministry in a church setting, he’s found a fulfilling job as a youth counselor at a residential treatment facility in Colorado. He falls in love, marries the man of his dreams, and makes peace with God. He’s happy.

Then his buried past drags him back to the Ozarks.

The life Brooke has worked so hard to build is crumbling in his hands in the face of painful memories and past abuse, and his confidence is withering. In El Dorado Springs, where his nightmares come to life, Brooke desperately seeks closure life doesn’t offer. Brooke must find value in himself, in his marriage, and in the world around him—and create the hope and perseverance to keep his past from swallowing him whole.

A Men of Myth Story

Brett Wright and Finn de Morisco come from vastly different worlds. Disowned by his family for being gay, Brett builds both a life on his own terms and walls around his heart. But nothing can prepare him for the evil that stalks him in the night or from discovering the dark secrets of his heritage.

The youngest of a doting family, Finn lives a sheltered life that allows him to trust easily and makes him quick to jump to the rescue. While using his knowledge of the supernatural world to help Brett uncover the truth of his ancestry, Finn learns neither his magical life nor falling in love is as simple and risk-free as he believed.

New knowledge comes with a price—one that may prove too high for them to pay.

Three books in this series: Men of Myth Series 


 In Then the Stars Fall you approached this differently in the POV area. You had multiple, and in a couple cases they were the POV of kids. That had to be difficult, how did you manage that and stay true to the story?

Almost always, in my favorite books, my very favorite parts are when they are told by a side character, or you learn a little something about another player in the story.  Sometimes, those parts don’t really move the story along, they are just little jewels, little tales.  While I do think the different POV’s in Stars are an integral part to the book, I honestly wouldn’t mind if they weren’t.  I’m sure it shows some lack of writing genius or something, but my favorite thing about writing is discovering the facts and details of characters’ lives, not simply moving the story along.  To me, those jewels are reason enough.  Then again, being a foodie, my favorite parts of most meals are the side dishes—unless we’re talking pasta.  Then it’s all about the pasta. 
The scariest things for me to write were the children’s perspectives.  Having worked with kids my entire life, I felt I could do it believably, but it was scary.  One of my very favorite chapters in the book is from a little boy afraid in his bedroom.  I was sobbing writing that portion.  I think it also helps that I remember, very vividly my childhood fears and stressors.  As a society, I don’t think we give children enough credit.  It’s nice to think of a sweet, cotton candy childhood; however, even in those ‘perfect’ families and children, there is depth and desperation and strength.

 Do you like to be able to relate to your characters or do you love the challenge of writing someone totally foreign even to you?

I think there is a part of me in every single character, which probably makes me a narcissist.  At the very least, there is something I’m able to connect with in each one.  When people hate my villains, I guess it’s a good thing, I did my job in writing, but I always hear it with a tinge of sadness.   There is no character I’ve written that I hate, even the despicable ones.  Granted, I have the advantage of seeing in their minds, so that defiantly helps.  I even wrote a POV from the ‘villain’ in Stars.  That was FUN!  To get to be someone new, someone so dark and damaged, to just give over to that ‘fantasy’ was very intoxicating. 

 What is the biggest challenge, for you, in the entire writing process?

To drown out the voices that scream that I can’t write, that I’m no good.  Especially when I’m in the middle of book.  Once I start a project, I stop looking at reviews until it’s done.  At least, I try my hardest to follow that rule.  You can read twenty glowing reviews, but when you go back to your manuscript and began to type, it’s the negative words that float in front of your eyes and choke the daring one must have to put words on the page.  You must simply give yourself over to your story, to your characters.  That’s not easy when your own insecurities are attempting to attack. 

 Editing is horrid! Have you mastered a way to get through it and keep your sanity? PLEASE SHARE LOL.

As much as this makes me sound like one of my students… 
I edit as I go.  At the start of each writing session, I read and edit whatever I’d written from the session previous.  Not only does it help me edit and fix, it always triggers new ideas and helps me slide right back in the moment where I’d left off.  Now, the edits from the editor are an entirely different story.  Those kill me, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t cried on multiple occasions during edits.  I have learned that if there is an edit or a suggested change that it huge and sparks my temper, I simply need to set it aside and respond the following day.  Everything is better with a little distance.

 You've done Anthologies but would you ever collaborate with another author and if so who?

Actually… I have co-written novel in process.  Well, that’s not actually true.  We’ve said, “Hey, let’s write a book together!”  And we have a google doc ready and waiting.  We plan on starting it (whatever it will be, we don’t know yet) early 2015.  L.A. Witt and I hope to have something fantastic for you in the not too distant future.  And no, as far as we know, we aren’t related. 
I am also doing a children’s book series with the artist Catherine Dair.  It is about my two corgis.  I am so crazy excited about this project!

 I know you were at GRL this year (I saw the pictures lol) What was your favorite memory you took away from that experience?

I discovered that authors are like spiders.  Everyone tells you that the spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them.  While I don’t think that is really possible, the same is true for authors.  I couldn’t believe how many people were nervous to meet me!  It blew my mind, and it made no sense.  And, I was ten times more afraid to meet them, even though I don’t think they believed me either. 
Getting to meet people face to face that I’d become friends with online was amazing, as was simply being with fellow authors and readers.  I’d never had such an experience before.  It’s the most I’ve felt like an honest to goodness author!

 I'm the mother of a special needs child, YOU are a special needs teacher. Do you take your education and experiences and use it to build your characters? I ask because I can feel it in your writing. There's research and then there's actual knowing and understanding.
You are very right.  Even if I tried, I couldn’t weed out how those experiences have impacted my life and writing.  Honestly, I think, to large part, my work with kids is what makes my writing both so dark at times and so hopeful.  I’m always dismissive of reviews that say my characters might go through too much, that they’re too dramatic, etc.  I’m willing to bet those reviewers have never worked with children.  It’s unreal what our kids have to face and overcome.  And it is phenomenally beautiful to see those children thrive with grace, bravery, and beauty.  Unfortunately, working with the population I do, I also see the ones that crumble and give into the cycle.  More than anything, combined with my own childhood and growing up issues, I feel the past fifteen years working with students with emotional disabilities has given me a true look into human psyche, pain, strength, and hope. 

 Can you tell us about your future projects?

Well, I’ve told you about two:  LA Witt, and the kids’ books.  This summer I hope to write another stand alone contemporary gay fiction novel.  Then I am finally going to write that young adult trilogy I’ve been hinting at for over a year.  And after that?  I’m going to return to some more installments of my Men of Myth series.  Oh, there are a couple anthology coming that people have been kind enough to allow me to hop on board. 

 Did you participate in the NaNo Writing month this year? Have you ever? Or would you ever?

As I teach full time and have three part time jobs (writing being one), I have not participated in NaNo.  I may, someday.  But I doubt it.  It would simply have to land at the exact right moment.  Once I’m start a story, novel, I could write it in a month (Stars was written six weeks, while working fulltime). However, the planning around my novels, before I start, takes forever.  To say I am going to start a novel on November 1st and finish it before December 1st would be disingenuous of me.  I hope the timing will work out one day.  It looks fun to have a constant update of supports as other author pound the keys with you.  It think it must be kind of like a book baby boom.  NaNo happens and then all these baby books are born into the world six to nine months later.  Very fun!

 How can your fans follow your career ie: FB, Twitter, Website, other?

Thank you so much for having me here today!  I was so honored to be asked!  I hope you and your followers will feel free to contact me any time!

I told you all he was awesome! So humble!
Brandon Witt is having a giveaway, as I stated at the top. He will give 2 people a chance to win one of his books (MINUS AN ANTHOLOGY)

Just enter below. Contest runs until December 26th! Winner will be notified via email. So please check your spam. I will attempt to email you 3 times. Then I will move on to another winner.

I want to thank Brandon so much for agreeing to be my Spotlight author this week! READ HIS BOOKS AND ****REVIEW****

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I own at least one of Brandon's books but haven't read a single one of his words yet. Time to make up for that mistake I guess :)

  2. I own all of Brandon's books. He's a wonderful author who never ceases to touch my soul with his character's and his well-crafted plots.

  3. he is a new author to me but his books sounds really good

  4. I have a copy of Then The Stars Fall. I'm ashamed to admit, I haven't read it yet. :-( But his other books look just as good.

  5. I own book 1 in the Men of Myth series, but haven't read it as yet

  6. I haven't read anything yet but definitely will use some of my gift cards on his books after Christmas

  7. I can not believe that I just went through my downloads folder and discovered I have not one books of his! YIKES! I hope to resolve that soon. Congratulations on your newest release, Brandon and Happy Holidays to all of you!
    taina1959 @

  8. I started Reading Brandon's books because of The Witty Hour (it's not really an hour). His books are all wonderful.

  9. I have read then the stars fall which is an awesome book! But I really would to love read The Shattered Door.

  10. I am quite a new reader, but I am also a fan, so thank you for a chance to win one of his books. If anyone reads my comment I really recommend watching The Witty Hour videos, there are really funny :)

    Seasonal Greetings :)

  11. New author to me. I'll have to check out the Witty hour sounds like loads of fun. Hope you had a very good holiday