A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, Ms. Brousseau will appear at her local Barnes & Noble this Wednesday evening, January 15th, to meet readers and sign books. (See event details below.) Her titles include According to Legend and A Pirate’s Ransom, which are both available in digital and print editions, and To Kill a Monarch, which can currently be purchased as an e-Book and will be released in print later this year. Ms. Brousseau is a member of the Connecticut Chapter of Romance Writers of America, and served as the Secretary of the Board of Directors in 2012; she’s also a member of Romance Writers of America and the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. Ms. Brousseau is signed with Soul Mate Publishing and regularly speaks at writers groups and conferences.
Ms. Brousseau’s books have received a warm reception from her contemporaries. Author Collette Cameron noted, “Captivating and intriguing, ‘A Pirate’s Ransom’ delivers … Written in first-person point of view, Brousseau takes the reader deep into the emotions and thoughts of Edmund and Catherine. What a unique twist from the traditional romantic read.” Further, Marian Lanouette, author of the Jake Carrington mysteries, praised, “According to Legend is an excellent read … Ms. Brousseau delivers again in this historical/time travel novel. Her writing style pulls you into the story and doesn’t let go until you finish the book.”
From the publisher:
A Pirate’s Ransom
Despair fills Lady Catherine as she boards the ship for England and heads toward marriage to a man she's never met-the Duke of Devonshire. But the sea is no place for a lady. Captured by pirates, she becomes the pawn in a dangerous rivalry between two pirates-the handsome pirate Captain Edmund Drake and his notorious and fearsome opponent, Blackbeard. Which pirate will decide her fate?
According to Legend
Pam Hastings is an advertising agent who lives a boring life until one day when she comes into possession of an enchanted dream catcher. Its enchantment awakens in her the spirit of an Indian Princess and pulls her back in time through her dreams into the arms of the handsome Warrior Chief, Moheeladeck.
Pam realizes the stones entwined within the dream catcher hold special powers and are also the key to a secret cave which is rumored to contain untold riches. When Pam is followed and her house is broken into she realizes she needs protection. That is, when she meets the handsome and charming dog breeder, David Conner. David gives her Half-Breed, but he is no ordinary dog. He is half wolf and mystically charmed.
With the village burning and the tribe under attack, Moheeladeck is torn between his duty to protect his tribe in his time and his duty to protect the woman he loves in hers. David is torn between the destiny he was born to fulfill and his love for the same woman. Pam finds herself caught in a love triangle between these two men; a love triangle that spans into both realms of time. With rivals in both the past and present pursuing her to control the power of the stones and the treasures in the cave, who is really behind it all? Who can she trust? With two warriors who profess their love for her, who will capture her heart?
Now, Ms. Brousseau offers readers a treasure trove of insights into the world of publishing …
1) Tell us about your novel, A PIRATE’S RANSOM. What inspired this tale—and how do you feel that it represents an evolution from your debut novel?
As you may know, the publishing industry is a unique and often a peculiar business. The first book I wrote was According to Legend, although it turned out to be the second book to be published, A Pirate’s Ransom being the first. A Pirate’s Ransom was inspired by Johnny Depp in his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, of course. I’m just kidding. I have always been fascinated by pirates and the romanticism that seems to surround the idea of them despite the fact that they were a murderous and motley crew. I had the image of a handsome pirate in my mind and started asking myself “what if” questions. What if this handsome pirate kidnapped a Lady and held her for ransom, and what if the ransom wasn’t money. And before long, A Pirate’s Ransom was born. I think that with each book, my writing improves. Just as with anything else, the more you do something, the better you become at it. I believe the same to be true in writing. The more an author writes, the better their skill becomes.
2) Your books incorporate elements of history, romance, adventure, and even time travel. How do you endeavor to make these stories relatable to readers—and what is the key to achieving a true “suspension of disbelief”?
My background is in the legal arena making research a second nature to me. I pick time periods that I find interesting and research what it was like to live in those times. I use just enough fact to make the reader think that it could have happened. For example, the premise of my third novel, To Kill a Monarch, is that Napoleon has sent his best assassin to England to kill the Monarch. The assassin’s identity is known only to the French Emperor. Did Napoleon ever do such a thing? There is no record of it in history. Could he have? Certainly. In writing time-travel I think the secret is to have the travel between time periods be a smooth transition. The time-travel novel was the first book I ever wrote, so having achieved that transition was probably sheer luck on my part.
3) You wrote your first book, ACCORDING TO LEGEND, largely during commute time on a train. How do you find a balance between disciplines—and what advice would you give aspiring writers who struggle to find the time to commit pen to paper (or hands to keyboard)?
Yes, I wrote while commuting on a busy train. Being a mother, I learned to block out noise and distraction a long time ago. I was spending 4-hours a day, 5-days per week on the train. One day my adult son pointed out that was 20-hours per week and asked me how much that part-time job was paying me. That was when I decided to make that 20-hours work for me. The only problem in writing on the train was that I always had to keep an ear opened so I wouldn’t miss my stop and end up in Grand Central.
What I would say to new aspiring writers is to find some time to write, even if it’s only 10-minutes a day. Believe in yourself and your story, and above all else never, ever give up.
4) As a relatively new author, what tools or platforms have you found particularly helpful in achieving visibility? Also, can you characterize the support group that exists between fellow writers?
These days, things in the world of the published author are quite different than they were even a few years ago, let alone back in the day. All the publicizing and promoting are up to the authors. Even the “BIG 6” don’t offer much along those lines. I knew this before being published because of my affiliation with the Connecticut Chapter of RWA (CTRWA). Once I had written my first book, I by chance met a published author who advised me to join CTRWA. This group of published authors helped me. They are a wealth of information and are always willing to share their knowledge.
I discovered early on that when you meet an agent or editor that may have interest in your work, the first thing they are going to do is Google you. What they find there is totally up to the author. So, prior to shopping around for a publisher, I created accounts on Facebook and Twitter so that when my books were released, I already had an internet presence, Facebook friends and followers on Twitter. I blogged once a week and developed a following of regular readers. Then when I got published it was easy to get the word out. I have tried blog tours, and although it is my belief that blog tours do not sell books they do get your name out there. At this point in my writing career, I say “yes” to just about every opportunity. My novels were first available in e-book form, but I found that once they became available in print, libraries and book stores were very open to having me do signings. Since I knew it would take approximately 10-months for the books to go from e-book to print, I began to develop professional relationships with the manager at my local Barnes & Noble, the local librarian, and owners of some independent book shops. Then when the book became available in print, my friends were delighted to invite me to speak and do signings. I still find that word-of-mouth is the best promotion.
One of the most amazing things I have found in the writing community is the willingness of accomplished authors to help aspiring writers. Normally in any other business you don’t find people who are so willing to help you and set your feet on the right path. Having come from the legal field, I was more accustomed to people stepping on someone to get ahead. I would tell any new aspiring writer to find a local writing group and join it.
5) Leave us with a little teaser: what comes next?
My publisher has requested that I write a sequel to A Pirate’s Ransom. Many of my readers have expressed an interest in learning more about one of the secondary characters in A Pirate’s Ransom, the flamboyant Contessa Theodora de Lorenzo. I am incorporating her and a bit of her back story into the sequel, Hidden Treasure, which I’m presently writing.
My books are available at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If your readers would like to find out more about me, please visit my website at www.gerribrousseau.com.
Thank you so much for inviting me here today, John. I’m excited to share with your readers.
With thanks to Gerri Brousseau for her generosity of time and thought.
Ms. Brousseau will appear at the Waterbury Barnes & Noble (235 Union St.) this Wednesday evening, January 15th, from 6-8 p.m. along with Marian Lanouette. She will also join seven other authors for a “Ladies Night Out” book signing event at the Whittemore Library (243 Church St.) in Naugatuck on February 12th from 6:30-8 p.m.