‘Brooklyn Knight’ is a bestselling, multicultural romance author who published her debut novel, The Maid’s Daughter, in 2018. Since then, she has achieved bestseller status three times and cultivated a dedicated readership. She is also the creator of ’16 Weeks to Published: The Ultimate Writers’ Workshop’, where she coaches aspiring authors of all genres.
Brooklyn has been a guest on numerous news, radio shows and podcasts. She’s also been a guest presenter at writing summits and craft workshops. When she isn’t writing, you can find her hanging out with her family, traveling, playing piano or soaking up the sun rays of her island home in Bermuda.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Thanks for inviting me! I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I literally remember writing my first ‘book’ when I was about 6 years old. I was in 1st Grade and it was arts and crafts time. Other children were playing with Lego. I wrote a book. I remember stapling edges of the construction paper and being SO proud! I still have the ‘manuscripts’ from books I wrote when I was I high school – so yeah, I’ve been writing for a while. I didn’t realize how serious I wanted to be about it until I was 3/4s of the way through my PhD and I published my debut somewhere in between the homework and the presentations. It kind of took off and that’s when I realized, I wanted to write and publish for real!
I love meeting new characters and telling their stories the most. I’m very visual, and so when I write I see everything – the characters, the setting, etc. Not only that, I can hear them (they can be very bossy when it comes to plot lines).
Writer’s block can be frustrating, but I have methods that I use to get around it.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I have a 14-book backlist, but all of my stories fall into the subgenre of multicultural/interracial romance (starring heroines of color). I write about alpha males and the women they fall in love with. I’ve written an office/billionaire romances, a few PNRs, and some romantic suspense.
I’m very present on social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), but my website is the place to see what books I’ve featured in any given month, as well as get access to all my books (www.brooklynknightenterprises.com/home).
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Actually, I’m doing some ghostwriting, but personally, I’m working on Book 3 of my El Rey Series, La Familia.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
So far, obtaining Amazon Bestseller Status in my category three times has been a definite highlight. My next goal is to attack the NYT Bestseller list. I’m giving myself 3-5 years to do that. I’m also working on a screenwriting project, so I definitely have my eyes on the big screen (that’s more like a 10-year goal though).
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Oh sure! Before I made the decision to self-publish, I was attempting the traditional publishing route. I still have the tens of rejection letters I received during the query process. The thing that pushed me to self-publish was when I received 3 requests for full manuscripts. I was elated; but each of the acquisition editors declined, with one saying they didn’t like my hero because he was ‘racist’. My editor at the time (a white English lady) was adamant that I shouldn’t change the character for anyone and that I should self-publish. I did, and the rest is history.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I write every single day. It’s the cardinal rule: Writers write.
I’m a panster turned plantser, which means I used to loathe outlines (I actually still do), but I can’t deny their value. As such, I’ve combined pantsing (flying by the seat of my pants) with plotting and now identify as a ‘plantser’, which means I’ll create a very loose outline and allow my characters to guide me through the other elements of the story.
I can write a full-length novel (300 pages, 67k words) in 9 weeks.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
The short answer is no. Longer answer: depending on the genre, I believe there’s a level of experience the author must have before they can truly resonate with their intended audience. For example, even though I’ve been writing for years, I only became acknowledged after I’d been through the rejections and taken time to increase my skills as a writer. That can happen when you’re young, but it can definitely happen when you’re older and wiser.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
Believe it or not, I’m more of a reader now that I’ve started publishing than I was before. Not sure why… I definitely know many authors who were bookworms before they put their own pens to the page. Now, I read as a writer and if I’m lucky, as a reader (there is a difference).
The book that stands out to me – that I LOVE – is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. I was blown away by the complex simplicity of the plot. It’s an amazingly primal story.
My favorite author is Kenya Wright. She’s an amazing wordsmith and her characters jump off the page.
I’m not reading right now, but the next book on my TBR List is Dirty Cravings, by Kenya Wright.
9) How has the current state of the world affected your writing? Because writing is an isolated practice, do you find it easier to deal with quarantine? Has it stifled your creativity or has it made you even more driven to get things done?
Because of the recent evidence of racial injustice, and because I write interracial romance, I honestly questioned the veracity of my stories at one point. I was pretty depressed about it. I actually considered abandoning the sub-genre; but I received a ton of support from other authors who write what I write, who encouraged me that our stories are the ones that can potentially heal historical wounds. What I write is real and it does exist. That really helped.
The answer would be yes, if I didn’t have a husband, 2 kids, a cat and a puppy.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
Initially, my heart was set on being traditionally published; however, after researching and learning about the pros and cons of it, I’m very happy to be a self-published author and have no desire to seek traditional representation at this time.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
By day, I’m a clinical mental health therapist and I use my skills, working with people, and infuse them into my characters. 95% of my Amazon reviews talk about how the reader could feel my characters, and because of the clinical work I do with people (helping them to get in tune with their authentic selves) this is super important for me.