Featured Friday! Brianna Goux
Studying in the prestigious English Department at the University of Iowa, Brianna Goux is a writer who grew up in the foothills of Seattle. In her free time she loves to ride horses, box, and explore new places. Amara’s Rose is her debut novel.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
My favourite part of being an Author is interacting with people who’ve read my book, and getting their opinions on my work. I find it interesting how each person has their own view of the narrative and each character. Just this week I had a reader send me videos of her and her wife doing a dramatic reading of Amara’s Rose which was hilarious- it was probably the highlight of my week.
What made you start writing?
I started writing when I was very young—around first grade—I started writing primarily because my first-grade teacher would have a writing time in our class. During this time we could sit anywhere we wanted in the classroom and we could write anything we wanted to. I distinctly remember being excited about this practice, and continuing to write my stories outside of class as well. After that I never stopped writing spending a significant amount of time in grades seven through 12 writing and reading at a very high level. I decided to continue this pursuit through my college level studies at the University of Iowa.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
I don’t think I have a particular Author that I consider having inspired my writing and my work, but I definitely have many Authors I idolize or inspire me in different ways. That being said, J.K. Rowling is a Queen.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Never stop writing. I think a lot of us get caught up in the opinions of others, the seemingly impossible road of becoming an Author, and the various ruts we can find ourselves in throughout the journey. All these things may seem impossible, but the important thing is to just never stop. Many authors have had similar experiences to recording artists where one or two works have dominated their portfolios. So like the recording industry, authors must focus on producing a body of work in hopes that one or more of their works will inspire or be appreciated by others.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I like to read all types of books- it all depends on what has caught my interest. Currently, most of what I read relates to my studies as I am in my senior year of school. I write mostly Science Fiction/Fantasy, but unfortunately, that is not what I am reading a lot of right now.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
Nolana Hanaway. Hands down. She is my favourite character to write. She’s bubbly, does not quite know herself, but has an infectiously optimistic personality. Her personality tends to escape the pages and infect readers- she is most frequently everyone’s favourite character.
Tough question, I think a lot of books are must-reads, but for different people and for different reasons. For anyone who wants to teach writing, or become an Author, I would say they have to read Bird by Bird. Lamont is laugh-out-loud funny and has a lot of very good advice for teaching, writing, and life in general. For general reading, I would say that We Were All Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. The narrative is intriguing, and it makes you think.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
My editor fought me tooth and nail on taking the last chapter of my book out, and putting it as the prologue for the next book. I adored the book ending where it was because it felt very cyclical and launched eagerly into the next book; however, after starting the second text while I wrapped up the first, I realized my editor was correct- this was the perfect prologue for the next book. Taking that ending out was the hardest edit, but I know it was the right decision. I do however still love the current ending of Amara’s Rose.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
Harry Potter. I am a life-long Potter Head and would leave without a second thought if Hagrid showed up on my doorstep telling me I was a witch. My birthday is on the same day as Harry Potter’s (July 31st), and when I was younger I thought this meant that I was surely a witch and that I would get a Hogwarts letter on my 11th birthday. Alas, I did not, and I may or may not have cried. I am still holding out that one day I will discover that I am really a witch and there was a mistake, but in the meantime I will just have to go on living my muggle life.
I would pick Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (I know, I picked two) to write my biography in the style they wrote Good Omens. I feel like the sarcastic tone and wit would make an excellent biography.
We all know the phrase “the book is always better than the film.” Which film would you like to see remade as a book?
I actually do not watch a lot of movies, but one of my favourite is Kingsman and if that was made into a book I would probably die of happiness. That being said, I also literally screamed in the theatre when the trailer for the new Kingsman movie came on. I am easily excitable.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
Love, laughter, family, fur babies, and a passion to write.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
What isn’t exciting about my next project? I’m currently working on the sequel to Amara’s Rose which is titled Amara’s Fall. My characters are set to start maturing in this book as they face impossible tasks that will test who they are.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
“Life moved on, and so did we.”
Endless adaptation to what life throws at you. I think this is one of the keys to being happy where you are in the moment- even if it is not where you want to be. You will never get to your dreams if you do not adapt each situation to include them.