Book Nerd Interview
She has written nearly fifty articles and books, many of which are about nutrition and the use of natural food supplements. She worked as the chief editor to a former New York Times best-selling author Dr. Neil Solomon, and she co-wrote a book on time management with former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes.
In 2004 she published a book with psychologist Victoria Anderson catered to Mormons about how to better manage stress and anxiety. She has presented material from this book to large audiences across Utah.
Recently she has turned her interests to writing fiction after realizing the bedtime stories she tells her four children never put them to sleep.
I was born in Provo, Utah, home of Brigham Young University.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on your writing?
I loved so many books as a kid. A few that I remember in particular are: The Great Brain series, Summer of the Monkeys, The Chronicles of Narnia--Yes, I’m old. :)
Do you feel any competitive pressure from YA books? If not, why not?
I don’t feel competitive pressure for my book CYCLES --probably because it isn’t a paranormal YA book. I think if it were a paranormal I would be sweating it a little more because there are so many paranormal titles to choose from right now.
For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Cycles, how would you introduce it?
The one problem I have with CYCLES is placing it neatly into a concise category. Technically, it’s an Urban Fantasy with elements of Science Fiction, but that description makes most people say, “huh?”
My blurb I often send to people about the book is this:
When Renee discovers that her neighbor, Dr. Dawson, has bags of his dead daughters frozen blood stored in his basement, she decides it’s up to her to uncover the doctors mysterious past. What she learns, however, is not what she expects. Now she and her friend Sam Miller are on the run, hiding from scientists who want to use what the two teenagers know to change human life forever.
Aside from Renee, Which character have you enjoyed writing the most?
The character of Gamma Didi. She is my favorite. (More so than Renee to tell you the truth.) Gamma is an older woman from the Ohlone tribe in California. When I started to write CYCLES I needed a “mentor character” for my two teenage protagonists. When I started writing Gamma, she literally appeared out of nowhere, and I instantly fell in love with her.
If you could introduce Dr. Dawson to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
His character reminds me of Lupin in the Harry Potter series. Lupin takes on a “fatherly” role for Harry, yet he hides a dark secret from him at the same time.
What was your inspiration for Cycles?
I had the idea for CYCLES at the same time I was diagnosed with Simple Partial Seizures. These seizures don’t affect motor skills, but they can affect all of your five senses (hence their other name: sensory seizures.) My seizures created an odd mesh of symptoms, the most disturbing of which was massive déjà vu where I felt like I had done something a thousand times before. Needless to say, it was weird.
I went to bed one night thinking about my recent trip to the neurologist. In my sleep, I had a vivid dream about a girl who had frightening feelings of having already experienced things before but in another lifetime. It wasn’t reincarnation. Instead, it was like her life just kept repeating itself and she had moments where these “other-life” memories were intensely strong. Next morning I woke up and knew I was going to write a book about it.
Where did you get your idea for Renee?
I have two daughters who both adore horses. I was waiting for them to finish feeding the horses at a barn, when I realized my main character, Renee, needed to love horses and the outdoors. Her bad attitude, at times, is nothing like my girls. :)
What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
My favorite chapter to write in CYCLES is the “big reveal” of whose secret journal entries have been scattered throughout the pages. It is when the “two” stories in CYCLES meet, and that was very exciting to me as an author.
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your teen readers. What would it be?
Be smarter and more courageous than me. Tell yourself you can write a book and then start. It took me 20 years of wanting to write a book before I actually did it.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
I attended a writers’ conference where I learned the “braiding formula.” Writing a balanced story means you take plot, character (which can include setting), and dialogue and then weave them together like a braid. Sounds simple, but it made a big difference to my writing. Often times when I’m in the middle of a section of dialogue that is way too long, I stop and think of the braid and then add in some character or plot.
If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?
A complete set of “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” collector cards from 1983. I was/am such a nerd.
Which author would you love to co-author a book with?
2001 Newberry Winner Richard Peck for his book A Year Down Yonder. I think his writing is amazing.
Who was your first boyfriend?
My first “boyfriend” was in first grade. I was reading a book in a bean bag chair when a boy name Patrick came into the library, leaned down and landed a full blown kiss on the lips. Freaked me out completely. That was the beginning and end of our relationship.
What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
How many times have you been bitten by a rabid dog?
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
GASP! I never lie. I just tell stories.
What’s the worst job you’ve had?
Scooping ice cream at a deli. It looked like fun, but the ice cream was so hard it killed my wrists.
Where can readers stalk you?
My Amazon page would be a good start. Also, I have a website www.loisdbrown.com and blog called Life of Lois.
Cycle was tremendously inventive in every aspect. It had great mystery elements stemming from Renee’s cloudy past and the hidden secrets of her life. Usually there are major clues between chapters that they are easy to decipher , but Brown’s writing etiquette keeps you guessing until the end. The fact she’s able to grab your attention from the beginning and keep it until the end is remarkable.
This young-adult mystery is very addictive, integrating supple and lively characters with a plot that is prominent and thrilling. It is fast paced, but yet the ending will come to a bang and shock you for not seeing it coming. The characters’ development, the unique plot, and Brown’s ingenuity are all reasons for a very fun, exciting, and interesting read.
You can purchase Cycles at the following Retailers:
And now, The Giveaways.