How Authors Can Use Branding to Distinguish Themselves in the Paranormal Fiction Marketplace

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© Brandy L. Rivers

Carrie De Simas

Editor in Chief @ GoneWithTheWord

Branding. A word tossed around by marketing and promotional professionals everywhere. But what does it mean to authors? At its simplest branding can mean what sets you apart as a writer.

For Brandy L Rivers this means pushing the accepted boundaries and limitations of her paranormal characters.

“Yup, Psychic. It sucks too. Tell people they’re making a bad choice too many times and they won’t let you them anything again.” Jess Abrams, psychic werewolf. New Beginnings by Brandy L Rivers.

How difficult is it to take paranormal characters who already push the boundaries and brand them as unique?

BLR—I don’t like to set trends. I try to ignore them. I have all these vivid characters roaming around my head. Jess was always psychic and sort of a pain, but I do love her sass. She was the one who gave me a headache while writing. I had to figure out how to write her and her visions without giving it all away and we already know she and Slater wind up together. Jess was too much fun not to want to go and tell how she wound up with the Alpha.

Your brand seems to be your characters that transcend readers’ expectations. How did you accomplish this?

BLR—I figure if my characters are going to feel real they should have a balance. No one is perfect and no one excels at everything. I love variety. My characters come to me as they are. I try to show all their sides through. The more I think about their motivations and desires the more their flaws and quirks come out making them individuals.

Do you write your backstory first and weave through snippets? Or do you create the backstory scenes as you write each scene?

BLR—As I explore a character, if something in their past is important it comes into the story. When I find a character doing something that might not make sense at first I try to dig deeper to figure out why they would do that or act a certain way. So their past colors their present.

How do you decide how much information to give/withhold in any particular moment?

BLR—I try to figure out if it’s important to what’s going on or if it will give too much away. I want my readers to go on a journey and if they have all the pieces at once it takes away from the story.

Future stories already in the works?

BLR—Some of my favorite characters are side characters… most of them will get their own story sooner or later.

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