When I first sat down to read Christy Sloat’s book The Brown House I was unsure of what exactly I was getting myself into. I had heard murmurings from other people about how great it was, but it can sometimes be a little difficult to take someone else’s word on it.
So, I sat down on my couch with a bag of veggie chips and settled in for what I thought would be a good read. Well, I wasn’t completely wrong! It was a great read, not a good one, and on top of that my comfort was shattered by a fair number of chills. When I read I tend to immerse myself into the book, and boy did I get sucked right in!
As I read about Brylee Branson, the heroine of the story, I found myself feeling for her as she struggled to make the transition from Cali girl to New Jersey-ite, wondering if she would eventually come to love the new town she was in. Brylee discovers that the house that she is living in, the Brown House, is haunted, and struggles with believing the stories of the family that lived there and the curse that has plagued them for years.
Not only does Brylee now have to deal with being the “new kid” in school, she is also living in a haunted house, and to further compound things, she discovers that she can talk to ghosts. There were a number of times while I was reading that I could feel chills crawling up my spine. Between chilling episodes in the house there is the developing friendship with Lyn and Ephraim Mayhew, who live next door. With her newfound friends Brylee embarks on a journey to discover the truth about the curse. What they find…well, you have to read for yourself to find out!
With enough twists and turns to keep you breathless and guessing, Christy Sloat has a winner in The Brown House. Hands down, I give the book top ratings and would recommend this to everyone! I wish I could say more good things about the book, but to say more would give too much away. Please pick up a copy of this book, I promise you won’t regret it!
R&M’s Interview with Author Christy Sloat
R&M: Can you tell us an interesting fact about you, your writing, or anything at all? Or, is there anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?
Christy: I am just as book obsessed as anyone of them. I read constantly. I think it’s a real addiction, seriously. When I should be writing I am usually reading. Shhh, don’t tell my publisher.
R&M: When did you first know that writing was what you wanted to do as a career?
Christy: I quit my job as a dental receptionist after 12 years and I knew that it wasn’t the job I was meant to do. After I quit I wrote The Many Lives of Avery Snow. I think after that I knew I was doing my destined career.
R&M: When you are working on a book, do you plan ahead, or do you let the story flow as you write?
Christy: Both. I keep a notebook that holds all the secret info about my characters and the story. But it flows in my head like a movie so sometimes I have to write it like it plays out.
R&M: Is there a special place in your home that you work at?
Christy: I have a PC at a desk but I prefer to write in my bed with my laptop in my jammies. Jammies rock!
R&M: Are any of your characters in your books based on people that you know in real life?
Christy: I based Brylee Branson from The Brown House off of my niece Tayler. She is just as kind hearted as Brylee. She always thinks of others first. When I told her about it I don’t think she believed me.
R&M: Do you have an interesting writing quirk? Maybe something that you have to do while writing, or something that you have to do before you start writing?
Christy: I must have fresh coffee, cheddar goldfish and Pandora radio. Without those things the creative juices do not flow.
R&M: What is your opinion on Indie publishing versus mainstream publishing?
Christy: I am for both forms of publishing. But mainstream publishing makes you jump hurdles before you can even submit your manuscript to them. That is the only downside. I am very happy as an indie writer. I think there is less pressure on the writer.
R&M: Do you hear from your fans a lot? If so, what are some of the best & worst things that you have heard?
Christy: I do hear from them a lot. Mostly they tell me they love my books and swarm me with questions about when I will be done writing the next book. The best thing I have heard was a fan told me that my books were the next best thing they read since Twilight. And these are Twi-obsessed books. The worst was someone said they hated Avery. I don’t understand that. Why do you hate a fictional character?
R&M: What does your family think of your writing?
Christy: They are very proud of me. My mom swears she is my biggest fan. She very well may be!
R&M: How has being published changed your life, if any way?
Christy: It has changed it so much for the better. I get to do what I love every day! I spend a lot more time on the computer than I used to. But it’s worth it. I worked a book fair this last weekend and to have a girl come buy my book then sit down and read it, was amazing! To watch someone enjoy your book is phenomenal!
R&M: What are you currently working on? We would love to know what is coming next from you.
Christy: I am currently writing The Unraveling of Avery Snow. I hope to have it published by winter time for everyone.
R&M: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
Christy: Do your research! Be careful of predators that want to steal your money and ruin your chances at being a writer. It happened to me, and I was naïve. But now I hope to tell everyone that you need to be careful.
Also edit your book before you submit to your editor. Yes you heard me right. Pre-edit!
Get a good editor. It’s worth it.
R&M: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Christy: Pre-editing is the worst part. I can’t stand it. I couldn’t be an editor. It’s too daunting.
R&M: What hardships have you encountered while writing your books?
Christy: The only hardship I experienced was when I first started out I got scammed by a publisher. They got my royalties and to this day I have not received them. That is why I urge new writers to do their research.
R&M: What books (or authors) have influenced you the most during your career?
Christy: J.K Rowling for sure. She went from single mom living in a small flat in England to being a worldwide phenomenon! All because of her imagination. That’s truly amazing.
1. Favorite flavor of ice cream: Chocolate Peanut Butter
2. Favorite color: Purple
3. Favorite animal: Blue Whale
4. Favorite season of the year: Autumn
5. Favorite Author: J.K Rowling
6. Favorite drink: Coffee
7. Favorite food: All food. I have a love affair with food.
8. Favorite Halloween Candy: Candy Corn
Some secrets should never be revealed…
Brylee Branson begrudgingly made the excruciating move with her family from the warm sandy beaches of California to small town living in New Jersey. As if she wasn’t miserable enough, they’ve moved into a creepy old house that everyone in the area claims is haunted. Brylee dismisses the idea of ghosts and hauntings, until she begins to see and hear things that can’t be explained…
Brylee has no choice but to seek the help of new friends to unlock the secrets of this place she now calls home. But some secrets should never be revealed. Can the teens find a way to release the spirits imprisoned within the walls? Or will the curse claim them, too?