Author Interview: Breeana Puttroff
Posted by tmycann
Once again, Twitter introduced me to an interesting, supportive fellow writer in @BPuttroff who helped me #wordmonger my way to a NaNo win this year. In our writing sprint breaks she was kind enough to share some of her work, and I got to beta read what promises to be an excellent follow-on to Seeds of Discovery, which I reviewed right after I was done with my own writing obligation. To help her welcome Roots of Insight to published reality, I have the honor of presenting another author interview for your delectation.
1. You have quite an educational background, with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees under your belt, as well as 11 years of teaching experience. What made you decide to “quit your day job”?
There were a lot of factors that went into my decision to quit teaching at a public school — that could be the subject of several posts all on its own. I still love teaching, and that’s why I do it now, as a small, private business. For a variety of reasons, it was time for me to strike out and do something different.
2. You also mention being a single mom, at some remove from family help. How do you find the time and discipline to work on your writing?
I do have family help, at least in a small way. My dad lives nearby and he’s a wonderful grandfather who will come and take my daughter out on “Papa dates” a few times a month. Aside from that, I really do have the most awesome friends in the world, and they help out as much as they can.
3. You also recently had some success on Amazon’s best-seller (for free Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy) list. What made you decide to list the first book in the series (Seeds of Discovery) for free?
I decided to try out the whole “Kindle Select” program and see what it could do. So far, I’ve been impressed with what the additional exposure has been able to do for Seeds of Discovery. At the time you wrote this question, it was the bestselling free book in both Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy and in Contemporary Fantasy. When it went back on the paid list, it still did quite well for awhile, and was, for a couple of days, the third most popular children’s fantasy book on Amazon, right behind the first two books in the Hunger Games trilogy.
4. You only just released the first book in September. Are you going to continue on this break-neck publishing pace?
I hope so. 🙂
5. How many books are you planning for in this series? (And how did you know that was how long the story arc would take?)
I plan for there to be four books in the series. Right now, as I continue to plan and develop the storyline, there are times I consider a fifth, but the current plan is four.
6. Tell us what inspired you to write this story?
Two summers ago, my dad and I took my daughter up to the mountains for some picnicking and playing in the river. We stopped at this little pull-off picnic site right along a river, and there was this broken bridge. It wasn’t exactly like the one in my story, but similar, and had at one point led across the river to absolutely nowhere — smack into a rock wall. I knew there was a story in it, but it took several months before that story began to take shape.
7. How long have you been writing fiction?
Since shortly after I learned to hold a pencil. Kindergarten, at the latest. I was *that kid* at school, always buried in a book or a notebook. I still have a book I wrote in second grade. We were supposed to write a page-long story or something, I’m sure, but my story was about fifteen pages and divided into chapters. It was carefully illustrated by a classmate of mine, Jason Essig. I’m sure I traded my “walking dictionary” services for his artistic ones.
8. What pushed you to publish this series under an indie imprint?
There are several reasons. The biggest one being that I’d just quit my job, and decided to take my life and my happiness into my own hands. My small business is what sustains me now, but I figured if I was going to go for it, I might as well just go for it and see what happens. The traditional publishing route is so insanely time-consuming, and involves a lot of just waiting for responses. I like to make things happen, or else I get bored. 🙂
9. How does owning and operating a small preschool impact your writing?
That job, of course, takes up most of my time. I have discovered though, that despite the fact that I technically “work” many more hours and days than I did on a public school teacher’s schedule, my time and ability to write have expanded enormously. Sure, I work until much later in the evenings now, but all of my mental and physical energy is no longer drained when I’m done. Now that I’m not thinking of a to-do-list that’s so long I could never possibly accomplish all of it, or what things I forgot to do, or what phone calls I need to make, or grading papers, or all of the stress and worry that comes with a teaching job, my mind is open to write.
And, when it’s writing time, I’m writing my stories — not 20 pages of lesson plans each week.
Plus, preschoolers are tons of fun and full of great, inspiring ideas — and they nap! And, as a single mom, now that I can give my daughter quality attention all day, it’s not quite so hard to turn off for a bit in the evening and write.
10. How old do you expect your daughter to be before she reads this series for the first time? What do you think her question would be about it?
I don’t know how old she’ll be when she reads it all the way through. I’ve read bits and pieces of it to her — she loves Annie, who is modeled after her (and named for my late mom’s middle name, Ann). My daughter is the inquisitive type, and her questions always surprise me, so I have no idea what her questions will be about it! 🙂