Hey everyone! Today on the blog I have Author Gledé Browne Kabongo here with an interview. So, without further ado let’s get to it!
Hi Gledé, thank you so much for agreeing to speak with me today! Before we get started, why don’t you tell these potential readers a bit about yourself and about your series?
I’m from the Caribbean originally and grew up in Milton, MA. I write psychological suspense novels featuring whip-smart, gutsy women up to their eyeballs in secrets and diabolical schemes. I also have a background in journalism and marketing communications. My husband and I have two boys ages 11 and 7. However, my author website has the good stuff, the fun facts about me.
What would you say was your inspiration behind both Conspiracy of Silence and Swan Deception?
Conspiracy of Silence grew out of multiple conversations I’ve had with women about secrets, the issue of sexual abuse specifically, which seems to be an epidemic in our society. I wanted to tell a story with a female protagonist people wouldn’t normally associate with sexual trauma. She’s highly educated, smart, a successful executive, has a great marriage etc. Psychologically, she was a prisoner of her past without knowing it. I took a different approach with the last part of the book, a Grisham-style courtroom showdown. Most victims of sexual abuse don’t report it let alone take action that could lead to prosecution. I think that sets Conspiracy of Silence apart from other novels that tackle the issue.
Swan Deception came from a dream, no kidding. One morning my husband wakes up, turns to me and says, “I had this dream that you should write a book called Swan”. He gave me the basic plot line and I ran with it. I had to think hard on the final twist because I knew who the real bad guy was from the beginning when he explained it. I think it worked out well. Those who’ve read the book rave about the final plot twist.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Absolutely. I know there are articles out there that claim there is no such thing as writer’s block or they call l it fear or whatever. Let me assure you, it is a real thing. I’m speaking for myself obviously. One day a few weeks ago, I went to Panera Bread to get some writing done and the scene just wouldn’t come. I knew what it was about but it just wasn’t working. I texted my husband and told him I was about to start crying in public because that scene was kicking my butt. He came and got me for a two- hour break. After that, I was fine. There are times when you have to just walk away, put some distance between you and the piece before you tackle it again. I am stubborn though. Sometimes I’ll be stuck on a scene for days or a week plus because I just can’t move on until it’s resolved.
What would you say is your favorite part of being a published author? Least favorite?
My favorite part about being an author is being able to share the stories I create with potential readers. I especially love when the story resonates with them. When Swan Deception arrived from the publisher in paperback, it was thick and my husband said, “All of that came from your head?” I love the process of creating, especially characters. I love when they surprise me. My least favorite thing about writing? The same thing most authors suffer from, always wondering if it’s good enough, if readers will like it.
Can you tell us a little bit about the research that goes into thriller and suspense novels like the ones you’ve penned?
I tend to gravitate towards interviewing experts either in person or over the phone. For Swan Deception, I worked with a Detective from the Boston Police Department. For Game of Fear, my current WIP, I interviewed him again and got the chance to visit and interview members of the State Police Crime Lab. I also read books on the subject matter I cover in my novels. I did for Conspiracy of Silence. As for other types of research, I read a lot. I’ve been an avid reader since I was nine years old and that will never change. When I became an author, that love of reading intensified ten fold because now, I not only read for entertainment but I’m a student and observer of how other writers tackle the craft.
Do you have any quirky writing habits that you do to get into a groove before, after, or during writing?
I spend a lot of time at Panera Bread writing so I always pack my favorite bottled water, Poland Springs. So far, they haven’t said anything to me. They shouldn’t. I spend too much money when I’m there.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Study the craft. Invest in good editing and cover design (I learned some hard lessons). Sometimes your characters take you places you never anticipated, it’s okay. Don’t let anyone force you to choose between plot and character. You’ll be asked if you’re a plot-driven writer or character-driven writer. Refuse to choose, it’s possible to have both in your stories. Grow thick skin (I’m still working on mine). Not everyone will like your work and that’s okay too. Know who you’re writing for. Know that it takes a while to discover you readership/target audience. Don’t try to mimic other writers; it will only lead to pain. Admire, take notes but never imitate. Take joy in the process. There are many times you’ll want to quit. Don’t give up if this is what you were meant to do. If it’s just something to check off on your bucket list, well, that’s another story.
Before we end this interview, is there anything you’d like to tell potential readers about your books?
My books on the surface seem to be about women in peril but what they really boil down to is this: brains and beauty, meet wounds and secrets at the corner of courage and vengeance. I think that’s an apt description of the stories I tell.
Thanks again for the interview Gledé! It was wonderful to have you on the blog.
Gledé Browne Kabongo is the Bestselling Author of Conspiracy of Silence and Swan Deception. Her love affair with books began as a young girl growing up in the Caribbean. The town library overlooked the Atlantic Ocean, and she was trading books and discussing them with neighbors before Book Clubs became popular.
She holds both an M.S. and B.A. in communications and worked as a freelance news reporter after college. She writes psychological suspense novels featuring whip-smart, flawed yet courageous female characters up to their eyeballs in secrets and diabolical schemes. Gledé lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.
If you’d like to visit Gledé around the web, you can “stalk” her at the following links: