Thursday, March 14, 2013

Writer Britney Gullbrandsen

Britney Gullbrandsen
Writers Mirror: Welcome to Writers Mirror Britney Gullbrandsen!

Britney: Thanks for having me! This is so fun!

WM: Please tell us a little about Britney.

Britney: Hmmm…this question always trips me up. What do I share?!
· I’m 23 years old.
· I have a two-and-a-half year old son.
· I’m obsessed with Golden Spoon’s peanut butter cup fro yo (frozen yogurt.)
· I’m a list maker. I have stacks and stacks of notebooks filled with all kinds of lists. To-do lists. Goals. Grocery lists. Lists of things I love. It’s kind of a problem.
· I’m an only child.
· I’m terrified of elevators. And I’ve been stuck in three of them.
· I LOVE bright colors! They make me so happy! My last house had apple green walls, lime green walls, red walls, turquoise walls, bright orange walls, and a wall with bubblegum pink rectangles with orange in the middle. I know it sounds weird, but I promise it looked good!

WM: Please tell us what you write.

Britney: As a little girl, I wrote picture books. I’d write out the story (each line to a page), print them out, and illustrate them. In the fifth grade, I attempted a novel and got about halfway through before it was lost. I’m still devastated about that. When I got to junior high and high school, I started writing poetry and a few personal essays that I loved.
Then came college. I majored in creative writing and spent time with poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, travel writing, and even took a course on writing the modern day fairy tale. I had so much fun!
But somewhere along the way I learned that my passion was to write for children and young adults. I absolutely loved reading as a child and I want to help instill that love of reading in other children. My husband and I write picture books and middle grade together and I just started my first young adult novel on my own.

WM: Where do you do most of your writing?

Britney: On the couch or at the kitchen table. Boring, but it gets the job done!

WM: Do you write on a lap top, a desk top, a tablet or long hand on notebook?

Britney: A lap top! I can’t write longhand—my hand cramps up way too easily!

WM: What inspires you to write?

Britney: I gather most my inspiration from other art forms. In fact, most of my story ideas have stemmed from photographs, songs, and dances. A few years ago, a couple on So You Think You Can Dance performed the most powerful dance I think I’ve ever seen. I’m not even kidding. It made me cry. Immediately after the show I wrote a poem based on that dance.

WM: What is your biggest distraction?

Britney: My son. And my lists.

WM: How do you handle it?

Britney: I just make a schedule and try to stick to it. Some weeks are better than others, and obviously sometimes the distraction is necessary. If my son is sick, I’m not going to write that day. I’m going to cuddle with him on the couch. I do most of my writing once he’s in bed at night to try and limit the distractions.

WM: What is your favorite writing food?

Britney: I actually don’t eat while I write. Go ahead—call me crazy.

WM: Why are you a writer?

Britney: I’m a writer because I can’t stop writing. It’s a piece of me that I have to keep. It’s my way of trying to inspire others!

WM: Where do you get your names for your characters?

Britney: I love this question! I think a lot about my characters names. I brainstorm lists of names and narrow them down based on the personality of the character.
For instance, in one of the books I wrote with my husband, we have four third grade boys. One is the super smart nerdy kid—Winston. Our big, strong kid is named Brock. Frankie is the smooth talker who always gets his way. And Loco is the crazy one. His name is actually Lawrence, but nobody calls him that. We just thought these names shared a piece of their personalities. Each name helps us picture the character.
I’m also writing a young adult set in Denmark during World War II, so I did lots of research on common names in that time period and place. Then I chose the ones that seemed to fit my characters best.

WM: Is there anything else you would like to share about your writing journey?

Britney: I’ve been trying to immerse myself more in the writing community. I joined ANWA (American Night Writers Association) about a year-and-a-half ago and SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) about six months ago. I’ve attended three writing conferences in the past year-and-a-half and plan to attend one or two more this year. I think it’s so important to make connections and continue your writing education and I’m trying to do both these things.

WM: Do you have a website?

Britney: Yes! Come visit me! I took a hiatus, and I’m just coming back. My blog is combined with my website.

WM: Thank you sharing some of your writing journey with us Britney. Keep writing!

Britney: Thank YOU! What fun questions!