Meet Brookie “KJ” Southworth, Author of “The Line”
Tell us about yourself:
Where do you live? I live in Oakville, Ontario.
How long have you lived there? Just over two years.
Are you married? I am! Almost twenty years.
Kids? I have a mischievous and affectionate daughter.
Full time job? I was very lucky I could stay home with my daughter.
Education? Degree in History from the University of Alberta.
Who is your favorite author and book? Yangsze Choo. I’ve read her book The Ghost Bride over and over and over.8.What is your preferred genre? I lean toward biographies and history, with a focus in women’s issues, but I also love historical fantasy.
How did you start this journey to become a writer? I woke up from a vivid dream and decided to write it down. After years of hard work I turned it into a book. Now I want to keep going because I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life.
What have you written so far? I have one self-published science fiction novel, one urban fantasy novella in its final stage of editing, one nearly completed first draft of a high fantasy novel, and numerous other works in various stages of completion.
Tell us about your current book. The Line is an action-packed story set in the only city on a distant, desert planet. Daryl Rhys, fresh from the Prison, is on the brink of a mental breakdown but is dragged back into the gritty criminal underworld for one last job. In order to survive, the former convict taps into a network of freaks, inventors and outcasts.
What is the inspiration for your current book? It was based on a vivid dream, but turned into a study of human perception, and all the actions we will justify in the name of survival.
Who was your favorite character to write and why? I would have to say Daryl. I had to delve into a dark, sinister part of myself and stretch my writing skills to a place I didn’t know existed. Of course, I love all the characters, but Daryl was the biggest challenge, and an important accomplishment.
Is there anything of you in that character? I struggled with mental health in my twenties. Just like Daryl, I refused medication, and fought epic internal battles. That’s where the similarity ends, however.
What sets your book apart? This book in an adrenaline rush. It starts out fast and rarely stops for a break. It’s a trip into an immersive world with a crazy cast of fun and relatable characters. But it’s the hard choices Daryl is forced to make that really sets it apart.
What’s your favorite part in the book? When Daryl is speaking to Heathcliff Jackson for the first time since being released from the Prison.
What was the most difficult part to write? When Daryl makes a calculated choice to kill someone who can’t defend themselves. I struggled with that decision and most criticism I receive is over that scene. People are torn when they read it, I was torn while writing it.
What was your favorite book to write? I enjoyed writing ‘Valen’, my urban fantasy novella, because it’s much lighter than any of my other stories. The sequel, Ivan, is much darker!
How do you write? Do you have a set time or place? How many hours a day? I used to write all hours, but with a child I have to abide by her schedule. She’s in school now, so I work when she’s there and late into the night if I have the energy. My husband and I put together a writing corner for me, although I do my best brain storming while outdoors.
Why did you want to be a writer? Ever since I started, I can’t seem to stop. It’s an obsession. I was so happy to get back to it when my daughter became more independent. An important part of me came back to life when I opened a blank document and let my imagination take off.
How do you get your ideas? Some come in dreams, others when I see something that gets my creative juices flowing. That can be an inspiring scene in a book or movie, jarring artwork, or even overhearing snippets of conversations.
What do you have planned next? I want to get to work on the sequel to The Line, but also finish the ‘Valen’ sequel, Ivan. Otherwise, I’m eager to continue promoting my first book as I find my fan base.
What advice would you give new writers? Check out the amazing writer’s channels on YouTube. They will save you so much time and stress. Remember it’s a process—be prepared to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. You will never stop learning, and that’s the best part of this journey.
How can readers get in touch with you? My author page com is going to get a major upgrade very soon, (yay!). It’s the best way to get in touch with me.