Regina Brownell resides on Long Island, New York, between the city lights of Manhattan, and the beautiful beaches of the Hampton’s. When her oldest was born, she became a stay-at-home mom. With the support of her parents, husband, three children, and three fur-babies, Regina spends her time balancing mom-life with her love for writing. Her published works include: The Two-Week Promise, One Lucky Christmas, and Capturing His Heart, with two more books set to be published this fall from Bloodhound Books.
Let’s get started with a quick rapid fire.
Q1. If you could be transformed into one mythological creature, which one would you choose?
A Druid because that’s what the male love interest in my new book plays for D&D.
Q2. What time do you usually go to bed at night?
Anywhere from midnight to three in the morning. It’s the best time for me to write.
Q3. What are the least-likely three words someone would use to describe you?
Extrovert, Tall, Loud.
Q4. Where did you go on your last vacation?
Disney World in 2010.
Q5. Would you rather find your dream job or win the lottery? You can’t do both.
Dream Job, but I think I’m already living that goal.
Q6. What is one thing you regret spending money on?
99% of the DVDs I bought when working for FYE. I think I worked to buy movies.
Q7. What object do you misplace or lose the most?
My phone. I always have to call it from my house line to find it.my keys and the TV remote.
Q8. If you were a spy, what would be your codename?
The agency calls me Sparkle Fire.
Q9. What secret about the universe would you most want to learn?
Do Aliens exist?
Q10. What never fails to make you laugh?
Flirty banter in books.
Q11. What was one “before” and “after” in your life?
Before children and after children.
Q12. What do you think people misunderstand about you?
I’m quiet because I’m shy, especially around people I’ve just met.
It’s time for a more detailed conversation, Regina.
You’ve answered our rapid fire brilliantly, Regina. Now, it’s time for our readers to know more about the person behind the book.
Q. Tell us about your journey.
My love for writing started in 5th grade. I had a teacher who loved writing. The first thing I ever wrote was a Twister fan fiction. In high school I kept writing fan fiction up into my mid-twenties. I stopped for a bit and right after my son was born, I started to get back into it and wrote my own stories. I utilized websites like Wattpad and won a few contests and had fun posting new content and short stories. In 2020 I decided to take my chance and started to enter mentorships and shortly after I started my querying journey which led me to my publisher Bloodhound Books.
Q. So, what books have you read more than once in your life?
In my 20s I re-read Twilight quite a few times. More recently The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, The Chameleon Effect by Joe Arden and The Words by Ashley Jade have all been read twice or more.
Q. Interesting. Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?
There isn’t only one person who has been. My family and friends have been by my side since I started this journey.
Q. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
There are maybe one or two things, but most aren’t secrets as much as pieces of my life that people who know me can easily identify it.
Q. Now comes the most anticipated question that every author must answer. How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?
There are times where it will hit me hard, but then I also realize the outpouring of love I’ve received on my books as well and it outweighs the negative.
Q. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
I’m a pantser. 99% of the time I have a scene that will play out in my head. I write the scene and see where it takes me. The characters and full plot develop as I write my first draft.
Q. How do you develop your plot and characters?
I develop them as I write. Basically, my first draft is like an outline, but I’m telling myself the story. Once the first draft is done, I’ll go back and do a chapter outline to check and make sure the plot makes sense and that the characters are well written and then I’ll adjust as needed for draft two.
Q. You got 100 points. You need to divide them on the basis of how relevant and important they are to you as a reader and a writer for your book or someone else’s as a reader. Your options are Plot/Story, Book Cover, Marketing, and, Reviews.
I’d have to give 30pts to both Plot and Dialogue. 20pts to Market, 10 for reviews and book cover.
Q. So, now, about your book. Talk to us about it. No major spoilers.
My latest release was Capturing His Heart. It came out March 23, 2023. This story is about a bi-sexual woman in her twenties who is not only looking for validity in her sexuality but she’s also trying to find where she belongs. She had her career all planned out and was living the dream as a journalist giving out sex advice, until she was let go from the job. She ends up moving back home to save money and when she seeks out a job, she ends up finding one at a photography studio with the one guy she never thought she’s see again, her brother’s nerdy friend from highs school. She used to tease her brother and especially his friend all the time when they’d play D&D. Now that she’s older she wants to make it up to him and as the pair begin to work with one another they start to realize they’ve always had feelings for one another. This is a story about second chances, acceptance, growth, and learning to put the past behind you and look forward instead of back.
Q. What part of the book did you enjoy the most while writing?
My favorite part to write of Capturing His Heart is probably the boudoir scene. The main character Millicent offers to allow Luke to practice taking these types of photos after a customer called to request having a shoot done. Luke is a little timid and shy. I had seen the scene in my head days before I wrote it, and I knew it had to be perfect. What I loved most about writing this scene was the build up of tension between Millicent and Luke. From the light touches to the way he looks at her leading up to the big moment was so much fun to capture.
Q. What is your kryptonite as a writer?
Filter words. In my original draft of my latest book there were over 800 uses of the word that. And Just is another word that always sneaks up on me.
Q. Would you and your main character get along in real life?
They all have a little piece of me in them, so I think we’d get along okay. Although we might argue a bit.
Q. What risks have you taken with your writing that have paid off?
As a creator I feel like just putting yourself out there is risk alone. It’s scary and thrilling at the same time, but I’m so glad I pushed myself to get this far.
Q. Let’s talk about the process of writing. Do you do research while writing a book to add more authenticity? What kind of research?
Google is one of my best friends while I write. With Capturing His Heart, I dove in a lot deeper with this one. Between D&D and photography I had some friends who had a lot more experience than me in each area to help me fill in the pieces I didn’t know.
Q. What was your hardest scene to write?
In this book the hardest scene to write was the scene after the third act breakup. I was a mess while writing it and trying to make sure my characters emotions were well read by the reader.
Q. Well, this has been great. Now, before we wrap this up, do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
The advice that I always give is: Don’t let others tell you HOW to write. Trust your process as a writer. Learn new ways to help you through the process but don’t let anyone tell you that your way is the wrong way. We all work differently to get to the end and one way for someone else might not be the way for you.