Monday’s Friends: Heather Fraser Brainerd & David Fraser

Today we get two guests for the price of one.  I am pleased to welcome Heather Fraser Brainerd and David Fraser, who write as a team, to the blog.

SJT:  So, you are a brother/sister writing team. How did this come about?

DF: I’m assuming you’re asking about the writing team part. We didn’t have much say on the brother/sister thing.

Brainerd Fraser photoHFB: True, although I couldn’t have asked for a better brother. We’ve been writing together since we were kids, took a multi-decade break for college and weddings and careers and kids, then eventually found our way back to writing together again. It’s awesome!

SJT:  How does your writing process work?

DF:  We call it “Driving Blind,” but that’s not entirely accurate. We start a book with no idea where it’s heading. In the first draft phase, we talk almost daily on the phone (thank you, internet, for free long distance). We’ll eventually have a general destination in mind, but the road always has plenty of unforeseen delays, u-turns, detours, and several other traffic metaphors I can’t think of right now.

HFB:  In the midst of all this internet phoning and metaphoric traffic, we email the manuscript back and forth, each adding, deleting, and changing as we see fit.

SJT:  Do you ever have disagreements over the way a book is going, and if so how do you resolve them?

DF:  Oh, sure. We’ll discuss it at length, usually at least an hour, until one of us gives up. My current win/loss record is 7-19, but I’ve won four out of the last five, so I have momentum on my side.

HFB:  And then there’s the ever-present duck tape vs. duct tape debate…

SJT:  Who would you cite as your influences?

DF:  J.R.R. Tolkien, Dave Barry, George Lucas, and Donald Farster.

HFB:  JK Rowling, Peter Straub, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Hector Brazent.

SJT:  What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

DF:  Don’t subscribe to Netflix. This will give you WAY more time to write.

HFB:  Make sure your writing partner, should you have one, does not subscribe to Netflix.

SJT:  Tell us about your newest release.

soundofsirens200x300DF:  Our latest book is José Picada, P.I.: The Sound of Sirens, or TSoS for short. It came out back in November 2013, which, given the immediacy of the internet, was ages ago.

HFB:  It’s a fun book where we take our main character, Josie Cates, to visit her mother and stepfather in Tennessee. As usual in Josie’s life, paranormal shenanigans ensue. For book three, she’ll be back in her hometown of Rochester, New York.

SJT:  What are you working on right now?

DF:  I’m working on answering questions for an interview with Sara Jayne Townsend. Also, our first MG book (Shadows of New York, or SoNY for short) is in the editing phase. We’ll begin editing the third José Picada book soon. We’re in the very, very, very, very early stages of the fourth and final José Picada book. So there’s plenty on our plates, which, given the time of day, makes me think of lunch. I hope there’s some good leftovers hiding somewhere in the fridge.

HFB:  I just finished a sandwich and a piece of cake, so I’ll pass on the leftovers, Dave. I would like to add that our two upcoming releases, Shadows of New York and Act of Abduction (the third José book), are tied for my favorite Brainerd & Fraser book thus far.

SJT:  Do either of you have plans to do any solo projects?

DF:  Oh, yeah. I forgot about this one while answering the last question. I’ve been working off and on (mostly off) for the last year and a half on a Shakespeare-themed noir detective story.

HFB:  Oh, I love that one! Hurry up and finish it, Dave, so I can read the latest draft. As for my solo projects, I have a YA paranormal romance, Dream Shade, published by MuseItUp. I also have a novel and two short stories that I’ve sent to Dave for his critique. Now, if he would just turn off Netflix…

deceptionaldente200x300Author Bios

Heather Fraser Brainerd is a renaissance woman. After earning a degree in Anthropology, she embarked on an incongruous career as a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster. She rapidly climbed the claims-handling ladder before surprising her colleagues by leaving the high-powered world of lumbar strains and carpal tunnel syndrome to run a child care center. Thousands of dirty diapers and gallons of strained peas later, she decided that maybe the insurance industry wasn’t quite as bad as she remembered. Unfortunately, it was. Fortunately, a few years later, she met the most wonderful man in the world. Now a stay-home mom to three amazing boys, she is able, at long last, to focus on her writing. Heather lives in New York with her family and their crazy pug/terrier.

David Fraser was born on March 25, 1973. March 25, incidentally, is International Waffle Day (Varfudagn in Sweden) and Tolkien Reading Day (The Ring was destroyed on March 25). Elton John shares his birthday. So next March 25, you should eat a waffle while reading Lord of the Rings and listening to Rocket Man. I know Dave will. Before deciding to become an internationally-famous author, Dave held a number of different jobs. He processed small business insurance policy changes, tested software on digital copier/printers, put out little orange flags in pick-your-own strawberry fields, installed internet cable in schools, shelved books in a library, taught college calculus, and handed out raffle tickets at a Barry Manilow concert. Granted, this last job was a one day temp job, but it was awesome. He currently does little fix-up jobs around his house and chauffeurs his kids while trying to find time to write.

Find Heather and David online at the following links:

Heather Fraser Brainerd & David Fraser blog
Facebook author page
Heather on Twitter
David on Twitter

Find their books here:

MuseItUp Publishing
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

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5 comments so far

  1. Matthew Peters on

    Great interview! I really liked hearing about your writing process. Your latest book sounds very interesting. All the best to you guys!

    • HFBrainerd on

      Thanks, Matt! Our writing process is a bit off the beaten path, but it works for us. 🙂

  2. Heather G on

    Great interview, although Netflix won’t agree. I enjoyed Deception AD, so looking forward to reading the next!
    Heather G – The Natasha Saga

    • HFBrainerd on

      Hi, Heather G! You’re right about Netflix, though we still both subscribe to it, so they shouldn’t be too upset with us! I’m currently binge watching Torchwood while waiting for my turn with José 4. Glad you enjoyed DaD, hope you like TSoS too!

  3. HFBrainerd on

    Thanks for hosting us, Sara. We look forward to returning the favor!


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