Indie Author Callie Browning New Release – Vanishing Girls – Author Interview
For today’s BHM featured post, we have an interview with Callie Browning, author of Vanishing Girls. Callie is a Barbadian author, and Vanishing Girls is an exciting adult mystery based on real events. Vanishing Girls is coming out February 22nd of this year and we’re hyped.
Holden Davis has enough problems: mounting debt, a lifelong feud with his brother and his father’s legacy to live up to. If he’s honest with himself, he’ll admit that hiring an assistant in the dead of night probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do either.
But life gets more complex when his funeral home has to process the bodies left behind by a serial killer. The bodies start to mount up, but the clues don’t. With no leads, the police are helpless and citizens live in fear as the killer ravages the country. Holden soon finds out that the victims’ bodies have all the evidence he needs to lead him to the killer.
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Interview with Callie Browning
Vanishing Girls has such a compelling premise. What inspired you to write it?
Callie Browning: It’s based on the fact that a handful of women went missing without anyone knowing where they went or why they went missing. They would show up dead a few weeks/months later, but the mystery was very perplexing as there was no common thread between the women.
Interesting! What was the hardest part of writing this novel?
Callie: My last book, The Girl with the Hazel Eyes, was literary fiction, based on the life of a reclusive author. That was easier to write because her life story just came to me and I wrote it down. With a mystery, there are so many more intricacies and moving parts that have to fit into precise slots. I loved the challenge of feeling like I had to tell this story, just because the characters really moved it along for me.
What made you decide to write in your genre?
Callie: Lol. I’m a pantser so I’m not even sure. My story started off as a literary story about an old man, but as I kept writing, I realized that I was seeing him the wrong way. As though I caught up with him at the wrong point of his life. As I went on, the story came into sharper focus and I grew much more aware of who the characters were and how they fit into the situation. But I’m thrilled with how well the story turned out.
As an indie author, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in this industry?
Callie: At every single step of the way, there’s always an incredibly steep learning curve. You have to develop skills sets which the average person doesn’t naturally possess in order to properly, write, edit, publish and market your book. Without a doubt, I’d have to say that I faltered the most with figuring out where my book belonged. That is a hugely critical part of this process which I think some self-published authors overlook.
What made you choose indie publishing?
Callie: I didn’t even realize what I was getting into when I first started on this journey. At first, everything felt incredibly hard but as time went on, I’ve started to become more adept at certain skills. I chose self-publishing because I loved writing and I didn’t see a lot of books about people who look and sound like me. So I thought I’d give it a whirl.
Which authors have inspired your writing over the years?
Callie: There are too many to mention and it’s difficult to publicly cite some names because cancel culture is very real! I’d hate to call some names now only for someone to drop a bomb on the authors in a few months’ time!
What was your favorite part of writing Vanishing Girls?
Callie: Definitely the romance! The ironic thing is that this is the first time I’ve written a full-fledged romance. Normally, some level of romance plays a very minor role in the other pieces I’ve written but it’s more of a backstory to illustrate how two people got to the point they’re at, but it’s usually not the focus. So far, my beta readers love the romance sections of the book so I’m looking forward to hearing from other readers about my first foray into romance.
What’s something you hope readers take away from your novel?
Callie: I’d like readers to have a look at some other Caribbean authors. There is some incredible work out there and I think reading widely is a great way to foster more cultural integration, especially at a time when there are so many deep divisions in the world.
Do you have any plans for future projects you can talk about?
Callie: One of my amazing short stories, Dead Men Tell No Tales, was chosen for an anthology by Crooked Lane Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It’s coming in Fall 2021. My contribution is a gritty murder mystery set at midnight in a secret love dungeon and I had some serious fun writing that one. I’m also being featured in a massive celebration of Barbadian books in March.
Do you have any advice for writers just starting out?
Callie: Of course! Never take no for an answer, keep reading, study your favourite books and break them down so you understand the mechanisms in them.
Where can readers find you?
Callie: You can check out my website www.callingbrowing.com or you check out my handle: BajanCallie on Instagram and Twitter. I’m also on Facebook. The links are below: