Welcome back to Najla Qamber Designs! Not only does our team love what we do, but we also have fun finding gorgeous eye candy for our lovely romance authors. ;) Recently we were able to sit down with Brooke O'Brien to talk about her writing life journey.
Najla Qamber Designs: We've had the opportunity to work with many amazing authors over the years. Occasionally, we get the privilege to cover not just a single book, but multiple series, like we've done with Author Brooke O'Brien. Brooke, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today! We see you've been sharing your stories for over three years now. Did you always know you wanted to be an author? We’d love to hear your story! Brooke O'Brien: I started writing poetry when I was younger. Throughout middle school and into high school, it was something I turned to, along with journaling, to help express my thoughts and feelings. It was until I started reading romance I ever considered it as a career, but I'm so grateful I found myself here. I truly hope it's something I'm able to do full-time. That is my dream!
NQD: We hope that dream becomes your reality soon! What would people be surprised to know about you? BO: I had a poem I wrote published into a book and was given the opportunity to attend a Writers Workshop at Coe College when I was in sixth grade.
NQD: Wow, that's amazing you were able to experience that at such a young age. You're known for writing heartfelt yet passionate romance novels, including the Heart's Compass series. Of all your books, which project that was the most enjoyable to you and why? BO: The most enjoyable would be writing Until I Found You. The story just flowed out of me and I love the way it unfolded.
NQD: Every author seems to approach crafting their stories differently. What's your process look like from book to book? BO: For my debut novel, I had no idea what I was doing. I just wrote what came to me. I'm usually a very organized and structured person. So, this was completely new and it let me to doing a lot of re-writing. Since then, I've started outlining extensively and it's changed everything for me. I'm able to continue to write what comes to me, but I love how in doing so I'm able to add little details into the story that ends up being woven into the story throughout. It's a lot of fun!
NQD: Sounds like you've definitely found your secret storytelling formula ;) We've heard that it helps to read outside the genre you write in. Have you found this to be true? What is your favorite book and/or genre (reading-wise)? BO: I stick to reading romance, but I do read tropes outside of what I write. I don't want to read too close to what I'm writing just because I want my story to stand on its own. I tend to gravitate to emotional and angst-filled books. My favorite book is one of my favorites to re-read today and it's the Thoughtless series by SC Stephens. I want my readers to have the same connection to my books as they read them.
NQD: How important is social media to your business? Do you find it easier to connect to your readers online? BO: I think it's very important. From connecting with readers to networking with other authors and business professionals in the industry, I wouldn't be able to do what I do without it. I love jumping in my Reader Group and bouncing ideas off them, while also chatting about what they're reading too.
NQD: How did you first discover Najla Qamber Designs? We already know the answer but would love to hear your side of the story ;) BO: I found a couple of newer authors when I first started in this business and they were huge fans of Najla and her work. I started looking at covers I loved and looking at the details in the front cover for who designed them, along with taking recommendations from authors in different support groups. The same name kept coming up and I knew she was who I wanted to work with. Her work is stunning, she's so kind and easy to work with, and I trust her completely to blow me out of the water with bringing my ideas to life. She's stuck with me now!
NQD: We are quite happy to be stuck :D What advice would you give your fellow authors on how to pick a designer? BO: Do what I did! Take the time to look at who your fellow authors recommend and who's designing the covers you find yourself gravitating towards. It's important to do your research, but you can't go wrong with Najla Qamber Designs.
NQD: Okay, now for the serious questions... Who or what would you say your author avatar or spirit animal is? BO: I'd say I connect the most to a Tiger. They are intuitive and good at following their instincts, and they express their raw emotions.
NQD: Where do you see yourself in your writing career 5 years from now? BO: I hope I have quite a few new stories added to my backlist and can say I've made this my full-time career. While I still will be here doing this regardless, it would make it that much more rewarding if I'm able to achieve that goal.
NQD: Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us today, Brooke. We look forward not only to creating more beautiful covers with you but all your future successes! BO: Thank you so much for inviting me! I enjoyed chatting with you.
About the Author
Brooke O'Brien is the author of the Heart's Compass series, the Tattered Heart duet, and her newest release, BRIX, a stepbrother/bully romance. Growing up Brooke always had a love of writing; she started out writing poetry when she was young and began journaling her thoughts as she grew older. Diving headfirst into a good book has always been therapeutic for her. Now her two passions have collided. Brooke believes you can cure any bad day with chocolate or by going on a long drive with the windows down and the music turned up! She's found that's when her characters talk to her the most! If she's not reading or writing, you'll probably find her spending time with her family and friends, watching Hawkeye football or NBA basketball, going to the movies, or collecting signed paperbacks.
She loves to interact with readers! Keep in touch with Brooke by following her on Social Media and join her exclusive Reader Group.