Q&A: Local Bossier Author Brandy Pelletier

As summer draws near, we have excellent reading recommendations to add a little romance to your upcoming vacation plans. Local author Brandy Pelletier knows how to bring the heat to the pages and we aren’t just talking about Louisiana temperatures. But first, who is Brandy Pelletier and what are these books she has poured her heart and soul into? We visited with Brandy and have all the info you need to know, plus future plans for this budding author.  

Q: Are you from Bossier/Bossier Parish? 

A: I was born and raised in Bossier Parish. I have lived in Bossier City my whole life, born at Bossier General (when it used to be called that). Growing up I lived in north Bossier, graduated from Airline High School, and other than the four years I attended ULM, I have lived here (Bossier). Upon graduation, I moved back to Bossier and currently reside in north Bossier. 

Q: How long have you been writing and what originally sparked your interest in writing?

A: I’ve probably been writing since elementary school. I won a contest when I was in the second grade. Bossier Schools hosted a parish-wide program called the Young Authors Contest. It was a district-wide competition and each year students in all grades had the opportunity to submit their writing. Select submissions were published into the parish anthology Starting Lines. My submission, “How the Giraffe Got His Long Neck” was selected and published in “Starting Lines.” Seeing my name in print as an 8-year-old kid was so thrilling. I’ve loved it ever since.  

I was also fortunate to have a 5th grade teacher that took an interest, served as a mentor, and nurtured my writing. Throughout middle school and high school, I wrote for myself. My parents got a computer when I was in high school and I would write original stories and save on floppy disks. These pieces were just for me and not for anyone else to read. Even then, my favorite theme included writing about love stories. In college, my writing fell by the wayside and I focused more on my studies. 

Fast forward several years to around the time when social media took off. A lot of people started blogging and I was one of them. I started writing a blog and maybe eight people followed along. I would share the blog posts to my Facebook page and somehow this reawakened the bug and passion for putting words on paper. Eventually, blogging also became a pastime for me but when I turned 40, there was something that happened. Why not now? I  got that FOMO/YOLO feeling and knew I needed to do this (write a book). I got that spark of an idea and it prompted me to sit down and do the thing.  

Q: Tell us about your books/writing style? 

A: So far my books are small-town, contemporary romances. I made up the city they take place in and that’s the beauty of writing fiction; you can create your own town and decide what type of businesses and what type of people are in that town. The books are set in Georgia. That is where my Mom was born and raised. Set in a little town called Bennett. Bennett being my mom’s maiden name. The first book is about a couple that lives in Bennett and the second book is tied to a couple from the first book. I foresee myself always writing books about romance. I  love “love” and have always wanted to write love stories.  

Q: What inspired the idea for your book(s)? 

A: The idea of my first book came to me one night when I was scrolling through Facebook. As an elementary teacher, I follow a lot of educational accounts and various teachers across the country. There was a post that included a trailer of a documentary called The Truth About  Reading. The documentary researched the best practices of teaching people to read. From the trailer, I watched an interview with one of the documentary participants and the idea hit me like a ton of bricks. 

Q: How would you define an “Indie” Author or Indie Romance books?

A: An indie author is someone who is not traditionally published by the big publishing houses or imprints. We have to write, outsource our own editor, distribute, and market the books we write. As an Indie author, I do all of it. I set my own deadlines, seek out artists to create the book covers. All of the logistics fall on me. The great thing about writing a book these days is Amazon makes it very easy for authors to self-publish.  

Q: How many books have you written and which is your favorite? 

A: I currently have two books that are published. The first Between the Lines was published end of May 2023 and the second book entitled Keeping the Score was released March 2024. Being asked to pick a favorite is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. I do think my first book  Between the Lines will always have a special place in my heart. I often refer to it as the book of my heart because it has many of my day-to-day implications throughout the book. Book 2 was so hard to write. I hear that a lot from fellow authors that Book 2 is traditionally harder to write and that was the case for me as well. I am so proud of myself for pushing through and getting the second book to completion because there were times when I wondered if one book was all  I had in me.  

Q: What did it feel like after publishing your first book? 

A: It was very surreal. I know people throw the term surreal around to where it is almost cliché but it was just that. My friend filmed me when I received my author copy in the mail and after opening, I boo-hooed. You go through such a journey. It’s like birthing a child. I call my books my babies. I did this. I made this. Very satisfying and terrifying. I would love to one day retire from education and write full-time. That is my dream.  

Q: Idea of success for yourself? 

A: My idea of success is always changing and evolving. When I started out it was holding my book in my hands, and now it’s for people to have my books on their shelves. To have people buy my books. So my idea changes as I travel this journey.

Q: What age range do your books target? 

A: My books are definitely for grownups. They are romances with a suggested age guidance of  18+. 

Q: Are there plans for a third book? 

A: I have already started a third book. It will be the first book in a four book series. Moving away from the small town of Bennett where my first two books were set in. The first book of the  series will be set in Memphis and the three following books will take place in a small town near  Memphis. The first book is about a football player and each subsequent book will feature one of the main character’s brothers and their journey to find love. A projected release date for my third book is late Fall 2024.  

Q: What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused? 

A: Interestingly enough, I wrote half of my first book at one of our local libraries. I find the library is a lot easier for focusing than at home. Not because I am tempted at home but when I go to the library and I sit down, I know I am here to write and I can get a lot of words in. Fun  Fact: My first book Between the Lines has a main female character who is a librarian.  

Bossier’s new central library is amazing. I already have my spot picked out where I like to sit. I am there a lot on Saturday and when school is out I will most likely be there each day during the week. When I write I keep it simple. I have a notebook, my laptop, and a few writing books that help with the craft of writing.  

Q: If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?

A: I am honestly very picky about fan casting. If it were to ever happen, the movie people or television people would be like “get her out of here” because no one would be good enough.  There is no celebrity inspiration for Tessa or Luke in Book 1 or the characters in Book 2.  

Q: Who is your favorite author? Favorite book? 

A: I read all the time. Romance is my #1 go-to. Because of my love for this genre, I’ve always had the desire to write my own. I can’t pick a favorite. I am an Enneagram 4 and we cannot pick favorites. Since I read all the time, I have so many authors I love and adore. I will say I love Lucy  Score, she is one of my favorite romance novelists. Elsie Silver is another author I love as well.  They both write contemporary romances. Diving a little deeper into the genre of romance,  fantasy romance in particular, I like the best. Fantasy romance books are dense and most are series. Sarah J Maas and Raven Kennedy are my favorite fantasy romance authors. 

Q: Any last thoughts? 

A: I am always looking to connect with readers. If anyone were interested in hosting a book club, I would love to be involved. Looking for book recommendations? Follow me on Instagram @thebrandyland. Looking for sweet and spicy small-town romances? Check-out Between the  Lines and Keeping the Score. Both books are available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

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