Author Spotlight | Courtney Dean & David Griffin Brown


Question | What's your name or pen name?

Answer | Courtney Dean


Questions | How long have you been writing?

Answer | I wrote my first story in middle school. In 2018 I decided I would write so others could read my stories, so I started writing on Inkitt.com. It won their July 2018 novel contest. That book, Demon’s Savior, was published in 2019 by ZachEvansCreative.


Question | Do you have anything published or do you have WIP(work in progress)?

Answer | I have four books published with ZachEvans Creative. My first series is called The Demons United MC Series, and my second series is The Royal Bloodlines Series, a paranormal series. My current WIP’s are the second installment of The Royal Bloodlines Series and I’m working on an Irish Mob standalone novel.


Question | What can you tell us about your project?

Answer | The Royal Bloodlines Series follows African American women who descend from the ancient African Queens of the Kingdom of Kush who are tied to an ancient coven called the Daughters of Meroe. These women are the True Mates of Vampire royalty.


Question | What is your favorite part of your current project?

Answer | Portraying powerful black women who face struggles but who overcome those struggles when they walk into their destiny.


Question | What's your inspiration for your latest project?

Answer| I just wanted to portray black women as the Queens that we are. A lot of times in today’s society we are not portrayed in the best light. Or we are made to feel like we cannot be vulnerable regardless of our situations. I wanted to show that it is okay if we cry. It’s okay if we need help. It’s okay if we lean on our partners for help. That doing so does not make us weak. I wanted to present black women from different backgrounds as powerful beings even though they might not see themselves that way because of their situations.


Question | What do you do for fun?

Answer | Other than reading and writing, I’m a family history fanatic. I hold a BA in History with a concentration in American History and a MA in History with a concentration in Public History. So for fun I research African American and Native American families of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. I also research land rights issues of both African Americans and Native American families from these areas.


Question | How are you handling this pandemic?

Answer | I spend my time with my kids and husband just hanging out. When I’m not hanging out with them, I work on my stories.


Question | What are your future goals with writing?

Answer | My future goal is to become a bestselling author. Not so much the New York Times, but USA Today bestseller’s list would be an awesome accomplishment.


Question | Who do you look for inspiration?

Answer | My husband is a huge inspiration and my biggest supporter and fan.



Question | Who is your all time favorite author? Is that person different from your favorite author right now?

Answer | I don’t think I have an all time favorite author. There are so many good authors out there like B.Love, K. Alex Walker, Tucora Monique. The author I mostly read right now is Kenya Wright. When she drops a book I make sure I get it.


Question | What is one this you want readers to know about you?

Answer | I’m a normal person. I know if it weren’t for my readers, I wouldn’t be doing what I”m doing. I love to interact with everybody. If they want to chat, they can feel free to email me or hit me up on social media.


Question | Do you struggle with writer's block?

Answer | I think all authors do at some point. It sucks but it’s just a part of writing. Most of the time I write to music. So usually the right song will help my words flow if I get stuck.


Question | Which part of writing do you find most difficult?

Answer | Usually midway through the book is the most difficult part for me. I usually know how a story begins and I know the ending. So when I’m about five or six chapters in my mind is working non-stop so it’s hard for me to pick which way I want to take the story.


Question | Are you an outline 1st writer, or do you just jump in?

Answer | I jump right in. I have no clue how to outline. I wish I did, I’ve heard from other authors that you get a better product that way.


Question | Is writing your day job? If not what do you do?

Answer | I’m a stay at home mom who homeschools. I write when my kid isn’t working on his schooling, so I guess it would be my day job.


Question | Would you consider yourself a bibliophile? How extensive is your book collection?

Answer | I have a few paperbacks, but I read ebooks like crazy. For ebooks my collection is really huge.


Question | What's your favorite food?

Answer | I love Japanese Hibachi


Question | What's the hardest thing about the writing process?

Answer | Having others read what I’ve put my heart and soul into. It was hard coming to the realization that everyone isn’t going to understand what I wrote. But that’s okay as long as I told the story the way I wanted too.


Question | Tell us what are your social media, website and blogs

Answer | Twitter, Instagram and Official Website





Question | What's your name?

Answer | I’ve published articles and short fiction under my actual name: David Griffin Brown. However, I plan to publish novels as Septimus Brown. (My great-grandfather was named Decimus Brown since he was the youngest of ten—I’m the youngest of seven!)


Question | How long have you'be been writing?

Answer | Creatively? Since 7th grade. Committedly? For about 12 years.


Question | Do you have anything published or do you have WIP?

Answer | I have published short stories in literary magazines and articles in sailing and travel magazines. I’ve written a number of manuscripts, and though none are published, two are represented by Valerie Noble (Donaghy Literary Group). Fingers crossed for a book deal someday soon!


Question | What can you tell us about your project?

Answer | My current project is an alternate-Earth speculative fiction series (four books planned) set in a country reminiscent of North Korea. The series is called The Sparrow War, and it’s about a grassroots uprising that’s quickly turning into a full-scale revolution.


Question | What is your favorite part of your current project?

Answer | I’ve just finished the second part, wherein most of the major players in the coming revolution have all banded together to overthrow a prison camp. It was a lot of fun to write, and I enjoy finding out who the characters are, contrary to my own plans for them!


Question | What is your inspiration for your latest project?

Answer | When I was living and teaching in South Korea, I asked a friend what she thought the “ideal solution” was for the conflict between North and South. She said, “that they have a revolution and deal with the problem on their own.” Many South Koreans are worried about the cost of a war, even if they want to see the peninsula reunified. Other sources of inspiration came through research—I spent about a year reading about North Korea and the many brave people who have defected.




Question | What do you do for fun? Answer | When I’m not editing or working on my writing, I like to cycle, hike, and garden, and I also enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends.


Question | How are you handling the pandemic?

Answer | I’m very fortunate to be able to work from home. I certainly miss seeing my friends, but social isolation hasn’t changed my life dramatically.


Question | What are your future goals with writing?

Answer | I hope to land a publishing deal for The Sparrow War, and to keep on writing! Actually, now that I’m between drafts and waiting for edits from critique partners, I’ve started outlining a new novel, which I’m very excited about.


Question | Who do you look for inspiration?

Answer | Award-winning authors, and authors with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.


Question | Who is your all time favorite author? Is that person different from your favorite author right now?

Answer | I love Ursula K Le Guin because she so nicely blends spec-fiction creativity with literary prose. I’ve *nearly* read everything she ever published.


Question | One this you want readers to know about you is?

Answer | I love to sing and play ukulele or guitar, but I’m too shy to sing/play in front of anyone. My new musical project: I’m learning how to DJ :)


Question | Do you struggle with writer's block?

Answer | No, quite the opposite. I’ll never be able to finish all the writing projects I have planned.


Question | Which part of writing do you find most difficult?

Answer | The long wait to hear back from publishers!



Question | Are you an outine 1st author or do you just jump in?

Answer | I am absolutely an outliner. A huge part of the art of a novel is in its structure. I put my “pantsing” creativity into early summaries, which I write over and over to feel my way through the story and characters. For The Sparrow War, I planned out all four books before I wrote a single sentence. Also, I don’t start a manuscript until I’ve hammered out a chapter-by-chapter outline.


Question | Is writing your day job? If not, what do you do?

Answer | I am the owner and senior editor of DarlingAxe.com. We are a collective of fiction editors who are also award-winning writers. When I’m not working on my own projects, I’m helping other authors develop and polish their work.


Question | Would you consider yourself a bibliophile? How extensive is your book collection?

Answer | Absolutely! However, because I work as an editor, I already read for hours each day, so I’ve fallen in love with audio books. I always have an audio book on my phone, and I listen to them whenever I’m out walking, at the gym, or even at home doing chores.


Question | What's your favorite food?

Answer | Almost anything Mexican. We have an awesome restaurant in town called La Taquisa, and I love their veggie mole burritos.


Question | What's the hardest thing about the writing process?

Answer | Revising. It never really gets easier to tear down your work, throw away entire chapters, and start over.


Question | Social media, websites and blogs!

Answer | Official website, Twitter, Twitter # 2, and Instagram

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