Janie Winsill: An interview with Brian Voigt, Sierra Novelist

Updated: Nov 21, 2018

This week we welcome Brian Voigt, author of Purple Rain on Dogwood Lilies. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today!

How long have you been writing?

Brian: I started writing because I went back to college at the age of thirty-eight, in 1998, to finish my bachelors degree. During the first year I had two college professors call me in for a private meeting and tell me I needed to be a writer. A few years later I was a consultant on the start up of a newspaper. I was the first publisher of the company so I chose to focus on news writing and being an opinion columnist. That taught me the basics of writing for readers. When my work as a consultant ended I had an opportunity to do grant writing in my next job which taught me how to tell people’s stories.

In 2010 I submitted an article to Smithsonian Magazine and it was printed. I began looking for ways to turn my passion into a new career and eventually started writing Christian Romance and Investigative Mystery novels. My first book, Winters Edge, published in 2015. In 2016 I published Purple Rain on Dogwood Lilies, and the sequel to that book in 2018, Red Hail Falling. This year I have six additional books scheduled to publish, five of which follow Winters Edge. All of my books are located in the Sierras and I am now known as the Sierra Novelist.

What writing book would you suggest to a new author?

Brian: Building Your Book For Kindle. I read this book first before starting my first manuscript. In some form, a new writer will be interfacing with Kindle Publishing. This book teaches the publishing process for Amazon, and even a standard publisher requires Kindle formatting for a new manuscript. It is very easy to write in Kindle format once you understand the rules.

Who are your favorite authors?

Brian: My favorite author is Gertrude Chandler. She wrote the "Box Car Kids" series and authored the first nineteen books in the series. After her death, her series continued on with over 150 books published.

What was the hardest scene to write in your book?

Brian: Sometimes a book takes you in a direction that you never intended to be in and when that happens, an author has to make hard decisions. After writing eight books, there is one scene in a book that stands out as the single hardest scene to write. It is a true story about a young girl whose life is impacted by a parent who is addicted to drugs. In real life, the girl died over twenty-five years ago. I wrote it to honor her and the book is dedicated to her, although in the book it is a different person with a different age and circumstances. The scene in the book involved physical abuse where her mother beats her up as a child. I struggled with whether to even write her into the book, and how to do it in a way that would be less offensive to the reader. In the end I felt that her story was impacting, and even though I was writing a fictional novel, it was a story that needed to be told.

More About Brian

Brian Voigt is a writer and novelist who is local to the Sierras. He lives in the California High Desert region of the Eastern Sierras with his wife and daughters. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in business and has over thirty years of experience in newspaper marketing and management, having worked for distinguished news organizations including the Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times, New Times Los Angeles and Gatehouse Media during his career, as well as running Voigt News Services. He also has ten years of experience working in non-profit ministry with children and community services. As a writer, he worked in Central Arizona as a newspaper publisher, news writer and opinion columnist. He has also been published in Smithsonian Magazine concerning life in the Sierra High Desert region. His books are Christian western romance and investigative mystery with an emphasis on family life and healing relationships. Brian has authored the "Love Comes Lately" series, the first two books of which are published, “Purple Rain on Dogwood Lilies” and “Red Hail Falling.” He also publishes the Red Mill Canyon series, the first of which, “Winter’s Edge,” has already been published with five additional books in the series waiting to go to press in 2018.

Website and Blog: brianvoigt.com

Email: brian@brianvoigt.com

Facebook: Brian Voigt: Sierra Novelist

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Brian-Voigt/e/B0791SPJB1/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Purple Rain on Dogwood Lilies

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