It’s been just over a year since Carol Brisebois self-published her sparrow, her debut novel, and she hasn’t stepped away from the keyboard since. Sunday, Jan. 29 sees the official release of Brisebois’s second novel, Trip, at McNally Robinson.
“After I wrote her sparrow, people were asking me when I would write another novel,” Brisebois says over the phone.
“They say it takes 10 years to develop your craft, so I decided I would write for 10 years and get good at it. So I wasn’t really planning to publish her sparrow, but the people that I showed the manuscript to liked it, so I went ahead with that and then people were asking for another novel, so I went ahead with that.”
Trip tells the story of Haze, a character that continues in the spirit of her first book.
“(He) has similar problems to the first character (Nate from her sparrow), but yet he has to live as an adult and as a parent. Since in her sparrow the protagonist dies, what I did was I imagined what would happen if Nate (the protagonist) had lived, and I made him into a different character with a different name and I kind of took the story from there.”
“ I just sit in front of the computer and make stuff up.
To protect his girlfriend Fate and her daughter Serenity from a menacing drug dealer, 21-year-old Haze takes them on a road trip from Winnipeg down the Yellowhead Highway.
But just before they get to Saskatoon, his dream of escaping collides head on with the secrets kept from him, and Haze must fight with all he’s got to reclaim the two girls he loves most.
“I just sit in front of the computer and make stuff up,” Brisebois says. “My inspiration is everything I’ve ever experienced in my life, all the people I’ve known, stories I’ve known. It all comes to you when you’re sitting in front of the computer.”
As an author, Brisebois is always learning and developing her craft.
“I have asked for some advice from the Winnipeg Public Library Writer-In-Residences. Their advice is to always ‘show, don’t tell.’ So I think I’m on my way to becoming more able to ‘show’ the action rather than ‘tell’, through the character’s eyes.”
Rather than publishing her novels through a big name publishing house, Brisebois prefers the DIY approach of self-publishing.
“I’m not going to live forever, and my plan was really only to write that one novel, and I really wanted to put it into people’s hands. That was the fastest way to do it.”
But there must be pros and cons to self-publishing in comparison to using a real publishing house.
“I’ve never had a ‘published’ novel, so I don’t really know,” Brisebois laughs. “I just know that with self-publishing ,most people reading the book I know somehow. So they get back to me about the story, and what they like about it. So that’s really nice, and then that gives me ideas.”
Trip: A Novel is being released Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m. at McNally Robinso Grant Park in the atrium, and is available for purchase through McNally, Amazon and Friesen Press.