Here’s a bit about me: My name is Brianna Goux

I have an unhealthy obsession with giraffes

I’m graduating from the University of Iowa this May

I own a cat, a dog, a horse, and probably have a future animal hoarding problem.

My proof: besides being the only Brianna Goux alive (and maybe ever), here is some proof that I am who I say I am.

Proof, proof, proof and my cat (not proof, I just think she's cute). Oh, and my website

Hello! I’m the author of Amara’s Rose- a Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy novel with kickass female leads. I started writing this novel because when I went to middle school all of my friends when to different schools so Rose, Phoenix, Sylvia, and Derek became my friends. I wrote of their adventures and from that this book came forth. My motivation for carrying this novel through the long, arduous process of taking it from a shitty first draft, through editing, and to publishing is that I wanted to write the characters I wish I had read growing up. This book is groundbreaking for this genre in that four out of my five main characters are female, there are no predominant romantic plots or love triangles; there is only a mission Rose is on to save her people and the determination of my characters to save their world.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and have gone from writing short stories about a border collie named Millie to writing 400 page novels about Rose and her intergalactic adventures. The first novel, which was published a few days ago, I have been working on for five years. Ask me anything about life, writing, or giraffes- I’ve got answers for you.

EDIT: Amazon link for those of you asking

EDIT 2: I've been at this for seven hours- I'm going to take a quick 30 minute break

EDIT 3: It's been 9 1/2 hours- I'll try and answer the remaining questions tomorrow. I'm going to try to get to everyone so don't fear if I haven't answered your questions yet!

FINAL EDIT: I wanted to answer everyone's question, but unfortunately things are going south. I am not perfect, this is my first novel, and I have a lot to learn. I'm happy that many of you seem interested, and I'm happy that many of you gave me feedback. I'm always looking to learn and feel as though this situation has taught me a lot. Cheers!

Comments: 2741 • Responses: 180  • Date: 

Llim3732 karma

What are giraffes even trying to do?

BriannaMGoux4251 karma

I'm not sure, but I'm glad they're trying to do it.

Fun fact: I got to feed giraffes once and I cried

AxezCore350 karma

Did you know swans can be gay?

BriannaMGoux220 karma

I did! I think its lovely

Ndemco10 karma

it's*

Come on, Brianna, you're better than that.

BriannaMGoux10 karma

I am. Too many questions and too fast typing

Will_dance_for_bells151 karma

There's a drive through safari park here in the UK where I live. You can buy a box of food and the giraffes come and stick their heads in the car to get some eats. It's so much fun.

Congratulations on the book! Think my daughter will love it.

EDIT: For those of you that asked it's West Midlands Safari Park in Kidderminster, UK. I haven't been for years but at one point went every birthday for a five year stretch. There used to be a monkey section too but they had to close it due to the monkeys royally screwing up cars.

BriannaMGoux118 karma

I might have to visit where you live then. . .

Thank you! I hope she does :)

AgaveNeomexicana139 karma

Get to those really delicious leaves just up there a little higher . . .

BriannaMGoux182 karma

This is a good answer, that's what I would be doing if I were a giraffe.

Merari011239 karma

I've often thought that SciFi is at its core a sociological genre - put normal human beings in outlandish situations and examine what the outcome of that may be.

Do you agree with that and what are some of the main themes you adress in this book?

BriannaMGoux840 karma

Ohhhh, I like your view on that. I think that it could be, for certain novels, but I wouldn't put the whole genre in there. This is because there are books, like mine, where the main characters aren't human and therefore it creates a different balance of things. However, I could see the validity of your point in novels that do feature humans in outlandish situations. My main themes that are addressed within this book are ambition, coming of age, courage, discovery, and loss.

Merari01304 karma

Thanks for the reply!

I think that even in books that feature primarily or solely non-human characters the main scope would still fall under sociology, since it is impossible to be completely divorced from our own humanity. It would then be a view of humanity through an alien lens, but still a human view by necessity. Because if it were to be fully alien then there would be nothing for a human reader to identify themselves with.

In the seminal "The Dance of the Changer and Three" by Terry Carr the only human character is the narrator who tries to explain this fully alien story to a human audience and coming to the conclusion that the story must be taken as is, because they are alien any human interpretation of this story that is so important to this alien culture must always fall flat because we cannot ever completely understand their psychology.

The Dance of the Changer and Three teaches us that whatever we do, we will always be locked inside our own skulls, viewing the universe through human eyes.

I wish you the best and hope your book is a great success. :)

BriannaMGoux137 karma

That sounds interesting- I'll have to give it a read!

Thank you so much for your support!

Merari0135 karma

You definitely should, it's a great short story!

I looked, but it doesn't seem to be available online in a full version. But I'm sure you can find a book of short stories that has it for very little money online. It's been reprinted a lot.

BriannaMGoux47 karma

Awesome, I'll put it on my to read list!

MonkeyPlug1156 karma

Do you think there is an important distinction to be made here between being "published" and being "self-published"? Not to detract from your accomplishments, but those processes aren't analogous.

ApathyJacks814 karma

Your comment should be at the top, bolded and in 50-point font.

THIS BOOK IS SELF-PUBLISHED, and this AMA is a commercial. Although writing/finishing a full novel is hard, self-publishing it is not an achievement.

BriannaMGoux37 karma

I'm sorry you feel this way :(

cecliacks182 karma

The grammar errors in that dust jacket copy would make it seem important.

BriannaMGoux9 karma

An old dust-jacket got uploaded when I was putting words to save space as compared to the current dust-jacket. I'm sorry for this error

BriannaMGoux52 karma

They aren't, but I think that if others can buy your novel then you're published. The processes aren't the same, but the end result of being published is

BoobieBoobieButtButt25 karma

*others

*you're

midnightmatinees71 karma

And therein lies one difference between "self published" and "published".

BriannaMGoux56 karma

To be fair, I've set myself up for this one

BriannaMGoux29 karma

Sorry, I'm typing fast as I'm trying to get to everyone's questions. Not an example of my best typing but I'm trying to talk to as many people as I can!

JavierLoustaunau1106 karma

My g.f. is an extremely good writer but the distance between 'typing in a word document' and 'being published' seems intimidatingly vast to her.

What would you say where the steps (big or small) from aspiring to published?

BriannaMGoux1245 karma

I would say that you can't look at it and see the end. You have to look at it and see the next step - that's her goal. Only after that she had to move on to the next step. She can keep publishing in mind, but the distance will be discouraging. She has to do it step by step. If she has a passion for writing and for what she's writing she just has to start the journey. It's vast, but it is SO worth it. Tell her I say good luck! She'll be there before she knows it!

Edit: forgot a word

existentialadvisor366 karma

So...what does someone have to do to get published?

261TurnerLane354 karma

This is self-publishing. You literally could self-publish a book on Amazon in ten minutes. And then there are services which you pay to publish your book, like the one OP used. This form of publishing is as open and easy as it gets. If your GF wants to hold her own book in her hand, she could do it, for a price. Traditional publishing is long and hard and discouraging. When I got my first short story published in an anthology you could go to the store and buy, I cried. It was the end result of a long and hard road. I've recently finished my second full-length novel (the first one I'm trying to sell) and it's been two months of mostly rejections. But that's the game. You have to find that right agent. And then they have to find that right publisher, and so on, and three years from now I might be able to walk into a store and buy my book.

BriannaMGoux30 karma

I didn't pay anything :)

BriannaMGoux17 karma

Depends if they decide to go the traditional route or not.

existentialadvisor28 karma

So...traditional being working hard or having a trust fund and connections on the inside?

BriannaMGoux26 karma

That's not true. Anyone can be traditionally published without dropping any money. You just have to find the right agent for your work

elheber20 karma

So... the steps from aspiring writer to published writer are: to look only at the next step?

BriannaMGoux28 karma

To take it step by step. Keep the end in mind, but don't try and tackle it all at once.

elheber39 karma

Yes but what steps should we not tackle all at once? Please don't answer, "all of them," followed by more inspiration words. We just need at least some concrete steps.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I just started fasting for a thing and I'm irritable. But it's like you're purposefully dancing around the question.

BriannaMGoux9 karma

Start with drafting- get everything down on the page without worrying about how "perfect" it is. Let your ideas flow. Move onto editing- this is where you make sure that things make sense Then it depends on what route you want to go with publishing.

Laetitian15 karma

You have to look it and see the next step

BriannaMGoux21 karma

What is typing? lol

i_stay_turnt4 karma

How long did it take for your book to publish?

BriannaMGoux3 karma

Using CreateSpace once I had the final product ready to roll it took 3 days

dmwe225101 karma

Highly recommend she read Stephen King's "On Writing"

BriannaMGoux64 karma

EXCELLENT BOOK

eqleriq47 karma

My g.f. is an extremely good writer but the distance between 'typing in a word document' and 'being published' seems intimidatingly vast to her.

What would you say where the steps (big or small) from aspiring to published?

Huh? You can upload a PDF to amazon and be "published"

NotClever44 karma

I was going to say that the parent was probably talking about the journey to finding a publisher for the book, but it's not entirely clear that OP's book is not self published. Clearly there are paper copies, but the website doesn't say anything about a publisher and a google search doesn't turn up any results from publisher websites, so maybe OP is just self published?

Edit: Further down OP does confirm that this is self published.

BriannaMGoux29 karma

I am, in fact, self published :)

LFAH9416 karma

Brianna, as someone who's trying to do the same (while racing against the college graduation clock), how did you manage to self-publish without paying anything? There are decent self publishers here in Canada but even a short run of 10 paperbacks is going to set me back at least a few hundred bucks. Any suggestions?

BriannaMGoux27 karma

Go through CreateSpace and Amazon. That's what I did! You just have to buy the ISBN number

SharkBaitDLS21 karma

You actually don’t even need to buy an ISBN if you don’t mind your publisher being listed as “Independently Published”. So it’s possible to do with zero cost.

BriannaMGoux14 karma

This is very true

BriannaMGoux8 karma

She probably is headed on a more traditional route for publishing which is daunting. Additionally, there is a difference from publishing trash on Amazon and publishing a well put together novel (which also requires a lot of steps and is daunting).

LostVaultDweller18 karma

You can try to find an agent who pushes your novel to publishers. Look into that (obviously I'm expecting you to do a ton of research on your own. Just presenting an option you may have not known about)

BriannaMGoux25 karma

Agents, traditionally, are the first step to pushing to publishers.

captainfashion451 karma

Why is "4 female leads" the leading selling point for your sci fi book and not...i dunno... an interesting story, excellent writing style, compelling character development, etc. ..... ?

mburke1124198 karma

I mean if you read the summary on Amazon you'll understand why. It sounds fucking terrible.

EDIT: I was thinking my post was a bit mean even though it doesn't have negative karma. This is just my opinion. We're all different. You might like it. Don't let what someone on the internet dissuade you from checking something out you might like.

BriannaMGoux61 karma

That's fair! What sounds bad to you? I'm always open for critics!

Dawggoneit104 karma

As an author you describe yourself as wanting to write stories with strong, independent female leads who don't "need a man," but in your description

Waking up on Earth she discovers the portals have stopped working and that she must team up with Earth’s Gatekeeper, Derek, to get back to Amara.

Your story falls back on the classic "Damsel in Distress" trope you said you wanted to avoid. I'm sure the story is more complex in the actual book, but based on the description this seems like a significant contradiction.

BriannaMGoux54 karma

Fair enough, I didn't see it that way. In the novel they're working together towards a goal because they're both Gatekeepers and it's their job to protect the planets. I'm sorry that it came off to you as Rose being a "damsel in distress." And I can see why you would think that. Thank you for your critic!

BriannaMGoux197 karma

Because you can read the back cover text and decide if the plot sounds interesting to you. What I can't convey there is the female badassery within the book. Science Fiction lacks strong female leads so it truly is a selling point of the novel. I can assure you though that this book also has an interesting story, excellent writing, and compelling character development. Thank you for your criticism I'll take that into consideration :)

entropizer349 karma

It might have been helpful if you unpackaged "female badassery" for us, in a "show, don't tell" kind of way. As it is now, you just assert that your book meets a demographic checklist without giving the reader any real idea what to expect. This was really offputting to me, and apparently to others too. What does "female badassery" mean to you? Can you give an example from your book or from other works that influenced your writing? What's your favorite episode of Buffy, say, and why?

If somebody said, "tell me about yourself" and you responded by saying "I'm a woman" without elaborating on it, that'd be a really quick way to kill the conversation. When you're describing your book, things kind of work the same way. You've given us nothing to talk about except your pictures and your identity as a young white female author. That's boring and superficial. It reeks of the YA marketing sheen that's become all too common in the industry. What are you actually like? What does your book actually do? Talk to us about your ideas, not your identity. Ideas are what are actually important, the reason I actually like to read books. If I want identity I'll go watch E! News or browse /r/subredditdrama.

BriannaMGoux-36 karma

Okay, good critic! First off, I'm not entirely white I'm also a member of Lummi Nation (registered with the government and everything) so I'm also Native American. I'm stubborn, pig-headed, and I don't let anything stop me from getting what I want. I'm determined and I go after my dreams. Female Badassery to me is showing that women all of strengths of their own and we can use those to their full extent without need a man. We can get anything done we put out minds to and we can tackle any obstacle. The world is our oyster. My characters don't back down from challenges and they each find ways to use their own strengths to reach their goals. I hope this answers your question more specifically.

BakingBatman54 karma

I agree that it's a weird selling point and it kinda feels forced. I'm not sure at all if people choose sci-fi books dependant on the gender. I also think whoever decides to buy a book based on the main characters' genitals has wrong priorities.

Atleast that's me. I'm interested in a good story, setting, etc and I don't care what the main characters have between their legs as long the book entertaining.

BriannaMGoux30 karma

I wish it wasn't dependent on gender, but the imbalance in sci-fi with gender right now make this an important point.

siouxsie_siouxv2407 karma

How long were you able to keep the costume on the cat?

BriannaMGoux565 karma

About three minutes. . . and the entire time I was holding her to take the picture while she was trying to gouge my eyes out and get the thing off. She now likes to "hunt" the costume and kill it for its evil deeds.

pollackey147 karma

It is all written on her face.

BriannaMGoux141 karma

I thought it was hard to tell ;)

GiveMeTheTape70 karma

Your next book should be a grimdark tale inspired by these events.

BriannaMGoux73 karma

That's actually not a bad idea. . .

PopeTheReal38 karma

I also came for the cat..congrats on book tho :)

BriannaMGoux29 karma

Thank you :)

CaptainKyloStark16 karma

that cat is seriously contemplating smothering you in your sleep

BriannaMGoux7 karma

She's tried before

MarkoWolf320 karma

How much have you spent, out of pocket, from start to finish?

BriannaMGoux632 karma

So far about less than 1,000. The editor was paid for by my parents who are awaiting me to pay them back every penny. So including what I owe my parents I'll be at about 5,000. I could've paid them back before, but they don't want me to deplete my savings.

entropizer351 karma

Thank you for answering this. I didn't expect it, but I really appreciate the honesty.

BriannaMGoux526 karma

I always try to be honest. Unfortunately some people on here think I'm a lying trust fund baby :(

Fetus-P360 karma

I think people are overusing trust fund, but you seem to be blessed with a nicer upraising than a good chunk of people. That is why they are being like that.

Not to many people can get their folks to give them 4k without wanting to be paid back.

I wouldn't be offended by it, I'd be proud that my family did well and are supportive

BriannaMGoux245 karma

Not trust fund, but I was blessed with a nice upraising. I'm glad they're supportive of me :)

mydogisagrizzlybear251 karma

So you're self-published. It's extremely obvious based on your, frankly, lackluster cover design and lack of information on Amazon. This is no impressive feat, and I'm not trying to be mean. Literally anyone can self-publish a book.

How did you convince the mods otherwise?

BriannaMGoux109 karma

I showed them how many copies I've sold :)

frenchbritchick193 karma

Congratulations !

I guess I only have one question: how did you afford this? And by this I mean the professional editor, graphic designer, and world class marketer?

get8bit840 karma

Hi, I designed the cover. My portfolio. Kinda wished I'd asked for a credit given the AMA blowing up like this.

BriannaMGoux23 karma

I'm sorry for not giving your proper dues. That is my fault :(

BriannaMGoux117 karma

The marketer is a friend so he's free (which is nice). The graphic designer I hired off of reddit for 300 dollars, and the professional editor my parents loaned me the money for and I am working on paying them back. I wasn't even old enough to have a job when it was edited so I wasn't able to pay for that myself.

eqleriq170 karma

Can you detail out your experiences with "publishing?" I see a lot of comments in awe of this, frankly, trivial thing.

I know of many YA authors who have agents and publishers that will not touch anyone who is self-published, and contractually require them to abstain from doing so. If something was already self-published, it will never be picked up for major publication. Maybe in the early days where that was still an interesting rags to riches story, but I was surprised to find how vilified that process is when to me it sounds like the definition of proactivity.

I am assuming that you've essentially self-published your novel, and did not go through Big Publishing to do it, else you wouldn't be running your own AMA and would be linking to / referring to your publishers as required by contract.

Further, you spoke about carrying the novel "through editing." Did you self-edit, or have an editor review? Especially with YA, an editor's role is aligned completely with a publisher because they will edit the story to increase target audience stickiness + product potential, so it isn't merely proofreading.

Any marketing or ad budget (besides word-of-mouth social like this AMA)?

Did you consult anyone regarding these issues? Were you aware of them?

Or did you simply DIY the whole thing?

I'm interested to know as again the aspiring writers I work with all seem to have the same issue of self-publishing leading to success being a fairy tale pushed by those interested to profit from mass amounts of self-publishing, and for NYT bestseller levels you will either not find or see a cover-up regarding their self-publishing days.

Good luck!

BriannaMGoux105 karma

The industry has changed a lot in recent years. Self-publishing is becoming bigger for first time authors as it is becoming harder and harder to traditionally publish with the decline of sales for physical books. I've found through going to conferences and asking publishers and agents specifically about this issue that many are changing their views to pick up authors whose self-published work sells well. All that said, I also may never go traditional. I enjoy having control over my novel and final say on everything regarding it. That's just my opinion. However, I believe that if I chose to go the traditional route with a publishing house that I wouldn't have an issue finding a publisher to pick up my novel if it sells well.

As for editing I had a professional editor that I worked with for a year and a half on making sure this manuscript was the best it could be. Not all editors are aligned with publishers these days, and the editing the story to cater to a crowd is the opposite of what I wanted. Writing is my passion, I'm not in it for the money, and I'm going to stay true to my writing and my stories.

As for marketing I am fortunate enough to know a world-class marketer who is helping me market my novel.

I consulted a lot of people and have been to several writing conferences where I have been able to ask the professionals these question so I did not go into this process blind. I was well informed about the flaws and issues that come with this process.

The world of writing is ever changing and I believe in what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. I'm not in it for the money. I write because it's my passion- everything else is a bonus.

Kauffmann61676 karma

You did well to hire and editor and seek the help of that marketer, but you should definitely be prepared for an uphill battle. That marketer is going to be your best friend, so definitely seek their advice as this continues.

I just wanted to let you know, from someone who self-published eight books and is currently trying to sneak into traditional publishing, that writing and releasing the book is much, much easier than the rest of the process. Keep a strong hand on your social media, post every day, but mostly don't assume people will want to read your book or automatically respect you for self-publishing.

In fact, it's the opposite. Readers want any chance to be distracted away from your work, and it's up to you to make them care enough about you to read your book. Writing YA makes that easier because you have a larger base that's easier to manage, but keeping up with your platform is still going to be the toughest part of your job.

That said, this AMA has (relatively) exploded, so I wish you the best of luck and that your head is always full of stories.

BriannaMGoux49 karma

I'm well prepared for the uphill battle! I know that a lot of people aren't going to take me seriously and it's going to be hard. But I'm ready and I'm confident.

IamRooseBoltonAMA32 karma

What conferences are you going to? I would kill to meet and talk to publishers and agents in person.

BriannaMGoux34 karma

Conference in Seattle, there's a big yearly one that the Seattle Writer's puts on for a whole weekend. Google for conferences near you!

singularfunzone6 karma

I've now written 2 novels and am working on a third. I have sent out countless queries and received some compliments, but all ultimately resulting in a "no". At this point, do I keep adjusting my query letter and get back on the horse of submitting, or is it time to consider paying an editor and self-publishing?

Each book has progressively gotten better and better. My thoughts: Pnce I can get this 3rd book completed it has the best chance of being picked up/published. At that point, I could potentially work with my publisher on getting the previous 2 improved and published.

Thoughts?

BriannaMGoux2 karma

If you believe in the project get and editor and then re-query agents. They may simple want a project that's been more polished. If you think the 3rd book is the best then I would start with that one rather than getting an editor (those cost money). It someone picks it up and it gets published you can pitch your other two books to them and see if they like it. And at that point you'll probably be working with an editor anyway.

RadioactiveWombat155 karma

Just wondering why you posted two selfies with you holding up the book as "proof". It doesn't seem to prove anything, and if it did, why would you need two of them to do so?

BriannaMGoux34 karma

Not sure why I posted two- that's a good question. It's just me with my book- you don't have to believe if you don't want to! The admins accepted my proof that I'm me

br0kentree102 karma

Hi Brianna,

My question is, do your kickass female leads accomplish their goals on the merits of their work or do they post a gratuitous number of pictures that advertise themselves as attractive young women in order to use objectification to their advantage when it suits them?

Thanks in advance for the answer.

BriannaMGoux7 karma

Considering there's no cameras on the planet of Amara they all get it done through the merit of their own work! Thanks for the question!

Dude_Check_This_Out78 karma

[removed]

BriannaMGoux199 karma

I'm not a trust-fund baby, I bought that horse with my own money and I work hard to earn the money to keep him. I did my first two years of college for free and have the highest academic scholarships you can get at my school in order to be able to afford my degree. Yes, I did publish on Amazon, but I've worked hard for everything I have and you can't take that away from me.

TtAoD40 karma

What did you do that you could afford to buy and take care of a horse at such a young age?

BriannaMGoux100 karma

He's a back yard pony- cost me 700 bucks and I've worked full-time since I was 16

TtAoD13 karma

How do you manage doing so much at such a young age?

Two years ago when I was your age I ended up overburdening myself and my latent anxiety and depression imploded. I might be a special case since I had been doing that for years and pretending everything was fine, but I always advise against it especially since you're young and you have plenty of time to make the most of the world.

BriannaMGoux15 karma

I spent years with high anxiety that forced myself to do so much without slowing down. It took a toll on me mentally and physically, but now the amount of stuff I do doesn't seem so bad since I completely murdered myself to do more earlier in life. I know there's still places I need to cut back for my life to be balanced, but I'm doing the best I can right now.

Wutsluvgot2dowitit10 karma

What did you do, aside from writing obviously

BriannaMGoux30 karma

I'm an intern at a tax firm

LithiumFireX60 karma

How is your last name pronounced?

BriannaMGoux94 karma

Goo

IsayPoirot14 karma

Goo?

BriannaMGoux14 karma

Yup!

thatguywithglasses9757 karma

I read someone ask a similar question quite rudely, so I thought I'd rephrase it to something a little better.

As a writer, how do you reconcile with your young age and experiences? We're about the same age, and I dabble on writing, but whenever I write something, I can't shake the feeling that I'm going to look back on it in 10 years and cringe.

Obviously it's not necessary for a writer to be old and wizened, but I sometimes I feel like my experiences are somewhat prohibitively inadequate to write about the things I want to write about.

BriannaMGoux16 karma

I think that despite my age I've had a lot of life experience. I've lost loved ones, I've tried to kill myself, I've struggled with addictions, and I've fought hard to be standing where I am today. That being said, I'm writing Young Adult Fiction. I've lived through being a young adult and have that life experience in order to write this genre.

In the end though I believe there is validity to everyone's life experiences no matter how old they are. The kids I nanny have taught me more about life than almost anyone else

smallshinyant8 karma

Great answer. Life experience of the young is often discounted by the older (gotta be some advantage to getting old, right?). I hope you keep writing for many years, so when some future human finds and binge reads your books they will be able to read your changing mindset through your life time. Best of luck!

Q: any plans to get an audio book version out there?

BriannaMGoux10 karma

Plans are being made!

sonofabutch52 karma

Young Adult can mean a lot of things... is this book appropriate for 10-12 year olds? Or is it more aimed at a high school audience?

BriannaMGoux75 karma

It's aimed at anyone from 10-15 give or take; however, I'm hoping to write it in the way Harry Potter is done. That is, I want to start with aiming my novel at the younger portion of readers (10-13) and have the books grow in maturity with them.

sonofabutch18 karma

I think that's an awesome way to do it! Good luck.

BriannaMGoux13 karma

Thank you!

Jaybird_Rex51 karma

First off Not trying to be an asshole but your proof really doesn't make sense the first and second one could have been stolen from your website and the third one just completely confuses me as it's just the cover of your book

Secondly what is your favorite kind of sandwich?

BriannaMGoux23 karma

I sent the admins my driver's license as well to prove that I'm Brianna Goux, but I didn't feel comfortable posting that here so you have every right to be suspicious.

I like tuna sandwiches.

texastom3249 karma

How much time do you spend in a day writting?

BriannaMGoux57 karma

Usually less than an hour. I'm busy with school and work right now so I don't write enough :(

bitoffit45 karma

Did you find it hard to write the length? I love writing but I always give up a few chapters in.. I can't get the length.

BriannaMGoux45 karma

No, it was more of I was writing while on a road trip with my family and all the sudden it hit me that I had a book. I was just continuing and moseying along with it. That's probably not helpful, but if you find the right project you'll never want to stop working on it.

Pr0SparUs33 karma

I saw in a previous question that you admire Bradbury's writing style and J.K. Rowling's plot/character development. In a similar vein, what do you hope to your audience commends you for after reading Amara's rose?

Also, was there anything in particular that inspired the storyline for your book?

BriannaMGoux44 karma

My dream I've had for what I want to be remembered for is for writing those strong female characters that girls can identify with. I think YA Sci-fi needs more badass female characters without a plot that predominantly follows a love interest. Girls kick ass without men just fine. I want to write characters that people can identify with and really relate to. My storyline was actually inspired by an adventure I had with my friend one day. We were playing make believe when I was younger (it had to do with dragons) and we looked up in the sky and saw this bright ball of light (that wasn't the sun) that dissipated after a minute. So, naturally, we incorporated that into our game as the portal to the dragon world. Thinking back on this incident years later as I was walking through the same woods we were playing in that day got me thinking and from that came this book!

Duke_Paul31 karma

Hi there! Thanks for doing an AMA.

I assume you're a reader, not just a writer--how did you get into reading? Who are some of your favorite authors? How did you decide to go with intergalactic adventures, as opposed to...literally any other genre? Do your many animal companions play a role in this novel? Also, how do you feel about onions?

Most importantly: which Teen Titan, and why?

BriannaMGoux40 karma

Starting off with the most important question: the original because the humour was so on point and the characters felt more real than whatever Teen Titans Go! Has going on right now. I adore the one I grew up with.

Yes! I've always been a reader. I remember learning to read with my dad specifically when I was younger and his mother was an English teacher so she fostered the love of reading in me as a child. I attribute my love of literature and writing to her. She passed away two years ago this month and I miss her everyday.

Favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

To be honest I adore classics. My dad bought be a bunch for Christmas when I was 12 and I've been hooked ever since. I started writing about intergalactic travels though because I wanted to write worlds where I'm not bound by traditional rules that we have here on Earth. I wanted limitless possibilities and adventure.

Edit: because my fingers slipped and posted this before I was actually done

Duke_Paul14 karma

Oh haha I mean I assumed original Teen Titans--I was wondering which of the five (or Terra, or TTWest, or whomever else) you preferred, or most identified with, or something.

Teen Titans Go! is...let's just say I don't watch it.

BriannaMGoux23 karma

Okay, my bad! Glad to know that you weren't asking which version, because let's be honest, there isn't even a question there as to which is best. When I was younger I liked Starfire best for her bubbly personality, but as I got older (and began struggling with depression) I began to identify more with Raven and her reclusive personality.

Duke_Paul11 karma

It was a poorly worded question, at best, no worries.

I'm sorry to hear about your mother--she sounds like an amazing woman. Depression is also no picnic. Hopefully you have a solid support network--obviously you have your small menagerie--but in case you ever need to talk, The Internet will be here : )

BriannaMGoux9 karma

It was my father's mother, so my grandmother. Sorry for that confusion. And she was an amazing woman. I have the best support network. My parents and friends helped me through two years of weekly therapy and beginning to take medicine. My small menagerie were always silently there for cuddles which was great for when I didn't want to talk. I'm doing amazing currently which is such a great feeling :)

sonofabutch29 karma

How hard was it to scrap everything you'd been working on since the age of 12, and start over? Was it a gradual process, like a Ship of Theseus type of thing... replacing a few paragraphs here and there, and then you realize you've rewritten everything... or was it more one night you just opened up a new Word document and started over?

BriannaMGoux55 karma

So I actually started my first draft on a type-writer that my grandmother had given me. When I was transferring it from there to word I realized that the story sucked, so I pulled out the pieces I liked and threw away what I didn't. What I was left with was the first half of the plot, and my main characters. From there I reshaped it, and rewrote about 75% of it. I didn't like the other one as much, and the ending wasn't true to the book. It wasn't too hard because it was never a job to me- I've always loved the story and the world I got to play in when writing it. For me it wasn't work so I didn't see the set-back in scrapping everything.

rickshadey24 karma

So i went to your Amazon link and was prompted to sign up for kindleunlimited and I could "Read this title for free" How does that work out for you?

BriannaMGoux11 karma

I get royalties based on how many pages you read. So don't worry, I'll be able to buy dinner

aliceiggles22 karma

[removed]

Trev_Holland43 karma

Why would that bother her? She purposely left out the bit about being self-published. I mean, people are asking her how it feels to be published and she's talking about how it feels so good and she was crying and shit, completely skipping the part about how she paid to put her book out there self-published it for free on a website where anyone could self-publish literally anything that can be bound between two book covers. She wasn't discovered by anyone.

She's not telling people she self-published on purpose. It makes her seem more special, more important. And that's the only reason this entire post exists. Stroking that ego.

BriannaMGoux6 karma

I didn't pay anything and I've happily told a lot of people that I'm self-published.

Thumper136 karma

I'm a writer who has thus far avoided POD (for now) so I kind of understand this opinion. However, these days there are a lot of valid reasons to skip the traditional publishing route. Generally, nobody cares how or who publishes a work they enjoy. There are plenty of self-publishing successes now for it to be a viable, but still hard, way to get your work out there. Ultimately, no matter how it's printed, the writer is responsible to the reader.

BriannaMGoux2 karma

I did my best to give the reader the best product I could, and I now that some people are going to like it and some are going to hate it and that's fine with me

[deleted]1 karma

[removed]

BriannaMGoux4 karma

My book came out two days ago, so the people who ordered it are just getting it today. The reviews will come in I'm sure, but I'm sorry you feel as it has no value.

BriannaMGoux3 karma

I'd like to think that doesn't make a difference (but it does) and I'm not hiding that fact. I'll happily say I'm self-published :)

Wladislaus-da-great16 karma

Ayo Brianna check it fam. Giraffes ain compete wit da BBC. Ain dat rite?

BriannaMGoux24 karma

I feel like this is in another language. . .

WeHaveFreshCookies15 karma

Brianna Goux is a REALLY familiar name. Were you a lifeguard at a summer camp in Northern Washington around four years ago?

Edit: nailed it.

BriannaMGoux9 karma

I was. . .

cents_and_sense15 karma

I am a student at the University of Iowa as well (a bit older than you, I'm 21) who just finished the first draft of a novel that looks to be about the same length as yours. Unlike you, I'm nowhere near ready to have it published. First off, congratulations! Secondly, how was the process of self-publishing? It's something I will most likely do when I feel my novel is ready, so I'd like to hear about your journey. Finally, how did you decide when the book was finished? It seems that no matter how many revisions I make, I always think that something is lacking. I might be able to better polish the characters, trim down fluff to better specify motivations, or just make all-around improvements. As a result, it seems like I'm going to be trapped in a never-ending loop of revisions. Any advice would be appreciated. I'll make sure to check out your book when I get through my current reading list. Again, congratulations!

BriannaMGoux4 karma

I hired an editor to help me go through my book and make it the best that it could be and editor will help you find what's missing so that it feels finished to you. Go for the editor or have an honest friend read it and tell you what they think. Feel free to message me!

iLiveEvil15 karma

How does it feel to get published?

Do you have plots ready for the next ones in the series or will you plan them based on the response you get for this one?

How has been the response so far?

BriannaMGoux15 karma

It feels like I'm dreaming to be a little cliche (but quite honest). I cried like a baby. It's amazing.

I have a very vague outline for four more books in this series, but I write more off of feeling. It's more like I'm watching something happen and writing what I see rather than generating ideas. So, in the end, my characters have the final say in where the story goes. My goal is to be true to them and true to myself and my writing. That being said, if I get responses that inspire me to change where I'm going then I will take the inspiration.

The response so far has been unbelievable! Better than I ever hoped for.

HeyJustWantedToSay25 karma

but I write more off of feeling.

This is something (similarly, at least) a LOT of young writers I've talked to say. I used to think the same. Eventually that gets abandoned because 99% of the time you can't create a cohesive, well-thought-out story if you're just making it up as you go.

I wish you the best of luck! Keep it up.

Edit - Some of y’all are giving me examples of like the top five writers in the world who have been doing this for decades.

BriannaMGoux4 karma

Fair enough point, but that's my experience so far. Who knows, it might change.

TheBeight15 karma

I was going to buy your novel, but saw that you go to University of Iowa so I canceled my order. Go Cyclones!

What are you studying at Iowa?

(Just kidding, I still bought it. Excited to read it!)

BriannaMGoux19 karma

Psh, I wouldn't want a Cyclone reading my stuff anyway (jk). I'm studying English and Creative Writing! Thank you for your interest- tell me what you think!

WatermelonSailboat7 karma

Did your professors (not just within your major) know that you were writing a novel?

If yes, did they have any advice or things of that nature?

If no, what is a book that you really enjoyed reading and had a sad ending?

BriannaMGoux8 karma

Some of them did and they all gave me different pieces of advice to go along with it. And Where the Red Fern Grows- it always gets me

Choco31615 karma

You're graduating from college at 20?!?

BriannaMGoux21 karma

I'm actually graduating at 19! I cheated though and did my first two years while also doing my last two years of high school via a program called running start.

DjBminus40 karma

Trust me as a mentor of many high achieving teens and college students stick around and have fun in college for another year or two with people your age. Unless you really, really don't want to for some reason. Everyone I know who has graduated early and rushed on has regretted it. I'm 32 btw and have self-published and ghost-written sci-fi, historical fiction, and non-fiction in my 20s. Congrats on finishing book 1!

BriannaMGoux16 karma

I've heard that, but it's not financially in the cards for me

That_Guy38112 karma

Haven't seen this question so far, but how are you graduating so soon? Most people don't graduate until they're at least 21!

BriannaMGoux10 karma

Running start

CoffeeNut983 karma

I'd say a sprinting one; lotsa AP & Dual Enrollment classes I assume?

BriannaMGoux7 karma

Entirely dual enrollment. Running start was the name of the program. I enrolled at the local college and went full-time there for the last two years high school

ProKhaki12 karma

Hey there! How would you describe your leap from writing short stories to a full fledged book? Was it a gradual development or did you decide one day "I want these particular characters to be in a novel." Also how do you feel after finishing your first book? Did you immediately start thinking about what was next or was it a bittersweet moment?

BriannaMGoux15 karma

It was a gradual development. When I first started writing this novel it was a short story. When I finished it was bittersweet, but I wanted to make this a series so I started in on the second book.

must-be-aliens11 karma

Congratulations on publishing your book :) My question is about character development. I have an idea for a fiction story that's been brewing and changing for a couple years now. I've got a good enough idea of the world and outline of events where I think I can start scribbling something down, but I'm at a complete loss on developing my main group of characters, even my protagonist. The only character I have any details for I somehow developed in the span of minutes, like a bolt of lightning.

Should I expect the others to be similar? Should I just force something? I feel like it's the only mental barrier I have left to getting words down.

Thanks!

BriannaMGoux21 karma

Thank you so much! :) For character development I would suggest writing out the GMC's of each of your characters. Start with the goals- what do they want? Remember to do external goals (getting the treasure) versus external goals (like overcoming past hurts). Then you have motivations- what is driving them to go for their goals? This also has an internal an external factors. Then you have the crisis (also internal and external) from there you'll get a good idea of your characters and what they want and why. I would encourage you to just imagine your characters like they're real people (I treat mine like they are) and explore their personalities. It'll come to you. I'd say it all comes in time- as soon as I started writing I knew some of my characters, the others were more shy and I had to learn them slowly, but never force them to tell you who they are. You'll end up not being true to them and the readers will be able to tell. Just start word puking on the page and eventually your brain will uncover what it already knows. Best of luck and I'm sorry if I rambled too much (it's my fatal flaw).

cahaseler11 karma

Thanks for doing this!

Which authors are your inspiration? I see you're writing sci-fi - what are some of your favorite sci-fi books?

BriannaMGoux7 karma

Of course! I'm excited to be answering your questions!

Okay, I adore Ray Bradbury to no end even though I don't write in his style. He's one of my favorite authors of all time. I also like J.K. Rowlling and can only aspire to write such complex and well interwoven plots and characters. If I could mix Bradbury's genre and Rowlling's plot complexity it would be amazing.

Okay, hard question, I love so many. I like Ender's Game (only the first one), the 5th Wave Series, amd Psion Beta (and the series) to name a few specifically in YA (as that's the genre I write)

qtxr11 karma

What kept you motivated to continue writing through the years?

BriannaMGoux25 karma

My biggest cheerleaders have been my parents, and before her death, my grandmother. They never left my side and always believed in me throughout this process. To be honest I think they believe in me more than I believe in myself. I couldn't ask for a more supportive family. As for internal motivation- I wanted to write the characters I wish I had read growing up. Strong female leads to remind me when I was in middle and high school that us women can be just as kickass, if not more so, than the boys. And that we certainly don't need a boyfriend in order to change the world.

RamsesThePigeon9 karma

Hey, Brianna!

I'm a fellow writer, and something that I love to pester folks about is their favorite piece of behind-the-scenes trivia from their own work. (For instance, Dumbledore being gay was never explicitly mentioned in the Harry Potter novels.) Is there anything from your novel that doesn't show up on the pages, but that you think is particularly interesting or amusing?

BriannaMGoux8 karma

Okay, so, there are so many side stories I had in my head of my characters causing trouble. My favorite one is only briefly mentioned in passing is where Rose brings fireworks back from Earth and sets them off in her school on Amara (where fireworks do not exist) and the teacher thinks the world is ending. The scene is just so clear in my mind and so hilarious. I love it. Any tidbit is that one of my main characters is pansexual, but she isn't quite there in the discovery yet so it'll be something in later books. I won't say who, but I will say she is my favorite character.

Panzerforce6 karma

What advice would you give to young aspiring authors?

BriannaMGoux9 karma

Never stop writing, no matter what anyone tells you.

Mzilikazi815 karma

Does Amazon pay you per read under the Kindle Unlimited program, or how does that work?

BriannaMGoux14 karma

They pay me per how many pages people read

therealpantsgnome5 karma

I am also interested in writing, but can't seem to find the small plots inbetween the major story to make it fluff, any tips?

BriannaMGoux4 karma

That's my biggest issue as well. I would focus on the connecting scenes. How are they getting from point A to point B? Then expand on that

skellious5 karma

when will this be released for the UK market? I'd like to buy it but can't find it on any uk book site.

BriannaMGoux7 karma

It should be released within the next week. It takes a bit longer for overseas. Sorry you can't get it now!

Doctercorgi5 karma

Heloo! And thanks for doing this iama. I am a 19 year old wanting to publish my own sci fi novel too (a noir inspired by blade runner and other cyber punk stuff, the current debate over government surveillance and the elderly in a world of technology) but I am worried about the financial costs of publishing once I finish it, and whether it will be worth it in the end. How has the experience been for you?

BriannaMGoux7 karma

Depends how you go. You can take your draft, edit it the best you can by yourself, and query agents to see if they'll pick it up. From there it will continue to be free if you get a traditional publishing house.

If you decide to self-publish then you'll need to get a professional editor which can get pricey. You also have to pay for graphic design and marketing.

To me, it has been more than worth it. This is my dream and my passion and there isn't anything I wouldn't give for it.

-notJohnThough-4 karma

What can your dog do that your horse can't?

BriannaMGoux7 karma

I mean, to be honest, my dog doesn't do much. She knows how to sit, raids the pantry when it's open, and sleeps. The only things she can do that my horse can't is snuggle with me and heat the bed at night. Which is a good talent to have as a lap dog.

-notJohnThough-12 karma

Wrong. The answer i was looking for was "lay eggs".

BriannaMGoux7 karma

. . . I'm just gonna let that one be

Nevrmorr4 karma

Do you have a Goodreads profile? Would love to follow you and your work there :)

BriannaMGoux3 karma

I don't, but I really should. I know what I'm doing in between questions now lol

CousinNicho3 karma

Hey - somewhat of a generic question maybe, but I've been reading all my life and tried writing here and there but threw away/deleted everything I've ever written haha. So did you ever just hit a point when you thought your story was "good enough" for someone else to see it, or were you just never insecure about things you've wrote? Also, I'm constantly worried that whatever I'm writing isn't really original and is just a rehash of things I've read before, did you ever feel that and if so, how did you overcome it?

BriannaMGoux5 karma

I just kept writing it until I felt it was done, and at that point it was long enough to be a novel. I'm very insecure about my writing- I think I have a lot of room for improvement, but I'm confident in the product I've put out. And everything is a rehash- you just have to tell it originally!

KeeperofAmmut73 karma

Congratulations! How long did it take you to write/edit/publish your book? And has kitty tried to murder you yet for the unicorn costume, and where'd he get them bat ears?

BriannaMGoux3 karma

She has huge ears which are so cute! She's tried to kill me at least 6 times and hates me now. It took my five years to get the whole thing done!

atomicbrett3 karma

Hey Brianna! Congrats on getting published. Im also a college student that's passionate about writing. I've been working on and off on different projects for years now, but I rarely find myself finishing anything between classes and work. Do you have any advice on staying motivated towards writing (i.e. following a schedule, researching new ideas)?

BriannaMGoux1 karma

Thank you! I am the worst about writing ever since I've been in school. I don't follow a schedule because I tend to find that based on the day and my homework I have varying amount of time to write. What I would recommend if you don't have a lot of time to write due to classes is to carry a (for pleasure) book around with you wherever you go. You'll start finding a lot of five minute gaps where you can read and the more you read the better your writing (generally will be). That's one way you can work towards writing. As for the actual act of writing- write when you have the impulse. If you don't have the time write short hand notes about your idea. Then when you do have the time you can pick up your notes and get your ideas flowing. Finding time to write during school can be hard, but don't let it discourage you! Follow your passion and you'll find motivation there.

Espada24_3 karma

Hi, I'm very happy to see your book come to life! I am currently working on a book myself but I tend to lose hope because of the length process and I just never know when it should end. From chapters, to the whole story itself.

What seems to be a good length for you?

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Less than 80,000 words is typical for a first time author

JediLibrarian3 karma

Hi Brianna, and congratulations on your first novel! I'll pick one up for our school library and give it a read.

In January of 2002, we hosted a young Christopher Paolini, back when Eragon was a self-published novel featuring a pencil-drawn self portrait on the back. There are some uncanny parallels between the two of you. Here's an excerpt of our announcement way back then:

The author is 19 years old. * He also is an artist. * He graduated from high school when he was 15. * He published Eragon three years later. * The book was being published by a small private publishing company, but has now been picked up by a major publisher and a screenplay of the book is being written.

I wish you all the same success, minus the movie adaptation which we will never speak of again.

Serious question: When are you going to start touring school libraries? The honorarium and publicity really helps developing authors (e.g. Paolini, Rick Riordan), and our students always benefit from those visits.

PM me if you're thinking of visiting Houston--I can put you in touch with my school and others.

BriannaMGoux3 karma

I was thinking that would be something fun, but I don't know how to set something like that up. Maybe we could talk and work something out? I would love to come visit!

Ryein3 karma

What is a "young adult sci-fi novel"? You mean sci-fi novel, right? :D Good job by the way..

BriannaMGoux12 karma

A young adult sci-fi is a science fiction novel geared towards a slightly younger audience. For books this term means that the novel is geared towards 12-15 year-olds, give or take a few years. So it's a science fiction for a slightly younger audience. Think of the Hunger Games or Harry Potter (at least the first two) those are young adult fantasy.

Thank you for your question!

advice_animorph15 karma

Hey now. I'm 28 and I AM a young adult. Don't you take that away from me

BriannaMGoux3 karma

Sorry, you are a young adult as well. There, there

twotrickhorse3 karma

What is it like to be hot and have people throw up votes at you for that sole reason?

BriannaMGoux1 karma

I would argue that you are wrong in this idea, but to each their own

Sasha_Fire3 karma

Is this just available online or will the book be in stores? Also congrats on publishing so young, that's very impressive.

BriannaMGoux3 karma

For right now it's just online, I'm hoping as sales pick up that I can sell it to bookstores

TwistedPurpose3 karma

How did you work on your novel while at school? I've entertained trying write one outside of work, but I'm not sure how to start and pace myself. Or even what "progress" on a novel looks like.

BriannaMGoux4 karma

I wrote a lot during class in high school and a lot during lectures in my first two years of college. Progress is taking another step each day- if that's forming new ideas or putting words on the page. Everyone makes different progress and different rates. Start writing and see where you mind takes you!

TheyveTakenMyWheezy3 karma

I have a question about your book.

What did you do to make your story stand out against other female lead young adult fantasy stories and what did you do to make your characters differ from those same stories?

I'm always curious to learn where originality spawns from!

BriannaMGoux2 karma

All my characters have different personalities and they're all strong in their own ways. I don't have characters who are all the same archetypal "strong girl". Us females are all strong in their own way and my characters aren't any different.

SweetQuiver3 karma

How do you get through "the dreaded middle"? I've always found it hard to finish big novel sized projects.

Thanks

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Coffee, tears, determination. It's hard but just don't stop, if you stop you may never continue.

kenkaniff233 karma

Do you plan on continuing to write stories for the foreseeable future? Have you always wanted to be a writer?

BriannaMGoux3 karma

I wanted to be a vet until 6th grade and ever since then I've wanted to be a writer. I can remember writing stories since I learned to write and I want to continue writing until I'm dead.

kaisahsoseh3 karma

What advice do you have for people who struggle to churn out longish pieces of writing?

BriannaMGoux5 karma

Never stop writing. Follow your passion and stay true to your stories. Get it all down, and worry about making it perfect later. Your first draft is for telling the story and the editing process is for telling the story coherently.

suchbsman3 karma

As someone skilled in the English language, care to weigh in on the age-old debate of the proper pronunciation of gif? I mean is it a 'j' sound, like 'jif' the peanut butter or a hard 'g' like giraffe!? Possibly none of the above???

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Hard g like giraffe, no question there

imagine_magic3 karma

Exciting! I have been working on my novel for three years now and am having so much fun writing badass women characters that move the plot.

My questions for you:

1) How did the editing process go for you? Were there any moments that you really wanted in the story that couldn't make it, and why?

2) Are you going to pursue an MFA? So many people say it is necessary and totally opposite, many people say it isn't necessary if you get published and get the ball rolling. Thoughts?

Thanks!

BriannaMGoux2 karma

The editing process what long and hard. My grammar isn't great (as you can probably tell) so there was a lot to fix. However, I had a passion for the story and I didn't want to give it up.

I'm going to pursue an MFA as it'll serve to make me a better writer and I'm always looking to improve :)

Get-Some-3 karma

Woah woah woah, are you tryna say that your novel with a female lead is not actually about the male character she's currently or previously in love with and / or how he defines her?

Good on you and I'm jealous. Got any tips on writing characters you don't identify with?

BriannaMGoux1 karma

I let my characters tell me how they are, even if I disagree or don't quite identify with aspects of their personalty. I'll ask other people for their ideas on that character if I feel like they might identify with them. That way I have the right perspective.

ACuriousPiscine2 karma

I'm flying tomorrow and had nothing to read, so this feels like fate!

How hard is your sci-fi, and did you ever find that concept a daunting part of writing sci-fi - having to fit into a basket? Or did you sidestep the problem?

BriannaMGoux3 karma

Awesome! Let me know what you think! For this book the sci-fi isn't super heavy, but that will be changing future books in this series. I find it daunting as it can be hard to do right, but I'm ready to tackle it!

spacefairies2 karma

Why are peoples mean?

BriannaMGoux3 karma

I don't know, but they can't get me down :)

YourBuddyChurch2 karma

Cute hair, any colors you want to try?

BriannaMGoux1 karma

Deep red and a gray/purple

Onihczarc2 karma

2 comments, 1 question

  1. The cat pic is proof of obsession w animals.

  2. Congratulations on the book, best wishes on continued success.

Q. How do you get a book published? How involved is the company in editing your content?

BriannaMGoux1 karma

Animals are Gods gift to man, amen. Thank you!

Okay, so I did self-publishing (highlighted above I don't have time to re-outline it I'm sorry) and hired an editor. She was absolutely lovely, super involved, and lived close to me so we had lunch together a few times to talk about the book. I guess it all depends on who you go through.

Dacros2 karma

Congratulations on the book, really impressive! What are some of your favourite Reddit pages? :)

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Thank you! And any reddit pages that feature cute animals- I'm a sucker for them

HippoDroner2 karma

I see you go to Iowa. You thinking of applying to any MFA programs? (I just graduated from New Writers Project at UT Austin, was sooooo great. Really made me a better writer.)

BriannaMGoux1 karma

I am! I'm actually looking at UT Austin :)

Dr_Vegetable2 karma

About giraffes, have you played the last of us?

The cover gives Ulduar flashbacks

BriannaMGoux1 karma

I haven't, but I feel like I should

I_Provide_Feedback2 karma

Congratulations on getting published! Very impressive so early in life and inspirational to the rest of us young writers.

What are you planning on doing after graduating?

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Thank you!

I'm planning on applying to MFA programs, and if I don't get it, I'm going to travel for a year and write before reapplying.

_Pee_Pee_2 karma

Ooo ... sounds interesting. Reminds me of my love for the cheesy stargate series. The thought of being trapped on another world across the galaxy is scary. ... Is this an action, suspense, mystical, or science-themed story? Or something else entirely?

BriannaMGoux1 karma

This is more of reunion story. Rose trying to get home to her people before the time runs out. It also is currently more fantasy, but the rest of the books will be leaning heavier into scifi.

celestialwings2 karma

Hi Brianna, Just wondering, I saw you said you took five years to finish this. I'm currently writing a novel of my own now that I have finally refined all the characters and plots. But I am curious in terms of time. What portion of that time was spent writing the drafts, editing, etc? Also great work and congratz. I saw the summary for your book. It looks interesting. :)

BriannaMGoux2 karma

I spent about two years drafting, a year and a half edits, a year querying, a half year working on self publishing! Thank you for you question and your interest :) Good luck with your novel and feel free to message me with questions! I'm always happy to help!

nu2allthis2 karma

Hey! Congratulations on being published before 20! That's a seriously impressive feat!

Mine's a two-parter: how long was the process between submitting to a literary agent and getting published? And, if you don't mind me asking, do the sales equate to a good enough income to make this a viable career option?

Thank you so much for sharing with us 😊

BriannaMGoux4 karma

Thank you so much!

I actually worked on going the traditional route and getting a literary agent before deciding that this was my dream and I didn't want someone else trying to make decisions for me. So I got a professional editor, spent a year and a half with her perfecting it, and then I got an AMAZING graphic designer to put together the cover for me, and that resulted in this. It truly is a labor of love, but in the end I get final say over everything and get to remain true to myself and my book.

Right now they don't. I'm a student and don't need a lot of money to live off of currently, but I'd say if you're looking to write you need to establish a base before you quit your job (unless you have a spouse with another source of income). If things keep going the way they are I can see this being viable for a career, and I'm hoping that happens, but right now it isn't.

nu2allthis5 karma

Oh wow, so you self published? I'm sorry, I didn't realise!

I've just graduated myself and am looking to publish too. Would you advise getting a professional editor too then?

Also (and this is cheeky but worth a shot) would you mind if I maybe sent a manuscript to you and got some advice? It's not sci-fi, but it's the actual writing style I'm more worried about and not the plot. No worries if not, just thought I'd ask!

Once again, massive congratulations! I hope this does become your full-time career 😊

BriannaMGoux5 karma

I am!

I would HIGHLY advise getting a professional editor and at least two beta readers once you think you and your editor are done. Different eyes will give you different opinions and help make sure that your product is the best it can be.

I would love to read your manuscript! As a community of writer's we got to help each other out. Message me and I will get you my e-mail. No worries if it isn't sci-fi, I read without genre discrimination.

Thank you, I hope it does as well!

post_singularity2 karma

Graduating at 19 good job! Is your degree in creative writing or science based? Scifi writings seems to attract both writers with interests in science and science nerds with interests in writing.

BriannaMGoux1 karma

Thank you! My degree is in English and Creative Writing and, ironically, science is my worst subject. I wish I had more knowledge of science to make my stories more in depth and interesting from that perspective, but, alas, it is not meant to be.

cronedog2 karma

If you ever have science questions for your books, I love talking physics.

Sci-fi is often unrealistic, but acknowledging truths endears you to fans.

For example, star trek teleporters aren't realistic, but they have "anti-Heisenberg compensatory" and ultra fast ships in star wars have "inertial dampers".

BriannaMGoux1 karma

I'll keep that in mind :)

notsowise232 karma

Have you ever read the Discworld novels? Granny Weatherwax would like to have a word..

BriannaMGoux2 karma

I haven't read the Disworld novels! I feel like so many people are pointing out brilliant books to me on this thread and I adore it. I'll have to put that on my reading list :)

Charmanderps1172 karma

What are you studying? Also, a horse!? What is its name?

BriannaMGoux1 karma

I'm studying English and Creative Writing. My horse's name is Buster Ima Pepper, or Buster for short! (I also call him Brown Cow, but that's not his name)

AcclaimNation2 karma

How long have you been in University? Graduating at 19/20 is amazing.

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Four years! I did running start during high school so I got a jump start

crdog2 karma

Fellow Hawkeye here, congratz on this achievement. I consume about one scifi book per week and wanted just to say thanks for contributing to the genre.

Are you going to stay in Iowa ? What's your plans after graduation?

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Go Hawks! Of course, scifi is amazing!

I'm applying to the Writer's Workshop here and am hoping to get in. If not I'm applying to a few other programs, but if I don't get in somewhere I'm passionate about going I'm going to take a year off of school to travel and write before reapplying.

Robbotlove2 karma

probably too late, but any chance of an audio book adaptation? this is the way i consume literature these days and id love to read your book.

BriannaMGoux2 karma

I'm actually planning that out right now! When I go back home for Christmas he's going to lend me his sound equipment so I can put together an audiobook :)

Weferdes2 karma

Favorite sci-fi novels? The MaddAddam trilogy blew me away.

BriannaMGoux2 karma

I answered this question earlier, but I know things can get lost in threads so here's what I said! I haven't read the MaddAddam Trilogy, but I'll have to put it on my reading list!

Okay, hard question, I love so many. I like Ender's Game (only the first one), the 5th Wave Series, amd Psion Beta (and the series) to name a few specifically in YA (as that's the genre I write)

apt-get_-y_tittypics2 karma

I'm very interested to know what your process is like for "structuring" a book!

When you begin writing, do you sketch out the plot from start to finish, like a framework, and write around that? Or is it that you just begin writing and let it form around itself? What works for you?

Thanks!

BriannaMGoux1 karma

For this book, since I started writing it so young, it was like I got a picture in my head one day and ever since then I've been following my characters around. For the rest of the books in the series I have a vague outline as I get flashes of ideas and inspiration for future books, but nothing concrete. It's like I'm watching something and writing down what I see more than generating ideas. I find when I try to outline and force a plot that it doesn't work. I have to let the characters come to me with their story.

bCasa_D2 karma

Would this book be appropriate for a 10yr old girl? My daughter loves to write and would be great to have read something written by someone so young. I feel like it could be great motivation for her.

BriannaMGoux1 karma

The only warning I have for this book for anyone under 12 years old is that it contains two lower-level swear words. Other than that it would be perfect for a ten-year-old girl! Strong females leads, not overly violent (there are a few battle scenes but they're not gory or over emphasized), and no mature themes. Tell your daughter I say good luck with writing and to never stop!

bCasa_D2 karma

Thanks for the response. Violence and sexual themes would be our main concern, so this seems appropriate for her. We'll check it out. Good luck to you as well!

BriannaMGoux1 karma

Of course! Thank you for your interest in the novel and your question!

konotiRedHand2 karma

What's your cats name!!! (I got 3 :0) Good job on the book. Hope it brings a wealth of success

BriannaMGoux1 karma

She has like 20 names- I originally named her Princess Zabs, but now we call her Buyo. Thank you for your support!

ScariestofChewwies2 karma

Hi Brianna,

I just picked your book up for my step-daughter. She is 9 and always looking for games and books with a strong female lead. Yours definitely fits the bill. Just to let you know, your website only works with the www in front of it (so www.amarasrose.com works but amarasrose.com doesn't). You might want to get your website developer/creator to look at that.

I guess I have to ask a question to post this so, how is your day today?

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Hello!

Thank you for your support! It actually brings tears to my eyes knowing that the strong females I wrote could bring joy to an independent little girl.

Thank you for letting me know! I will tell my developer (who happens to live with me lol) that there is an issue there!

My day has been absolutely lovely! It's sunny out, I get to share my passion with others, and my heart is full.

Thank you for your interest, pointing out that bug, and question. I hope your day wonderful today!

PicturElements2 karma

Are there any plans to create a series of this, or is this a one-off creation? Sounds interesting at any rate!

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Thanks PE!

I plan on writing a series of five books, and am currently digging into the second one!

CaptainPirateJohn2 karma

Thank you for this AMA. Will definitely be buying the book.

You mentioned the book's content would grow more mature with the intended audience. Is there a strong sense of character development in this one book? Or will character development be more heavily emphasized in later books?

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Oh my goodness, thank you for your support! It means the world to me :)

My plan for this book is to have it be the first in a series of five (I'm currently about 30% of the way through the next one) and to have each book grow with the readers. In this first book there is character development, more so in some characters than others, but as the series go on and the stakes increase there will be more heavily emphasized development. The first book does have noticeable character development though as I begin to move my characters into roles of greater responsibility and put them through this crisis.

Isentrope2 karma

Do you feel like you identify with any of the characters and, if so, why?

BriannaMGoux1 karma

I do, I feel like a part of me identifies with at least a part of each character. After all, they are my creations and come from within my mind. However, I think I identify most with my main character Rose. This is because we I started writing this novel I was 12 and I continued through to completion of the first draft when I was 14. During this time in my life I felt like I couldn't do anything- that I was too small, too weak, and too young to make a change. In came Rose who was small, but she was strong and she had all these responsibilities and let nothing stop her. As I reflect on writing the book I think I subconsciously wrote Rose to be everything I wished I was or had wanted to become. That being said I didn't quite turn out like Rose and she is no way a representation of me.

ThisKateyRocks2 karma

How long did your writing process for this book take? and did you have any challenges while writing it? I've always loved reading but when I had my son (7 years ago) I didn't have the time any more :( I just started getting back into it again and I LOVE YA books! I think I'm gonna have to check yours out!

BriannaMGoux3 karma

It took about five years and one million challenges. I hope you can find time to read, and if you end up reading mine please let me know what you think!

CatsAndIT1 karma

Hello, and thanks for doing this AMA.

Reading over your answers, you speak a lot of female empowerment, and I think that's badass.

Because I have to ask an actual question: My daughter is almost 9 (and possibly ironically, absolutely loved Giraffes for a period of time), reads like it's going out of style (on about a 5th+ grade reading level), and is currently working through the Harry Potter books with my wife. Do you think your book would likely be on her level, or better to wait a couple years?

BriannaMGoux17 karma

I think if she's working on the Harry Potter books then this book will be on her level. My only warning to readers younger than 12 is that there are two swear words towards the end of the book. Other than that if she's reading like it's going out of style (something I can wholeheartedly understand) then this book would be perfect for her. Female empowerment is important for young girls and it's something I'm super passionate about so I'm glad you think it's badass. Tell your daughter to never stop reading!

KFTAw1 karma

Are you single?

BriannaMGoux2 karma

Happily taken

iNeverQuiteWas-23 karma

Can you give us a quick summary of the plot?

BriannaMGoux123 karma

Here's my back cover text:

The Key is a sacred object which allows its holder to open portals to other planets at will. Passed down through her family the Key marks Rose as the Gatekeeper for the planet of Amara and entrusts her with keeping it safe from harm.

This is a job she had always known to be laid-back—that is, until her mortal enemy attacks. Amidst a battle to protect her home, Rose disappears. Waking up on Earth she discovers the portals have stopped working and that she must team up with Earth’s Gatekeeper, Derek, to get back to Amara.

The clock is ticking as Rose’s friends on Amara try to determine where Rose went and how to bring her home, all the while fearing she may be lost forever.

As the struggle to return continues, something more sinister grows out of sight, and more than the lives of those on Amara are at stake.