May 16, 2012

Author Interview: Brigid Kemmerer

Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)

Brigid writes anywhere she can find a place to sit down (and she’s embarrassed to say a great many pages of The Elemental Series were written while sitting on the floor in the basement of a hotel while she was attending a writers’ conference). Most writers enjoy peace and quiet while writing, but Brigid prefers pandemonium. A good thing, considering she has three boys in the house, ranging in age from an infant to a teenager.

While writing STORM, it’s ironic to note that Brigid’s personal life was plagued by water problems: her basement flooded three times, her roof leaked, her kitchen faucet broke, causing the cabinet underneath to be destroyed by water, the wall in her son’s room had to be torn down because water had crept into the wall, and her bedroom wall recently developed a minor leak. Considering SPARK, book 2 in the series, is about the brother who controls fire, Brigid is currently making sure all the smoke detectors in her house have batteries.

Brigid loves hearing from people, and she probably won't refer to herself in the third person like this if you actually correspond with her. She has a smartphone surgically attached to her person nearby at all times, and email is the best way to reach her. Her email address is

Brigid Kemmerer, the author of Elemental and Storm, sat down and answered some questions that YABR had for her.

YABR: What inspires you when you write?

BK: Okay, so I know this is going to sound really weird, but when I'm stuck with a scene or something, I go on YouTube and look for choreographed dances that match my favorite songs. There are a lot of great amateur choreographers out there! I read once that when you have writer's block, you should appreciate an art form that's not your own. Choreography does it for me. Here's an example of what I mean:

YABR: Do you base your characters off of real people?  Do you have a process for coming up with characters?  Who is your favorite character?

BK: All my characters come straight out of my head. The closest to a real person would be Becca's mom, who is a night nurse, just because my mom has been a night nurse almost all my life. When I'm trying to create a new character, I just throw a person into some kind of conflict and see how they respond. They all grow organically from there. I can't pick a favorite!

YABR: In the Elemental Series, the Merricks and other have powers unlike anything that I have read before.  I like how the different powers deal with the different elements.   How did you come up with this concept?

BK: Just lucky, I guess. :-) No, seriously, I'd struck out with two novels: a vampire one, and a Greek mythology one. While the writing wasn't as strong in both those books, I also coincidentally went out with them while Twilight and Percy Jackson were right on the verge of going huge. I sat down and decided to write something that no one was doing, and I knew I had four brothers I wanted to play with. I had a lot of ideas in the running: four horsemen of the apocalypse, four leaf clovers (leprechaun brothers, anyone?), but the elements seemed to stick.

YABR: What do you wish was different about the book(s), if anything?

BK: Nothing! I'm really proud of how Storm came out.

YABR: What is your favorite item on your work space?

BK: Work space? I have two small children. My work space is anywhere I can hide with my laptop.

YABR: What type/genre of books do you like to read?

BK: Everything! I read from Paranormal YA to women's fiction to high fantasy to contemporary romance (YA and adult) to thrillers.

YABR: Favorite color

BK: Green. (Whew. An easy question.)

YABR: Favorite holiday/season

BK: Halloween. I used to love imagining that strange creatures would come out and frolic among the mortals. I still love wondering about it.

YABR: Word that best describes you and why?

BK: Driven.

YABR: Optimist or pessimist?

BK: Optimist.

YABR: Favorite author/book/series

BK: Impossible to answer. Two recent reads that knocked my socks off were Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella.

YABR: Favorite food/drink

BK: Popcorn and mojitos.

YABR: Favorite place to read/write

BK: For writing, anywhere I can sit down. I wrote an entire chapter of Storm while sitting on the floor of the basement of the RWA hotel in 2010. For reading, anywhere.

There are many books coming out in The Elemental Series.  Elemental and Storm are already out.  

Elemental Series:

0.5: Elemental

1: Storm

1.5: Fearless – August 2012

2: Spark – 28 August 2012

3: Spirit – May 2013


  1. I loved STORM SO MUCH! I'm a Sophie Kinsella fan too (YES..her taste in books is similar to mine :)

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  2. I love this book so much it's amazing I spent all day reading it and did nothing us then I read it again strat after and me finishing a book is rare I find most boring and give up so I dnt waste time but this was just fabulous Should I read the shorter stories in the middle like elemental and fearless or is that just for extra story behind it to give u a better a grasp I think I read elemental after storm but storm already pretty much explained to me thanks


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