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  • Anna P.

Indie Support Sunday: Brittany Arreguin

Every year, I look forward to the indie debuts and the magic they’re about to bless us with. This year kicked off with Brittany Arreguin and her debut Waking Up In Vegas. You’ve definitely seen the gorgeous cover making the rounds on Instagram and I’m honestly in love with everything about it. Plus, romances set in Vegas are a bit of a weak spot for me, so I’m looking forward to reading this one soon!


“Asian Infused Romances” is how Brittany markets her books and I love that so much. For all of her books (the ones she’s written and everything that’s coming), Brittany is promising that she will feature at least one Asian character, to honor her heritage and be true to who she is. Brittany, like me, also listens to instrumental music when she’s writing and that instantly makes me like her even more. Definitely check out her five pieces of advice for other aspiring and fellow authors, because I appreciated her candor in each point.


In June, Brittany is also releasing the first in her hockey series titled Match Game and it's up for preorder right now!


Waking Up In Vegas is out now and available in Kindle Unlimited!


BEING AN AUTHOR

Who or what inspired you to write?

Funny enough, I was inspired by High School Musical and other things I’d watch on TV! The first time I remembered writing something romance-related was when I was 10 and wrote a story that was about if my life was turned into something like High School Musical. From then, I started writing love stories about me and this crush (who shall never be named.) It was me at the time manifesting a love story for myself.


What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author? 

The best part is the community and the connections! I’m blessed to have met so many wonderful readers and authors both online and in real life and see when people are excited about my stories. Definitely the hardest part is comparing yourself to the competition. Jealousy is an ugly look & I definitely have been battling it since debuting my novel. 


Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?

I am definitely blessed that I write in a genre that connects well whether you self publish or traditionally publish, and the resources out there helped me a lot in my self-publishing journey. While it’s tough, I’m happy that I’m able to market my book how I want it and not try to spend a lot of time on how it might sell with an agent if I had spent more time querying it for trad pub. 


When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

I read! It seems obvious, but reading is how I get inspired with descriptions and setting the scene. I’m trying to get back into annotating this year to even help more with drawing inspiration from romance novels I’m reading. I also have recently gotten back into journaling, which I guess is also writing but I jot down memories of what happens in my day to day to get away from stressing out about my novel.


If you were to recommend books to me (in any genre), what would they be?

My favorite romance authors include Helen Hoang, Kennedy Ryan, and Chloe Liese! A book I’d recommend to anyone is Yellowface by R.F. Kuang. 


What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?

  1. You deserve to write about your identity. I wouldn’t have decided to publish my book if it wasn’t about the authors who share the same heritage and cultural identity as me, so let your voice be heard!

  2. Imposter syndrome is SO REAL. But the nice thing about community is that everyone hypes one another up, so don’t let your thoughts of “not writing the perfect novel” stop you!

  3. Don’t be afraid to reach out to fellow authors for advice. They were in your shoes before, they are happy to help another author in their journey!

  4. Reading fuels inspiration and helps improve your craft. Continue to read your books via physical, audio, e-book, etc. I note quotes in some of my fav books to reference scenes that I might be writing in my own works.

  5. First drafts are meant to be edited, so don’t spend time trying to make it perfect. This is a bad habit I’m trying to break, and how I help curb this is writing sprints!


ROMANCE AS A GENRE

Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?

I was always a lover of romance from a young age until now. My favorite thing about it is that there’s a guaranteed happy ending. It puts me on a rollercoaster, but I know that they’ll be together in the end so I’m less so in suspense at how it’ll end. 


If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?

I would love to write a Historical Fiction. One of my favorite books of all time is Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo and I just want to write a historical novel set in my hometown with a Chinese main character. That would take a lot of me sitting down and probably interrogating my grandmother on her life growing up here as an immigrant, but it’s not out of the question! 


What are your most and least favorite tropes?

Favorite tropes: second chance, enemies to lovers, workplace romance.

Least fav tropes: love triangle, secret baby


What are some tropes you want to write in the future?

My next WIP (after my second book Match Game) is age gap, which I’d never thought I would write, but I’m absolutely so excited to write it. I also have a marriage of convenience book planned in the Vegas series (it just seemed appropriate!)


What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?

Let me caveat that I believe that these are sensitive subjects that should be taken with care. I want to see more romances where characters meet because they were an addict and trying to get sober. Also more disability romances. Like gimme more romances where kidneys are donated, they meet in a hospital, etc etc. These are both topics that are present in my own family and I’d love to see these stories, obviously done with care. 


YOUR BOOKS

What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?

My published stories come to me in very random spurts. I came up with Waking Up in Vegas literally because I was in Vegas for a trip and was like, “I wanted to write a novel that takes place in Vegas without the marriage plot!” My second novel, Match Game, is partly inspired by what an author said at a convention I attended on how there needed to be more hockey romances from authors of the global majority. 


Can you briefly tell me about your debut?

My debut novel, Waking Up in Vegas, is a workplace romance with a little bit of an action plot. I was inspired when I traveled to Vegas in 2022 and being in the hotel industry, just in awe of the Vegas hotels. The action came from some of my favorite movies: Ocean’s Eleven and Rush Hour 2, that have that sort of fun suspense in “Sin City.” 


Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?

Obviously, I love Marissa and Kellen, but I am excited to be working on my next book in the story, which follows Marissa’s best friend Kayley. I love that she’s the carefree, says what’s her mind, strong willed woman, and I can’t wait for her story (and who she’ll end up with!) 


If you were to cast your book for a movie/television show, who would you cast in the lead roles?

This is such a fun question! My original character inspiration for Waking Up in Vegas was Chloe Bennet & Max Huang. There are so many awesome Mixed-Asian actors out there though: Ross Butler, Anna Cathcart, Charles Melton, to name a few. 


How much of yourself do you put into these characters?

Even though I try to make characters all their own, a lot does come from my own lived experiences. There’s the heritage being Mixed-Chinese American myself that I take from, as well as certain parts of myself like anxiety and ADHD that I also include in certain characters as well. I want to show these parts of myself in my characters because these are things I go through every day and obstacles I’m trying to work through myself. 


What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?

I want to tell an immigrant romance story, but I’m not an immigrant myself. I’m inspired every day by my grandmother who immigrated here from Hong Kong and successfully raised a family. Maybe we’ll co-write a book together.


Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?

All my stories have Mixed-Chinese characters (one or both)! 


What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?

My next book, Match Game, will be a fake dating hockey romance. This is a super exciting book as our main character, Lydia, is a collegiate E-Sports director and pays homage to my long love of video games. 


When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?

Obviously, as a romance reader, I want to make people swoon. I want them to believe that these two characters truly are in love with one another by the end of the story. I also want to connect with readers who share my heritage as a means to show them that these books are here, for them, because that’s what I felt when I read Asian romance authors as well. 


AUTHOR’S CHOICE

  • Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks

  • Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense—with a hint of suspense

  • Single or Dual POV

  • Standalones, series or standalones in a series

  • Open door, ajar door or closed door romances

  • Music or silence when writing—Usually video game instrumentals or Asian-pop

  • Plotter, pantser or plantser—Planner

  • Water, tea, coffee or….wine?—but I drink coffee every morning.

  • Cold or warm weather—This California girl cannot do cold.

  • Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?

  • Illustrated or photo cover?


To stay updated on Brittany’s upcoming books and everything else, make sure you follow her on Instagram and visit her website where you can order signed paperbacks and sign up for her newsletter as well!

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