Lanta Brown is a published author from the UK. Her book is available for purchase on Amazon and all major book sellers (purchase links included at the end of this article). I conducted a written interview with Lanta on the heels of The Mixed Martial Artist’s publication. Below is our interview, enjoy.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Lanta Brown, and I’m an author from the UK.
When did you start writing?
This is a hard question for me. When I was a kid, I would make up stories in my head to escape some of the difficult things I was going through. I honestly believe that’s how the creative part of my brain developed at an abnormal rate. I’ve spent a lot of time living in these fantasy worlds ever since, inventing new ones—like imaginary movies—every now and then. But, I only really decided to start making a record of them in 2013, and I suppose that’s when I became a writer.
What inspires you to write?
When I see great art of any kind, I’m usually motivated to create something of my own. I would actually include martial arts within that list. Often it’s not only the art, but also the artist behind the work that inspires me. There are some fascinating characters to look upon as muses in MMA, each with their own unique backstory to draw inspiration from.
What’s the most fun thing to write about?
I like to explore the complexity of human relationships. I always seem to focus on unconventional love stories, although I wouldn’t exactly call them romances. I include sex in my writing because I think the type of intimacy people share can reveal a lot about the nature of their relationships, and about their individual personalities. I never decided upon this as my subject matter, it’s just what I’m naturally drawn to.
Tell us a little about the book.
My novel tells the story of a veteran mixed martial artist and single mother named Jules Diamond Diaz. She’s approaching the end of her career, so reluctantly she begins to make the difficult transition from fighter to coach. During this process—as her life is shifting from one phase to the next—she develops a close bond with a young student she’s taken under her wing and she soon finds herself questioning her sexuality. The book has several graphic fight scenes and some sexual content, so it’s not exactly for everybody, especially not minors.
How long did you work on this book?
I’ve almost lost count! I think I may have tried to forget so that I won’t worry the process has taken me too long. I wrote the entire book on my phone, and when I look through the files I can see it’s taken me around five years in total.
What was the most rewarding part of writing the book?
It’s probably the biggest achievement of my life so far. I’m a university drop out, and I’ve never really had much to feel proud of or celebrate.
What was the most difficult?
I was working two jobs, sometimes day and night, so it was often hard to find the time and the mental strength to write. That’s why I write on my phone, so I can use every spare minute. If I’m waiting somewhere, I’ll take out my phone and get to work.
What’s something from this book’s writing process that surprised you?
I was surprised by the way writing helped to cure my anxiety. I’ve suffered a lot with it in the past, and having another world to slip into—the same way I would daydream as a child—really helped to calm all the noise in my mind.
How long have you followed martial arts?
I’ve pretty much been a life-long fan of martial arts in one way or another. I know it’s a cliché, but I was watching old Bruce Lee films and reenacting the moves as a little girl. Then I started watching Van Damme films as well, and one of the recurring themes in all of these movies was the underground organisations where weird and wonderful fighters from all over the world would compete in no holds barred competitions. Then, at some point in the early 00’s I found UFC 1 & 2 on DVD at a local market, and it seemed to me they had tried to recreate one of those multi-disciplinary tournaments in real life. It blew my mind to see the reality of which style of fighting actually prevailed in those early bouts.
What moment inspired you to create a book for the martial arts fanbase?
I love this question! Back in 2013, season 18 of The Ultimate fighter featured women alongside men for the first time ever. To see women competing on the show was just so exciting and inspiring for me. I got a real sense of the hard work they’d put in to achieve this new level of recognition within the sport. I trained in several martial arts in my teens and I could relate to these women in a way I never could with the male fighters on the show. I was intrigued by their backstories, and something ignited within my brain that gave me the idea for my first full length novel.
What are you excited to hear feedback on for the book?
I’m looking forward to hearing any kind of feedback at all, so this is a call to anybody who reads it, please leave a review or get in touch to let me know what you think.
When did the book release?
The book was released on 26th November in paperback and on Kindle.
Where can we follow you/your work and where can we purchase it?
My twitter handle is @BrownLanta. The Mixed Martial Artist is available from most online book retailers. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my writing! ■