Love triangles have long been a romance staple: the tension! The secret, longing looks! The strong possibility that one of them could kill you! (Oh wait鈥 that was just Twilight.) But in Brandy Colbert鈥檚Little & Lion, the beloved love triangle get a fresh new look 鈥 and not just because two of the love triangle members are (step) siblings. When Suzette moves home for the summer, she鈥檚 juggling confusing feelings about her sexuality, along with concern for her stepbrother, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. To make matters more complicated, Suzette and her stepbrother happen to fall for the same girl. Though there鈥檚 romance tucked inside this gorgeous novel, it鈥檚 ultimately an unforgettable story about discovering 鈥 and accepting 鈥 yourself, while supporting the friends and family around you. We caught up with Colbert and chatted with her about creativity, inspiration, and more. Scroll on to learn more from this brilliant writer!

Brit + Co: Describe your book in six words or less.

Brandy Colbert: Siblings navigate mental health and relationships.

B+C: Where/when do you do your best writing?

BC: I鈥檓 a total night owl, so I usually do my best work between 9pm and 2am. I like the quiet of the nighttime and how it feels like I鈥檓 the only one who鈥檚 still awake.

B+C: What鈥檚 the strangest thing you鈥檝e ever done for book research?

BC: Oh, I think my Google searches are probably pretty strange. I tend to write about heavier topics, so I often find myself reading pretty horrific true stories.

B+C: What鈥檚 your go-to cure for when you鈥檙e stuck in a creativity rut?

BC: Usually, getting out of the house and spending time with people. If that isn鈥檛 possible, I find that good television always spurs creativity. It鈥檚 still storytelling, but the fact that it鈥檚 a different medium seems to help.

B+C: What two lady heroes do you turn to for inspiration, and why?

BC: I鈥檓 really inspired by Issa Rae and Misty Copeland. They鈥檙e both wonderful examples of persistence and true talent, and I feel lucky to be living in a time when they鈥檙e both creating.

B+C: What鈥檚 your latest Instagram obsession?

BC: I love the aesthetic (and humor) of Joy the Baker (@joythebaker), and find such black girl joy in Yara Shahidi鈥檚 page (@yarashahidi).

B+C: Can you name a book that you think deserves a little more love + recognition?

BC: I loved Elana K. Arnold鈥檚 What Girls Are Made Of, which is tough and gorgeous and I think everyone should read it. As for a book that鈥檚 not out yet, I will continue to push Liara Tamani鈥檚 Calling My Name, which is out October 24, until everyone I know has read it; it鈥檚 a beautiful coming-of-age story that I wish I鈥檇 had as a teen.

B+C: What鈥檚 next on your to-read pile?

BC:Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, which is out next April! I鈥檝e been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it, and I was lucky to get an advance reader copy.

B+C: What advice do you have for aspiring creative ladies?

BC: Lately, I keep going back to the quote that says the more specific your story, the more universal it is. So I would advise women to create for themselves above anyone else.

Got an author you鈥檇 love to see interviewed? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!

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(Featured photo via Jessie Weinberg)