We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Brunette and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I actually run two businesses: Cat in the Flock, a lifestyle blog, and Brunette Games, a boutique game-writing studio. Neither of these gigs was a straight shot for me!
Cat in the Flock is the title of my first novel, which was released seven years ago this summer. While I continue to support the mystery series that grew out of that, the Dreamslippers, the main focus of the blog now is general lifestyle content: garden, home, travel, yoga, and health and wellness. As a former journalist, I still have ideas every day for lifestyle stories, and the blog is a great outlet for them.
I founded Brunette Games after more than a decade in the game industry, working for major studios Nintendo, Cat Daddy Games, and Big Fish until I went independent in 2016. After a few grueling years as a freelancer, I had enough success and work coming in to begin hiring staff, including students I taught at a local university, and now we’re a team of 10. We work with some of the best studios in the mobile space on top-performing, genre-defining game storylines.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As a lifestyle blog, Cat in the Flock is still in its infancy, but last year we saw tremendous growth as we added six new writers to our guest-blogger list. This includes the star of a new PBS travel documentary, another award-winning travel writer, a certified herbalist who runs her own apothecary, a wildlife biologist-cum-mystery novelist, and an acupuncturist who’s put out her own video series. We’re also now a registered Etsy affiliate; it’s satisfying to highlight the handmade work of artisans and vintage retailers.
Brunette Games LLC is a woman-owned narrative design and writing studio. In collaboration with both independent game studios and publishers, we design storylines and write character dialogue for mobile games. We’re joined by a roster of actors who voice our scripts, and we serve clients all over the world, from Helsinki to L.A. We write and design for a mainstream, casual player audience, with special expertise in women 35+. Our credits include the games Disney Frozen Adventures, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, Matchington Mansion, and many others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I had the pleasure of living in Miami for two years while attending UM for grad school in creative writing. It’s hard to condense two years into one week, but here goes: – No visit to Miami is complete without a trip to the Everglades. I recommend a bike ride at Shark Valley. – Coffee and pastries at Versailles on Calle Ocho. – A day of art-gazing might begin with the Lowe Art Museum at University of Miami, continue with a trip to the Pérez Art Museum Miami, and end with the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. While you’re lounging poolside afterward, read my second novel, Framed and Burning, which is set in Miami’s hot art scene. – Dinner at Argentinian restaurant Zuperpollo in Coral Gables. – For a quick bite, Pollo Tropical is above-average for a fast-food restaurant. – Browse the locally-owned, independent bookstore Books & Books, owned and operated by Miami native Mitchell Kaplan. As a writing student in the early 2000s, I was deeply impressed by Kaplan’s support of UM’s program in creative writing. He was really encouraging and helpful, and his bookstore is bar none. – The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is a beautiful and quirky piece of history, not to mention a great way to cool off. – Fairchild Tropical Garden is definitely worth a visit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Anthony Valterra, who’s now my business director at Brunette Games. He also helps out with the lifestyle blog, Cat in the Flock. But more than those two things, Anthony’s a true partner in every sense of the word. He’s the one person who really sees me in a way that’s not just validating but inspiring. He makes me want to be my best self.
I’d also like to recognize the super-talented writers who make both Cat in the Flock and Brunette Games what they are. I couldn’t do any of this without them!