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How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer and wrote my first “novel” in 5th grade. In high school I entered my angst-driven stories in the annual Seventeen Magazine contest, and didn’t even merit an honorary mention. No one thought I should pursue writing, probably because I failed 8th grade English. To this day I still can’t diagram a sentence. When my kids reached junior high I volunteered as the church newsletter editor, and got a bit too creative. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, my then pastor took me aside and suggested that maybe God was calling me to write fiction.
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
Currently I’m writing inspirational historical romances for Thomas Nelson. My stories take place in the Old West.
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
An early riser, I’m at my desk practically every day of the week. I take off an hour for lunch and an hour to make nice with the treadmill. I then spend the remainder of the day on left-brained stuff (phone calls, promotion, blogging, answering reader mail and nibbling on chocolate). It generally takes me six months to research and write a historical novel.
Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it? What can readers expect to get from reading it? How and where can readers buy your book?
A Suitor For Jenny is the 2nd book in my Rocky Creek Romance series.
I got the idea from a meeting notice in an old 1800s newspaper. It was for a group that called themselves “The Society for the Protection and Preservation of Male Independence.” I don’t know what happened to the group or if its members managed to maintain independence, but I knew I had a story.
Of course confirmed bachelors aren’t the only problem that confronts Jenny Higgins when she rolls into Rocky Creek, Texas determined to find suitable husbands for her two younger sisters. The town falls short of her expectations, but she refuses to be discouraged. Once her sisters are safely married, Jenny plans to put the past behind her, move far, far away and start afresh.
Armed with “The Compleat and Authoritative Manual for Attracting and Procuring a Husband,” she follows every rule in the book. Much to her dismay, none of the men meet the stringent requirements, one of which is passing the PHAT (Potential Husband Attitude Test).
Jenny thinks she knows how to pick perfect husbands and it take two rebellious sisters, a handsome marshal, and a whole lot of faith to convince her otherwise.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?
Writing is hard work, no question, and yes, I’ve wanted to give up. Fortunately for me, the love of writing has always been greater than the disappointments. I had a long dry spell between books following the death of our oldest son. I didn’t think I’d ever write again and when I finally did, the market had changed, so I had to start from scratch—and that was tough.
Who’s inspired you the most?
I love to write about the Old West because I have the utmost admiration for the thousands of pioneer women who left home and family to create a new life in a raw and sometimes hostile land.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?”
Finding the right publisher is too important for guesswork. Fortunately, my agent did the hard work of finding the right publisher for me. But even with an agent you have to do your homework and know what publishers are looking for.
Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
I don’t think a writer can ever sit back and relax. There’s always the next book to write, the next deadline to meet and another book to promote. I’ve published more than 20 books and I think it gets harder with each book. I’m always trying to dig deeper and write better. You have to keep reading, writing, promoting and feeding the creative muse. This has always been true, of course, but it’s even more important in today’s financial climate. Readers have limited funds to spend and have to choose their books wisely. Writers have an obligation to provide the best entertaining read possible.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
Between writing and family I don’t have much time for hobbies. Reading is my favorite past time and we like traveling in our RV. The book I’m currently working on is set in Arizona, so that will probably be our next destination.
You recently had a book published. How and where can readers buy your books?
A Suitor for Jenny can be purchased on-line or at your favorite bookstore. And of course A Lady Like Sarah, a Women of Faith selection, 2010 RITA finalist and Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice winner, is still available.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
- Website: http://www.margaretbrownley.com/
- I’m a resident blogger at http://www.petticoatsandpistols.com/
- Stagecoach Etiquette for Readers: Have A Little Faith
Thanks, Margaret, for visiting my blog today!