Sharon: Welcome Brenda. We have refreshments on the coffee bar. If you don’t care for coffee you can grab a softdrink, or a bottle of water and let’s set and chat.
The two women choose a beverage and sit across from each other.
Sharon: I’m so glad you are here with us today, Brenda. Why don’t you start off by telling us a little about your family?
Brenda: My husband and I will be married forty years this July. We have two married daughters and six grandchildren.
Sharon: Wonderful. So many marriages don’t last these days. I’m glad your family is still intact after all these years.
So when and how did you get interested in writing?
Brenda: For years, I presented mini sermons and puppet skits for the children in our church. I usually wrote my own scripts and stories to share with them. Eventually, I met my now close friend, Marsha Hubler, who was just beginning her writing career at the time. We talked about writing, and she invited me to her critique group. Neither of us remembers how the conversation got started. It must have been a God-thing.
Sharon: That is beautiful.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Brenda: Oh yes, on many levels. First of all before I started writing, I had little to time to read. Therefore, I read what I considered “significant” books like how-to’s, self-helps, devotions, and Bible studies. I didn’t want to waste any of my valuable reading time on fiction, let alone write fiction. But at one point, I read several of Francine River’s books and wept. God showed me that fiction was just as significant and life changing to some people as any nonfiction book. On another level, since I have more knowledge of what a well-written book looks like, I read with a more critical eye. It’s the plight of an author. It becomes difficult to read anything without seeing typos, misused verbs, and misplaced modifiers.
Sharon: I agree with you. Even Jesus often used a story, a parable to make a
So what inspired you to write Trouble at Camp Turnabout Creek? How was this story placed on your heart?
Brenda: I wrote this story for an assignment in a class I was taking at a writers’ conference. We were asked to write a fictional short story using a real life event. I thought about being a junior camp counselor and some of the shenanigans the campers pulled on me. That story stayed in my file for many years. Last fall, I was asked to do a presentation at a school. The theme was camp. So I pulled out the story and stretched it into a chapter book for preteens just for that occasion, which is March 2014.
Sharon: And your protagonist of the story is Ray Nuestrong. Of your own experiences, what influenced the writing of Ray the most? What features became aspects that were his alone?
Brenda: As a junior camp counselor, I was tormented by a couple of nine-year-old boys. My protagonist, Ray Nuestrong is tormented by nine-year-old, twin girls. And he loves to paint animals as I do. That’s where my experiences and his begin and end. Ray is a prankster and loves to skateboard. He is outgoing and enjoys being on stage performing in front of an audience. He’s fashioned more after my grandsons—little of this one and a little of that one.
Sharon: That sounds so interesting.
Are you planning another book? If so, what’s the story about?
Brenda: I have several books in the making. The next one I plan to publish is the third book in my Bumbly Bee picture book series, You Want to What, Nibs Rabbit? is a fun story about a rabbit who wants to learn to fly so he can join the high flyers club.
Sharon: Good choice. I believe children relate well to animal characters.
Brenda: I, also, plan to write a fantasy series for preteens which involves a boy who has a lot of questions. Alex discovers a secret cave and a magic horse. The horse takes him back in time where Alex finds the answers he seeks while observing events recorded in the Bible.
Sharon: How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit me on my blogs: http://www.myquotesofencouragement.com and
Thank you, Sharon, for giving me this opportunity to share my writing experiences and my stories with you and your readers. God bless.
Sharon: Thank you, Brenda. The pleasure was all mine, and of course our readers.
Sharon: Yes that is the promise. I pray that our Lord continues to bless your writing.
Q4U Readers: Do you read to your children and or grands? Do they have a favorite type of story they request over and over and over?