My inspiration comes from the people who populate my life. The inspiration may come from a family member, a friend or a person I ran into at the grocery story. I like a good setting and interesting twists in a story, but first and foremost I have to start with a character. The story isn’t necessarily about that person. For instance, Honey On White Bread was inspired by my mother. She grew up in the 30s and 40s, and I grew up listening to stories of her life. My heroine, Claire, shares some similar experiences, but once I started writing, Claire developed her own unique story.
In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character. What do you like best/least about him?Benjamin Russell is admirable, determined to do what’s right for his family, and single minded in pursuit of a better life – not only for himself but for his mother and siblings. If I was a 1945 woman, his manliness would be swoon-inducing. As a woman of today, the line he draws between what is expected of a man and his expectations of a woman might drive me a little nuts.
And the heroine? How do you relate to her?
Claire Russell begins the story as a mature young woman but is a little starry-eyed. She matures over the course of the book into a loving, strong woman. I can relate to her in her battle to balance her desire for an acting career and the career of marriage. Even by today’s standards, trying to have it all requires some sacrifice.
What do you most enjoy about writing romance?
To tell the truth, I didn’t intend on writing romance when I started writing. Back then, I didn’t categorize the stories in my head. My intention was to write about people and relationships with all the entanglements. What I came to realize is romance figures into every story. Love makes the world go round and all those other love clichés. That is what I enjoy – telling the story of relationships because without them, no matter what else is going on, we’re pretty lonely, boring people without love.
What do you like best and least about writing?
Writing is what I love about writing. I love words and language. Putting them down in an order that is entertaining to someone besides me is so rewarding. Promotion is what I least like. Unfortunately, if I don’t promote no one will know I’ve written a story that might be entertaining. And all the while I’m promoting, I could be writing. But can’t have one without the other!
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Write everyday for any amount of time you can. I’ve only recently been able to work at writing fulltime. When I worked, I would get up fifteen minutes early and that was my writing time. Honey On White Bread was written almost entirely in fifteen minute segments. But even if you aren’t working on a book, write everyday – write something, anything. It keeps your juices flowing.
How do you like to spend your free time?
If I could choose (that means forget household chores, grocery shopping, blah, blah), I would be at a movie or play, riding behind my husband on the motorcycle or sitting with good friends over a bottle of red wine and good conversation.
I make a mean pot roast. The trick is to do it on top of the stove. And you have to start by dredging your meat in flour and seasonings, then browning it. After you brown it, take it out of the pan and brown the cut side of your potatoes in the same oil. Be sure to dip the cut side of the potatoes in the same flour and seasoning. Do not peel the potatoes. Add back the roast, carrots and water and cook several hours until the roast about falls apart and the water is thickened from the flour off the meat and potatoes.
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LINKS: You can find Brenda at her website and on Facebook PLUS she blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com and occasionally on her personal blog http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/
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We found plenty of interest! Great to meet you and I wish you huge success with Honey on White Bread.