“I’ve matched up twenty-three couples over the years and in all that time I only made one error. Although I still think the marriage would have worked had she not shot her husband.”—Aunt Bessie in Dawn Comes Early
Everything Writerly is proud to feature Margaret Brownley!! If you're not familiar with Margaret, here's a bit about her:
Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this—except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."
So that’s what Margaret did. She’s now a New York Times bestselling author and a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist with more than 25 novels to her credit—not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.
Now let's get right to the interview.
What genre do you write in?
HI , Andrea, I just want to thank you for letting me visit today. To answer your question I’m currently writing inspirational historical romance.
How much spirituality do you weave into your story?
I really don’t enjoy reading preachy stories and I try not to write them. Spirituality should be woven naturally into a story like a golden thread in a tapestry. I think faith is more effective if it enhances a story without overpowering.
What is your greatest challenge in your writing?
In my other life I was a teacher. At a teacher’s workshop I once attended the instructor asked the following life changing questions: At the end of your career which will you be able to say? That you taught for 35 years? Or that you taught one year 35 times?
I use that same philosophy in my writing career. I don’t want to write the same book 35 or 40 times. So the biggest challenge for me is to stay fresh.
Do you believe there is evil in the world and, if you do, how do you portray it in your novels (or do you portray evil in your novels?
Yes, I do believe evil exists, but my stories tend to be more light-hearted than serious, so my bad guys aren’t really all that evil. In Dawn Comes Early Cactus Joe is the “bad” guy who complains bitterly that “The way this town treats its outlaws, it don’t deserve none.” So as you can see, he’s not all that evil.
Did you ever have a memorable book-signing? If so, please share it.
I think the most memorable books-signing was actually a fly-by (authors go from store to store to sign books in stock). It was my first book and I was a bit shy about telling the manager I was an author, so I simply walked into the store and started signing. I was there for only a few minutes when a police walked up and wanted to arrest me. It seemed someone had seen him drinking coffee in the store and reported that I was “defacing” books.
I tried to explain that I was the author. I even showed him my I.D. Unfortunately, the book was written under a pen name and my driver’s license didn’t match. Boy did I ever have to do some fast talking!
How do you deal with rejection letters or an irate reader?
I could paper a house with the number rejections received through the years. I remember not just one but seventeen rejections in particular—all for a single title. I remember them because when the book finally sold, it sold big and helped launch a new line. That taught me to view rejections as a second (third, fourth or fifth) chance to get it right or find a better publisher. A rejection is not the end of a story; sometimes it’s only the beginning.
Fortunately, I haven’t had to deal with irate readers.
What’s next for you as an author? Any books in the hopper?
“Dawn Comes Early” is the first book in my Last Chance Ranch series. Book two will be available at the end of the year and I’m currently working on book three and a novella. Also, I’m happy to announce that my first non-fiction book, Grieving God’s Way: The Lasting Path to Hope and Healing will be published by Thomas Nelson in July.
Readers can reach me through my website: www.margaretbrownley.com
I’m also on Facebook and Twitter
Thank you so much, Margaret. And here's a blurb of her new book!
Dawn Comes Early
Brides of Last Chance Ranch
Looking for hard-working, professional woman
of good character and pleasant disposition
willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona Territory.
Must be single and prepared to remain so now and forever more.
Her latest dime novel banned, twenty-nine-year old KATE TENNEY answers an advertisement for heiress to an Arizona cattle ranch. It seems like the perfect solution for a disgraced novelist with no intention of getting married—ever.
Trouble begins the moment she steps foot in Arizona Territory. The west is nothing like she wrote about in her books. Not only does she have to deal with a hard-nosed ranch owner, and nefarious outlaw, but a traitorous heart. Kate does not trust men and has no intention of falling for LUKE ADAM’S charm. She’s determined to learn the ranching business and prove to the doubting ranch owner that she’s up to the task—if it kills her. If only she could stay away from a certain handsome blacksmith and his two matchmaking aunts.
Sounds like another bestseller to me!
Today through May 2, 2012 readers can enter to win Dawn Comes Early by leaving a comment. The drawing is Wednesday!!