Historical romance author Brenda B. Taylor sits for an interview today. Learn more about Brenda and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
Writing novels has been a life-long ambition. I wrote fiction stories in elementary school, but only after retirement did I complete a novel for publication.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I began a novel after retirement, but it took several years before the finishing touches and the last edits were made. Also, I had to learn the art of writing fiction.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
All of my books are self-published.
Where do you write?
I write sitting on an easy chair beside a large window in my bedroom office. I have a regular office in my house, but very seldom use it for writing.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Silence is golden for me. Sometimes I play Scottish music when writing about Scotland to put me in a Highland frame of mind.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
My novels are based on my family history, but all characters and plots are fictional.
Describe your process for naming your character?
The heroine in the Wades of Crawford County series is named for a sister of my great-grandfather who lived in Cuba, Missouri and died when a young mother. I’ve often wondered about the cause of her death.
Real settings or fictional towns?
The settings for my novels are real places where the characters may have lived.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Flora Vass in A Highland Ruby, is an expert shot with a bow. She saves Gavin’s life, and wins an archery contest. She is quite the character, fighting for the man she loves with all her talents and abilities.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
I like to write the first thing in the morning while the sun is coming over the horizon and the birds begin to move around the birdfeeder; however, I can’t put a word on paper until after my first cup of coffee.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
If I could have written any book, I suppose the inspirational historical fiction novel by Janette Oke, When Calls the Heart, is the one I would choose. I enjoy the story of the young teacher settling and finding love on the frontier.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
One regret I have in the business of writing and publishing historical fiction is, I didn’t start sooner.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is someone not keeping their word. I don’t like cover-ups and untruths.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
If stranded on a deserted island I would want a good book, a light to read by, and a source of fresh water. Food is probably available from the land or sea.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
I have been fortunate that throughout my working career I’ve been able to do one of the things I most enjoy doing—teaching young children. I suppose if I must choose a ‘worst’ job, it would be as a school secretary. I did that job once, and did not like the constant bookkeeping.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
I’ve read so many books, choosing one is very difficult. I loved the book, Hawaii, by James Michener. After reading the novel, my husband and I, along with our daughter and her family, made a trip to Hawaii. We visited a museum and other places where the first missionaries lived. The story came to life, and it was a wonderful experience.
Ocean or mountains?
I’ll take mountains any day. I am not a beach, sand and sun person. My skin is too fragile. Some of the most beautiful memories I have are of the trips to the mountains my husband and I took in our RV.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I’m a country girl for certain. City traffic frightens me. When I do venture to the city, I return home with culture shock. I can’t think in a metropolis with all its distractions. Sitting on my front porch and watching the four or five cars go by is a favorite pastime.
What’s on the horizon for you?
My ambition is to keep writing and publishing those stories running around in my head for as long as possible.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I love writing, publishing, and even promoting my books. I’m so very thankful self-publishing came about so writers like me have a place to get their manuscripts out to readers. We aren’t inhibited by agents, publishing houses with an agenda, and editors. Although editing is a necessary part of the writing process, I still have control over my story.
A Highland Ruby
She must choose between a life of adventure with the man she loves or a settled, secure life with her betrothed. Flora Vass forced Gavin Munro out of her heart and mind until he returned to Scotland after an adventurous five years in the New World. Gavin leaves no doubt he returned to make the bonnie Flora his own and intends to fight for her. Flora's betrothed, Iain MacKay, and Gavin's brother, Chief Andrew Munro, have other plans. Andrew needs her to marry the MacKay and bring peace between the two clans. Iain MacKay desires an heir. War with England looms on the horizon, forcing Flora to make crucial decisions.