Author on the Couch:
An Intimate Look Inside the Minds of Our Favorite Authors
This week I’m conducting a session with
Brinda is giving away the ebook collection of her Serendipity Series!
And a signed paperback!
At the end of the post, I’ll explain how to be eligible to win!
Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Brinda: When I look back on all the experiences in my life, it’s not easy to choose one defining moment over all others. Is it the volunteer work I did with a dog rescue group? Or my high school English teacher, Teresa Burns Murphy. She truly empowered me as a writer.
It could be bonding with the writers I now call dear friends. So many fill the Acknowledgements page of each book I write.
Recently though, I’d have to say it’s my diagnosis of breast cancer. There’s nothing like a life-threatening disease to give you an awareness of your priorities and your passions.
Me: A diagnosis like that can change a person. What have you learned about yourself since your diagnosis? Are you surprised by what you learned?
Brinda: I think I need to back up a step in my story. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of months before my diagnosis. I was terrified—for her and for myself. I bawled like a baby on more than one occasion just thinking about possibly losing her. Her diagnosis really enlightened me about breast cancer when I honestly didn’t know much about it.
When my own diagnosis came, I think I was a little on the numb side to it all. I didn’t dwell on it as much as I did my sister’s. Once you are in those shoes, you have to just handle it. There’s really no choice.
There was only a brief period when I broke down. I lost my dog unexpectedly only a few days before my scheduled mastectomy. He passed away peacefully in his sleep while lounging on the sofa. Still, I was devastated. He was supposed to live for several more years according to the dog longevity stats. I not only missed him beyond words (if you’re a pet owner, you get it), I realized that no one knows when it’s their time to go. I panicked over the thought of anything I wanted to do that might be left unfinished. Did I need to mend a relationship with anyone? Did I make the most of each day? Did I need to tell my husband all my online passwords? That last one seems a little trivial now, but I was on the wrong side of rational.
So when I said that I became aware of my priorities, I realized I put a lot of emphasis on my writing this year (over friends and family). I decided to balance my life better. Even though I love writing, I don’t love it over my family and friends.
I’m doing great—physically and emotionally. I have another surgery related to breast reconstruction this month, and I’ll be taking hormone treatments for a time. I KNOW how lucky I am. That carpe diem stuff is for real. Don’t take it lightly.
Me: Okay… I have to admit I laughed when you were wondering if you should tell your husband all your online passwords. That’s such an oddly practical thing to be thinking. But, in all seriousness, I’m mind boggled that your sister and you both were diagnosed so close together! What are the odds? It’s like you had a double whammy–her diagnosis and yours. And then another whammy losing you precious dog too. I know how much that hurts.But! I’m so happy to hear you are doing well!
Let’s talk about your life as a writer. What personality trait of yours helps you most an author?
Brinda: Determination. Sometimes I feel I’m hanging off the side of a lifeboat and can’t let go. Okay. That sounds a little like desperation. But I simply can’t give up.
Me: A metaphor. I love metaphor therapy! How often do we really think about how powerful a metaphor is? They are such perfect examples of emotions. Think about what a lifeboat symbolizes. Something to save you from drowning or getting eaten by a shark. You’re holding on to the side of the lifeboat, but not quite safe, because you aren’t inside the lifeboat. And what does the lifeboat symbolize? A successful publishing career? Making money? Security?
What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Brinda: Could I say the same answer? If something doesn’t work, I need to recognize the flaws and let it go. Just because a certain writing or marketing technique worked for someone else, that doesn’t mean it will work for me.
Me: What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high? What happened?
Brinda: Each time I read a complimentary reader review, I’m on that cloud. I’m especially thrilled when a reader says she couldn’t put my book down. That’s my goal as a writer—to keep a reader glued to the page and invested in the characters’ lives.
Just this week, my sister ran into a woman who said she’d read all my books and loved them. Then she proceeded to ask when a certain character (Jordy) from Seducing Fortune would get his own book. It’s the little things like this that can make a writer’s day!
Me: That’s so awesome! I can’t resist posting what I found on Amazon about SEDUCING FORTUNE:
This is the first book I’ve read by Brinda Berry and it won’t be the last. The story is well written and flows extremely well. ~C. Melloh, 5 star Review on Amazon
That’s writer rocket fuel!
What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing? What happened? How did you get over it?
Brinda: I’m finding it difficult to answer these questions! I don’t know that I’ve only had one low point. I’ve had lots of lows. So many that you might wonder why I haven’t thrown in the old keyboard.
Each time I want more financial success, I question my sanity in pursuing something that hasn’t delivered that yet. When I want raving reviews, I chide myself that maybe I’m just not good enough to get them. I get jealous over the success of another book or author. I admit it. I realize that doesn’t put me in a good light, but it’s the truth.
Me: I think it’s emotionally difficult to be an writer. We work so hard to make the best book we can make, putting time, tears, and parts of our souls in our writing and sometimes the rewards don’t seem to equal the efforts.
Brinda: I read lots of exceptional books that don’t get the acclaim or success they deserve. It can be discouraging as well as baffling.
I’ve learned to let those dark, icky feelings last only a couple of minutes. Jealously won’t help me write better, sell more, or get better reviews. I have to support my fellow authors and be thrilled by their success. I cannot measure myself against someone else. I learn a lot from the author groups I belong to and get so much support. It’s one reason I try to pay it forward.
At the end of the publishing day, we are all in this together.
Me: You mentioned exceptional books, which makes me think of your books and leads me to my next question. Which of your characters are you most like? Why?
Brinda: I’m most like Malerie from Chasing Luck and Mia from the Whispering Woods series. Both female leads love technology. They are social enough to get along with people, but they’re really introverts. They are both very faithful to loved ones.
Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?
Brinda: I’ve published six full-length novels, one short story, and a novella.
Writing time depends on the genre and story. I can write a novel in a few months if I don’t have a lot of research to do. That’s probably because I tend to get very sidetracked in research and fall into the black hole of the internet.
The most painful part is copy editing. As most writers, I’m blind to my own errors. Also, I hate reading my own work for the one-hundredth time.
Me: What book do you wish you’d written? Why?
Brinda: In the contemporary romance genre, I wish I’d written Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgans. It has the perfect blend of romance, comedy, and angst. I was laughing one minute and crying the next. In the young adult genre, it would be Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys. The writing is beautiful—each word and sentence a work of art. Plus, I love every character.
Me: So tell me about your newest novel, SEDUCING FORTUNE.
Trust is the name of the game and fate holds the wild card…
Ex-stripper Emerson doesn’t have the time to fall for her boss Dylan. Between working three jobs and attending college, Emerson’s schedule doesn’t have room for a boyfriend. Especially not Dylan, who’s the poster boy for misbehaving bachelors–the kind of guy who belongs in Emerson’s old life. But when a stalker with connections to her convict father threatens Emerson’s loved ones, suddenly Dylan’s the only one who calls to her heart.
As the heat between them rises, will Emerson risk his life by opening up to him? Or will she risk his love to stop a criminal?
Me: I’ve read this book and I just gotta say, “I LOVE Dylan!” He’s the perfect combination of bad boy and good guy.
Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from SEDUCING FORTUNE. Why do you love this paragraph? What makes it special to you?
Brinda: I’ve selected the following paragraphs because they tell so much about Emerson. She’s distrustful. And she’s still angry over her past. It shows here.
“Smart people can be dangerous. Dad could hack into anything. Now he can’t even touch a computer.” I give Dylan a casual smile, but my insides quake.
My dad’s indiscretion—selling military data like some people hock fake purses in New York—changed who I am. My high school friends, my community—virtually the entire world—shunned my family and me. So, I’ve hidden behind my wall of cold looks and chin-up attitude. Why did I blurt out the truth about something that makes me feel raw and exposed? I know the answer. Because the tenderness in Dylan’s gaze makes me want to confide, confide, confide.
He’s looking at me—brows knitted together and his eyes soft and sympathetic, one syllable away from saying he’s sorry about my dad. I hate it when people do that. Apologize for something they had no control over. It’s like telling me you’re sorry for the rain.
Me: Wow! Wow! Wow! I LOVE that last paragraph. So powerful. And so true!
You can purchase SEDUCING FORTUNE at:
Amazon at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneAmazon.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneBN
iBooks at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneiBooks .
Kobo at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneKobo .
Page Foundry at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortunePageFoundry.
Scribd at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneScribd .
You can find Brinda at:
To win either the entire SERENDIPITY SERIES in ebook format
or a signed paperback from Brinda Berry–
just leave a comment!
It’s that easy!
On Saturday May 9th, Brinda will announce the winners in the comments.
Stay tuned! You could be a winner!
What highs/lows have you experienced as a writer?
What personality traits do you have that help or hinder you as a writer?
What book do you wish you’d written?
Have you had breast cancer? Has someone you know had breast cancer? Can you related to Brinda’s experience?
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Thank You! You Rock!