Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Love and Laughter with Margaret Brownley - Day Two!
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR MARGARET BROWNLEY has penned more than forty novels and novellas. Her books have won numerous awards, including Readers' Choice and Award of Excellence. She's a former Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist and has written for a TV soap. She is currently at work on a new series. Her next book, Left at the Altar, will be published in the fall of 2016. Not bad for someone who flunked eighth grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.
Welcome back, Margaret!What drew you to writing historical novels?
I started writing contemporaries but my agent suggested I try my hand at a historical. That’s when I found my literary voice. I especially like writing about the Old West and the hopes and dreams of those early pioneers.
If you’re anything like I am, one favorite book is hard to pick! Do you have two or three top picks among the historical genre that you would care to recommend?
Oh, my goodness, there’re so many. I noticed there’re a lot of World War II novels lately and I recently read All the Light I Cannot See and Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale. Right now I’m reading The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, which is both a historical and contemporary. As for westerns, anything by Jodi Thomas and Linda Lael Miller is a must read.
What do you consider the best resources for historical research?
My home library is the best resource. I have something like 2000 print books and my shelves runneth over. These are research books. The public library has rules about marking up books so I have to purchase my own. I also like reading 19th century newspapers. They really give a flavor of the times.
What or who inspired you to write inspirational fiction? How does that keep you plodding ahead with your writing each day?
For years I stayed away from inspirational fiction because some of the early books I read in the genre were too preachy. Fortunately, a friend persuaded me to give them another try. Actually, it’s readers who keep me plodding, not to mention deadlines.
Do you feel you are more of a character driven or plot driven writer? How do you think it comes across in your writing?
I’m a big believer in letting characters drive the plot, otherwise the stories feel forced. This is especially important when writing humor. That’s why I don’t outline. I just dive into the characters and trust them to do the driving.
What helps you maintain productivity as a writer? And what do you find most challenging about the business of being an author?
I enjoy bringing characters to life. I guess you could say it’s an obsession. I read something, hear or see something and the creative juices start flowing.
The most challenging part for me is book promotion. I’m not good at small talk which pretty much makes me Facebook challenged.
Okay I told you how many books I’m hoarding. Now tell me how many you have on hand. On your reading device? Piled by your bed? On the bookshelves? Do any of you plan on giving books as Christmas presents?
Thank you, Margaret, for joining us at Novel PASTimes. It has been a privilege to interview you.
Here's where you can connect with Margaret:
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