Brenda is the author of one of my favorite series, FIRE ON ICE. If you love hot, hockey players and outstanding writing and story lines, this one is for you. Ryke, Luke, Niko and Orion have a special place on my shelves. Brenda took some time to answer our 20 questions. See what she had to say…..
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Not exactly. I was always better at English than Math, and I always liked writing, but I never saw myself writing professionally. I was interviewing for a job as a sports clerk at a newspaper when I was 22, and the editor said he wanted to hire me to write for him instead. And from the first day, I was in love with my work.
Are you a full time writer? If so, what did you do in your “previous life?”
Yes. Before becoming a full-time author, I was a newspaper reporter for nine years and a Communications Director for five years.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
What a great question! There are so many things. I think the most important advice I’d give younger me is to never sell myself short.
Do you work on one storyline at a time or do you have multiple storylines in the pipeline?
I always know what my next couple books are going to be. Sometimes that’s not ideal. Right now I’m working to get my head out of the book I’m thinking about, because I need to write another one before that one. There have been times I’ve worked on more than one book at the same time because I just had to. I try not to do that, though.
My favorite series of yours is Fire on Ice. What is your favorite hockey team?
Thanks! My favorite NHL team is the Chicago Blackhawks. I also have immense love for my local SPHL team, the Peoria Rivermen. They’ve been a great resource to me when I’m researching for books.
Have you experienced any of your stories personally?
Yes. Bound was based on my personal experience of losing a baby at eighteen weeks into a pregnancy. I think that’s something we don’t talk about enough. Some people consider all pregnancy losses miscarriages and don’t understand that the feelings of hurt and loss run just as deep as with any other death. I drew on another personal experience for Unspoken, and that was my dad’s death from metastatic lung cancer five years ago. I love hearing from readers that my books about loss were cathartic for them. I definitely found catharsis from writing them.
What are your biggest distractions?
The Internet and all things on it. Mostly social media. I also struggle with working at home sometimes, because while I can just throw in a load of laundry or run out for groceries during the day, I have to be mindful of the time I spend not working.
What is your least favorite part of the writing or publishing process?
I used to proofread my own work, and I hated it. Proofreading your own work is harder than proofing someone else’s, so it took me several reads and many hours to do it. I still have to do proofing work on my audio books, and it’s definitely my least favorite part of my job.
Do you find it difficult, or challenging to write from the male POV?
I don’t. When I was a reporter, I covered the Cops beat for a while and I got to know quite a few police officers and firefighters pretty well. I also hung out with the sports writers and the all-male staff of photographers. I found it insightful to learn how men talk and what makes them tick.
What activities do you enjoy outside of writing?
Reading and hiking with my family.
Do you have a favorite author or book?
I have many. I could never narrow my favorite author down to just one, but if I had to choose one favorite book it would be The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
Ever think you have a great idea for a book, only to find out someone released the same storyline already?
No, but it has happened with a title. I have a fear of writing a book that’s close to someone else’s and not even realizing I did it. That’s one of the reasons I rely on early readers.
Have you ever had writer’s block and how do you work through it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. I’ve had to write out of sequence when I was struggling with parts of books. Actually, I always write out of sequence. It’s one of my bad habits. If I’m having problems with part of a book I’m writing, I talk through it with my editor, author friends and beta readers.
Do you ever find yourself jumping up from the dinner to table to jot down a scene that just ran through your head?
I think about my books when I’m driving and when I’m trying to fall asleep. I have been known to get out of bed at night to write. As for the dinner table, I have three boys, so I spend dinner talking to them and my husband, which really means reminding the kids to eat and stop being mean to each other about two dozen times per meal.
What does your writing workspace look like?
I have an office with a big desk, bookcases and all the things I love, like photos of me and author friends. But to be honest, I do almost all my writing in a big comfy recliner in my living room.
Sharing your baby with the public has to be scary. How do you respond to negative reviews?
They don’t bother me much. If all my reviews were negative, I’d definitely reassess my career choice. But I’ve been writing for 15 years, and I’m used to having my work judged. It’s part of the job when you’re a reporter.
Do you have any visuals for your characters from any of your books?
Always! I recently started Pinterest boards for all my books so I can share the visuals with my readers.
Can you tell us what you are working on next?
I’m working on Bennett, which is Book 2 in my On the Line hockey series.
What is in your purse right now?
Mostly essentials. Wallet, checkbook, lipstick, pens I’ve stolen from fellow authors at signings. You really can’t deny it when it has their name on it.
Do you have a favorite scene or book of your own?
The scene in Deep Down with Ivy and Walter when they are walking downtown and then sitting. I love it when characters unexpectedly move me, and Walter really did in that scene.
Fire On Ice
Now and Then
On The Line (Fire on Ice Spin-Off)
The Lockhart Brothers Series