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Brenda is Awesome

Welcome Brenda Drake to the Mosh Pit!


I have a special treat today. My dear friend and uber-awesome writer Brenda Drake agreed to an interview and I’m going to share it with you! We’re so lucky, ’cause Brenda’s so cool. As are you ;o)

So, I don’t interview people often. I tried to get a little bit of everything… Her answers are in green, and my comments are in red ’cause that’s how we roll up in here on the Santa tip. Word. (get it red and green? Yes, I know it’s not Christmas any more) Off we go! Wheeeeee!

You got an agent. CONGRATS! The AWESOME Lauren Hammond of ADA Management Group has agreed to represent you. So, what’s next? Are you going to Disney World? (kidding, although how fun would that be? I know, I’ll go with you)

B-You know I’m so going to Disney World! Wait. You’re coming with me? We better come up with a plan to distract security guards or something. We can’t be trusted together, I’m sure.

E-You and I both know I’m good at distraction… Ha. We would so get in trouble.

Let’s go back to the beginning. No, not birth, we’d be here a while. The beginning of your writing career. Tell us. We want the deets.

B- Hmm… Is that a dig at my age? Way to insult your guests. Hahaha. No seriously, just like most writers, I’ve always scribbled stories. From the toddler years when my stories were in my drawings to today when I try to make the stories more legible than that. I had a crazy Irish grandmother. I could sit all day on the floor in front of her, legs pulled into a pretzel, and listen to her stories. Then I grew up, and life got in the way.

After I returned home from my honeymoon with my husband, and apparently smothering him too much, he asked, “Do you have any hobbies?” I was shocked, but then recovered and answered, “I love to write.” He said, “You should do that.” So I did. My first manuscript was a disaster. The second was a little better. I took classes. I kept writing. I queried a manuscript. It got rejected continuously without any requests to read more. Then I wrote a story, I completely loved. I queried. Got a few rejections and a lot of requests to read more. I got one email from an editor that told me what was wrong with the manuscript, but that she loved the concept. I stopped querying and revised it. I wrote every day. There was no giving up for me.

E- I’m like Ed Debevic. I slam ’cause I love.

What story did you land Lauren with? Was it your first, how many versions did you write?

B- I’m so happy I found Lauren. She loves my stories and is a great supporter. I landed her with Library Jumpers. It wasn’t my first manuscript. I’ve written several, some will never see the light of day. Seriously. They’re horrible. Those stories helped me to develop my writing skills. As far as, how many revisions I did on Library Jumpers? Let’s just say a lot. Each time I got a suggestion in a rejection, I’d look at the issue and try to fix it if needed. I’m always tinkering with my stories. I’m sort of a perfectionist.

E- Dude. I’m so happy you found her. She sounds awesome!! You *may* be a perfectionist, but I’m glad ;o)

What helps you through this whole process? Querying to Writing, to revising. Any tips? Since I know personally how diligent you are, I think this will be good to know ;o)

B- I would have to say it’s putting myself out there. Letting other writers critique my work. It’s other writers who understand how difficult this journey is. I can tell my family all day long how frustrated I am, but they don’t get it. It’s my writing buddies who do, and who pick me up when I stumble and can’t go on.

E- Amen, sista

Technically, I write each day. Even if it’s just for fifteen minutes. I start out by reading what I wrote the day before and fix grammar issues. I know, I know, some say you shouldn’t do that. I have to do it or it’ll drive me crazy. My first drafts are pretty clean by the time I finish. I then go through again, fixing only grammar. After, I go through it again and fix plot issues. Then I send it to my Kindle and read it. Why? Because it’s a different format and I pick up so many mistakes and character issues when I read it that way. I make notes in my Kindle. When I’m done I fix those issues. And then, I send it out for critiques. When I get those back, I revise again.

E- Great tips!

Okay, enough talk of da business. Let’s get down to what we really want to know. I’m going to post two word questions and you pick one. Sounds fun? Yay, let’s try it. As you can tell I don’t do many interviews. Ha.

Soda or Pop Soda. Pop’s my dad.
Laugh or Cry Tough one. Neither. I do smile a lot, though. I don’t know why I can’t laugh outloud. It takes a lot to make me cry. Usually, it involves children. I haven’t figured out why I’m that way because I’m very compassionate. I blame the parental units.
I distinctly remember *someone* crying from my MS… #justsayin #bigsofty
Movie or TV Movie. I love longer stories that actually end and not continue on to the next week. I have no patience for that. It drove me nuts waiting for the final Harry Potter to come out. Me too!
Write or Read (Ooo, yes I went there) You went there. Oy! Write. I’m such a slow reader, it’s embarrassing. I wish I can turn off my editing brain.
Pizza or Coffee (Ha, I know the answer already) You know it. I love all flavors of coffee. If I can come up with a new concoction, and actually love it, I’m happy all day.
Fantasy or Dream Fantasy. I imagine my husband is Prince Charming every day. Or is that a dream? Hmm…
Lord of the Rings book or Lord of the Rings movie The movie *buries head in shame*. Seriously, I’ve read the book, and well, you know… Don’t worry, I haven’t even read the book. *lifts chin proudly*
Cereal or Eggs Neither. Apples and peanut butter. If I had to choose, it would be cereal.
Space or Underworld Underworld. I’m not very scientific.

A couple more questions…

What does your “office” consist of? A way too hot husband with a rock hard body. Seriously. We have a dual desk. He’s there all the time. Which is intimidating. I can’t eat powder donuts when he’s around. [What? No powder donuts? Deal breaker, sorry. LOL.] But seriously, I have tons of notebooks and pens. Writing books. Pictures of the family. Cats sprawled across the desk, crowding me. And several windows that look out onto Albuquerque’s gazillion lights at night. We have million dollar views. *sigh* I bet you do.

Last Question…. *sniff* What makes a great book for you. The kind you can’t put down, the pages are wet with your tears, you’re laughing through weeping. What does it for you? I hardly cry, as you know. [I will refer again to my MS. You’re supposed to be telling the truth… Five Points Gryffindor!] So when I do, you know it’s good. It’s usually a small sweet moment that makes me tear up. If it involves a child with cancer, I’ll cry the entire book. I could barely get through the Lovely Bones. My son suffered from cancer. I can’t read it. It’s tough. As far as laughing, which for me is a warm happy feeling inside, good humor. Right now I’m reading, when not critiquing, Girl Parts by John Cusick, and he almost got me to chuckle, which is saying a lot. I’ll tell you if he succeeds in making me laugh outloud when I finish. You are the epitome of awesome, B.

Thanks for having me, Erica! This was so much fun.

Anytime, thanks for enduring the torture of the mosh pit. Ha.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!!!
<3 Er

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