Sunday, October 10, 2010
More Love and Laughter in the Old West from Bestselling Author Margaret Brownley:
Some timely advice for landing a husband from Margaret’s new book, A SUITOR FOR JENNY
• Charm and composure must prevail at all times. If a gunfight erupts, exit the scene with grace and serenity.
• If you don’t know whether or not to kiss a handsome man, give him the benefit of the doubt.
• Never engage in boisterous laughter. If you must show mirth, a polite smile or titter will suffice.
• Never criticize your beau. If it wasn’t for his faults he’d probably be courting someone else.
• A woman more knowledgeable than a man is obliged to hold her tongue and feign ignorance in all matters except, of course, childbirth.
• Never show affection in public. Love may be blind but the townspeople are not.
• Once your vows are exchanged devote yourself to domestication—his.
• Eschew secrets, for they are normally discovered at the worst possible time. If confronted, weep and deny everything.—
I love that list of advice. Thanks for including it, Margaret. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Lena, thank you for letting me visit with you today. To answer your question, right now I see four deadlines on the horizon. My cup really does overflow. All my life I wanted to be a writer, so I’m living a dream. The thing I don’t want to see on the horizon is a sunset or storm clouds. I’m praying for sunny skies ahead.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I’ve always been an avid reader and remain so. The biggest change is that I now read more non-fiction than I did previously because of this thing called research. Right now I’m reading a cattle manual, and a book on how to repair windmills, which muddles my non-mechanical mind. Nonfiction is about facts; fiction is about truth. I much prefer to read about truth.
What are you working on right now?
I finished the third and last book in my Rocky Creek Series. A Vision of Lucy will be in bookstores June, 2011. I just started a new series called Spinster Brides, and I’m very excited about it. I love where the characters are taking me. I can’t wait to share my next series with readers.
What outside interests do you have?
Writing, family and, of course, reading take up most of my time. We do like to travel and enjoy taking trips in our RV. I’ve been to all fifty states and dozens of foreign countries. Our next destination will probably be Arizona as that’s where my next series is set.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I would love to spend the evening with Queen Elizabeth because she has known something like 11 or 12 prime ministers and 12 U.S. presidents. That makes her pretty special. Next on my list would be a handsome blacksmith from the 1800s, just like the hero in the book I’m now working on (all in the name of research, of course).
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I knew to enjoy the journey more. When writing a first book, a writer can spend as much time as necessary to get it right without having to worry about deadlines. That’s a luxury published authors don’t have.
I know about that. I'm on a really tight deadline for my next book. I won't have that luxury at all. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
I often say that God made me a writer to teach me patience. I’m not sure He’s succeeded yet, but we’re both still working on it.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
For aspiring writers I would say, enjoy the journey. Being published comes with its own challenges, so you really have to enjoy each step of the way or you won’t survive. Surround yourself with a support group and celebrate every success. Celebrate when you finish a chapter, enter a contest, pop a query in the mail or sign up for a writing workshop. This is what kept me going the five years it took me to sell my first book, and it will keep you going, too.
Published authors probably don’t need my advice.
I'm not so sure about that. Tell us about the featured book.
A Suitor for Jenny is the next book in my Rocky Creek series (but the books don’t have to be read in order). Here’s what it’s about:
When looking for a husband it's best to go where the odds are in your favor.
After their parents died, Jenny Higgins felt responsible for taking care of her two younger sisters. Learning that Rocky Creek has the highest number of eligible bachelors per capita, Jenny rolls into this Texas town with a clear objective: find suitable husbands for her two younger sisters and then start fresh somewhere far, far away. Jenny believes that women who fall in love at first sight often wish they’d taken a second look, so she diligently begins to follow all the rules set forth in her handy manual on how to land a husband.
But while Jenny is interviewing the less-than-promising candidates, her sisters are falling in love the old fashioned way. Jenny is convinced she knows how to pick “perfect” men and it will take two rebellious sisters, a handsome marshal and a whole lot of faith to convince her otherwise.
I know I'll love it. Please give us the first page of the book.
A good man is like a good corset. He will always be supportive and never leave you hanging.—Miss Abigail Jenkins, 1875
Rocky Creek, Texas
Old man Hank Applegate should have known trouble was brewing the moment the stagecoach thundered into town one week and two days late.
Not that anyone cared. Actually, no one but Hank so much as noticed the stagecoach, late or otherwise. He might not have noticed either had it not been for the astounding amount of luggage tied to the roof and back of the coach. Few people of any importance or interest ever came to town on the Wells Fargo stagecoach anymore. Nowadays, most folks preferred to travel by train. And who in tarnation would travel with that much luggage?
A gust of wind followed the stage, kicking up a whirlwind as it traveled through town. Hats blew off like popping corks. Emma Hogg’s skirt flapped like the sails of a storm-tossed ship. Not that Hank was interested in the old spinster’s skirts or anything else about her for that matter.
The horses hitched in front of Jake’s Saloon pawed the ground, and the batwing doors swung to and fro.
The stage came to a halt in front of the weathered two-story Grand Hotel. Its driver scrambled to the ground like a man trying to escape an angry mob.
His curiosity stoked, Hank rose from his rocking chair for a closer look, his bony legs creaking like a dried-out saddle.
Squinting beneath the brim of his leather hat, he spat a dark stream of tobacco juice over the railing of Fairbanks General Merchandise and clamped down on his jaw, letting his toothless gums rub against each other.
The door of the stage flew open, and he caught a glimpse of a dainty slipper and a slim feminine ankle. Thinking he was seeing things, he leaned forward until the rickety railing wobbled beneath his weight. Not that he noticed. He was too busy watching a pretty miss emerge from inside the coach.
What a hook! How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’d love to have readers drop by my homestead and say howdy: http://www.margaretbrownley.com/
I’m also resident blogger on http://www.petticoatsandpistols.com/
For fun check out my Stagecoach Etiquette for Readers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prY2q9Oasp4
Thank you everyone!
Have a Little Faith
Thank you, Margaret, for the fun interview.
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