Dear Readers, our author today is a fellow Realms author. I’m thrilled to feature her here.
Welcome, Brandi. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think it’s inevitable that some of an author’s traits and quirks will find themselves in a character, whether or not we intend to place them there. I value education and independence. Therefore, the heroines in my historical novels tend to be strong-willed and willing to adopt modes of thinking that sometimes go against the traditional notions of their day.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I love to create costumes to wear to Renaissance Faires and scifi conventions. My closet has items that can go from Medieval gypsy to Victorian lady to airship pirate in a flash.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I was in the third grade. After I finished reading Little House on the Prairie and the Boxcar Children series, I decided to create my own “series” of adventure stories. I folded sheets of notebook paper in half and stapled the spine. Then I would write and do the illustrations in colored pencil. There’s probably a box of those still in the basement of my childhood home.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
You shouldn’t ask me this question,
because I can’t narrow things down ;-) I read historical fiction,
scifi/fantasy, and romance. I like for any story I read to have a thread of
romance woven through it. My favorite authors are Anne Elisabeth Stengl
(Christian fantasy), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of my favorite literary
character Sherlock Holmes), hardboiled noir writer Raymond Chandler (I have a
thing for fictional detectives, apparently), and Shelley Adina (steampunk- a
subgenre of scifi that incorporates Victorian settings and gadgetry).
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
It goes back to priorities. God first, family, then everything else. Each morning, I take a few minutes to read Scripture and an entry in my devotional. I’ll admit that I’ve been tempted to race through these sessions to get to my writing and completing everyday tasks. However, I’ve found that when I resisted this urge and chose to devote the first moments of my day to God, He makes the rest of the day go by more smoothly.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
If the setting is historical, I try to research the popular names of the day. I also have a baby name book on my shelf for quick referencing. The internet provides wonderful name generators for last names.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Building a life with my husband. Before we settled in
Texas, our marriage had
seen military deployments and relocations to seven different states in five
years. Throughout the ups and downs of life, my husband has always been
encouraging and supportive of my dreams.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A bird. To me, they represent freedom and a life unburdened by worldliness and anxiety. Oh, yeah, and they like to sing.
What is your favorite food?
Asian stir fry. I like to mix in scallops, bok choy, eggs, and the spiciest sriracha sauce I can find.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
For a long time, I was afraid to go against the grain with my writing. As authors, we’re told to be unique, yet play it safe. Unhelpful and contradicting, right? When my first book The Preacher’s Wife was published, it featured an ethnically diverse heroine, an uncommon occurrence in Christian fiction. After I saw how my publisher believed in that book and how readers enjoyed Marissa’s story, it encouraged me to keep writing.
Tell us about the featured book.
A Windswept Promise is the second book in my Brides of Assurance series. It follows the journey of Sophie Charlton, a pampered yet spunky town belle who falls for a rugged cowboy named Dusty Sterling. Sophie comes from a wealthy family, complete with strict parents and three outspoken siblings. Her parents want her to marry for social standing and prestige. Well, Dusty works on her family’s farm. You can imagine the dynamics of this household…
Please give us the first page of the book.
It’s Founders Day in Assurance,
Kansas. In this scene, Sophie is busy making
preparations to enter the town belle contest.
“Sophie, your jambalaya’s burning!”
As her younger brother David called, Sophie Charlton dashed out of her bedroom and ran down the stairs into the kitchen. A pot gurgled on the step stove, brown bubbles spilling out from under the lid. She grabbed a towel from the table and hoisted the pot by its handles away from the hot surface. Her brother simply stood by the stove and watched.
“David, why did you let the flame get too hot underneath?” She opened the firebox door and inspected the kindling as it burned to ash.
“Ma said not to touch the food. It’s for the Founders Day Festival.”
“It wouldn’t have been for anything if you had let it burn. This is supposed to go into my food basket.”
“I called you to come downstairs, didn’t I?” He gave her a matter-of-fact look.
“At the very last moment.” Sophie shut the door to the stove and went to the pot of jambalaya. Stock trickled down into the grooves of the table. Steam rushed out as she lifted the lid.
“Is it bad?” David craned his neck to see.
“No, the stock boiled a bit too high, but I think it’ll still be alright.” She grabbed a long-handled spoon and prodded the mixture of sausage, peppers, and tomatoes. “Next time you see it boiling over, take it off the stove. Don’t call me all the way from upstairs.”
“Well, it’s your dish. I ain’t the one trying to enter some silly town belle contest.”
“It’s not silly.” Sophie glanced at her freshly laundered and starched yellow-striped dress to make sure no stock had spilled on it. A lady’s garments should always be pristine. “And ‘ain’t’ isn’t a word, David. You’re sixteen years old. How often must I tell you that?”
“That I’m sixteen years old?”
“No, that your grammar is—never mind. I don’t have time for this. I have to get ready. Go outside and help Dusty with the wagon.” She left the pot to cool on the table’s surface next to the pie she baked earlier.
“Dusty’s already done hitchin’ the horses up. See out the window.”
Sophie viewed the family’s wagon and the team of horses waiting in front of the walkway on the warm April Saturday. The pair of bay geldings stared past the fence at the main road into town, black blinders strapped on their heads. Her father’s hired worker was nowhere to be seen.
“Where is Dusty?”
“Probably getting cleaned up. You should finish dressing too.”
Stating the obvious. She hated how her brother thought that made him sound clever. “Do not touch that pot. I’ll be back down in a moment.”
Sophie returned upstairs and passed her parents’ room, where she could hear her mother and father talking as they got ready for the festival. She grinned to hold back a squeal. Finally, she was allowed to compete for the chance to be crowned Assurance’s town belle. Her mother thought she had been too young to compete in prior years, and last year, her family wasn’t in town for the festival at all. This was Sophie’s chance.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website www.brandiboddie.com .
Thanks for the interview,
It was fun!
Featuring you on my blog is a blessing I've really been looking forward to.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.A Windswept Promise - Christianbook.com
A Windswept Promise (Brides of Assurance) Amazon
A Windswept Promise (Brides of Assurance) - Kindle
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