Today’s Work-In-Progress guest is Brenda Stinnett. Welcome Brenda!
MJ: Let’s jump right in. Do you have a life memory you think of often that you would be willing to share with us?
BRENDA: I remember when I was young and my mother would read stories to me at bedtime. I loved it because it was our special time and I didn’t have to share her with my older brother or sister.
MJ: Oh, nice! What are your top three dream destinations and why?
BRENDA: Tuscany, Italy, Cobh, Ireland, and Lourdes, France. I love Italy for the art & architecture, Ireland for its ghostly feel, and France for its spiritual healing.
MJ: Nice mixture. Name one thing most people don’t know about you.
BRENDA: When I was young, I was so terrified of water that baths scared me, I was afraid I’d go down the drain with the water.
MJ: Well, that is a scary thought. What’s your secret talent?
BRENDA: I’m pretty good at chess.
MJ: What’s the top book on your TBR pile?
BRENDA: I’m determined to read Vanity Fair.
MJ: Do you have any recurring dreams? If so, will you share one with us?
BRENDA: Yes, I do have a recurring dream. Sometimes when I’m in strange situations, I dream that the ‘bad guys’ are after me and I’m running away from them.
MJ: If you didn’t write, what would be your creative outlet?
BRENDA: My creative outlet would be learning to play the guitar.
MJ: Other than writing, what would be your dream job?
BRENDA: I would love to be a marriage/family psychologist.
MJ: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
BRENDA: “What You Gonna Do”
MJ: Name one thing you won’t leave home without.
BRENDA: My pink lipstick, no matter what I’m wearing, I have to have my pink lipstick.
MJ: If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be and why?
BRENDA: I would love to be Stephen King one day and just see what goes on in his mind.
MJ: Now that’s scary! Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version of the story?
BRENDA: The Life of Pi. Somehow, I think I ‘got’ the book more when it was a movie, and I especially liked the special effects.
MJ: What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?
BRENDA: I like pizza for breakfast, but most days I eat the eggs & bacon my husband loves.
MJ: Describe your ideal/dream writing space.
BRENDA: My dream writing space would be a lanai overlooking a warm, tropical beach.
MJ: Briefly describe your writing day/process.
BRENDA: I get up, eat breakfast, and write for a couple of hours, then go do other important family stuff, do my media stuff, write for another hour or two, and then do something fun, go to the show, Disney World, or read.
MJ: Name one writing-related website you use a lot.
BRENDA: Addicted to Ebooks.
MJ: What book do you wish you could have written?
BRENDA: The Language of Flowers. It’s Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s first novel, and it’s fabulous.
MJ: Plotter or Pantser?
BRENDA: Definitely a pantser, even though I admire plotters tremendously.
MJ: What romance convention/cliche most sets your teeth on edge?
BRENDA: I think all romance conventions can be good if they are done originally. I do think smart, snarky characters can be overdone.
MJ: Do you believe in writer’s block?
BRENDA: Yes I do, and I also believe in Santa!
MJ: Name 3 things on your desk right now.
BRENDA: A small quilt made by my sister talking about Faith, Hope, & Love, a calendar, and a clock.
MJ: Love and true love – what is the difference and what do your characters believe about love?
BRENDA: I think that all love can be true, but we just have to give it a chance. If love isn’t true, then it’s not really love. My characters all want to believe in love, but they are often afraid of confronting it, and sometimes find out that it wasn’t what they expected, but they will know real love when they find it.
MJ: Would you consider self-publishing?
BRENDA: Yes, I have self-published my last book.
MJ: Do you listen to music when you write? Explain.
BRENDA: I love to listen to music when I write, but I have to have the rough draft already committed to paper before I can do this.
MJ: Do you collage your story before writing? Explain.
BRENDA: No, but it sounds wonderful. It sounds so creative and flowing, but I don’t do it.
MJ: Synopses: love them or hate them?
BRENDA: Yes and double-yes. I have to have a synopsis, but I find them difficult to write.
MJ: Thanks for the insight into your writing. Here’s the Lightning Round. Addams Family or Munsters?
BRENDA: Addams Family.
MJ: Wine-red or white?
MJ: Beer-can or bottle?
MJ: Stephanie Plum or Eve Dallas?
BRENDA: Stephanie Plum.
MJ: Cinco de Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day?
BRENDA: St. Patrick’s Day.
MJ: Last movie you saw in a theater?
BRENDA: Jersey Boys.
MJ: Favorite TV show?
BRENDA: Big Bang Theory
MJ: Paper or e books?
MJ: Favorite band when you were in high school (Marching band doesn’t count)?
BRENDA: Rolling Stones
MJ: Coke or Pepsi?
BRENDA: Please, no contest, Coke
MJ: Introvert or extrovert?
MJ: Favorite ethnic food?
MJ: Now for the meat of the blog: Please share the first 5 to 10 sentences of your current WIP.
Escorted by a guard, her face frozen into a sculpture of ice, he watched Anna head toward his booth where nothing divided him and her but a wall and the Plexiglass window. The corridor, greasy gray, same as the cinder-block walls, echoed with each footstep she took.
When she finally reached him, he cut his eyes away, but then slowly drew his gaze back to her. He admired the way she pretended these were normal circumstances.
A folding chair awaited her, close, but not too near the window. She glanced at the guard, and he nodded.
“If you need anything, press the buzzer along the panel on the wall. I’ll be right over there, at the end of the corridor.”
MJ: Wow. Great opening. Do you have buy links for any current releases?
BRENDA: You can purchase Tenth Degree of the Paranormal on Amazon at amzn.to/1sBlyyu
MJ: Thanks so much for joining me today. Good luck with your books!