Friday, August 19, 2011

HOW I BECAME A WRITER

This is an interview with me that Tom Blubaugh, author of Night of the Cossack, published recently on his blog, www.tomblubaugh.blogspot.com

Tom: Ada Brownell is an excellent writer with a long history of publishing. It's my honor to interview her.
Do you have any advice for writers out there?

A beginning writer needs to study what makes writing powerful. After that think, watch, listen, read, write ideas and unique thoughts down, then plan. Sit at the computer, write and rewrite. Finally, send the manuscript out using a marketing plan that includes more than Plan A. Forget that work and start another article or book.

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

My current work is an inspirational historical romance, The Belle of Peach County. A 17-year-old elocutionist and singer runs away from her abusive uncle, but she is caught in a perilous web. Could the peddler who constantly appears be a venomous spider in her life?

The story emerged from a few things I knew about my grandparents. It’s completely fiction, but my grandmother was an elocutionist and some relatives say she had to run from the abusive uncle with whom she lived after her parents died. My grandfather traveled about the county showing one of the first Passion of the Christ picture shows created. His father, in the meantime, a widower at age 60, married a woman in her 20s so he would have a cook—and was beaten to death by her lover. My grandfather wanted the man who killed his pa brought to justice.

Tell us one interesting fact about you that your readers would find interesting, and maybe even surprising.

I could share about my high-heeled shoe sticking on the volume pedal when I was playing quiet background music on the organ at church and I nearly blasted the people off the pews. Instead, writers might be surprised to learn I completed The Belle of Peach County during the American Christian Fiction Writers Novel Track in January 2011. I had about 14,000 words to start with and by the first week of February I had 82,000 and the last chapter. I’ve edited the book four times, and some chapters many more times than that.

When did you first discover you were a writer?

I started writing at age 15 by submitting ideas for youth services to a magazine for youth leaders. I was youth president at our church, although the age went to 35. Not long afterward, I sold my first article to The Pentecostal Evangel and someone made it into a tract.

I then sold an article featuring my mother’s Sunday school methods to David C. Cook’s “Leader.” I received $35, quite a bit for that time, so I sold my accordion, bought an electric typewriter and enrolled in a writing course. I also became a newspaper correspondent, which emerged into a career. Although I took 20 years off to raise our five children, I worked as a staff reporter for 17 years, mostly at The Pueblo Chieftain, before I retired. I still occasionally write an op-ed piece for the newspaper.

I sold free lance articles to Christian publications all my adult life and in 1978 my book, Confessions of a Pentecostal was published by Gospel Publishing House. It is out of print now, but used copies are sold online and I’m in the process of updating it and making it into an e-book.

I have chapters in five other books: 50 Tough Questions (Gospel Publishing House, 2002). What I Learned from God While Cooking, (edited by Cristine Bolley) Barbour Publishing, 2006 ; Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers and Cup of Comfort for Christians (Adams Media 2008 and 2006); and Restored (Women’s Aglow Fellowship, 1978).

In addition to my historical romance, I’m marketing two non-fiction books and a teen novel.
What is your accomplishment you are most proud of?
Probably my newspaper career, but also an article I wrote, “How can I get control of my anger?” The article is a chapter in 50 Tough Questions and has been reprinted numerous times, including a Spanish language publication for youth and a Malawi Christian newspaper.

Do you have an all-time favorite book?
I am an influencer for some members of American Christian Fiction Writers and most of them are five-star books (as is Night of the Cossack). My favorite fiction genre is historical romance and Prairie Rose by Catherine Palmer is my all-time favorite. I’ve had the trilogy for years and every once in a while I get it out and read it again.

Where can we find you?
My website is http://www.adabrownell.com My blog is http://www.inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com