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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Meet Brenda Whiteside



I'm pleased to welcome Brenda Whiteside, a fellow Wild Rose Press author. Brenda is also part of a great supportive group called Authors Helping Authors. She was here back in October to share an excerpt from her book Amanda in the Summer. Now we get to learn more about her.

Hi, Brenda. Glad to have you here. 

Thank you so much for having me today, Diane.  

Please tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Arizona. Outside of Arizona, my travels had gone only as far as California, Nevada, and New Mexico until I married a man doing a stint in the Army. If the Army offered nothing else, we at least had the opportunity to see a good part of the world. And we found we liked moving around.

Our frequent moves continued into our civilian life. Our gypsy lifestyle has finally landed us in the northern prairies of Arizona. We share our rambling farmhouse with our son the farmer, his wife, my granddaughter and three dogs. Together, we’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States - multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.

That is fascinating. I can't imagine living with my adult child and his family, but it sounds like it works for you. 

Tell us how you got started writing.

Many years ago, I was certain my destiny was to be an artist. It wasn't until after college that I found more satisfaction filling a blank page with words than an empty canvas with color.

Although I didn’t start out to write romance, I’ve found all good stories have to involve complicated human relationships. I’ve also learned, no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or mystery, all my books revolve around those two facts.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

During the summer, I like to get in a couple of hours working in the fields of our small family farm. Pulling weeds or harvesting vegetables in the sun with the ever-present prairie wind gives me a sense of accomplishment as well as exercise. Any time of year, I enjoy heading out in the RV with my husband and Rusty, our dog. We love to travel. We live about forty minutes from Prescott, Arizona which is a unique, western combination artist haven. There is always something going on there and if there isn’t, it’s a relaxing place to eat in the company of friends.

What’s your favorite movie?
Dirty Dancing. I’ve seen it a dozen times probably. The music is great. And what a love story but not with the typical happy ending. Jennifer Grey was so cute in an imperfect kind of way. Did you know she had plastic surgery on her nose and then couldn’t get any acting parts? Took away her uniqueness. Patrick Swayze was to drool over. The dancing really made the movie. Sure wish I could move like that!

I love that movie, too. I didn't know about her not getting parts. I saw her on an interview and didn't recognize her.
 
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

All together, I’ve written and published nine books. A couple of them were short and a couple of them were anthologies. The one I’m currently writing is my favorite. That’s not a fair answer but it always seems the one I am writing is better than the rest and therefore my favorite. But if I have to choose one of the ones already published, then I’ll choose the first, Sleeping with the Lights On because…well…it was my first. And I still think it’s an entertaining read.

What do you enjoy most about life?

My people! LOL Seriously, I am a people person. Spending time with people I enjoy, no matter what we are doing, is the best.

This is probably going to sound redundant, given your last answer, but are your stories driven by plot or character?

My stories are mostly character driven. Lately, I’ve been writing romantic suspense and the plot has become more important than it has been in my contemporary or historical novels. But there’s no denying, I still rely heavily on interesting characters to drive the story.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?

A good feeling. My purpose is to entertain. So, when they reach the end I hope they smile and say “that was fun” and I’ve done my job.

Tell us about your latest book.

Amanda in the Summer, which just released worldwide December 19, 2013, doesn’t fit into one niche easily. The Wild Rose Press is classifying it as Mainstream Women’s Fiction but Amazon had it in the rankings for historical as well as contemporary. The story is told through a series of letters that span fifty-seven years. Since the first letters are in the forties, I can see the historical angle, yet the last letter is in 2004 so there is the contemporary factor. So few books delve into the bond between women friends. Amanda in the Summer tugs at the heartstrings. Women will can  relate to the love between granddaughters, mothers and daughters and female friends. Then…throw a man into the mix for a little fun and heartbreak!

Blurb for Amanda in the Summer:


Three generations of women…and the secret that strengthens their love.

A line of women, all named Amanda, stretches back for generations. Each with her hopes, her joys, her pain—each pouring out her heart in correspondence with a dear family friend who shares their lives, understands their loves, and joins in their sorrows.

But within the correspondence lies a secret. And as the youngest of the Amandas retraces the journey through the years—beginning in post-war America and following through to modern day—the letters reveal, layer by layer, the Amandas who came before her. Soon, the truths and lies hidden in the letters lead her down a path of self-discovery that forges a bond between her past and future.


Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press:

Amazon:

Or wherever eBooks are sold.

One last question, Brenda. Where can readers find you?

Visit me on my web site at www.brendawhiteside.com.
I blog on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
I blog about prairie life and writing at http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

Thanks for being here today, Brenda. I enjoyed getting to know you better. Best wishes for Amanda in the Summer.

9 comments:

  1. It's great being here today, Diane. I'll be checking in often!

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  2. What an interesting life, Brenda. I love the concept of Amanda in the Summer. I look forward to reading it.

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    1. Thank you and thank you, Loralee. I hope you enjoy!

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  3. Wow, AMANDA IN THE SUMMER sounds amazing! Oh, and Dirty Dancing is one of my all time favorite movies. I always watch it when I find it on TV.

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    1. Thanks, Alyssa. And I bought Dirty Dancing. LOL

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    2. I bought the 25th anniversary DVD and still watch the movie every time it comes on TV--go figure. :)

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  4. Thanks again for having me on your blog, Diane.

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