Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Barn Door Welcomes Brenda S. Anderson

Is there a story behind your book, Chain of Mercy?
Chain of Mercy is the first novel I ever completed, the first and very rough draft being completed over eight years ago. It has since undergone countless revisions, so that my original “What if” question no longer exists. What happened during this novel’s transformation is that God made me aware of an issue I’d never considered before, that abortion not only affects the baby and the mother, but it also has a profound effect on the father. Men are expected to be silent, so they hold in their grief.

What started you on your writing journey?
I’ve always been a writer. Even back in elementary school, I was penning stories. I even wrote a few plays that my class put on for the school. I wrote throughout school and majored in Literature, but let my writing lapse. Then eight-plus years ago, thanks to a LifeKeys course taught at my church, God got my attention and said His gifts weren’t meant to be buried. So, I began writing what is now my debut novel, Chain of Mercy.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I consider myself an eclectic reader. Contemporary fiction that deals with current-day issues tends to be my favorite (Katie Ganshert, Kellie Coates Gilbert, Cynthia Ruchti, Ginny Yttrup), but I’ll also read historical fiction (anything by Laura Frantz!) and some speculative (Tosca Lee, John Otte). I also enjoy mystery/suspense, but prefer a male voice (Steven James, Tim Downs, J. Mark Bertrand).

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Love this question! Music is another passion of mine, and my favorite books tend to have a lyrical quality to them. Right now, my writing style would likely be comparable to contemporary Christian music that has deeper lyrics such as that performed by Casting Crowns, Tenth Avenue North, and Matthew West. Now someday I’d love to write literary fiction, a novel with a symphonic quality.

What is your favorite season of the year? 
I love fall! The colors, the fresh scent, the cool air. I love being able to turn off the air conditioner, open the windows, breathe in, and listen.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
There’s no way I can just choose one thing! I was blessed to grown up on a dairy farm in Minnesota. We had hundreds of acres to roam, a pond to skate on, hills to slide down, woods to explore, haylofts to climb through. I loved the fresh air, our animals, the star-speckled sky and the Northern lights. And I grew up with six siblings, so I always had someone to hang out with.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
I love traveling with family, and we most often travel to locales that have a large amusement park. We’re roller coaster fanatics and love big, fast, tall, pretzeled coasters. One of the most fun locations was Hershey, Pennsylvania. Our room overlooked Hershey Park (yes, it has many roller coasters!, and we were close to Gettysburg, Hershey Gardens, and the Hershey Museum, And, of course, there was lots of chocolate!

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)  
I keep many verses on Post-it notes around my computer, but the one that kept turning to is Philippians 3:12 - 14,
 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
This verse reminds me not remain static, that I need to keep pressing on in life. And during the many years when I wrote and learned and kept receiving rejections, this verse sustained me and kept me motivated.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I would tell them to always keep learning. Connect with a critique group who are willing to be honest with you, but also know how to lift you up. Read craft books, attend conferences, take classes, network with other authors. But most importantly, I would tell them to Never Give Up. I love this quote by Walt Disney who kept going in spite of many failures: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

My next book, Pieces of Granite, is a prequel in my Coming Home series. It’s about a young couple who learns that the baby they’re expecting has Down syndrome. The husband begins pulling away, and the wife tries to hold the family together. It’s scheduled release date is September 16, 2014.

Back Cover Blurb

They forgave him for the accident that killed their son, but he will never forgive himself.
Manhattan businessman Richard Brooks was at the top of the world, drunk with success, wealth, and women. Until one disastrous evening, when his world came crashing down.
Richard flees to Minneapolis where he repairs ancient boilers instead of solving corporate problems, and he’s determined to live the solitary life he now deserves.
But Executive Sheila Peterson has other plans for the handsome custodian. Richard appears to be the perfect match for the no-strings-attached romance she’s after, but she soon discovers that he’s hiding more than the designer suits in his closet.
To buy her book:
About Brenda:
Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty, life-affirming fiction that offers hope and reminds the reader they’re not alone. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 26 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.
To connect with Brenda:
Blog links:
Brenda S. Anderson is giving away a copy of Chain of Mercy. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


cjajsmommy said...

I live near Gettysburg and I LOVE this area. So glad you like it too! But I am a roller coaster chicken ever since a ride on the Rebel Yell in the early 70s. I decided it was time to conquer my fear so when we were in WDW last year, I rode Goofy's Barnstormer. :) I planned to ride the next one up the list but the lines were so long I knew I'd chicken out before getting on. So maybe on the next trip I will continue to try to conquer my roller coaster fear. I have fond grade school memories of The Comet at Hersheypark. Sorry for the ramble! I love the premise of this book and hope to have the opportunity to read. Please enter my name in the giveaway. cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com

Unknown said...

I would love to win! sounds like a great read.

Patricia Bradley said...

Sounds like a great book. I used to like roller coasters until something happened with my equilibrium. Now if I got on one of those things, I'd probably be in the bed for a week. lol pat at ptbradley dot com

Cindi A said...

Sounds like an interesting story about forgiveness. I'd love to be the winner of a copy.
Thanks for the chance to enter the drawing.

Brenda Anderson said...

cjajsmommy, the Hershey area is beautiful, not to mention, filled with history. My family can't wait to return!

And you can ramble on about amusement parks & coasters all you want! :)

Brenda Anderson said...

Hi Patricia,

My equilibrium got messed up after I had children. For a while I couldn't even go on swings with them! I still can't do many spinny rides, but I can do coasters. :)

Brenda Anderson said...

Cindi & Unknown - I hope you have an opportunity to read Chain of Mercy! Thanks for stopping by the Barn Door Book Loft!

Anonymous said...

This sounds really good! Oh, to have endless hours to lose myself in a book about now! :)

sm said...

Chain of Mercy sounds very good about forgiving oneself- hard to do. Challenged to remember to leave it with the Lord after asking forgiveness. Love to win and read your book. sm CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Brenda Anderson said...

Anonymous - wouldn't it be fun to have endless time to read? My to-read pile is toppling over right now!

Brenda Anderson said...

Hi sm - often times I think forgiving ourselves is far more difficult than forgiving others, but it's so important to leave all our junk at the cross.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds wonderful.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

No, I do not like Roller Coasters, not even long ago. And, the new ones I would not any way ride them. I would love to win brenda's book tho. It sounds like it would be interesting. Please put my name in.
Maxie Anderson mac262(at)me(dot0com

Brenda Anderson said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! Hope you get a chance to read Chain of Mercy. :)

squiresj said...

Hey I just sent you an email to join your street team. This is site I learned about you on.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

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