Tuesday, December 2, 2014

California Author Margaret Brownley

Welcome to the Book Loft, Margaret! Is there a story behind your book Petticoat Detective?

First, I want to thank you for letting me visit your wonderful site.  It's a pleasure to be here.  To answer your question, my heroine was inspired by a real life female detective. Her name was Kate Warne and she was hired by Allan Pinkerton in 1852.  He thought she was applying for a secretarial job but she soon convinced him otherwise. 

What started you on your writing journey?

I always wanted to be a writer and wrote my first book in fifth grade. Okay, maybe it was only thirty pages long, but that was a lot of writing for a ten year old.  Unfortunately, my writing "career" started and ended early.  After failing eighth grade English my teacher told me to forget about being a writer.  It seems that writing novels requires the ability to diagram sentences, a skill that escapes me to this day.

Discouraged, I went on to other things but forget writing?  That I couldn't do.   When I finally decided to enroll in a creative writing class my children breathed a sigh of relief.  It seems that my habit of writing long, detailed notes to teachers explaining absences was an embarrassment. This probably explains why one son had perfect attendance. 

What distracts you from writing the easiest?

If the writing is going well, nothing distracts me.  I've written through family crises,  earthquakes, remodeling, flu and sickbed vigils. If the writing's not going well, the refrigerator starts calling my name.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? 

I really enjoyed telling Jennifer Layne's story and peeling away the layers of her character. She's haunted by something that happened at age twelve, and this is the reason she became a Pinkerton detective. While she's tracking down bad guys, her heart searches for someone else.  I especially like that she never does the expected. 

Let's have some fun. If you were a style of music, what style would you be?

I'd probably be a Broadway show tune. 

If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?

I always thought Norman Rockwell was underrated as an artist. No one ever captured the American spirit like he did. He showed the human side of us, but always with warmth and great humor. 

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?

Children make me laugh and, if I'm lucky, so do my characters.

What do you like most about the area where you live?

I live in Southern California and I love it!  In little more than an hour I can be at the beach, the mountains or the desert.  Once, when my children were young, they built a snowman and beach castle all on the same day.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?

There are so many, but the one that stands out is when I was about five years.  I was visiting a farm and spotted some delicious-looking berries on the other side of the fence.  It took me forever to climb that fence to reach the berries. Just as I started picking them I looked up and the meanest looking bull you ever hope to see was heading my way.  Luckily, I managed to get back over that fence in record time.  That experience taught me something valuable. I learned I could take care of myself and that's pretty heady stuff for a five year old. That lesson gave me the courage to do things I might not otherwise have tried.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  

I like to write about forgiveness and second chances.  In Petticoat Detective, my heroine is working undercover in a bordello.  It's not the place she expects to find God, but He's there, all right; working in the most unexpected ways. 

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Undercover Bride is the next book in my undercover series (each book stands alone).  Maggie Cartwright is a Pinkerton detective working undercover as a mail order bride. If she doesn't solve the case before the wedding she could end up as the suspect's wife.  The book releases June 2015.

Now I have a question for your readers:  Who is your favorite detective? 

Thanks for sharing today, Margaret! Okay, readers, do you have an answer?

Connect with Margaret Brownley at:

Margaret Brownley is giving away a copy of Petticoat Detective. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


Angela Holland said...

This sounds like a fun and interesting book. Thank you for the chance to win

Patricia Bradley said...

This sounds like a great book.

Wendy Newcomb said...

Interesting answers, we have different likes but I love Margaret's books.


Marianne Barkman said...

WOW I guess what you took away from the experience with the bull is why you are a writer and I'm not! I hope I win the book. Thanks for sharing, and the chance to win!

Deanna Stevens said...

My favorite PI would be Jessica Fletcher - Murder She Wrote. She can certainly solve a case. Would love to meet a new detective!
dstevens AT windstream.net

Robin Bunting said...

Love detective stories and one about a woman. How great is that??? My favorite detective is Miss Marple. She is such a hoot but still keeps on looking til she solves her mystery. Thank you for a chance to win a copy of Pettycoat Detective.

Carol Q. said...

Thank you for this chance to read from a new author

KayM said...

Diagramming sentences is the one concept I hated in English! Thank you for offering a copy of Petticoat Detective. Kate sounds like an interesting character.

PriviesAndPrims said...

One of my favorite authors!


sm said...

Sounds like a good book with a detective in a bordello! I also am fortunate to live in Oceanside, CA and we have rain today. Thanks for your post! Sm. wileygreen1@yahoo.com

Pam K. said...

I can relate to the inability to diagram sentences; I just don't see the point of it. There are many detectives I enjoy reading about. An old favorite is Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. A more recent favorite is Maisie Dobbs.


Charity Lyman said...

I would so love to win this book!! Margaret Brownley is an excellent author who is on my must-read list. Thanks so much!


Susan Johnson said...

My favorite detective is not a fictional one, but my son, who was a police detective for while. This looks like a fun book. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
susanmsj at msn dot com

Anne Payne said...

I like Sherlock Holmes, especially the new BBC series!

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