Author on the Couch:

An Intimate Look Inside the Minds of Our Favorite Authors

This week I’m conducting a session with

Brinda Berry

BrindaBerry_392x588GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Brinda is giving away the ebook collection of her Serendipity Series!

Serendipity bannerAnd a signed paperback!

At the end of the post, I’ll explain how to be eligible to win!

Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.

Brinda: When I look back on all the experiences in my life, it’s not easy to choose one defining moment over all others. Is it the volunteer work I did with a dog rescue group? Or my high school English teacher, Teresa Burns Murphy. She truly empowered me as a writer.

It could be bonding with the writers I now call dear friends. So many fill the Acknowledgements page of each book I write.

Recently though, I’d have to say it’s my diagnosis of breast cancer. There’s nothing like a life-threatening disease to give you an awareness of your priorities and your passions.

Me: A diagnosis like that can change a person. What have you learned about yourself since your diagnosis? Are you surprised by what you learned?

Brinda: I think I nbreast-cancer-ribbon-2eed to back up a step in my story. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of months before my diagnosis. I was terrified—for her and for myself. I bawled like a baby on more than one occasion just thinking about possibly losing her. Her diagnosis really enlightened me about breast cancer when I honestly didn’t know much about it.

When my own diagnosis came, I think I was a little on the numb side to it all. I didn’t dwell on it as much as I did my sister’s. Once you are in those shoes, you have to just handle it. There’s really no choice.

There was only a brief period when I broke down. I lost my dog unexpectedly only a few days before my scheduled mastectomy. He passed away peacefully in his sleep while lounging on the sofa. Still, I was devastated. He was supposed to live for several more years according to the dog longevity stats. I not only missed him beyond words (if you’re a pet owner, you get it), I realized that no one knows when it’s their time to go. I panicked over the thought of anything I wanted to do that might be left unfinished. Did I need to mend a relationship with anyone? Did I make the most of each day? Did I need to tell my husband all my online passwords? That last one seems a little trivial now, but I was on the wrong side of rational.

So when I said that I became aware of my priorities, I realized I put a lot of emphasis on my writing this year (over friends and family). I decided to balance my life better. Even though I love writing, I don’t love it over my family and friends.

I’m doing great—physically and emotionally. I have another surgery related to breast reconstruction this month, and I’ll be taking hormone treatments for a time. I KNOW how lucky I am. That carpe diem stuff is for real. Don’t take it lightly.

Me: Okay… I have to admit I laughed when you were wondering if you should tell your husband all your online passwords. That’s such an oddly practical thing to be thinking. But, in all seriousness, I’m mind boggled that your sister and you both were diagnosed so close together! What are the odds? It’s like you had a double whammy–her diagnosis and yours. And then another whammy losing you precious dog too. I know how much that hurts.UntitledBut! I’m so happy to hear you are doing well!

Let’s talk about your life as a writer. What personality trait of yours helps you most an author?

Brinda: Determination. Sometimes I feel I’m hanging off the side of a lifeboat and can’t let go. Okay. That sounds a little like desperation. But I simply can’t give up.

Me: A metaphor. I love metaphor therapy! How often do we really think about how powerful a metaphor is? They are such perfect examples of emotions. Think about what a lifeboat symbolizes. Something to save you from drowning or getting eaten by a shark. You’re holding on to the side of the lifeboat, but not quite safe, because you aren’t inside the lifeboat. And what does the lifeboat symbolize? A successful publishing career? Making money? Security?

What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?

Brinda: Could I say the same answer? If something doesn’t work, I need to recognize the flaws and let it go. Just because a certain writing or marketing technique worked for someone else, that doesn’t mean it will work for me.

Me: What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high? What happened?

Brinda: Each time I read a complimentary reader review, I’m on that cloud. I’m especially thrilled when a reader says she couldn’t put my book down. That’s my goal as a writer—to keep a reader glued to the page and invested in the characters’ lives.

Just this week, my sister ran into a woman who said she’d read all my books and loved them. Then she proceeded to ask when a certain character (Jordy) from Seducing Fortune would get his own book. It’s the little things like this that can make a writer’s day!

Me: That’s so awesome! I can’t resist posting what I found on Amazon about SEDUCING FORTUNE:

This is the first book I’ve read by Brinda Berry and it won’t be the last. The story is well written and flows extremely well. ~C. Melloh, 5 star Review on Amazon

That’s writer rocket fuel!

What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing? What happened? How did you get over it?

Brinda: I’m finding it difficult to answer these questions! I don’t know that I’ve only had one low point. I’ve had lots of lows. So many that you might wonder why I haven’t thrown in the old keyboard.

Each time I want more financial success, I question my sanity in pursuing something that hasn’t delivered that yet. When I want raving reviews, I chide myself that maybe I’m just not good enough to get them. I get jealous over the success of another book or author. I admit it. I realize that doesn’t put me in a good light, but it’s the truth.

Me: I think it’s emotionally difficult to be an writer. We work so hard to make the best book we can make, putting time, tears, and parts of our souls in our writing and sometimes the rewards don’t seem to equal the efforts.

Brinda: I read lots of exceptional books that don’t get the acclaim or success they deserve. It can be discouraging as well as baffling.

I’ve learned to let those dark, icky feelings last only a couple of minutes. Jealously won’t help me write better, sell more, or get better reviews. I have to support my fellow authors and be thrilled by their success. I cannot measure myself against someone else. I learn a lot from the author groups I belong to and get so much support. It’s one reason I try to pay it forward.

At the end of the publishing day, we are all in this together.

Me: You mentioned exceptional books, which makes me think of your books and leads me to my next question. Which of your characters are you most like? Why?

Brinda: I’m most like Malerie from Chasing Luck and Mia from the Whispering Woods series. Both female leads love technology. They are social enough to get along with people, but they’re really introverts. They are both very faithful to loveSeducingFortune526X810d ones.

Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?

Brinda: I’ve published six full-length novels, one short story, and a novella.

Writing time depends on the genre and story. I can write a novel in a few months if I don’t have a lot of research to do. That’s probably because I tend to get very sidetracked in research and fall into the black hole of the internet.

The most painful part is copy editing. As most writers, I’m blind to my own errors. Also, I hate reading my own work for the one-hundredth time.

Me: What book do you wish you’d written? Why?

Brinda: In the contemporary romance genre, I wish I’d written Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgans. It has the perfect blend of romance, comedy, and angst. I was laughing one minute and crying the next. In the young adult genre, it would be Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys. The writing is beautiful—each word and sentence a work of art. Plus, I love every character.

Me: So tell me about your newest novel, SEDUCING FORTUNE.

Brinda:

Trust is the name of the game and fate holds the wild card…

Ex-stripper Emerson doesn’t have the time to fall for her boss Dylan. Between working three jobs and attending college, Emerson’s schedule doesn’t have room for a boyfriend. Especially not Dylan, who’s the poster boy for misbehaving bachelors–the kind of guy who belongs in Emerson’s old life. But when a stalker with connections to her convict father threatens Emerson’s loved ones, suddenly Dylan’s the only one who calls to her heart.

As the heat between them rises, will Emerson risk his life by opening up to him? Or will she risk his love to stop a criminal?

Me: I’ve read this book and I just gotta say, “I LOVE Dylan!” He’s the perfect combination of bad boy and good guy.

Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from SEDUCING FORTUNE. Why do you love this paragraph? What makes it special to you?

Brinda: I’ve selected the following paragraphs because they tell so much about Emerson. She’s distrustful. And she’s still angry over her past. It shows here.

“Smart people can be dangerous. Dad could hack into anything. Now he can’t even touch a computer.” I give Dylan a casual smile, but my insides quake.

My dad’s indiscretion—selling military data like some people hock fake purses in New York—changed who I am. My high school friends, my community—virtually the entire world—shunned my family and me. So, I’ve hidden behind my wall of cold looks and chin-up attitude. Why did I blurt out the truth about something that makes me feel raw and exposed? I know the answer. Because the tenderness in Dylan’s gaze makes me want to confide, confide, confide.

He’s looking at me—brows knitted together and his eyes soft and sympathetic, one syllable away from saying he’s sorry about my dad. I hate it when people do that. Apologize for something they had no control over. It’s like telling me you’re sorry for the rain.

Me: Wow! Wow! Wow! I LOVE that last paragraph. So powerful. And so true!

 

You can purchase SEDUCING FORTUNE at:

Amazon at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneAmazon.

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneBN

iBooks at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneiBooks .

Kobo at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneKobo .

Page Foundry at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortunePageFoundry.

Scribd at http://bit.ly/SeducingFortuneScribd .

You can find Brinda at:

 Website

 Facebook

 Twitter

 Goodreads

 Youtube

To win either the entire SERENDIPITY SERIES in ebook format

or a signed paperback from Brinda Berry–

just leave a comment!

It’s that easy!

On Saturday May 9th, Brinda will announce the winners in the comments.

Stay tuned! You could be a winner!

 

What highs/lows have you experienced as a writer?

What personality traits do you have that help or hinder you as a writer?

What book do you wish you’d written?

Have you had breast cancer? Has someone you know had breast cancer? Can you related to Brinda’s experience?

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Thank You! You Rock!

If you’d like to be an Author on the Couch,
email me at abbieroads@yahoo.com and I’ll schedule you a session!

About the author: abbieroads

36 comments to “Author on the Couch: Brinda Berry”

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  1. Sharon Wray - May 14, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story, Brinda. I’ve lost too many people I care about to cancer, including my CP and best friend last year, and I hate even writing the word. But I am so glad you’re recovering and I am keeping you in my prayers. I am looking forward to reading your books!

    • Brinda - May 14, 2015 Reply

      Sharon,

      Thanks so much for reading and leaving a note. I hate the “C” word, too!! I’m sorry for your loss. I’m great and looking forward to writing lots of books in the future. 🙂

  2. Christy McKee - May 7, 2015 Reply

    Brinda,

    Your story touched a chord in me. My sister, aunt and mother were all diagnosed with cancer within a three month period. Two were breast cancer. My prayers are with you and your sister in your recovery.

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Wow, Christy. I left this out of my story, but my paternal aunt was also diagnosed the same month I was. Thank you so much for reading and leaving a note. Breast cancer hits so many. Hugs…

  3. Shelly Chalmers - May 7, 2015 Reply

    Brinda, what a wonderful interview and message! Your strength shines through, and I imagine you recognized just how strong you can be after your sister and then your own diagnosis. Wishing you all the best in a healthy future.

    And your books sound great!

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Thanks, Shelly.

    • abbieroads - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Shelly!

      Thanks for stopping by! Can’t wait to see you in NYC!

  4. Barb Heintz - May 7, 2015 Reply

    Great interview Brinda. Thank you for opening up about your breast cancer. I’m glad that you got your surgery and that you and your sister are both doing well.

    Thank you too for reminding us that published authors go through the same problems that us wanna-be authors have. Yet you didn’t give up. Gives us hope.

    • abbieroads - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Barb!

      Someday–fingers crossed–we won’t be wanna-be’s any more!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Barb Heintz - May 7, 2015 Reply

        Must remember to take a deep breath and charge forward. Perseverance is 2015 word of the year. Yes, we’re both going to make it.

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      You aren’t a wanna-be. You are PRE_PUBLISHED. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by and reading.

  5. Sheri Humphreys - May 7, 2015 Reply

    This was an amazing interview! Completely different than the usual author blog interview. I was engaged, and now feel I really know Brinda a little bit. You gals hit it out of the park!

    My last position prior to retirement was as a breast cancer nurse navigator. I was present when women received their biopsy results. I provided education and support. I was with them when through needle localization prior to “lumpectomy.”I was there as they waited to go into surgery. For mastectomy patients, I was there on their post-op day(s). After they went home, I followed up by phone, seeing if they had any needs, how treatment was going. I feel honored to have been present at such a critical time in these women’s lives.

    It was a brand new program for my hospital, and I set it up. The work was incredibly rewarding. I received more appreciation from my patients than I had in my previous 36 years of nursing. I also got to phone the ladies who had negative biopsies and tell them they didn’t have cancer. Talk about fabulous!

    Breast cancer touches so many women. Brinda, I hope you and your sister are now doing well. Thank you for sharing. I hope it encouraged someone to get their mammogram!

    • abbieroads - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Sheri!

      Thanks for the positive feedback! I appreciate it!

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Sheri,

      I know your former job must’ve been so rewarding. Wow. I’ve talked with many incredible women who understand the impact of breast cancer on a life. Thanks for all the compliments on the interview and thank you for all you’ve done for women with breast cancer.

  6. Sarah Andre - May 7, 2015 Reply

    Brinda!
    I remember you. You were supposed to be our GH sister! I’m so proud of your accomplishments and how you’ve pushed through one crisis after another. Look at you now multi-pubbed and super hot covers! You rock!

    Love your carpe diem comment, I’ll post that by my computer.

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Sara,

      I’d love to be in that GH sisterhood. That’s a lot of talent assembled in one group!! Thanks for the sweet note. I love my Serendipity covers. Thank you. <3

  7. Teresa Burns Murphy - May 7, 2015 Reply

    Brinda,
    I could not be prouder of you. Sending gratitude, love, and good wishes your way – always.

    • abbieroads - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Teresa!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Teresa- It’s inspiring to follow your career and know you are still passionate about writing! <3

  8. Saralee - May 7, 2015 Reply

    Hi, Brinda, nice to meet you!
    I’ve had a number of friends who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer — and just before Easter the organist at my church, a lovely and most beloved lady, died of it at a relatively young age. She never talked about it — her daughter said she only found out when her mother was at Stage 4. So although I’m sure it’s scary, I’m glad that you and your sister can share and support each other. It helps us all to know we’re in this together.
    My biggest challenge as a writer is that I’m a hopeless procrastinator. Congratulations to you for having gotten so many lovely books written!

    • abbieroads - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Saralee!

      That darn “p-word” procrastination. It gets us all at times!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Saralee,
      I’m sure your church organist thought she was lessening the pain for her daughter. It’s easy to want to protect the ones we love. Thanks for dropping by to read and for the congrats.

  9. Jessica Ruddick - May 7, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for sharing your cancer story. I can only imagine how something like that can make you look at life differently.

    I had a similar revelation regarding my children. They are growing so fast! Watching them made me realize just how short life really is, and if I really wanted a writing career, I wasn’t going to get any younger. I put my butt in gear, and my first book releases this month.

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing your journey!

    • abbieroads - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Jessica!

      I can’t wait to get your book! That’s so exciting!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Jessica,

      You said it! Life flies by and you’d better not dally. I’m totally with you on that sentiment. Congrats on your upcoming book release. I think I’ve seen your name before in one of my online groups. 🙂

  10. Laura Trentham - May 7, 2015 Reply

    Wow! An amazing journey. To be able to write and push forward after a cancer diagnosis is incredible. Good luck later this month.
    And, the new book looks fabulous!!! Love that excerpt.

    • abbieroads - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Laura!
      Brinda’s book ‘Seducing Fortune’ is pretty awesome! Dylan is one of my favorite heroes!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Laura,

      Writing can be a safe haven when life gets crazy. Thank you for the good wishes. <3

  11. Dyanne Conner - May 7, 2015 Reply

    Morning ladies~

    Brinda nice to meet you. Two of my co-workers have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Both are doing great. It’s amazing how far they have come with treatments. Best of luck to both you and your sister!

    Abbie, another great post!

    • abbieroads - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Dyanne! And you rock for always stopping in and commenting on my Author on the Couch posts! Thanks so much for your support and positive feedback!

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Dyanne- I’m so glad your co-workers are doing well. I meet survivors everywhere I turn. My sister is doing fantastic. She’s my role model. 🙂 Thanks for the note.

  12. Julie Mulhern - May 7, 2015 Reply

    What a lovely post. Thank you, Brinda, for sharing your cancer story. Sending all sorts of prayers your way for a successful surgery later this month.

    • abbieroads - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Julie!

      Thanks for dropping by!

    • Brinda - May 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi Julie,

      Thanks for the note and prayers!

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