Thursday, November 3, 2016

Author Interview: Margaret Brownley

Margaret Brownley
author, Left at the Altar

Give us a bit of your background

Since I’m on Facebook and Twitter my life’s an open book so there’s not much people don’t know about me.

My husband and I have three grown children and six grandchildren and we make our home in Southern California. Some think I’m a terrific cook (probably because I raised a chef) but I’m only so-so at best. I love traveling and have been to all fifty states. As a writer, I write by the seat of my pants—no outline, nothing. No one’s more surprised at the way my books end than I am. Come to think of it, since I don’t plan in advance, even dinner is a surprise.

Fill in the blank favorites - Type of hero. Type of heroine.

A copy editor recently mentioned that all my heroes are tall. Since I married a man six and a half feet tall, I guess there’s a good reason for that! I like strong, masculine heroes that have a hidden tender side that only the heroine can bring out. He has a strong sense of integrity and always ends up doing the right thing. It takes a strong woman to tame him, so the heroine must be his match.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Although I’ve written contemporary novels, I prefer writing historical novels. I’m fascinated by the similarities between the 19 th century and current times. The 1800s saw its share of bank failures, recessions, depressions and wars.

Technology changed the way people lived back then just as it has today. The railroad made a big impact and so did electricity and telephone. The telegram has been called the Victorian Internet and for good reason.

People back then struggled with many of the same issues we face today. So though my stories are set back in time, I'm writing contemporary themes. The human spirit has survived and thrived during some of the blackest moments in history. Not only does that inspire me, but it gives me hope for the future. I hope it does the same for my readers.

What got you started on your writing journey?

I always wanted to be a writer and wrote my first book in fifth grade, a mystery with no ending. When I announced to my family that I wanted to be a writer no one took me seriously, probably because I’d failed 8 th grade English. I finally resigned myself to not having what it takes to be a writer and went on to do other things.

Marriage and raising a family took up most of my time but the writing bug remained. Tired of writing amusing notes to my children’s teachers I volunteered to be the editor of our church newspaper. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, my then pastor took me aside and suggested I try writing fiction, which of course is what I always wanted to do.

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?

I did at one time write “steamier” romances, but I like writing books that my grandchildren can read. Oddly enough, I find it more difficult to write “clean” romances. Relationships change when a man and woman move past the chaste kissing stage. Expectations increase. Intimacy requires a high level of trust. Those of us writing sweet romances have to find other ways to deepen the relationship without taking the couple to bed, and it’s not always easy.

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the next year or so?

I just finished the third book in A Match Made in Texas series. The second book in the series will be published next summer. I also have a new Christmas novella out: Do you Hear What I Hear? I’m currently working on a novella that takes place in the same town as the series. The name of the town? Two-Time, Texas.

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

I’ve written 45 books and published 40. Of the five unpublished books, three will be published next year and the other two don’t deserve to see the light of day.

What are the elements of a great romance for you?

Every book I read has to pass the treadmill test. If it can keep me happy while on the treadmill, I’m hooked. What keeps me happy? A feisty heroine and a hero to die for.

Please share about your book

Left at the Altar is the first book in A Match Made in Texas series (books standalone)

In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler...but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood's marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace.

But when she's left at the altar by her no-good fiancé, Meg's dreams of dragging her quarrelsome neighbors into a ceasefire are dashed.

No wedding bells? No one-time town.

Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there's something about Meg's sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in...even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart.

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?

Since the heroine of my book is left at the altar, she’s heartbroken, mortified, discouraged and hopping mad.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

Since I’m not very good at beating my own drum, I’ll borrow a line from the Kirkus review: Left at the Altar is “a sweet,touching love story that revisits a fascinating and overlooked aspect of history.”








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