|An interview with Brandilyn Collins by Marilyn Rhoads.Q. Brandilyn, your first book, A Question of Innocence, landed you on local and national TV and radio. Was it a true story?
A. Yes. In the middle of learning the craft of writing, I attended a murder trial for research purposes. The book was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Because of it, I was interviewed on the Phil Donahue and Leeza TV talk shows, plus many radio shows.
Q. How long did it take you to see your first novel published?
Q. Most people probably don’t know you were born in Miraj, India.here?
Q. What motivated you to write the craft book, Getting into Character: Seven Secrets a NovelisCan Learn rom Actors?
Q. How do you structure a normal day?
Q. What do you do when you’re not working?
Q. Your own life has had some ununusual bends and turns. In 2002 and again in 2009 you were infected with Lyme disease, which crippled you. How did you recover?
Q. Your output of titles is amazing, especially considering the physical battles you’ve fought. How many books have you published to date?
Q. You’ve won the Inspirational Reader’s Choice and Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice. How many times have you won ACFW’s Carol Award?
Material excerpted from Brandilyn Collins’ website, Christianbook.com, and Parchment Girl. Our thanks to these sources.
Join us on Saturday, October 12th, at Multnomah University from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Brandilyn will deliver two keynote addresses and teach two workshops on craft.
Register at: www.oregonchristianwriters.org.
Isn’t life funny? Or not.
We all start our lives fresh with high expectations. Little boys want to be astronauts and Indy 500 racers, and little girls want to be … the same?
Anything is possible, but does it happen?
My husband and I spent the weekend with college-era friends. We didn’t look quite the same, and enough years have passed that we can take stock of our lives.
Did we meet our career expectations? Our financial goals? How did our marriages turn out? What about the kids?
The Oregon coast had high surf and sunny skies. Unusual in February in Oregon and not something we expected to find. And you know what?
We decided our lives are unique as well. We’ve never grown up. We start a new chapter with every fresh endeavor. We keep writing our lives well–even when we don’t know what to expect next.
Have you met your goals and expectations in life?
What has changed from when you started out life as a 21-year-old?
What are you doing now?
Are you watching Downton Abbey? Most of us are enjoying a glimpse into the aristocratic lives of our favorite characters in season three, while the downstairs staff intrigue us with their style of living.
Charles was born 200 years ago. To celebrate, San Francisco presented a bicentennial Dickens fair at the Cow Palace. We interacted with sailors on the London docks, ragpickers in the stews and alleyways, and junk dealers with dented silver from the swells.
My favorite characters were the chimney sweeps, filthy in black clothing, who handed out gold coins for luck (with a picture of Thomas Jefferson on one side and George Washington on the other. Go figure.)
Professional singers and actors and real shops with period merchandise for sale enchanted our senses and brought us a sense of belonging to another time.
Why the craze for all thing English right now? Do you know? And why was the London pickpocket texting on his smart phone?
We’ve met with our architect and reviewed the house plan. How did the square footage get away from us? At the rate we’re going, we’ll end up with the Taj Mahal if we’re not careful. But if we cut footage, then there’s no room for this, can’t have that. Decisions, decisions.
We’re thinking of livability, construction costs, and that awful phrase … property taxes.
And come to think of it, how did we collect so much stuff? And why does it take on such sentiment when it’s a family piece?
Would my grandmother tell me to keep her stuff or pitch it? She was the soul of practicality, but then she had to be. She homesteaded in the Wyoming sagebrush.
So we’re back to the drawing board. Trying to redesign a plan that includes everything we need, but in a tighter footprint.
I understand cutting words. I edit my novels, keeping it tight, highlighting the real meaning.
So how do you edit square footage and still include the essentials? Does anybody have any advice? What do we do now?
My husband and I have hired an architect and I’m pulling out old pictures from my dream file of houses, porches, arches …
I’ve measured every antique we own and drawn pictures of every room, with the furniture placed where I want it to go.
So far all we’ve done is have a surveyor come and have a site analysis drawn, in color, with the angles of the sun charted.
Oh yes, there’s the pesky permits I forgot to consider.
And the architect is faithfully drawing our plans while I wring my hands and ask myself, “What have I forgotten?”
Why build a new house? Because our Old Faithful has a birthday this year. This vintage farmhouse is 100 years old. It was built by the Rankin family in 1912 and has sheltered dozens of people through the years. We’ve lived here for a third of its lifetime! Unbelievable … unless you’ve met my husband. (The word move is not in his vocabulary.)
I’ve hired someone to build a website, and the guilt is overwhelming. Should I be doing this? Do I know how?
Then I remembered my building limits. A hammer and a nail in my hands means a picture or another blue and white platter is going on the wall. That’s the extent of my expertise.
The same is true of this website. Thank God for techies who know how to build me a new online home.
Come and visit often. You are always welcome!