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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Searching for the Right Publisher: Author Interview with Brenda Garza

Prior to writing your first novel, The Beach House, what writing credits did you have? Who encouraged you along the way?
In college literature I had to write two short stories both received an A.  I have written patient literature for take-home pamphlets. And I wrote a pamphlet for a Christian organization to hand out during their outreach programs.

That’s a stretch to go to a full-length book. What made you decide to write your first novel?
The Beach House was actually planted in my heart many years ago when I was working in an operating room.  It was a pediatric case.  The case was going smoothly.  As I looked around the room there where Disney characters everywhere.  I heard in my spirit:  the children know all about Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse.  But they don’t know about Me and My Son Jesus.  I thought then, someone should write books about God and His Son that children could learn about them in their everyday lives.

How long did it take you to write your first book?
It took me 5 + years to write my first book.  With many rewrites along the way.

Who encouraged you to keep writing?
When I told my husband, I was going to write a book.  “He said it’s good to put your thoughts down on paper.”  Several years later when I shared with him that my book was going to be published. He said, “what book?”

My real inspiration and encouragement along the way was God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit.

How did you go about finding a publisher to indie-publish your books? What has that experience been like?
My book, The Beach House was actually published by Life Rich Publishing.  This was by default.  Westbow publishing was my original publisher, however, they said I broke the “God Clause.”  So, they turned me over to one of the sister companies.  I will never again use Westbow or Life Rich Publishing.  

It took them forever to answer my questions and concerns.  I was always passed around from person to person.  Their editing team was very poor.  They moved characters around to different scenes.  And they missed large spelling and grammar errors.  In fact, I had to have it edited again and republished.   

My book, Shell Cove was published by Outskirts Publishing.  This company was chosen after much research.  They were great.  They responded in a timely manner to all my questions.  Their market team was very helpful.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part for me in my writing is finding quiet time to write.

What does your editor remind you to do most often?
My editor reminds me most often about proper tense.  

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
My best encouragement in my writing comes from my husband, Jesse.  And from my readers.  They are great.

We have all experienced rejection. Give me an example of one you’ve had, and how you learned to write past it.
My first and most unbelievable rejection was from Westbow Publishers. 
God got me past this.  I was really hurt by their lack of understanding.

What has surprised and frustrated you the most in writing/publishing?
What surprised me the most is what it takes to actually go from writing your book to actually seeing it in print.  Navigating the indie publishing companies has been the most frustrating.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
My best advice I can give and also, I have received.  Always write from the heart. 

What is the next book coming out?
My next book, Starfish Island, The Beginning. Hopefully, this will be out this spring.  
  
Can you give me a short synopsis?
A battle between good and evil is raging in the small village of Ramsgate, England. When the orphanage moves from a tiny house to a large manor, the children of the orphanage are placed right in the middle of the battle. Here, they will learn angels and demons really do exist.

Jonathan Judge believes God to be a caring, loving, and forgiving God, unlike the God, Pastor Finley preaches; one of punishment and vengeance.

Twelve families leave Ramsgate for an unknown destination. God will reveal the destination in good time. Captain Mize has agreed to take them. If it wasn’t for the money, he would never have allowed women and children on his ship. His men, especially his cook feel he is making a big mistake.

Their new homeland has everything they could ever want. The adults are unaware of the inhabitants already on the island. The demons were sent to the island many years ago. Their mission is to stop the humans from succeeding in a battle against them. The demons aren’t aware that their battle will be between them and the children from the orphanage. 

The children have been preparing and involved in spiritual warfare since they moved into the manor house. The spiritual battles there were only “child’s play” compared to the battles that lay ahead.

Sounds intriguing! If you’d like to learn more about Brenda’s books, here are some links to get you started.