Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Tenacity Interviews - Maggie Brendan

Ready to be inspired? I hope you are getting as much out of these interviews as I am. I am filled with hope and encouaragement for the writing journey.

Tenacity can take us far - let's talk to Maggie Brendan about where it's leading her these days.

Maggie Brendan is a member of the American Christian Writers (ACW) and the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She was a recipient of the 2004 ACW Persistence Award.
Her first book, No Place For a Lady, the first book in the Heart of the West series, will be released in January 2009 and The Jewel of His Heart will be released fall of 2009. Maggie is also quoted in, Word Weavers, The Successful Writer’s Critique Groups, released in June. A screenplay of her first novel has been optioned to Hallmark.
She also writes reviews for some of her favorite authors, which can be found on her blog, http://www.http//southernbellewriter.blogspot.com.

1) How long did you write before your first sale?
I started writing in the 3rd grade and still have the first little book, and I do mean little, that I wrote. The next story I wrote in the 5th grade. I wrote off and on throughout the years but never seriously wrote for publication. I just loved writing and books. Then 5 yrs. ago, my brother encouraged me to finish my historical. I took a course at church called, Write His Answer and God really spoke to my heart that I should be writing. I started attending writer’s conferences for motivation and connection with other writers.

2) When did you know for certain being a writer was a goal you weren’t going to give up on?
When I received the Atlanta American Christian Writers Persistence Award in 2004.

3) What were the top three obstacles you encountered on the road to being published?
Not believing in myself and my writing ability, little encouragement, other than my brother, also a writer. And thirdly, the demands of being a mother and homemaker. If found very little time for me during those years.

4) Which personal strengths did you use to remain tenacious in your quest to be published?
I can be persistent when I make up my mind about something. I have good organizational skills and I’ve lead a writers critique group in my home for more than 5 years now.

5) How did rejection affect your tenacity?
It made me more determined to try harder to get my book in front of an agent because my critique buddies kept telling me it was so good.

6) Has your dream changed at all? Grown bigger? Smaller?
Yes, definitely it has changed. When I pitched my story to the agent and publishers, I decided to do a blurb on 2 others stories to make a series. To my big surprised, they accepted it! It has gotten bigger by the fact that a screenwriter has written a script of the book, No Place For A Lady and has garnered the interest of Hallmark for a TV movie.

7) What advice do you have for a writer who is facing “no” right now?
Never give up on your dream! Attend writer’s conferences and workshop and network with other writers because they really understand the way your mind thinks better than anyone else. Read, read, read and don’t wait for the “mood to strike”. Just start. Put something down on paper or a word document and just watch how quickly the thoughts will come. Stay persistent in the face of rejection, and remember, the editors are not rejecting you personally. Finish what you start and ask God to help you that whatever you write will pierce someone’s heart with a message that they’ll be thinking about long after they’ve finished reading your book.
*****
Where will your tenacity take you?
I bid you good writing.

4 comments:

Patricia W. said...

I haven't been commenting but I've been following the Tenacity series faithfully. It's encouraging to learn how others who are successful started out and were able to hang in there until they met success.

Wendalyn Love said...

I have been reading all of the tenacity interviews. At first I thougt "well, I don't think I have any tenacity at all", but you know what, these articles are giving me just the encouragement I need to become tenacious! Thanks!

The Koala Bear Writer said...

I like the comment about struggling with the duties of a wife and mom eating into writing time--as I type with my one-year-old on my lap. :) I'm learning to just write, as you say.

Kathie Chiu said...

This article has really inspired me to keep working on my book. I get discouraged about it, but I keep writing on my other blogs. However, I've been encouraged by Maggie Brendan to keep persevering. Thanks for bring her onto Fiction Matters.