Monday, November 04, 2013

A chat with bestselling author Brenda Novak

Please welcome bestselling author, Brenda Novak, to Mary’s Garden. I’m thrilled to have her with us today. Hurry and fill your plates from the goodie table and find a seat. I have heaters and blankets for all of us to keep warm. I'm so excited to congratulate Brenda, she is the Thrillerfest IV recipient of the 2014 Silver Bullet award.

Brenda's Bio: It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak's career as a bestselling author--she caught her day-care provider drugging her children with cough syrup to get them to sleep all day. That was when Brenda decided she needed to quit her job as a loan officer and help make a living from home.

"When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book," Brenda says. But she sold that book, and the rest is history. Her novels have made the New York Times, USA Today and Borders/Waldenbooks bestseller lists and won many awards, including three Rita nominations, the Book Buyer's Best, the Book Seller's Best and the National Reader's Choice Award.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are proud parents of five children--three girls and two boys. When she's not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fund-raiser for diabetes research--an online auction held on her Web site (www.brendanovak.com) every May. Brenda has raised over $2 million to date.

Mary: Brenda, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today. I promise we won’t keep you long. To start off, tell us a little bit about you. Not the author, but what do you like to do on your day off? Also, a bit about your family, thanks.

Brenda: Most of all, I just love hanging out with my family. In addition to that, I enjoy reading, running or biking, shopping, traveling (mostly traveling!) and watching BYU football (sorry, I know you’re a Ute fan! LOL).

Mary: Well, some people have no taste when it comes to college football! Just kidding. Before we move on, can you explain a little bit about your Diabetes’s annual auction? Why you started it, and how well it is doing?

Brenda: I started my annual online auction for diabetes research nine years ago. Hard to believe it’s been that long, but this next year will be our big 10-year anniversary, and we are really looking forward to it. So far, we have raised more than $2 million and plan to keep going as long as I’m able. After my youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1, I wanted to do something to fight back, but I was a young mother (of five!) and was just launching my writing career. I thought I would have to wait until another time and another place (meaning when I’m older!), but then I got the idea to do something online that would utilize the traffic that it already going to my website—and the auction was born. Since then, I have had so many generous, wonderful people lend me a hand. I could not have known such success without them, so they definitely deserve the credit.

Mary: October was a big month for you! Two books out! One is a new historical romance Through the Smoke. Will you please share with us a bit about your historical? Don’t forget the buy links.

Brenda: I LOVE this book—probably because it has a mysterious gothic tone like Jane Eyre and Jane Eyre has long been one of my favorites (since I found it on the classics shelf in my school library at ten years old). The research for THROUGH THE SMOKE was fascinating since it is based in a small coalmining town in Northern England in the 1830’s. Mining has always been a difficult profession, but it was especially difficult back then. I am also a big fan of Beauty & the Beast stories, and I think this fits that troupe quite well. There is a lot of drama and passion and mystery in it. I hope my readers will enjoy it.

For anyone who is interested in giving it a try, the book can be ordered here for only $3.99: http://www.amazon.com/Through-the-Smoke-ebook/dp/B00C7CRYOY/?tag-brennova09-20

Mary: Then the next book in your Whiskey Creek series Take Me Home For Christmas came out at the end (I had mine pre-ordered as soon as there was a pre-order link). Can you share a bit about the series, and this new book?

Brenda: I am having SO much fun writing my Whiskey Creek series! This is my first attempt to write such a closely connected series containing so many books, and it’s gratifying to hear from readers who are asking about this character or that character and when so-and-so might get their own story. These books have a much different feel than the historical, of course, but they also have some similarities—and that is the level of emotion and drama. TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS isn’t your usual sweet Christmas story. It’s a bit more realistic than idealistic, but I think the reader will come away feeling gratified that they invested the time. There is no better season than Christmas to tackle the redemption and forgiveness themes that run through a story like this.

To order TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: http://www.amazon.com/Home-to-Whiskey-Creek-ebook/dp/B00C3U9U2E/?tag-brennova09-20

Mary: Two very different genres and you have done several romantic suspense series. Do you have anything on the horizon in the suspense arena?

Brenda: I’m happy to report that I do. I have a book halfway completed that is a suspense novel (with a lot of romance included, too). It’s called HELL BENT (unless that changes when I sell it) and is the first of a series that will be set in Alaska and revolve around a mental institution (Hanover House) where my main character (a psychiatrist) studies serial killers. It’s going to be a chilling series—and the research for it has been as fascinating as that for my historicals.

Mary: Oh, wonderful. I can't wait! Before we say goodbye, can you share where fans can find you? Web site, social media, etc.?

Brenda: You bet! There’s a contact button right on my website at www.brendanovak.com.
I am also very active on Facebook. You can like my page here to interact with me: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaNovakAuthor
To follow me on Twitter: @Brenda_Novak

Also, Brenda has a giveaway! A set of signed books, the first four of her Whiskey Creek series.
WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES
WHEN SNOW FALLS
WHEN SUMMER COMES
HOME TO WHISKEY CREEK

There will be a drawing, everyone who comments during the two weeks Brenda will be visiting, will be added. All you have to do on your comment to be eligible is; ask a question, tell us what you like about Brenda's books, or if you're new to Brenda's books. Good Luck! Be sure and add your email address to your comment.

I have read all of the books in the series... so far. I have pre-ordered her Christmas book. I recommend this series highly! I loved all of them. I feel like I know the characters.

Thank you, Brenda, for joining us today. It’s always a pleasure and such fun to hear what you have coming up!

Thanks for having me! It’s always a pleasure to visit with you!

12 comments:

eileendandashi said...

I've enjoyed your books. And will look forward to reading more. This is the first time at Mary's blog. I shall be back.

Brenda said...

I'm glad you stopped by. thanks, Eileen!! Have you tried any of the Whiskey Creek books?

stanalei said...

Hi Brenda,
Love the interview. I'm just starting out on the Whiskey Creek Series and happy to report When Lightning Strikes has bubbled to the top of my TBR list. I'm sure I'll love it like I love your suspense.

Anna said...

I can't wait to celebrate our 10th anniversary! 2014's auction is going to be the biggest and best yet. Good luck with the new books...always a great escape. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I love Brenda Novak books,especially the Whiskey Creek series! I got the first taste on a freebie from I boob, on Itunes, I believe, when I first got an Ipad... Been hooked ever since!! Thanks for entering me!!! I love rereading!!!

Brenda said...

Stanalei--So glad you're going to give the series a shot. Let me know what you think!!

Brenda said...

Anna, I couldn't do the auction without you. What is this--our sixth year together? We're getting quite a history. ;-)

Brenda said...

Thanks for letting me know how you first came across my books, Anonymous. I always like to know what helps find new readers. Glad you're enjoying the new series!

Anna said...

I think we're heading into seven! And I can honestly say, best job in the world. We make a good team. :)

Mary Martinez said...

Thanks everyone for dropping by. I read Gen and Dylan's story while on vacation and loved it. Though I was NOT ready for it to end.

Brenda, I appreciate you visiting Mary's Garden until November 17th. I hope we have a lot of readers drop by.

Anna, you do a great job with the auction, I know you're always helping me with things!
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Brenda,
Your books are amazing, how do you get your ideas with your story lines?

Penny Sannes said...

My daughter and I are fans of the Jane Eyre book. My daughter and I started off with Jane Austen's books and both hooked on historical romance novels. Her daughter, Emma Jayne is 6 yrs old and loves to read ... won't be long before she picks up our novels as she is already reading Alice in Wonderland.
We are looking forward to reading your new books!
Penny & Rosanna (and soon Emma)