Today, we’re welcoming Author Brenda Maxfield as our guest. Her novella, Someday You’ll Laugh, which happens to be her own love story, is available on Amazon. Brenda, tell us a little about yourself and then we’ll do some interview questions.
Thanks, Nan. Well, my passion is writing! What could be more delicious than inventing new characters and seeing where they take you?
I’m a teacher so I spend most of my waking hours with young people. I love chatting with them and hearing their views on love and life. My students are magical, and I am honored to be part of their lives.
I’ve lived in Honduras, Grand Cayman, and Costa Rica. Presently, I live in Indiana with my husband, Paul. We have two grown children and a precious grandbaby, special delivery from Africa.
When not teaching, I love to hole up in our lake cabin and write — often with a batch of popcorn nearby. (Oh, and did I mention dark chocolate?)
So how about a few questions?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I recently heard some great advice: Place butt on chair. Write. Ha! That really sums it up, doesn’t it? In addition, I would add find a great critique partner. I have partners who are made of gold. I don’t know what I’d do without them! (And I don’t want to find out.)
Did you learn anything from writing Someday You’ll Laugh and what was it?
I learned how fun it can be to write your own story into a novella. I found myself laughing and crying as I relived it all.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Waaaay back! Even as a child, I loved to spin a yarn. During the summer, I’d lie under the apple tree in the backyard and make up stories by the hour. Lucky for me, I had a great friend who loved to listen! Scarfing down books at an early age definitely played into it, too I’ve read voraciously for as long as I can remember. Then, the spinning yarns under the apple tree helped. I love to create characters and place them in sticky situations. It’s fun and hard and rewarding and interesting! Keeps life fun!
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Hmmm. Outside of writing, I’ve often joked that I was born with a piece of chalk in my hand! I wanted to be a teacher—and I am. I teach high school English. But, I wanted to be an actress, too. I’d stand in front of the mirror for hours, fake weeping, wailing, and contorting my face into alarming expressions.
There was also a period of time when I wanted to be a missionary nun in Africa, but I couldn’t hurdle over the road bumps of not being Catholic and eventually wanting to be married. I did end up living overseas and traveling widely, which goes to show that sometimes we get our dreams but not in the original packaging.
Do you see writing as a career?
Most definitely! Right now, I have a dual career: writing and teaching.
What are you current projects?
Farah’s Deadline, Book Three of The Edgemont Series comes out this September with Astraea Press. I’m also venturing into self-pubbing next month with my new Ocean Mist series. Buried Truth will be Book 1. This Young Adult series takes place on the Washington Coast, and I’m really excited about it.
Don’t vomit in the middle of your wedding. Good advice all around. Too bad I ignored it.
My story didn’t start with vomiting, but it did begin with a good gut wrench…
The low sun flamed from the sky even though the time was edging toward nine-thirty at night. I squinted into the glowing horizon and my heart squeezed. I held back the tears.
“Just ten months,” Greg whispered to me. “It’s not so long.”
“Only forever,” I answered.
He shifted his weight and settled onto the park bench. “We need to talk.”
“We are talking.” I joined him, stretched my legs, and dipped the toes of my shoes into the loose gravel at my feet.
His face had gone serious, and I knew I wasn’t going to like what he had to say.
“I think we should see other people.” His words dropped like bricks, gaining speed as they crashed on my ears.
My mouth fell open and I jumped to my feet, tripping over a stone which protruded from the loose rock circling the bench. I skittered a bit, and regained my balance. “See other people? What do you mean?”
Greg pulled on my arm and coaxed me onto the bench again. “California’s a long way from here, and I think it’d be a good idea to keep our options open.”
I sat like a wooden toy, stiff and unmoving. I knew I was staring at him, I knew my face was revealing too much, and I knew I wanted to deck him.
Our ten months together during my senior year of 1973 evaporated into a depressing mist.
“Fine. If that’s the way you want it, sounds good to me.” I coughed to try and cover up the bitterness in my tone.
He rose beside me and his blond hair fell over his eyes. He pushed the strands aside with an absent-minded flick of his hand. “Don’t be that way. It’s a good idea, and it’ll be much easier on us. Long distance relationships are hard.”
“How would you know?”
“Everyone says so.”
“Are we going to communicate at all, or are we stopping that too?”
I deserved a medal. My voice poured out words as if reciting the latest cookie recipe, not closing down a relationship that had cruised along for the better part of a year.
Greg’s eyes stayed focused on mine. “We can write. I think it only takes a couple of days for a letter to get here from California. You’ll write me, won’t you?”
I raised my chin. I could keep up the ruse for another few minutes. “Of course. We’ll both write. It’s a plan.”
I leaned over and kissed him. I didn’t give him time to kiss me back.
“Safe travels,” I said and smiled with warmth I didn’t feel. If he was dumping me, I was going out with class. I made certain the look in my eyes matched my smile, then turned and walked away, swaying my hips as if there were no tomorrow.
Eat your heart out, Greg Johnson.
Eat your heart out, but good.
There was sadness inside me somewhere, but the anger and growing nausea were doing a masterful job of covering it up.
Keep our options open, indeed.
So be it.
Thanks for coming by, Brenda! All the best with your career as a writer—you are well on your way! You can find Brenda Maxfield several different ways. No matter how you choose to communicate with her, she’ll be thrilled to respond: