An Interview with Brenda B. Taylor

Please help me welcome Brenda B. Taylor to my blog today. Brenda gave me a great interview and is giving a $25 Amazon gift card to one commenter and a coupon for a free download of Heaven Must Wait and Follow Your Heart from Smashwords.

Heaven_Must_Wait2_2Tell us about yourself.

I’ve had the ambition to write fiction stories since childhood, but never found the time to sit down and put my thoughts on paper. Several times I tried, but became distracted by attending school, then later working and family. Now that I have more time to sit quietly, think, and write, I am trying to fulfill this lifelong desire.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?

I love my home in the piney woods of East Texas, but my second choice would be Scotland during the summer months and Texas during the winter months. I would not want to face the darkness and cold of winter in Scotland.

How did you get started writing?

After retirement, I decided to write a historical fiction novel based on my family in Missouri. I didn’t want to get to the end of my life and say, “I wish I had done that.” Finding I knew nothing about writing fiction, I joined writer’s organizations, loops, and studied the art of novel writing. It has been a journey.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

At present, I write historical fiction with elements of romance and family values woven into the fabric of the story.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I have written four books. Three in The Wades of Crawford County series, and one stand-alone Scottish historical fiction. I really can’t say I favor one over the other, but the Scottish historical was fun to write. I traveled to Scotland for research, and found my family there.

Tell us about your current series/WIP.

Currently, I am working on the edits for the third book in The Wades of Crawford County series entitled, Through The Storm. The series follows the courtship, marriage, and early family years of Leann and Ralph Wade who live in post Civil War Missouri. I plan another novella and novel in the series to make five books.

What inspired your latest book?

My last novel, the Scottish historical, came about through genealogy research of my mother’s family. I uncovered the Scottish connection and became intrigued by the fact we have a Scottish ancestor who emigrated to the U. S. in the early 1800’s. I traveled to Scotland and connected with our family there.

What is your next project and when will it be released?

At present I am trying to get Through the Storm, the third book in The Wades of Crawford County series, ready for publication.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

My story ideas came from family research.

What is your favorite part of writing?

Writing the novel. I don’t like editing, but know it is very necessary. My books go through at least six edits before publication.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

Editing is my least favorite activity. I want to be creative and write something new and exciting. I love to see just how exciting I can make a story. Formatting for publication runs a close second.

What is your typical day like?

While having a morning coffee, I have a devotional and then begin writing, editing, formatting, or whatever else my WIP requires at the time. I will work until approximately ten o’clock, and then go on to other activities. Sometimes I return to the work in the late afternoon, but not often.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

My first book was self-published at the beginning of this year, and has been another major learning experience. I took an online self-publication class, read the Smashwords guide, and began formatting by trial and error. Realizing I didn’t have enough time in this life to pursue traditional publishers, I decided to self-publish. Traditional publishing takes years, and I didn’t want to wait that long or hassle with agents and publishers.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

I would advise others to study the process and be sure you want to venture into the waters. Sometimes they are very cold and rough.

What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?

I decided to publish ebooks first, and then later, when all my novels are online, begin the process of formatting for print. I need to study the print formats further, and won’t take the time right now.

What went into the process? Writing, editing, cover design, formatting, etc. Share your ups and downs and how you went about it. If you used a service, can you share?

I use a content editor and a proofreader, then my husband and I edited continuously. For the cover designs of the Wades series, I hired a graphic artist and used photographs of my granddaughter. Thinking I may want to change something down the line, I do the formatting and uploading of my books.

How long have your book(s) been out? How long between books if you have multiple sales—and if you have multiples did you see a bump in sales with subsequent publication?

At present I have two books, a novella and a novel, out in the Wades series. I am in the process of getting a third one ready for publication. After this third Wade book, I will publish the Scottish historical.

Follow_Large_2Follow Your Heart, The Wades of Crawford County Series, Book 2

Follow Your Heart is a poignant tale of newlyweds, Leann and Ralph Wade, and their struggle to overcome difficulties during the early years of marriage in post Civil War Missouri. The novel tells of a love strong enough to survive the hard times with the cords of family values and faith intertwined throughout the story.

Chapter One

Cuba, Missouri
September 1869
A chilly gust of wind pushed through the open window and past the lace curtains, jerking the wrinkled, faded paper from Leann’s hand, sending it to the floor. She shivered then rose to close the window.
Sue picked the paper up and examined it. “Are you still reading this letter from Sonny Wade, when you’re marrying his brother in two days? I thought you threw it away ages ago.”
“Hand that to me.” Leann had not heard her sister enter the room. She snatched the letter from Sue’s hand, tearing the fragile paper. “Really, Sue, my letter is none of your business. I should have thrown it away, but I felt sorry for Sonny, being in the war and a Union prison camp. And besides, I forgot about it.”
“You were hiding that letter.” Sue’s eyes narrowed when she looked directly into Leann’s.
“I didn’t hide it. You and the family read it.”
“Several years ago. You’ve been hiding it ever since and probably secretly reading it.”
“Don’t be silly.”
“Have you seen Sonny since he got out of the army? Or do you just read his letter and dream about the handsome man?”
“No, to both questions. He works on a Mississippi River steamboat and has only been home a couple of times. Pa told me he saw Sonny in town last year. They talked for awhile, then Sonny headed for the saloon when Pa walked away.”
“Well, you should have thrown it away. What if Ralph finds out you secretly kept his brother’s love letter?” Sue’s locks bobbed with her shaking head.
Leann tore the already ripped paper into tiny pieces and threw them into a small trash basket sitting beside the bedroom door. She could not explain to herself or to her sister why the letter had remained in the drawer for years. “Are you happy now? It wasn’t a love letter. You read it. He only wrote about the war and being homesick. I didn’t answer, so he never wrote again.”
Leann grabbed her younger sister by the arm, looking directly into the girl’s green eyes. Sue stared back with the same intensity. “And don’t you tell anyone about me keeping the letter. I forgot about it until I started packing. Do you want to cause trouble with Ralph or the family?”
“I won’t tell, if you will let me keep your pretty green parasol when you leave.” Sue pushed Leann’s arm off her own.
“That’s my only good one. It matches my green voile dress. I won’t have anything to take to the socials.”
“Make your husband buy you a new one.” Sue was unrelenting.
“Okay. I will leave my green parasol with you. Just don’t tell I kept the letter. Sonny Wade means nothing to me.”
“Well, he must mean something, or you would have thrown his letter away. He may not have put in writing that he loved you, but he came around here pretty often before he joined the army and gave Ralph room to move in.”


Brenda B Taylor and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. Brenda crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

Connect With Brenda





Amazon Author Page


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Bookstore Without Borders

13 thoughts on “An Interview with Brenda B. Taylor

  1. Waving Brenda and Cindy. It was so nice to read your comments, Brenda, and get to know you better. We do have that Scottish connection, after all. Your stories sound interesting – I love the historicals in that time period. Best of luck to you always in your writing career. 🙂

  2. Hi Brenda~~Your book covers are beautiful! I can really relate to summer in Scotland and winter in Texas. That sounds like the perfect way to split your time, do research and have the best of both worlds temperature-wise. I’ll be checking out your stories, as they sound like great reads. Thanks for sharing your writing journey.

    • Thanks so much Gemma. I’m not able to spend the entire summer in Scotland, but I like to dream. Hope you enjoy the books.

  3. Great interview. I, too, would love to be able to divide my time between two homes. Alas, I keep forgetting to buy those lotto tickets – lol.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the excerpt. I’m hooked and ready to read the next entry into the saga. I’m pulling for Sonny. 🙂

    • Thanks Lisa. I really enjoyed writing the Wade stories. Leann, Ralph, and Sonny are the main characters throughout the series.

      • Thanks for the Amazon Gift Card!! What a wonderful surprise! 🙂
        I ordered the first two books and look forward to reading them. I’ll be sure to post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads when I’m done.

    • I hope to visit Scotland again. Scotland is a beautiful country with castles, manor houses, antiquities, mystery and intrigue. Thanks for visiting.

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