Interview with Brenda Youngerman:
I am the youngest member in a very large family and always felt like I was on the outside looking. To make matters worse my parents got divorced when I was nine, in 1969 before many people were getting divorced so I was again the odd man out. I found myself observing more than participating. I didn’t really find my own voice until my writing was published. I have always had the ability to empathize, constantly harboring strays, even if it meant less for me. Writing comes naturally to me and I have been writing since High School. When my first novel came out, Private Scars, I tackled the very difficult subject of domestic abuse and I wrote it from the victim’s point of view. From then on I have written what I call “Fiction With a Purpose”. My novels deal with social issues that I feel need attention. I try to bring my readers along for the ride from the character’s point of view and if at the end of the book the reader puts it down and asks, “Was that real?” I know I did a good job!
I truly believe that ONE person can make a difference and that all things happen for a reason. We are all here for a purpose and I truly hope that the tales I weave are entertaining as well as informative and that the readers garner some sort of hope.
I have always lived in Southern California and I love walking on the beach with my dog and watch the pelicans.
I have 5 published novels: Private Scars, Public Lies, Hidden Truths, Sorrowed Souls and Restored Hope
2. How long have you been writing? Did you always desire to make it your line of work?
I actually started writing when I was in high school with short stories and poetry. I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember. Actually excerpts from my college journals are in Private Scars.
I only wish I could make writing my full time line of work. I actually have a full time job and write in the evenings and on weekends. And I only discovered this ‘love’ after my children were in high school and no longer needed me on a daily basis. And now I cannot imagine my life without it.
3. Can you tell us about your latest book?
Restored Hope is such a wonderful love story – buried inside a world of tragedy and sorrow. It actually was never supposed to have been written! It all happened as an accident. Samantha Miller is the third child born into a perfect world, but on her 10th birthday that world completely falls apart and her family disintegrates. Six months later she is the only child left and her father does the best he can but it just isn’t enough. Later on she meets a wonderful man who has been raised in a perfect family as well but also has issues. Restored Hope teaches us how not to judge others based on what you see; the world is not what it appears.
4. For you, what is the hardest part of writing fiction?
Believe it or not coming up with the names and descriptions of the people. I am so afraid that I am going to make everyone look the same. And I really struggle with names!
5. Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?
When I start a book I generally have an idea what issue it will revolve around, and I come up with the title first. (I know --- who does that?) Then I let the characters go—the end product is rarely where I had imagined. I do write an outline – Again --- nothing like the end product.
I try to write for at least an hour per night and four hours every weekend. But if I’m not feeling it, I don’t force it.
6. What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
I think my greatest ‘difficulty’ is trying to stay sane when the characters are talking to me. I get to these points when I cannot get them out of my head and I don’t want to be anywhere but in front of my computer. That is not really too pleasant for other people.
The other challenge I face is the waiting game. I hate that time between turning it in to the publisher and having the book in my hand.
7. How do you research your books?
Well - - for Sorrowed Souls I immersed myself in the homeless community.
For Disrupted Lives – which is the one I am writing now I have done a great deal of research on the period I am writing about and I have a VERY good friend who was adopted and have used her as a source.
8. What advice would you give beginning writers?
If you are doing this for fame and fortune - - stop!
If you are doing this because it is what you love --- go for it! No one should take away your dream! Don’t let the naysayers get the better of you.
9. Who has inspired you as an author?
I really don’t have an answer for this one.
10. What’s next for you?
I am writing Disrupted Lives which was a suggestion from a reader who asked me if I would ever write a book about someone who had to give up a child at birth because her parents sent her away to have her child. This was done at the end of the 60’s and her boyfriend was drafted for the Vietnam War. Needless to say the book has turned into something MUCH BIGGER!
You can check out more about this author on her website: http://brendayoungerman.com/