Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Family: Truth or Fiction

I love our theme this month – right up my alley. My son calls me a Pollyanna, and I’ll wear the label proudly. The last few years haven’t been flush, plush or cushy, but I’ve got a lot of company when it comes to experiencing the downturn. How you approach it makes a gigantic difference in how you weather it and how you come out in the end. I’ve always said my husband and I lead a charmed life. A couple of years ago, he asked me if our charm had worn off. It’s a bit tarnished, but we've discovered we still have tons for which to be thankful.

My family is close, not in miles apart, but certainly in spirit. And as an author, I'm really thankful they're all rather colorful with varied life experiences. The discoveries they've made in life and how those have shaped them make for a rich pool to draw from for my fictional stories. That's not to say when you read one of my books you are reading about any one of them. But they do spark my imagination.

My mother was a young woman in my favorite historical era - the forties. I have a book releasing in January, Honey On White Bread, inspired by the stories she told when I lived at home. She hopped freight trains, has relatives straight out of the Grapes of Wrath and she sang on the radio. Such a romantic time period. I have more books in my head from that era that I need to get down on paper.

There's a whole book that will come out of one night my brother spent in a motel in Tucson, Arizona. The story had me doubled over laughing and begs to be part of a book. I have cousins, aunts and uncles that have also made cameo appearances in stories. It might only be a certain way they have of saying something, a personality trait or a life experience, but they enriched the tale.

I have my sister to thank for the the book I'm giving away today. Sleeping with the Lights On is a story of discovery for a woman who's fifty and still searching for love and career while dealing with a stalker, a secret admirer, a quirky millionaire and an ex-husband. When it comes to romance, my sister has had a rich life and that gave me the inspiration. Some of her more colorful dates passed through the pages in Sleeping with the Lights On. My editor actually had me tone down some of it - true life really is stranger than fiction. Now before you think the book is a biography, it isn't and my sister will make sure I tell you that. That's the thing I love about writing fiction. You can take one little bit of fact and twist it, blow it up and paint it into an entertaining read.

It would take another post or two to elaborate on what else I'm thankful for, but family ranks at the top so I'll just leave it at that. They keep me writing!

Please leave a comment. I'm happy to give away a PDF copy of Sleeping with the Lights On to one of you today. Be sure to leave your email address.

After two failed marriages and countless relationships, Sandra Holiday thinks she’s met the man to end her years of less than perfect choices; choices that not only derailed her travel-related career plans but also left her single and broke. 

Carson Holiday, a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love, never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra’s life, reigniting an attraction he can’t deny.

When Carson reappears, Sandra must choose again.  Only this time, nothing’s as it seems.  A secret admirer, a redheaded stalker, and an eccentric millionaire throw her on a dangerous path, with Carson her only truth.

As life confronts her with yet another turning point, will her decisions find her eternally sleeping with the lights on – or will she finally discover a way to turn them off?
Brenda can be connected with at:
You can find Sleeping with the Lights On wherever e-books or print books are sold.
Look for her upcoming releases:
Tattoos, Leather and Studs coming in Nov 2011
An Elfin Secret and On the Way to the Snow Ball (anthology) in Nov 2011
Honey on White Bread coming Jan 2012
The Morning After coming summer 2012


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Brendá,
Nice blog. The 40's is an era I like also, and I too have a novel set during that period.It is handy having a family to provide fodder for our books.



Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Margaret. I need to check out your 40's era book.

Brenda Whiteside said...

An unexpected trip puts me in the air today. I can't check in until tonight but hope you leave a comment to win a book.

Calisa Rhose said...

Your family sounds like mine, Brenda. Inspiration in droves. I already have this book but thanks for sharing some of where it came from. Maybe I can read it soon.

Ruth J. Hartman said...

Your book sounds interesting! My family is very story-worthy, too. Sometimes things about them, me, or my cats end up in my books. :)

Colleen Connally said...

Have a safe trip. Love the cover to your new release. Looking forward to it! Sounds like a great read. I could never hop a train in my life!

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Brenda,
I liked your use of family themes in your books. Looking forward to reading the next one.

Jannine Gallant said...

"Truth is stranger than fiction." Isn't that the truth! When people say, "That would never have happened in real life." Our answer is, "Want to bet!"

glenys said...

Lovely post, Brenda - attitude is everything, and yours comes across as so warm and positive, I'm sure your charmed lives will continue!

Nancy Jardine Author said...

So much went on during the war years of the forties...fires the imagination! Especially what families went through. Families can mean so much when they are suportive. I love this period, too, and have vague plans about writing something set at this time too.. though when?

Mike said...

You should always have plenty of material with Frank around!

Andrea said...

I can relate, Pollyanna -- I mean, Brenda. :)

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks for all your comments. I think we all have family members we know who are stranger than fiction. And Mike - ha!!

Jenny Twist said...

Good morning, Pollyanna. How right you are. Success is measured in happiness, not money or promotion. You seem to be very successful to me.
I am also writing a book set partly in the 40s, and enjoying it immensely - my mother's period, too. I am really looking forward to reading yours.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks for the comment, Jenny, and good luck with the book.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I do love a delightful Pollyanna! Lovely post. I enjoy reading stories with family dynamics and include them in what I write, as well.

Literary Chanteuse said...

Both of these books sounds amazing! I'm glad I discovered your blog. I'm adding them to my list. I'd love to read them!


Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Vonnie. And welcome, Margaret. Hope you continue to enjoy!