Saturday, July 15, 2017

My guest this month is.......

Brenda Sinclair is an Indie author with twenty books published in the historical western and
contemporary romance genres. She worked in the accounting field for over twenty-five years before trading in numbers for words to become a full-time writer. She has been married for over forty-five years, raised two sons, and is extremely proud of her three grandchildren. During writing breaks, she enjoys walking her little dog, Kelly, checking out what Jack Abbott is up to on today’s installment of The Young and The Restless, or snuggling with Kelly on the sofa and enjoying a good book.

Brenda believes life is good, and for days that life isn’t so good, just get over it. There’s always tomorrow.

I’m so pleased she agreed to be my guest this month and answer some of my questions.

Q: What is one subject or genre you would never write about and why?
A: I would never write any genre other than contemporary romance or western historical romance, both of which I love to read. In fact, I seldom read anything but romance. Early in my career, I was told ‘write what you read’ and ‘write what you love’ and I’ve found that is especially true for me. I couldn’t write science fiction with a gun to my head. (Sorry. The western writer in me just popped out.) 

Q: What advice about writing do you wish you had given yourself early in your writing career? 
A: Join a writing group! Specifically, one centered in the genre you’re most interested in. Becoming a member of CaRWA, the Calgary chapter of Romance Writers of America, was the best career move I ever made. Also, finding trusted beta readers or critique partners is a must. And lastly, attend workshops, sign up for online courses, and enter contests.

Q:  How did you feel when you held your first book in your hands?
A: My goodness, there are few greater thrills in life. That was something I had dreamed about my entire life. Hard to put it into words, even for an author! *laughs* 

Q:  Do you read your reviews? If so, how do you celebrate the good and get over the bad?
A: When I initially published, I read every review. Even the bad ones. But I never took them personally. No tears shed. One reader will consume a book voraciously, and another reader will find the same book completely unenjoyable. Simply, a matter of taste; you can’t please everyone. Now, I only check out reviews occasionally, but I love those four and five stars; keeps me smiling for days!

Q:  Do you work with critique partners? If so, what do you most like about the process?
A: Yes, I work with several for every book. Early drafts are read by a female author in my genre, a female author in another genre, a female who is an avid reader of my genre, and often, in the case of westerns, a male reader (most of whom would never admit to reading a romance). It’s surprising what issues critique partners pick out; things I’ve never considered at all. Their combined feedback provides a broad view of comments and suggestions, resulting in tons of revisions (which I don’t mind) and ultimately, a much-improved finished manuscript. Of course, I reciprocate by reading these authors’ manuscripts in return.

Q:  If you weren’t a writer, what would you be and why?
A: I’ve worked at everything from elementary school teacher to caretaker of an apartment block to accounting clerk for a manufacturing company. And now, I have finally discovered what I want to be when I grow up. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Why? The hours are great; completely my decision, even late at night in jammies. And I love turning a vague idea rumbling around in my mind into a book that I can be proud of. Especially stories that earn those wonderful five-star reviews. I’m certain, Victoria, you agree that every author appreciates the time taken from readers’ busy schedules to post reviews. 

And now for some fun questions…

Q: Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person?
A: Definitely, half full. I’ve mostly been an optimist my entire life.  I accept and adjust to change easily, often welcoming it. And there is nothing I like better than a challenge. 

Q: Which of the four seasons do you like/dislike the most and why?
A: I love autumn when Mother Nature is wearing her most beautiful colors: gold, rust, red and orange. The air is crisp and it’s harvest time, yielding gardeners bountiful crops and providing feelings of accomplishment. Even when making my favorite recipe for bread and butter pickles! (I will post it on my website.)

Q: What is the best or most memorable compliment you ever received?
A: As an author, the best compliment I receive is: I had to work the next day, and you kept me up reading until 2 a.m. finishing your book because I had to know what happened! Makes me smile every time. Of course, that might be complaint as much as compliment. I prefer to think of it as the latter.

Q: You are offered a free vacation, one a beach destination, the other a sight-seeing tour, which would you choose and why?
A: Without a moment’s hesitation… the beach. I would unpack, settle in, and spend my days sitting in the shade writing my latest book, and my evenings would be spent checking out a different local eatery.

Now for some speed questions:

Have you ever:
1.    Lied about your age? No
2.    Danced naked in the rain? Goodness, not that I recall.
3.    Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? Maybe once.
4.    Won a contest? No
5.    Eaten ice cream straight from the carton? Oh, yeah.
6.    Locked yourself out of your house? Yep, and in winter too!
7.    Ridden a motorcycle? Only as a passenger.
8.    Taken an enormous risk? Not that I recall.
9.    Gotten lost in a strange city? Frequently, when driving.
10.Eaten a whole packet of cookies? Could give Cookie Monster a run for his money.
11.Watched the stars at night? Definitely. Love it!
12.Worn odd socks? Not intentionally. But once there was the odd shoes incident.

Now I want to know about those odd shoes! Join me tomorrow to see a selection of Brenda's books. I promise you won't be disappointed. 


  1. Okay, here's the shoe story... Hubbie was still sleeping so I dressed for work in a dimly-lit bedroom. The receptionist almost fell out of her chair laughing when she noticed I was wearing one black pump and one dark navy one. Same shoe style, different colors, so I hadn't noticed. Lesson to be learned... I now never buy the same shoe in two different colors.

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Brenda! My curiosity is now satisfied plus a lesson learnt.

  2. I've had the benefit of a critique from Brenda Sinclair, and have learned much from her writing expertise. What readers don't know is she has a ready smile, quick wit, and always supports her friends. Nice of you to share her with us, Victoria.