Gail's Book Nook

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Ada Brownell Talks about Writing and Her Latest Book, The Lady Fugitive. Give Away.

A Warm Welcome to Ada Brownell
Ada will give away a copy of Joe the Dreamer, either paper or e-book.
To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below. 

When Joe's parents disappear, he becomes the target of the radical militant group that enslaves them and his fate could be worse than death.

Hi Ada, first, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m the youngest of eight children, six of us redheads, not including Mama. One by one my family became born-again Christians after I was born. Our house was filled with gospel singing and instrumental music.

I’ve been a Bible student most of my life and started writing for Christian publications at age 15. I worked as a reporter for 17 years, mostly for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo, and have a degree in mass communications.

 My husband was a telegraph operator for the Rio Grande Railroad . We lived in a cabin on top of Colorado’s Tennessee Pass, in railroad depots and even in a railroad  car. God blessed us with five children, one of them now in heaven, and  they are a blessing to us.

 In retirement, I continue to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers. and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. I am critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Why do you write?
 I had hoped to be a secretary. I wrote because I had a fire in me to share the gospel, but also a love for Christian fiction and fun interesting stories. In one of my first writing courses, however, the instructor said a thousand novels are rejected for every one published. I decided to write non-fiction, although once in a while I’d write fiction for a Sunday school paper. In retirement, I decided to write both and now have three non-fiction books and two novels.

Tell us about your latest book, The Lady Fugitive.
How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?

Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her or he won’t inherit her parents’ ranch.
Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.

 Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love?

What inspired you to write this particular book?
My grandmother was an elocutionist who performed her original poems and songs on stage in Colorado as a teenager before the turn of the 20th Century.

Some relatives say when Grandma’s parents died she moved in with an uncle, a judge, who lived in Pueblo, Colo. Grandma graduated from Centennial High School at a young age and earned a teaching certificate. But one day, knowing she was in danger of being abused by the judge, she packed a suitcase and took off down the road walking. She ended up in Florence, Colo., where she was hired as a schoolteacher.

A portion of my family denies Grandma had to run from the judge. I wasn’t there.
Grandfather was dead before I was born, but he sounded like an interesting character who traveled about the country in his youth showing one of the first Passion of the Christ moving pictures created. My brother has the reel.

Like William in The Lady Fugitive, Grandpa’s dad was murdered.
As a widower, Great-grandfather had remarried, supposedly because he needed a cook. He was age sixty or so and his wife decades younger, and she was pregnant. When his wife’s lover kept coming to see her, Great-grandpa tried to stop it and the man beat him so badly he died.
Although I’ve used similar situations, The Lady Fugitive is the story of Jenny Louise Parks and William O’Casey, created from my imagination. They, all characters and events in the book are fiction.

How do you get to know your characters?
I made short profiles of each character in a notebook, but they grew their own personalities as I wrote. Sometimes a character pops in out of no where. That’s the way it was with Stuart, a young orphan whose living on the streets because his parents died of cholera.

Here’s how he dropped in:

“What ya doin’?”

Jenny jumped and banged her head on a board above her. She edged her fingers under her tightly secured bun to rub the spot.

A skinny boy with a dirty face and ragged clothes leaned in behind her and took a peek at the judge and William. “Is that man botherin’ the peddler? I kinda like the peddler. Gave me apples one day.”
“SShhhhhh.” She put her shaking index finger across her lips and considered holding her nose. The boy needed a bath.

He lowered his voice. “Why you hidin’?”

“I don’t want the man who is bothering the peddler to see me. But I need to hear what they say.”
William and the stable boy appeared to be giving the judge directions.

“Need a job?” Jenny asked. “I’ll bet the gentleman would like to have someone carry his suitcase to the rooming house.” She reached out and shook his dirty hand. “I’m Jenny Parks. The new schoolteacher. Hope to see you in school Monday. What is your name?”

“Stuart Ripley.”

My editor also loved the wife of the antagonist who Jenny called “Grouch.” She also just popped in.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
My husband and I are retired and writing takes commitment even now. I try to be organized, clean dirt the instant I see it, wash and fold that laundry, plan those meals, and budget my time. My husband likes that I’m a writer, but he doesn’t particularly like all the time I spend at the computer.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
 Know your goal, pray, study writing and other people’s writing, then sit down and do it.

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers. and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Among her books: The Lady Fugitive, released July 18, 2014, Imagine the Future You, a youth Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, (Jan. 15, 2013); Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, (Dec. 6, 2011); and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.

Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at  Free book with new Audible membership.

The Lady Fugitive
Amazon Ada Brownell author page:       
Twitter: @adellerella
Blog: Stick to Your Soul Encouragement


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June Foster said...

Until today, I wasn't sure what a elocutionist was. Here's wishing you many sales with The Lady Fugitive. Enjoyed your interview, Ada.

Miss Mae said...

I enjoyed this too, reading about you, Ada, and learning of your childhood. Wow, so much there (living in railroad depots and railroad car). I miss the days of train travel, and there's a romance about depots that draws me to them.

Beautiful cover and the plot sounds exciting. Wishing you much success!

Finbar said...

Very interesting as always on this blog, especially the part about living the life of a railroad family. I too miss the train travel of days long gone. Best wishes with the book and in the future..