Friday, June 21, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Margaret Brownley

Today I welcome a NY best selling author who kept trying until she succeeded. She is a kind spirited lady who can warm your heart:
Margaret Brownley

Enter to win Margaret's new release,
A Bride for All Seasons 
Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

More Laughter and Love

My writing career began, and ended, early.  I wrote my first book in fifth grade—a mystery without an ending.  I was on a roll until I reached eighth grade.  Unimpressed with my essay on why I wanted to be a writer my English teacher flunked me.  If that wasn’t bad enough, she further went on to suggest I not even think about becoming a writer.

For many years I didn’t.  School, work, marriage and motherhood commanded my attention and I made a gallant, though ultimately fruitless, attempt to ignore the voice inside that kept nagging me to write.

The voice grew louder with each passing year and by the time my children were in middle school it became a deafening roar. That’s when I decided to enroll in a writing class at the local college. My children breathed a collective sigh of relief. Apparently, my habit of writing long, humorous and creative notes to teachers explaining a son or daughter’s absence was a source of embarrassment (which is probably why one son won a prize for perfect attendance).

The creative writing class gave me much needed confidence and there was no stopping me. I wrote for the hometown newspaper, the PTA, the high school band, and the local ice cream parlor.  Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: I penned it all. Nothing wrong with that, except at the time I was also writing for the church newsletter.  After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, my former pastor took me aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

I didn’t know at the time if that’s what God had in mind, but I wasn’t about to take a chance. I immediately began work on a novel.  I wrote four novels in four years, mostly at four in the morning.  During this time a national paper shortage hit the news, but you would never know it by the ton of rejections that landed in my mailbox. 
The economy sank and money was tight.  Whenever my kids wanted something not in the family budget they were told they’d have to wait until mom sold her book.  That soon became the family mantra.  Anything was possible when mom sold her book.  
Then one day it happened: I got the call! A publisher wanted to buy my book!  By then the children had all moved out with jobs of their own and were now able to buy their own cars and electronic equipment. This was a very good thing because my paltry advance barely covered the cost of postage to mail it.  Nonetheless I was thrilled. This is it! I’m on my way.  Whoopee!
Only I wasn’t.  The company went bankrupt before my book was published.  Soon after, I sold to a romance line.  This was it!  I’m on my way.  Whoopee! Only I wasn’t.  This time the company didn’t go bankrupt but the line closed. 
It seemed that every time I signed a contract the company was doomed.  I closed so many publishers that when I finally sold to Harlequin, my writer friends begged me not to sign the contract for fear I would shutter that publisher, too. I’m happy to say that Harlequin remains intact to this day and went on to publish four of my books. (As for the rumor I had something to do with the closing of Borders bookstores—I plead a resounding not guilty.)  

My career has had as many ups and down as a Boeing 747, but looking back I see how God used my writing to shape and mold me and on more occasions than I can count, bring me to my knees. He also sent the right people at the right time to keep me on track: The minister who saw something in me that needed encouragement; the agent who took me on when no one else would; the editor who took me under her wing.  And just when I was ready to throw in the towel, a reader wrote to tell me that something I wrote changed her life for the better.

 I’ve often said that God made me a writer to teach me patience and other things.  I’m still learning and He’s still teaching and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Some say that writing is a lonely profession, but that’s not true.  If you’re following God’s plan for you, He’ll be there every step of the way.   He is the ultimate muse.

 It’s been a bumpy ride but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Not only has writing helped me grow in my Christiana faith, I get paid to dream up handsome cowboys.  As for the rest; you’ll be glad to know that I haven’t shut down a publisher in years. 

Wow, Margaret  Your journey has been on a road winding through a bog, how good God stayed by your side to kep you from the quicksand. And how good you have stepped onto dry ground. :)

Also on Facebook and Twitter
Margaret Brownley has written more than thirty books. She’s a N.Y. Times bestselling author and a former Romance Writers of American RITA finalist.  She currently has a story in A Bride for All Seasons collection. Her next book Gun Powder Tea (Brides of Last Chance Ranch) will be published in October. She also has stories in September’s A Pioneer Christmas and Log Cabin Christmas collections.  Margaret and her husband live in Southern California and have three grown children.  

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Margaret's book: "A Bride for All Seasons":
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.
U.S. residents only
Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Margaret, for Joining us This Weekend!

Reader, how about you? Stepping into the occasional patch of bog on life's journey is awkward, disappointing, and sticky, right? Yet in hindsight we see the blessings. How have you been blessed?


Patty said...

Thanks for sharing a bit of your writing journey Margaret, so glad that you persisted!


Janice said...

The sense of humor really helped through all that pain of closing down publishers, didn't it? I thank God for the good gift of humor.

It is sad to hear another story of a teacher who got it so wrong with condemnation of a student. That same type thing happened to another friend who was told she should not consider college because she was not smart enough. She went on to college, succeeded and became a teacher.

Thank you for entering me in the drawing. I look forward to the possibility of winning your book. I imagine it holds some "Ha!Ha!," LOL moments.

Blessings, Janice

Heather Marsten said...

Thanks for the smiles this post brought. I love your unique way to get perfect attendance from your children :D.

Sorry to hear a teacher discourage someone like that, but glad you persisted. It's also encouraging to know that writers can get published once kids are out of the house - I'm in that boat.

By the way God has me on a fruit of the month club and the one He loves sending me the most is PATIENCE.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi, Patty!
I am glad she persisted to. Think of what we would have missed!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Janice.
I think you are right. Her books are sure to have "LOL" moments.

There are those who pop into our lives and share well meaning advice. I can't help but think listening to the still small voice of God will hold us steadfast to the road we were meant to travel.

Good to see you today, Janice.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Heather!

The patience fruit has a tough shell, but deep inside is a pleasing taste. :)

Always love see you here.

Unknown said...

What a journey. My children had a 3rd grade teacher who encouraged writing stories...I have books of each of their stories from that year. Priceless:-) Adding your name to my list of 'want to read' authors.

Margaret Brownley said...

Patty, thanks. Persistence really does pay off!

Margaret Brownley said...

Heather, what would we do without the gift of laughter? I love your fruit of the month club. I need that!

Margaret Brownley said...

Carolyn, thank you! You're right: your children's stories are priceless!

Margaret Brownley said...

Hi Janice, thank God for the gift of humor. It can pretty much get you through anything. Fortunately, there are more good teachers than bad and those are the ones we should treasure. Take care.

Dana McNeely said...

Love this, Margaret. Chuckled at your method of ensuring perfect school attendance! Thanks for sharing your story in such an upbeat, encouraging way. I know it helps me, and I'm sure others, reaffirm their commitment to working toward their dream of publication.

Margaret Brownley said...

Dana, thank you. I hope my story does encourage others to keep going. I think God tests us to see how much we really want something.

Have a great weekend

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Carolyn!
I too have my children's books tucked away. Sometimes when they come home to visit we pull them out and laugh. They were fun stories.

Good to see you today.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Dana,
Yes, I think Margaret not only showed us to reaffirm our commitment but to hold fast. Our time will come. :)

So nice to see you here today.

Dana McNeely said...

Thanks, Mary and Margaret. :)

Unknown said...

Wonderful post Margaret!! I smiled as I read it and I'm extremely thankful you did not quit. We would not have your great books to read. It's amazing to look back and see how God works. Thank you! I enjoyed your post.
Barbara Thompson

Amber Perry said...

Margaret, I just love you! :) You are so encouraging and this post has helped me see a bigger picture for my writing career. I know that things will happen in God's time and that I should't give up! God bless you and thanks again!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by!
And yes, God's works are amazing. I love seeing what He does.
Sure loved seeing you today.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh yes! Definitely don't give up. God clearly spoke to you to start. His words are not wasted.
Blessings on you as well.
Loved having you here today.

Margaret Brownley said...

Barbara, thank you. God's work is truly amazing. We often don't realize how He's working in our lives until we look back through the prism of time.

Margaret Brownley said...

Amber, thank you and I love your blog. It's great to be published, but it can also be very stressful. Trust God to know when the time is right! He knows when we're ready to take that next step.

God bless and keep writing!

Pam K. said...

I've read several of Margaret's books and loved them. I'm very thankful she didn't give up writing when it was tough to get published. I think A Bride for All Seasons must be a delightful book, considering all the great authors. Mary Connealy is another of my favorites. Thanks for giving away a copy of this book.


Margaret Brownley said...

Pam, thank you so much You can't go wrong with a Mary Connealy book! She's also great to work with!

Have a great weekend.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I agree, Pam. Having several wonderful authors work together on a project make it extra exciting. Can you imagine their time together preparing for this book? Probably so much laughter.

So nice to have you here today, Pam.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary and welcome to Margaret. I've been looking at Margaret's books. I like cowboys too and would love to win this book. Margaret, seems you had a rough ride to success. But as you say, all in GOd'd time. Please enter me in the con test. Thanks! MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Maxie!
So glad you made it in time!
And of course you are entered.

Cyndi said...

Not sure if this giveaway is still "live" but I just read a few chapters of this book (Margaret's section) and I'm hooked!:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Yes, Cyndi, the drawing for Margaret's book has ended. Check back each weekend when most of my guests will be offering a book give away. I look forward to seeing you again. I'll pass you comment on to Margaret. It is sure to make her day:)