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Interview with Brandy Bruce

Brandy Bruce was exposed to the wonder of books at a young age with stories such as The Pokey Little Puppy and The Story of Poppyseed her Hispanic mom read to her. She started writing sequels to The Babysitters Club books around the age of twelve and hasn’t stopped writing since. She wrote while pursuing an English degree, working as an editor for a traditional publishing house, and raising her three children with her husband Jeff. Brandy writes inspirational women’s fiction with a side of romance. She loves to talk about books, romance, writing – and cheesecake!

Hello, Brandy, and welcome! It’s a pleasure to have you with us today. Tell us what childhood experiences influenced your desire to write.
My mother read to me from the time I was tiny. I think that instilled a love for stories in me from a young age. And as a young reader myself, I fell in love with the Babysitter’s Club books and Sweet Valley High and the Christy Miller series. I knew I wanted to write my own stories.

What inspires the themes for your novels?
Things that I love: food and family and romance! My books always have a romantic thread, but I find myself often incorporating ideas on community and faith and doubt and relationships with family.

Your latest novel, After the Rain, deals with disappointment. Share a disappointing experience in your life and how the outcome changed you.
I went through a difficult season in my marriage many years ago. (I imagine nearly every married person could say that!) But the truth is that while we all experience disappointment in our lives, whether that’s connected to a career or family life or personal failure or expectations that aren’t met, some disappointments affect us much more than others. I don’t expect life to be perfect and I don’t expect everything to go my way. But when it comes to something as important as a marriage or a close relationship, I think challenges can shake us to our core. I came out of that period maybe a little more sensitive. More aware. More interested in what real, lasting, hard-won love for a lifetime looks like. Our fiction stories usually end with ‘happily ever after’ but real life keeps going past that moment of bliss. It involves real people. It takes much more work.

How do you incorporate your faith into your stories?
My faith is always a work in progress. I struggle with it at times. I’ve had moments of doubt in my life, and I try to be real about that in my writing. In two of my books—Second Chance Café and After the Rain—I share some of my own faith journey in different ways through the characters. But in every book I write, I want faith to look as real as possible. I want to delve into the moments where faith doesn’t come easy, where people change and reexamine what they believe, or maybe those moments where you’re about to let go but God shows up and you keep holding on.

You are an avid reader. What is your favorite genre and why?
I really enjoy different genres so I go through phases. I’ll only want historical fiction for a while. Then maybe I read a good YA fantasy novel so I’m hooked for a bit on that genre. I enjoy Christian romance but more so women’s fiction with a romantic thread. And I love a good suspense/thriller every few months!

As an editor, what changing trends do you see in the publishing industry?
I think the industry evolves like everything else. I never ever would have thought I’d want to read anything but a tangible paperback. Now I read books on my iPhone. There’s such an onslaught of books available, which is awesome, but it can be difficult to wade through so much, so we often end up reading mainly what’s popular. Which means there are good books out there that pass us by because they just don’t have as much visibility/marketing.

As an author and an editor, what advice would you offer to new writers?
Don’t give up. There are more avenues than ever for publishing. If you have a dream, stick with it. Hone your craft and listen to advice and keep writing.

What area of the US that you have not yet seen would you like to visit?
I would love to visit Boston! It’s on my list!

What is your favorite pastime outside of reading and writing?
Without a doubt, binge-watching favorite shows with my husband.

What is your favorite dessert?

I am a sucker for ALL things sweet! So I’ll sneak chocolate any time of the day. But if I have my choice, I nearly always choose cheesecake for dessert.


Patti Shene Gonzales hosts Step Into the Light, a weekly interview style blog talk radio show, where she promotes those who share God’s love through writing and other ministry outlets. She hosts writers, published and unpublished, on her two blogs, The Over 50 Writer and Patti’s Porch on her website at Patti is published in two anthologies and local publications and has three western novels in progress. When not writing or reading, she is doing volunteer work for her church or attending her only granddaughter’s sports activities. Patti lives in Colorado with her devoted feline companion, Duncan.

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