Glad you could join us, Ada. First question.
What books have fortified you as a writer? How?
Ada: First, would be the Bible. God’s Word, along with His transforming power, makes me who I am. Even as a young child I understood the gospel, and the message of John 3:16, the most unforgettable sentence I’ve ever heard: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Every person born into the world should hear about and receive the most wonderful love gift ever given.
Second, the little book, The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond affects me yet today, and I bought it in the early 1960s. It’s about love.
Next: You can’t be a writer unless you have a relationship with a dictionary. As a novice reporter one of the most important things my editor taught me was “if you don’t know how to spell it, look it up.” Yet, I learned to make sure of the meaning, and am constantly amazed at authors who use erroneous homophones.
A Bible concordance. I spent most my life writing non-fiction, and even when I worked full time I still wrote free lance articles and stories for Christian magazines and Sunday school papers.
Biographies and autobiographies. They are great sources of illustrations. One of my favorites is Catherine Booth.
Word Painting by Rebecca McClanahan and Words that Work by Frank Luntz. I’ve studied books about writing techniques almost all of my adult life, and I’m also writing fiction now and adjusting to a different marketplace in the 21st Century.
All great choices. I love the book, Word Painting. Now…
What secret talents do you have?
Ada: When you get to my age and you’ve written as much as I have, there’s not much about your life that’s a secret. It might be my teaching, despite my inferiority complex. But God dumps so much love, joy and the urgent desire to share the gospel it overwhelms the inferiority. I’ve been in the public eye almost since I was age 15.
The inferiority was almost in my DNA, however. What else does a poor freckled redhead feel when kids call her names?
But then a wonderful woman, Ruby Richter, invited me to be her co-teacher when I was about 14. My Sunday school teacher complained to her that she couldn’t hold my attention, and I probably was filled with mischief. No one knew at the time that when the pastor preached or the teacher taught in my mind I’d try to see how far I could get ahead of them in what they said, and if they missed a good point, I’d get frustrated.
I taught with Ruby in the beginners’ class. One week a little kid baptized his Easter chicken at home and the chick died. All the kids made an impression on me, as well as Ruby. I graduated to doing children’s church, and when I was 15 I became president of a good-sized youth group—when the age went 35.
That began my writing career because I submitted ideas for services to a youth magazine, graduated to articles and by 19 was published in an adult Christian magazine. In the newspaper world at age 25 my byline went out to at least 50,000 per day. I sang solos and in trios and played the organ or piano in church most of my life.
But yet, in the same place where God smothered an inferiority complex, God keeps reminding me I’m made of clay and that’s nothing but dirt. Embarrassing myself in front of people every once in a while shows me that. But mix dirt with God’s breath and you have life and unspeakable joy.
Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Last question…
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Ada: Probably stir-fry chicken with rice and Sam’s egg rolls. Chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert.
I have lots of great recipes, but I miss my daughters’ help when company outside of family comes, so I do simpler things. I used to prepare everything from scratch.
Thanks for having me as your blog guest. Wish I could have you over for dinner!
I would love some chocolate cake! Thanks for dropping by…
Ada is giving a paperback or Kindle copy of The Lady Fugitive to someone in the United States. Leave a comment to be entered!
Jennifer Louise Parks escapes from an abusive uncle. Will she avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in?
Reviewer: The adventures and mishaps that JL Parks gets into will have you laughing out loud, biting your nails and perhaps even wishing you had a gun with which to help.
The most common remarks among readers of The Lady Fugitive “I couldn’t put it down;” “I love the characters;” “Sorry when it was over.” “I was hooked from the opening page.”
Available in paper and for Kindle
The Lady Fugitive 2015 Laurel Award runner-up.
The PEACH BLOSSOM RANCHER
John Lincoln Parks’ works to rebuild his deceased father’s peach and horse ranch, thrown into ruin by a wicked uncle, murdered in the last book.
John yearns for a wife to help him make the ranch all it should be. He has his eye on his sister’s elegant matron of honor, Valerie MacDougal, a young widow. But Valerie, a law school graduate, returns to Boston to live with her parents since her little son was born. John and Valerie write, he’s kissed her a few times, but while in Boston Valerie and one of her father’s law partners try to get three patients wrongfully judged as insane out of the Boston asylum and they spend a lot time together.
Will John marry Valerie or Edwina Jorgenson, the feisty rancher-neighbor who has been in love with John since they were in grade school? Edwina’s father is in a wheelchair and she’s taking care of their ranch. John tries to help and protect this neighbor who has a Peeping Tom whose bootprints are like the person’s who dumped a body in John’s barn. But John and Edwina fuss at one another constantly. Will John even marry, or be hanged for the murder?
Tentative Release Date June 1, 2016
When Ada Brownell sat down to write The Peach Blossom Rancher, the sequel to The Lady Fugitive, she drew from her experience growing up in Colorado’s Peach Country near Grand Junction, picking peaches and working in a packing shed. The Peach Blossom Rancher should be released by June 1.
In addition, she uses some of what she learned about early 1900s misdiagnosis of insanity. Ada covered the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo on her beat as a journalist for The Pueblo Chieftain.
Ada Brownell blogs and writes with Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement. She is the author of six other books, and more than 350 stories and articles in Christian publications. She now lives in Missouri, a beautiful state except for tornadoes and chiggers.
Amazon Ada Brownell author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell