Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Visiting Dignitary/Brenda Novak

Okay guys. You've always been a really quiet bunch. But I'd appreciate it if you could be a little less shy than usual and give a really warm welcome to Brenda Novak.

Is there any one character you’ve written that is your absolute favorite? Why?

Wow—this actually changes from day to day. But, most of the time, I think my favorite character is Clay Montgomery from DEAD GIVEAWAY. I love a wounded hero, and he was so willing to shoulder the responsibility for EVERYTHING that happened in that book. He’d his own worst enemy because of it, but it makes him awfully endearing. J

You have chosen to specialize in, and have made a name for yourself in a particular genre. Any reason why?

I write what I love to read—suspenseful, character-driven stories. But someday, I hope to write a straight historical series (if I ever have the time), in addition to what I’m doing now.

Writing is hard work! Have you ever had the dread WRITER’S BLOCK? If so, what do you do to get past it?

I do get writer’s block occasionally, but only when I’ve made a “wrong turn” so to speak with my story. That’s generally how I can determine that I’ve headed down the wrong path—if I inexplicably come to a grinding halt. Once I unravel to a point where it still feels “right” and head off in a different direction, the story starts to roll for me. So…I think the writer’s block I suffer is merely my subconscious trying to tell me I’m making a mistake before I waste too much time. LOL

Almost every author I’ve met gives back to the community by supporting favorite charities. Do you have one? Could you tell me about it? Is there a particular reason why that charity?

I definitely have a favorite charity! When my youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at five years old, I knew enough about the disease to realize that he’d need constant care and that care wouldn’t be comfortable for him. But I didn’t realize the number of terrible side effects that go hand-in-hand with this dreaded disease. I don’t think a lot of people know that side of the issue. So I decided I was going to do all I could to fight back, to try and improve my son’s life and the lives of all those who are suffering as he is. Five years ago, I started Brenda Novak’s online auction for diabetes research at It runs annually May 1 – May 31st. My first year, I raised only $34,000, but my fourth year (last year) I raised $252,300. As you can see, it’s really grown. We’re coming up to action time again, and I’m hoping to break $300,000 in 2009.

So, what does your schedule look like for the next few months? Anything new coming out that we should keep an eye out for? Tell us a little about it.

I have three new books coming out this summer: THE PERFECT COUPLE (7/28), THE PERFECT LIAR (8/25), and THE PERFECT MURDER (9/29). These books follow up the first three books in The Last Stand series, which came out last summer. I will also have a Christmas novella out in November titled ONE SNOWY CHRISTMAS. You can visit to read excerpts, view video trailers, read reviews, etc.

What type of books do you read for pleasure? Any favorite authors?

My all-time favorite authors are Janet Evanovich and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, but I’m an eclectic reader. I read in my own genre (I have too many friends there to name names—I wouldn’t want to miss any), but I also read the classics and straight historical fiction. Brenda Rickman Vantrease is a new find for me. I really loved her THE ILLUMINATOR. I also love true crime, and Ann Rule is my favorite author for that.

Do you have a day job, or do you write full-time?

I write full-time (at least when I’m not working on my diabetes fundraisings, which can feel like a full-time job).

Do you have any hobbies?

I run and bike, read and shop, and watch my five kids do various sports.

OKAY, I’m going to do one of those short MEME things here.

Favorite song: Too many to name, but IMAGINE by John Lennon is one of them
Favorite movie or TV show: LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Favorite color: periwinkle
Favorite food: Homemade salsa
Favorite drink: Water (okay, that’s boring, but…LOL)
Is the glass half-full or half-empty: Always half-full
What animal do you think is most like your personality? A bull (since I’m a Taurus—LOL)Vampire/Werewolf/Other: I don’t understand this question. I guess I’m not reading enough paranormal?

If you could only give one piece of advice to new or aspiring writers, that would help them in the business, what would it be?

Thanks again for this. Do you mind if I take the piece of advice and put it in our newsletter and on our website in “The Craft Corner”? (If no, it’s okay, but I really would appreciate it.)

You bet!

Oh, and guys -- We've got a little contest going with Brenda. She's visiting both here and on MySpace, so whoever e-mails me first at from either site and says something about Brenda's visiting blog will get a Brenda Novak tote with autographed books and goodies.


Jackie Uhrmacher said...

How long have you been able to write full-time? Do you have any techniques to keep you on task instead of surfing the web all day?

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Jackie--

Great question. The Internet is a huge temptation. Surfing doesn't especially appeal to me, but I'm an e-mail addict. LOL Right now I can't offer any good coping skills because I'm not managing too well with this problem myself. I'm going to get on a better routine, though. I plan to exercise first thing in the morning instead of at night so that I can get my shower earlier and won't feel like I need to hide when the UPS man comes by. LOL Then I'm going to WRITE and not let myself check e-mail until noon. I'm going to get on the Internet only for one hour, then write some more and check it one last time before I quit for the day. In a perfect world, that's how I'd do it. But with my online auction for diabetes research starting in two days (it's going to be SO awesome!!), I'm pretty much chained to the computer and am not getting any writing done. Check is out, though. There are over 2,000 AMAZING items, many of which you can't get anywhere else. It's at (just click on the Auction link across the top bar).


Tammy said...

Hi Brenda,

I've read Trust Me and loved it, as soon as i can afford it I'm planning on getting Watch Me, and Stop Me (I think that's the 3rd one isn't it?)

What gave you the idea for this series?

Thanks for visiting with us here.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Tammy--

I'm glad you enjoyed TRUST ME. I'm excited to report that STOP ME, the next one in the series, was recently nominated for a Rita. The winners will be announced this summer, so my fingers are crossed. Wish me luck!

I got the idea for this series from my own charity work. As you know, it's based on a fictional victim's charity. Diabetes research is my personal cause, but I just transferred the passion and determination I feel toward raising money to help my son into stories about three women who've had very personal experience with violent crime and are determined to fight back.

There will be three more Last Stand books this summer--THE PERFECT COUPLE, THE PERFECT LIAR & THE PERFECT MURDER. I'll be offering a chance to join my fan club and receive a fun "fan pack" to those who purchase THE PERFECT COUPLE the first week it comes out, so if you're interested, sign up for my mailing list so I can keep you up to date via my monthly newsletter. (

Happy reading!


Tammy said...

Cool, thanks Brenda!

Tammy said...

Cool, thanks Brenda!

Tammy said...

Cool, thanks Brenda!

Tammy said...

LOL, I KNOW blogger doesn't like me, but it usually wont post, this time it repeated the post. Sorry Cie.

donnas said...

Great interview. I have to admit I havent had the chance yet to read your books but they are interesting and I have them on my wishlist now.

Thanks for sharing!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Donnas--

There are excerpts posted on my Web site, if you want to check them out free of charge. :-)

Thanks for being willing to try an author you're not yet familiar with!