Posted in authors, books, Christian, God, novels, purpose, womens fiction, writers, writing

Christian writer, Brenda Brown Elliott brings Courage Times Three

Please welcome Brenda Brown Elliott. She is a Christian woman who loves writing literary fiction and inspirational works as a source of comfort for all. Honesty & integrity are priorities in her life.

Brenda Brown Elliott
Brenda Brown Elliott

Joanne:  When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?

Brenda:  The idea for my novel came to me while living and working in Phoenix, AZ back in 2001.  Many of the patients at the clinic I worked for were elderly, people who had emigrated from Europe and had survived the world wars over there in the middle of horrendous living conditions.  They ended up retiring in the warmth and sunshine of Sun City, AZ and became friends.  I worked as a Patient Service Specialist back then at the front desk.

Joanne:  Do you have a background in writing or did you take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?

Brenda: No, My novel was the first project I have ever written.

Joanne: How long did it take you to publish your fist manuscript?

Brenda: I wrote the entire story in four months in 2008 and but I just got it published.  I tucked it away for years due to chronic illnesses on my part.   Although I was bedridden most of the time while writing it.

Joanne:  Many of us cross over genres and it is difficult to pinpoint one to fit our books. What shelf would we find Courage Times Three  if it were in a bricks and mortar bookstore?

Brenda: I have a publicist, Hajni Blasko of Substance Books and she chose Literary Fiction for first genre and Inspirational Journey for second represented genre.

Joanne:  Why did you choose to go the self-publishing Indie route in lieu of traditional publication?

Brenda:  For me, it was the right choice. The cost effectiveness, my own choices, and quicker output were just a few of reasons.

Joanne: What were the deciding factors to choosing your publisher?

Brenda:  I heard good things about Create Space through Amazon.

Joanne: Would you recommend that same Indie publisher to a colleague?

Brenda: Absolutely

Joanne:  Authors and publishers are always talking about finding your “Voice”. Exactly what does that mean to you and how did you find yours?

Brenda: This story was in my heart, it was a Godly inspiration by the time I finally wrote it after I had been on my Christian walk for some time. I could see and hear the pain of living through these heavily accented voices of survivors how much they had overcome to get to their happy years in retirement.  Many widows by then tho.

Joanne: Do you follow a structure pattern such as staying in chronological order, or alternating points in time or different POV’s?

Brenda: I did read other novels to recognize how the flow should be patterned and to remember to go back to earlier references I had made in the story.  Not dropping anything of consequence was key to bringing it all together.

Joanne:  What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query or building the story itself?

Brenda: As a self-published author, I did not have to do any query letters or synopsis. With my illnesses, my cognitive abilities pretty much threw out my organizational abilities which caused me much frustration due to a lack of concentration. Also.  I just could not work on my project for several days.  On some days I couldn’t even get energized enough for a shower…I was very weak during those periods of time (which were frequent). So for me it was literally a physical struggle to keep going until the end of the story.

Joanne: That must have been very hard. I must commend you for sticking with it and accomplishing your goal. As I have heard many times, “It is easy to start a novel, it is finishing one that take real perseverance.”

As we know, it is not enough to write a book and wait for the money to start rolling in. What marketing techniques do you implement to increase your sales?

Brenda: I hired a publicist.  I created a website (quite poorly I think).  I started a blog on WordPress and I advertise on them with links to Create Space and Amazon.  I have set up my own appointments for book signings along with an upcoming radio interview.  I follow instructions daily from my publicist to give my novel further exposure.  I am joining various writing groups.  Looking to give and get reviews.

Joanne: Was there any mistakes you made in your writing process you could share with us and save a few steps for new writers?

Brenda: Don’t hand the manuscript over to anybody to read until you are near finished with it.  They may likely tear it apart wanting to seem knowledgeable. I found that minimal feedback works best for me.  If you don’t have a pretty good idea of just what you are working to achieve, nobody else really can either.

Joanne: That is so true. You must believe in your work before anyone else can. What is the premise of Courage Times Three that we are promoting today?

Brenda: To be the best person you can be.  To serve God’s purpose for your being.  To appreciate all of our liberties here in the United States in comparison to numerous countries throughout the world.  To be kind and gracious to others.

Joanne: Those are lofty aspirations Brenda. Sometimes easier said than done. Perhaps your book will be a guiding light for others to find their way.  Where can readers find your book?   – website address – blog address – email

Thank you Brenda for being a part of Writing Under Fire’s Author Interview Friday.  Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to wet out appetite?

 Brenda Brown Elliott book cover

               Centrally located in the heart of the city, they were greeted by the concierge of the well established Hotel Concorde Saint Lazare. As with all prestigious guests, the concierge assumed full responsibility for their check-in and baggage. After receiving a quick history of the hotel, including the many amenities offered, the travel-weary, yet enthusiastic bride and groom comfortably settled themselves into their suite. A large sterling silver bowl, filled with various fruits, and an exquisite bottle of Dom Perignon, chilling in an ice filled silver bucket, awaited them in their luxurious suite. Madeleine was sure to remove the bottle from the ice once it had reached the perfect temperature of 45 degrees, a well known fact shared by most Parisians. 

Set high above the streets, the locality of their suite offered  sweeping views of the charming city. Never had Hal felt more like royalty. He had never been privy to that kind of luxury. But it also was a lavish treat for Madeleine.

The magnificence of the suite was more than intoxicating. Furnished in high-backed Queen Ann chairs and tables designed of rich marble, the rooms were dressed in finely hand-painted vases, filled with red, white and yellow long-stemmed roses strategically placed throughout their expansive quarters. Fluffy, white lace beddings adorned an enormous bed, lavished with soft, inviting pillows in the bedroom area. Massive, beautifully framed oil paintings, providing a taste of delicate French gardens, hung stately upon the softly painted walls.

The restaurant, located within walking distance of their hotel, provided a welcomed opportunity to stretch their legs as they leisurely strolled the cobblestone streets. Dining that first evening in Paris, Madeleine and Hal savored every bite of the fine French cuisine they’d been advised to experience. Always a necessary accompaniment with dinner, the fine wine they enjoyed was expertly chosen by the lovely Madeleine.

Feeling the after effects of their journey the lovebirds returned to their hotel for a good night’s sleep.

Standing on the terrace accompanying their suite, inspired by the nightly view of the city all aglow, they sent a sincere thank you to their Heavenly Father for providing their undeserving souls with such grandeur and beauty. With the charm of the city still enticing them, they closed the doors to the outside world, allowing themselves to fulfill each other’s Godly created desires.

Posted in authors, characters, conflict, fantasy, fiction, mythology, sci-fi, writers

The evolution of writing with “Seeds” author Robert Messier

I can’t tell you pleased I am to have Robert Messier with us today on Writing Under Fire for Author Interview Friday. Robert and I are close friends and critique partners. We have struggled and sweated through countless revisions on our WIP’s and I think I am just as excited as Robert about SEEDS making its first appearance as an e-book on Amazon. This story begs to make the top seller list. Robert has a unique style and insight into his writing that I have rarely seen. How he manages to combine sci-fi, fantasy, mythology and history and even prophecy into one cohesive compact story amazes me. It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Robert Messier. Please take the time to read this great work of art in SEEDS.

Robert Messier

Robert: Thank you Joanne. It is a pleasure to be here and thank you for the kind words.

Joanne: Let’s get straight to the questions. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get you started?

Robert: When I was 14, I would write silly adventure stories for and about my teen friends called “The Born Losers” which was popular. I also felt inspired to write epic poetry tales similar to “Beowulf, Conan the Barbarian and Homer’s Greek myths”. This again was popular with kids but not so with my English teacher Mrs. Keating. LOL

Joanne: Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?

Robert: I took a class for creative writing and was voted top writer in class at Edison Community College in Florida for my short stories. I majored in English at Nassau Community College in New York and wrote for Think Magazine with both articles on magic and epic pagan poetry devoted to Goddess worship. For personal reasons I ended my association with the magazine.

Joanne: How long did it take you to publish your first manuscript?

Robert: I was fortunate the editor of Think magazine attended my class when I was teaching about “The Power of Music” in a New Age bookstore called The New Moon and immediately wanted to feature me as a writer. As for my first book 100 Years of Thrillers and Chillers, this took three years of handwritten re-writes before learning to type my manuscript and sending it to Rose Dog Books and it got published almost one year later.

Joanne: Do you always write in the same genre?

Robert: No, I just write whatever inspires me at the moment. I like diversity.

Joanne: Many of us cross over genres and it is difficult to pinpoint one to fit our books. For the book we are promoting today, what shelf would we find it on in a bricks and mortar bookstore?

Robert: Of the three books I have written, two are easy to categorize but “Seeds” combines numerous genres but since it begins and ends science-fiction I suppose it falls in Science Fiction.

Joanne: Are you published through a traditional publishing house?

Robert: My first book was produced by Rose Dog Books, a self-published division of a Dorrance Publishing house in Pittsburgh. For now, Seeds will be available as an e-book on Amazon but at some point I will attempt to get an agent and publish it traditionally because (I don’t want to brag- but) it is a very special story. My third book will not be available until it is re-worked with reggae recording artist Frank Carroll to promote The Unknown Guitarist. It will be a music e-book dedicated to musicians from around the world that are relatively obscure guitar virtuosos.

Joanne: Why did you choose to go the self-publishing Indie route in lieu of traditional publication? What were the deciding factors to choosing your publisher? Would you recommend that same Indi publisher to a colleague?

Robert: I met an author who had her book self-published by Rose Dog and so I chose them hoping to gain credibility as an author but this method is expensive.

Joanne: Do you always write in the same POV or narrative or do you switch it up in different stories?

Robert: I like writing in a narrative style but I have not always written in this method…

Joanne: What do you think writers are talking about when they say “finding your voice?”

Robert: I think this is meant to mean is…to write about your passions because if what you are writing is passionate to you then it will excite your reader also. That is what “voice” means I think. LOL.

Joanne: For you, what is the hardest part of the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query, marketing?

Robert: Marketing is far and away the hardest part of being a writer.

Joanne: What marketing techniques do you use to promote your books?

Robert: An author must learn computer marketing techniques such as blogging to reach an audience because traditional publishers now expect the author to promote his own work. Talent is no longer enough. Luck and computer generated promotional skills are required for success. This is the new reality of publishing. On some level it is more difficult to be a successful writer today than in the past. That said if you love to write hang in there but know there are a million other writers to compete against who want success too.

Joanne: What advice would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?

Robert .If you really believe in your manuscript and abilities as a writer then find a method of publishing that works for you. Whether self-publishing, e-book or traditional publishing with an agent. I’m still exploring all these methods to see what works best.

Joanne: What is the overall premise or theme to the book we are promoting today?

Robert: Seeds is the quest for humanity’s evolution and place in the universe. It is a story of love and growth, history and myth with interesting main characters that evolve along with the world.

Joanne: Can you share a few paragraphs of SEEDS with us?  Also, where can readers purchase the e-book?

SEEDS cover from website

Robert: SEEDS and my other book, 100 Years of Thrillers and Chillers can be purchased on from my Amazon Author page at

If you are not into sci-fi fantasy don’t be afraid to read further because many genres are covered in the 32 chapter novella. It evolves. LOL




Jesse has always been the optimist, thought Lucy.

Watching my brother skillfully navigate our crystal starship down towards the green vegetation and lush flora of the young planet, I felt apprehensive but naughty. This was a mission of observation but Father required some action. Large flocks of birds of various shapes and colors scattered and flew off at our approach. Jesse loved to observe Father’s seeding projects first hand. Our beloved scientist Father called these new worlds the Terraforming Project, but this was one of those worlds that made me wish I had stayed home with Mother.

Ages ago Father discovered this small planet rotating in space lifeless, just another large rock in the universe. It had volcanic activity and great deal of hot carbon monoxide gas caused by excessive meteor showers and other cosmic debris. The planet was a prime candidate for seeding life forms in all its bio-diversity. This would be a test subject for Father’s atmospheric projects to induce and sustain life because of its proximity to its sun. This planet also had the ability to maintain an ocean which could act as a nursery for the development of new life, plants and animals including the humanoid species for which our Father is so fond of.

But this world is so boring. If it wasn’t for Father’s psychological experiments on growth I would never choose to come to this planet at all but I am Father’s favorite child and I did not want to disappoint Him.

I looked outside the viewport of the starship still lost in thought. Last time we were here Jesse formed a bond with these aliens and was eager to see them again. These beings were so unlike the life-forms on the fiery, gaseous world of Tartarus. The humanoid creatures of this world were infantile in mind and weak in body and they just seemed so damn lazy and stupid. All they seemed to do was eat, sleep and shit. Not much different than the animals and the lower life forms. They could not change their shape at will or thrive in extreme conditions. They are limited in intellect and physical form. What is so special about the human beings?

“Did you hear me Lucy? I said it’s time to go!”

Despite Father’s wishes of non-interference, Jesse insisted on communication with these inferior beings. As we approached a clearing in the garden, we could see two people eating fruit naked amongst the trees. Jesse transformed himself into a likeness of the man but since I had nothing but contempt for these lazy creatures I chose to transform into a slithering beast and watched from some bushes.

The man embraced Jesse and they walked off in the distance talking. The female of the species had stayed behind and fell asleep under Father’s experimental tree and since our Father asked, I was obliged to do something about it. Another seed needed to be planted to stimulate growth and quite frankly I did not want this species to become immortal. They are not deserving of the gift. These beings were only flesh and blood. No more, no less. They are not like us at all.

As our starship prepared to leave this world, my good natured brother quips, “I can’t wait to tell Father the Good News. He will be pleased to know the experiment was a success. The human beings had not eaten the fruit from Father’s tree and I for one am hoping Father will let us return to this world someday Lucifer, because there is potential here.”

I hated to be called by my formal name as I smiled in response to Jesse.

“My dearest little brother Jeshua”, I teased, “Wherever you go I will follow.”

In the blink of an eye, our crystal starship quietly flashed into space and we were gone.