Interview with Brenda B. Taylor: 'Writing historical fiction began as a hobby but quickly turned into fulltime job'

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

Her latest book is the historical romance, A Highland Pearl.
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About the Book:

A sweet romance blossoms amidst feuding and war. With her reputation at stake after being accused of practicing witchcraft and hated as a member of a rival clan, Maidie considers leaving Clan Munro and returning to the home of her birth in Clan Cameron. Fierce battles, a tragic encounter, and a handsome clan chief compel her to make crucial decisions in this haunting romance set in the16th century Highlands of Scotland.

Maidie is summoned to Fàrdach Castle of Easter Ross-shire to assist in caring for the wounded of Clan Munro after a battle with Clans MacKenzie and Cameron. She dreads the task since her husband, Kenneth Munro, was killed in an earlier battle. Maidie is a healer, taught by her mother, with the skills and knowledge needed to tend the wounds of Chief Andrew Dubh Munro who is seriously wounded.

People in the castle and those in the village of Drumainn turn against Maidie. Angus, the castle physician, resents her for taking his job in caring for the chief. She is hated by some, because she is a member of the enemy Clan Cameron and came to live in Ferindonald, the Munro lands, with her husband.

Maidie considers returning to the land of her birth in Clan Cameron with her young son, Sven, but falls in love with Andrew while caring for his wounds. Although her neighbors now call her a witch, she wishes to stay in Drumainn because of her love for the chief.

Against an effort to guard his hardened heart from another hurtful encounter with a woman, Andrew falls in love with the tender, caring healer, Maidie. He wants her to stay in Drumainn, but his enemies, the Camerons and MacKenzies, have other plans.

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  • A Highland Pearl is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The idea for writing A Highland Pearl came when my husband and I visited Scotland in 2012. Through genealogical research, I discovered ancestral links to Clan Munro in the Scottish Highlands and decided to visit the clan lands. During the visit, I met a Munro cousin who is a Highland guide. He introduced me to the mother of the clan chief. Mrs. Munro gave us a tour of Foulis Castle, the seat of the ancient clan.

The ancient clan society intrigued me, so I decided to research and write a historical fiction novel about clan life in the 16th century.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing a Scottish historical romance demands a great deal of research into Scottish history, the land itself, and they society in which the characters live. I took several online classes encompassing this era of Scottish history and read numerous books.

I encourage other writers of historical fiction to use the many resources now available online and otherwise to gather the information needed for their stories and to study the craft of writing fiction.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My novels are self-published. I wanted to keep the rights to my work and formed my own publishing company. Writing historical fiction began as a hobby, but quickly turned into a full-time job.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The difficulty of breaking into the traditional publishing world surprised me. I decided seeking agents and publishing companies took too much time.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am currently working on the second book in the Highland Treasures series entitled, A Highland Ruby.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

My favorite onine places to hang out are the author loops, especially the indie author ones. I obtain much useful information from the other indie authors.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

My books are inspirational sweet romances. The theme of each one is enduring love and overcoming faith.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Writing and publishing are difficult jobs, so I encourage others who may become discouraged to keep on keeping on. Don’t give up.

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