“If you are fond of true stories that are slightly unusual for one reason or another, this one just might grab your attention.” Those are the words of one reader/reviewer, recommending Brenda McDaniel’s touching memoir, My Angel, My Hero. (Look for additional words from reviewers later in this article.)
Even as a child, Brenda McDaniel wrote poems and short stories. With the publication of her first book, My Angel ,My Hero, she has fulfilled her lifelong dream of being a writer.
I sat down with Brenda recently to learn firsthand about her touching memoir and her writing life.
Enjoy this interview with charming, sincere author Brenda McDaniel.
IRIS: Brenda, your work is clearly inspirational in nature. Specifically, what inspires you to write?
BRENDA: I am a Christian writer, so several things inspire me to write, but most importantly it is wanting to help lead people to the Lord. I write to help inspire people to have faith, hope and love for others throughout their lifetimes and to have Lives Worth Living.
IRIS: Tell us about your actual writing process. Are you a plotter? Or a pantser?
BRENDA: I do use outlines to help keep my thoughts in order and to help the reader see clearly the purpose and plot of the book. I think understanding and developing your character on paper or in your mind, before writing, is very important. This helps the reader understand the actions/background of the characters better.
IRIS: My Angel, My Hero is about your parents and family. Do you agree with the philosophy that all of a writer’s books are somehow autobiographical?
BRENDA: Most of the books, I have written so far are about my experience, background, family, and beliefs.
I think your books written from experience and from deep in your heart, are usually some of the best and most heart-touching you can write.
IRIS: What is the most important or most frequent advice you can give about writing?
BRENDA: Some of the most important advice for writing anything — articles, poems, books, et cetera — is to have a clear vision or idea. An idea of what you want the purpose, plot and actions in the book to be or convey. Write a book with clearly defined characters (their emotions/actions/thoughts) explained fully. And to gain the reader’s interest, make the book interesting, new and entertaining. Don’t be afraid to write about new ideas or things, use your imagination and create new worlds for your readers.
IRIS: What would you change about the world of writing and publishing, if you could?
BRENDA: In the world of writing and publishing, a lot of it is being in the right place at the right time. You might have a great book, but don’t know or can’t afford to market it well. And without good marketing and reviews, your book won’t sell or be recognized by so-called experts.
You think awards and recognition by reviewers, media, book associations, TV, radio, et cetera, are important, but so much of this is very subjective (depending on their beliefs, ideas and views). You may have a great book but be shot down by others, who don’t share your vision of the book.
Also, (some) publishers who say they will help market your book leave 90% of the marketing up to you. As a result, instead of writing, you spend 90% of your time trying to learn how to market your book.
IRIS: How does your faith affect your writing? Does it change the topics you write about, the audience you write to, or the way you craft your text?
BRENDA: My faith affects and controls my life and my writing. I try to write Christian books, with values, faith, hope and love. And I try to make it interesting to Christians and non-Christians, hoping to touch the hearts and minds of both.
I don’t put cuss words, derogatory statements, or demeaning language or behavior in my books.
My topics in my first three books are religious or Christian, about my background, miracles, and blessings my family was given by the Lord. But I hope to write fiction and poems in the future, using my imagination a little more, which is exciting to think about, too.
IRIS: Where can readers and writers find you and your work on the internet or social media?
BRENDA: Here is a list of my numerous sites and social media.
IRIS: Is there any specific message you wish to share that wasn’t shared in answering these questions?
BRENDA: One last message I want to share is to never give up on your dreams, work hard, learn knowledge to make them come true.
And don’t let anyone discourage you or cause you to not believe in yourself or your dreams. If it’s God’s will, he will make them come true. God bless!!!
IRIS: God’s blessings to you, as well, and thank you, BRENDA McDANIEL, for writing a lovely memoir (My Angel, My Hero) and for sharing your time and wisdom with us today.
IRIS: I want to say, I notice that My Angel, My Hero has a four-star rating on Amazon.com (Congratulations, Brenda!). Readers, Brenda’s inspiring memoir is available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook. The link is https://www.amazon.com/My-Angel-Hero-Brenda-McDaniel-ebook/dp/B07R58JLNY.
You can also find My Angel, My Hero on Goodreads, where the link is https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44612392-my-angel-my-hero.
As promised, here is a sampling of what readers are saying about My Angel, My Hero.
“I was impressed with how much love was in the family even though they faced the tremendous challenges of caring for and supporting a mentally ill person. This happened long before there were proper medications and an understanding of such diseases.“
“It was heartbreaking and beautiful, and dealt with such a different family story of love and strength. I went and listen sort of blind only knowing it dealt with faith, hope, mental illness and World War 2. I’m so glad I didn’t really know more.”
A book full of love.
Full of love by the author for her parents.
Full of love by her parents for each other.
A book full of love for Jesus Christ.
A book full of the power and strength of love.
Love will triumph.
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