Monday’s Friend: C D Brennan

Today my guest is writer and fellow traveller C D Brennan. Welcome,  C D!

CDBRennanCDB:  First, I want to take the opportunity to thank Sara-Jayne for having me today. My fellow Lyrical sisters have been my greatest support in the promotion of my debut romance. And I’m very happy to now have Sara-Jayne’s acquaintance – a Londoner that can keep me close to all that is British, which I adore – from the Tetley’s tea to their crazy Premiership.

SJT:  When did you first know you were destined to be a writer?

CDB:  To be honest, I still don’t know. Is it my destiny to be an author? My undergraduate was in Creative Writing, so maybe even way back then I had a glimpse of my future. But that was twenty years ago, and I have had many fancies in between, for I’m a dreamer. I wanted to be a helicopter pilot and a professional sailor, and for a time a cowgirl. Now that I’m older, I can look at it in perspective and know those weren’t meant to be (although I had a fair crack at a couple of them). For one, I now have a fear of flying. Probably not the best quality for a helicopter pilot.  But I have been thinking lately that this series was meant to be, and the last 15 years of my travels was the perfect research for the Love Where You Roam series.  So everything comes together, in its own time.

SJT:  Who would you cite as your influences?

CDB:  Wow, that’s a hard one. You’d think it would be easy, and for some writer’s it is, they love a certain style or voice of a particular author, but for me, I soak up small details of many writers. The Love Where You Roam series is based on characterization plots. Take your hero and heroine and place them in different situations, even if that means an altered environment created by the other, and see how they evolve, and ultimately how the other is a compliment to themself.  I’ve drawn from YA writers for their character growth, classic romance novelists for their plotting and development, and (may be surprising) fantasy for the great way the writers are able to incorporate description into the story without it being too heavy and slowing down the pace.

SJT:  What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?

CDB:  Being an author isn’t just about writing anymore. It’s about promotion and networking and social media and website administration, and getting yourself out there, which takes an immense amount of time, and ultimately for me, takes time away from the next book. Because I am juggling another job and a young family, it currently takes me almost a year to write a book. Far too long. Because making your way as an author requires a backlist, which means many books for sale. You can earn a living by having numerous books out there over a period of time. But if you are willing to keep going with it, one day it will be worth it. As I reckon a job as a writer is a great job to have.

SJT:  It’s nice to have a fellow traveller on my blog.  What are your favourite places in the world?

CDB:  Sweet divine, where do I start? As photograph images and memories passed through me at this question, there was one that kept replaying. Mountain tops. Mt McKinley in Alaska, Mt Kenya in Kenya, Ben Nevis in Scotland, Croke Patrick in Ireland. Not only did I want to see the country, but I must have wanted to see the country from on high. Great views.

I have great memories of times with other travellers at the Cinque Terra on the west coast of Italy, Trevi Fountain in Rome, a train ride from Prague to Krakow, the Masai warrior dance at our safari camp in Kenya, a moose eating the bush out front of our kitchen window in Alaska (and opening scene in Book 3), the castles in Bavaria, sailing the Whitsundy Islands in Australia. So many, I probably have missed a million.

But mostly, my favourite places that I travelled are the places that I lived because of the people that made the experience that much sweeter, that much more memorable and personal. It wasn’t just visiting, it was home. It was delving into everything about that culture and living it.

SJT:  I know how a mixed-up accent confuses people.  Have you ever had people mistakenly guess where you’re from?

CDB:  When I moved from Ireland, my husband and I travelled through the States on our way to Australia. We stopped in New York, and while sharing an elevator ride with a couple of businessmen, they tagged me straight up as Irish. I had read somewhere that the more a person assimilates into a new culture, the more likely they are to pick up the colloquial language. When I lived in Ireland, I embraced everything about it, and I thought it was the place I would find love and live forever. Obviously, not meant to be after meeting my Aussie husband, but after a couple years in Scotland, seven years in Ireland and another five in Australia, my accent is a mutt of a dog. I tend to pick up phrases that I like, mostly slang, that has stayed with me all these years.

But a funnier story is my Australian husband now in Michigan. Americans, bless them, are not good at picking foreign accents, so most folk we meet think he is from Texas. LOL.

SJT:  Your book is set in Australia, so perhaps this location inspires you.  What it is about Australia that drew you to write about it?

When I wrote WATERSHED, I was currently living in Australia, in a small rural mining town in Queensland called Mount Isa. So the bush setting was all around me, and Queensland was then being tormented by flooding, which is relevant to the story.

But even before that, while backpacking through Australia in 1995, a woman sat next to me on a Greyhound bus journey from Rockhampton to Townsville, about an 8 hour drive normally, then add another four hours for the bus experience. As most travelers would understand, a spare seat next to you on these trips is a God-send, more space to stretch out and put your things. But, as fate would have it, another writer Margery Smith sat next to me and we chatted for almost the entire trip.

I had been in Australia for a month, working my way up the East coast, and even though it was a beautiful coastline and plenty to do (The Australian hostels were like motels with pools and BBQ facilities), I felt it wasn’t the Australia that I had hoped for. I wanted the true and gritty experience, not one polished and packaged for tourists. I mentioned my disappointment, and within moments my traveling companion offered that her daughter lived on a cattle station just west of Rocky (Rockhampton), and would I be interested in working as a jillaroo? Would I ever!

After my sailing trip through the Whitsunday Islands to see the Reef, I backtracked down to Rockhampton and then west, where another bus journey plopped me down at some dusty turnoff in the middle of nowhere. Thus, the opening scene of Watershed. Even though there was no romance for me personally at the Bloomfield Station (just a few hours east of Alpha, Queensland), I fell in love with the lifestyle and landscape, the people and animals, the fresh air and hard work. Ironically enough, I ended up marrying my own Australian country boy I met 10 years later when we were both living in Ireland.

SJT:  Any other projects in the works?

There are four planned books (perhaps more?) in the Love Where You Roam series. The series follows women as they travel, backpack and work in faraway places, and in those adventures the woman finds love where she roams.  Like in many journeys, the heroine’s path is not only physical but spiritual as they grow and change in their new environment. Ultimately, they find a place where they belong.

The series is tied by characters and concept. The heroine that stars in the following book of the series will make an appearance in the previous book. In Book 1, WATERSHED with Maggie and Gray, we also meet Lizzy, a jillaroo and friend to the Stewart’s that own The Gemfields. In the next book, A STONE’S THROW, Lizzy travels to Scotland where she meets the debonair but elusive, Hamish Skene.

Lizzy lives and works in a Hotel Pub in the small town of Bridge of Allan, Scotland. One of her coworkers is Sophie, a university student studying to be a linguistics teacher. She travels to Alaska in the next book, currently titled DUSTING OF LIGHT, where she meets a rugged native Alaskan. An Aleutian mother and Russian father, he is striking in appearance and mannerisms. I say “he” because I don’t have a character name yet. I might do a contest on my FB or my website for fans to choose a name. I have already started writing the book, and it’s a bit annoying to always use “Aleut” in place of his name. LOL. I was using “Alaska” but that got way too messy, as you can imagine.

Author Bio

Having traveled and lived all over the world, C D Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word “NO”.

Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.

As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]  And of course, fall in love.

Get in touch with her at www.cdbrennan.com.

watershedBlurb from ‘Watershed’

She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.

Maggie isn’t looking for love on her backpacking trip through Australia. She’s got enough man troubles back in Ireland. Australia is her escape, a place of adventure where she can create memories to last a lifetime.

But some memories won’t be left behind.

Gray is ready to quit hiring backpackers to help with the work on his remote Queensland cattle station when Maggie turns up. She’s just passing through, but the connection they forge during the long nights herding cattle won’t be so easily cast aside.

CONTENT WARNING: A strong-willed Irish heroine, a stubborn Australian hero, and oceans of difference to bridge for love.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

Excerpt

“In Ireland we have the Banshee.” Maggie broke Gray’s daydreaming with a start. “She is the omen of death and the messenger from the Otherworld.”

She continued in a whisper. “Often she appears an old hag. Folklore says she may also appear as a stunningly beautiful woman.” Maggie raised her brow at him, her eyes twinkling with fun.

Gray threw his head back and laughed, and she joined him. There was no shaking her. He decided he wasn’t going to best Maggie, and for the first time in a long time he was content with that.

He shifted so she had to settle against him. He heard her sigh as he wrapped his arm around her. They sat watching the fire, listening to the sounds of the bush settle for the night. It was peaceful and, Gray had to admit, romantic. He smiled, fulfilled after a long day’s hard work, some good bush tucker and a beautiful woman by his side. He had almost worked up enough courage to kiss her when she shivered, wrapping her arms around herself.

“I’m going to sleep.” Pulling off her trainers, she climbed into her swag. “Goodnight.”

Social Media Links

www.facebook.com/cdbrennan2012

www.twitter.com/CdBrennanauthor

www.goodreads.com/CdBrennan

www.pinterest.com/CdBrennan2012

Buy Links

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Watershed-ebook/dp/B00BNDFJX6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362277880&sr=8-1&keywords=Watershed+Cd+Brennan

B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/watershed-cd-brennan/1114744167?ean=2940016262345

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wayershed/id593848163?mt=11

Lyrical http://lyricalpress.com/watershed/

Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Watershed/book-9Js6iPtS1EaZzf1UQuTjaQ/page1.html?s=-HcXrxRb9kaOpQMeWIn7Mw&r=1

4 comments so far

  1. lynncahoon on

    CD – the book sounds amazing. Good luck with your release.

    • Cd Brennan on

      Thank you Lynn! And a huge thanks to Sara-Jayne for having me!

  2. Mae Clair on

    Such a fascinating interview, ladies! Cd, I got a good chuckle out of Americans thinking your husband is from Texas. I can’t imagine an Aussie accent sounding even close, but then maybe his is a mish-mash too like yours, LOL!

    And you’re so right about all the networking, social media, promotions, etc that are required of an author. I work a full time job too, and sometimes it feels like writing is what I spend the least amount of time engaged in. Still,like you, I love it so I continue to do that magical balancing act.

    Just bought WATERSHED from Amazon and it’s on my TBR list! Wishing you much success 🙂

    • Cd Brennan on

      Woohoo! Now, I hope you enjoy it, miss! As for my hubby, his accent is a bit of a mutt, too, as he lived in London and Dublin before we returned to Australia. But when we lived there, his accent came back full force, especially living out in the bush where he grew up (not same town but rural Queensland). I reckon he puts it on a bit here in the States, the G’day mate is strong and sexy to the ladies. He loves the attention from everyone. He’s such a charmer, I suppose that’s how I fell for him!


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