Today we welcome Mary Ellen Bramwell, another fellow author from Black Rose Writing. She’s brought along her most recent release, When I Was Seven, and The Apple of My Eye, which has received 172 reviews on Amazon and an average 4 star rating!
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I’d like to go back and tell myself not to be afraid to publish. I was always writing, but I never thought it amounted to anything. Somehow, I got in my head that just because I didn’t write on a par with Pulitzer prize winners, that my writing wasn’t worth reading. Once I realized that the point was not to win a Pulitzer, then I stopped being so hard on myself. I’ve embraced the idea that I can tell a good story, even a good literary story, and that’s just perfect!
What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?
In general, I love hearing that the ending is satisfying. To me endings are everything. But specifically, I recently heard from a reader of my second book, When I Was Seven, that she loved my book and went from devouring it to trying to slow down so it wouldn’t end.
What do you love most about the writing process?
I love the evolving nature of it—the characters growing and developing, becoming real as I think about them, write about them, get to know them. A close second to that would be the inspiration that strikes when I least expect it. In the middle of the day (or night), I’ll suddenly have an idea for a plot point or twist, and I hurry to jot it down so I won’t forget it. Many of my best ideas have come that way.
What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?
That’s an easy question to answer—snickerdoodles! I love them because of a memory. My great-grandmother, who we called Grandmother Martha, used to make snickerdoodles. It’s the first place I ever tasted them. She lived to be 100, and I can’t eat a snickerdoodle today without thinking of her. My first book, The Apple of My Eye, has a wonderful character in it, a kindly older lady, who is modeled and named after her.
A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
He’d say, “I found it! After all this time, the lost city of gold wasn’t in Mexico, it was right under my flippers, and I didn’t know it! But I’ve come because you have the key that will allow me to open it.” And then he would keel over, dead. However, what he said would be spoken in penguin-speak, and it would take me the rest of the book (that this is the start of) to decipher what he said and what it meant.
Book you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
I’d probably want something like War and Peace—not because I love it, but because it’s long, so it would keep me going for a while. And with all those pages, I’d have toilet paper to last a long time.
The Apple of My Eye: When Brea Cass, a young mother, is awakened in the night by the news that her loving husband, Paul, has been shot during a robbery, she is stunned. When she finally emerges from the fog of her life, it dawns on her that something is amiss in the way her husband died. As Brea searches for answers, she discovers things she never knew… things she’s not sure she wants to know. Delving into unsolved mysteries brings several questions to the forefront of Brea’s thoughts, and she must decide if moving forward can erase the heartache and mistakes.
When I Was Seven: Lucas is thrilled when his grandmother comes to live with him. She’s his best friend after Justin from down the street. But when she starts remembering things from her past, is he the only one who will listen? If no one else believes her, how can he fulfill her dying wish? A compelling story about the complexity and value of family as seen through the eyes of a seven-year-old boy.
Mary Ellen Bramwell, an award-winning writer and author, has been writing short stories since she was ten. She is the mother of five and currently lives with her youngest son and her husband of over 30 years. She enjoys reading and playing games but is passionate about her family and alleviating the suffering of others.