with Margaret Brownley


Welcome to Patterings, Margaret! It's so good to have you here!
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.

I was always a storyteller and was constantly in trouble as a child for making up stories. The writer part was harder to acknowledge, partly because English was my least favorite subject. My eighth grade teacher told me not to even think about being a writer. Diagram a sentence? Never! I’m like the musician who can’t read music. It’s hard to let go of the negative messages of childhood and I published close to a half dozen books before I could work up the nerve to call myself a writer.

I probably might have spent the rest of my life scribbling in notebooks had I not “volunteered’ to edit my church newsletter. After I made the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, my former preacher took me aside and said, “Maybe God’s calling you to write fiction.” Until that moment I never had the courage to follow my heart.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
I’ve enjoyed writing all 30 plus books I’ve written (even the 7 that never got published) but I think my current Rocky Creek books are the most fun. Each book allows me to go back to the same town and “visit” with some of the same people and see how their lives have changed between books. It’s like a homecoming. I hope readers feel the same way.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
The most difficult thing to overcome was lack of confidence. I began my career writing short stories and humorous articles. I sold a humorous piece to the Auto Club magazine and they sent me a check for a $100. I was stunned. Convinced no one would pay that much for something I wrote, I called them up to make sure it wasn’t a mistake. Failing 8th grade English definitely took its toll. I overcame my lack of confidence with pure determination. That’s how much I wanted to be a writer.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
The heroine Sarah Prescott is by far my favorite character. She’s an outlaw on the way to her own hanging who falls in love with a preacher. As Sarah would say, “That’s plain askin’ for trouble.”

What is your strangest habit?
My family would probably say it’s getting up at 4 a.m to write.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Right now I keep putting off writing the last chapter of the current book I’m writing. It’s the third and last book in my Rocky Creek series and I dread the thought of leaving the town and characters behind. I just know that I’m going to be in a major funk until a new book and new characters take over my life again.

What does a perfect day for you look like?
It’s pretty boring. I’m up around 4 a.m. I turn on the coffee pot and computer, read the newspaper and then it’s work, work, work. A perfect day is 10 written pages, answering maybe a 100 emails, 3 miles on the treadmill, family, a good book and chocolate.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
As a historical writer, I have to read a lot of non-fiction. For fun I read historical and contemporary romance. I also like to read mysteries with an occasional thriller thrown in. I’m especially fond of quirky books with funny titles. I recently read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society because one simply must read a book with a title like that.

LoL, what a title!
Are there certain foods or snacks that keep the words flowing for you?

Food is an issue only if the words stop. If I can’t think how to write a scene or a character is giving me fits, then it’s off to the kitchen. The problem with writing at home is that the home office is so close to the refrigerator.

Speaking of food, my daughter is a professional chef. (You can “talk” to her on chefsline.com. Just look/ask for Chef Robyn.) After reading my book, she got to work and created special desserts to go with my Rocky Creek series. For a A Lady Like Sarah she made a luscious dessert that has a nutty (rocky) crust and creamy melt in your mouth chocolate. Hmmm, good. She also created a mouth-watering raspberry delight for A Suitor for Jenny, the 2nd book in the series scheduled for publication September 2010. If the recipe isn’t on my website when you read this, email me and I’ll send you one.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I think my favorite theme is forgiveness because that’s the one I have personally struggled with the most. It’s the one my current hero is struggling with at this very moment.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
I just know that the reason God made me a writer is to teach me patience. Anyone who’s a writer knows that the publishing world does not move quickly.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
A Lady Like Sarah can be ordered online now but it won’t be in stores until December 29th.

It’s the first book in my Rocky Creek series: She’s an outlaw, he’s a preacher. Both are in need of a miracle. I’m happy to say that the book has been selected as a Woman of Faith book for 2010. The 2nd book in the series A Suitor for Jenny is scheduled for release September 2010. When looking for a husband it’s best to go where the odds are in your favor and that would be Rocky Creek, Texas. To make a long story short, Jenny Higgins creates havoc when she whirls into town to look for husbands for her two sisters.

Thanks so much for being with us this week, Margaret!
You can purchase A Lady Like Sarah from CBD and Amazon:

Margaret is giving away a copy of A Lady Like Sarah. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Sunday, December 13th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is void where prohibited; open only to U.S. addresses, odds of winning depend on number of entrants. No purchase necessary. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar and purchasing I will receive a small percentage of the sale.


  1. This looks like a great book to read. The Rocky Creek series sounds interesting. Please count me in to win.

  2. Car magazines usually do have humorous articles. Great interview. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

  3. I like how Margaret's daughter is a professional chef and creates special recipes for her books. I'd love to read this series and appreciate the chance to win a copy of A Lady Like Sarah.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  4. I appreciate the theme of forgiveness flowing through your book. I'd love to win it. Please enter me.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  5. I love unusual titles too, they kind of draw you in. Add my name for Margaret's new book, thanks!


  6. Please enter me in the contest. The interview was neat to read. ~Abby

    abster dot rose at yahoo dot com

  7. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Enjoyed this posting...please count me in...thanks


  8. Anonymous7:47 AM

    I enjoyed the interview. Reading the interviews makes me appreciate the hard work that goes into writing. JoAnn


  9. Enjoyed the second day of the interview. Would definitely love to read this book.


  10. I think it's so cool that even though Margarte failed English (I hated it too) that she is now a successful author. Just goes to show that hard work pays off!

    I can't wait to read A Lady Like Sarah...it's going to be terrific!

    xoxo~ Renee

  11. This sound great! Enter me please, Patty! (I have a US address)


  12. Another book I would love to win, please enter me

    Merry Christmas


  13. I would like to be entered in this giveaway. Thanks so much!



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