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Interview with the talented author Brenda Margriet


Brenda Margriet writes savvy, slow burn, contemporary romances with ordinarily amazing characters. In her own ordinarily amazing life, she had a successful career in radio and television production before deciding to pilfer from her retirement plan to support her writing compulsion.

Readers have called her stories "poignant," "explicit and steamy," "interesting, intriguing and entertaining," and "unlike any romance you’ve read before" (she assumes the latter was meant in a good way).

Brenda lives in northern British Columbia with her husband and various finny and furry pets.


I would like to thank the talented Brenda Margriet for taking the time to answer a few questions for me about her writing, her books, and herself! If Brenda is a new author to you, or even if she isn't and you just want to know more about one of your favorites, be sure to read her interview. Make sure to come back on Thursday for my review of her newest release, Strictly by the Book.


Hi, Colleen! Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to share a little bit about me, my books, and my newest release!


Did you choose to write romance or did it choose you?

I would say that romance chose me. I am a voracious reader of all genres. Some of my favourite non-romance authors are Dick Francis, L.M. Montgomery, Robert B. Parker, Isaac Asimov, and J.R.R. Tolkien. But when I examine those books (or my favourite scenes in them), the ones that I re-read the most, the ones that call to something deep within me, are the ones with a strong romantic element.

Also, I am fascinated by how people meet. We all know that couple (maybe even more than one) that, on paper, shouldn’t be a successful match. And yet they are! Exploring that human connection, what brings people together and bonds them for the long haul, is what keeps me invested in writing romance.


How do you develop your plot and characters?

Strictly by the Book, Book Four in the Silverberry Seduction Series (and my next release coming April 13), is my twelfth novel (I also have two novellas). When I first started writing, I began with an interesting (at least to me) plot idea and then decided on the people that would fit it best. But romance is driven by the characters, so over the years I changed focus. Now I work on them first. What in their life do they want/need to change? What are their goals? How were they hurt in the past and how does that colour their future? Who in their life criticizes or nurtures them? Once I know that, I can pair a hero and heroine that are like that couple you know—totally wrong when looked at from the outside, but so right inside, where it counts. And once I know their flaws and fears and foibles, I build a plot that will test them every which way until they earn their happy-ever-after.


What is your favorite trope to write?

I am huge on friends-to-lovers. Even Strictly by the Book, which starts out with an enemies-to-lovers vibe, soon transforms. I have a couple reasons why I think this trope resonates with me. In my own experience, I’ve seen how couples who are friends seem to have the most successful relationships. I can’t imagine any of my characters breaking up, so I want to give them the strongest foundation I can. The other reason is that the sexuality in my stories is slow burn. I like to build the frustration and tension between the characters until it simply has to explode. I write steamy, open door sex scenes, and I think the characters (and the readers, LOL!) get more out of those scenes if they’ve been made to wait, have been forced to experience a gradual increase in desire. Secrets Under the Covers, which is Book One in my Silverberry Seduction Series, turns this on its head, though. It starts with a sex scene between the two main characters. But they’ve been friends for twenty years, have both been widowed for several, and one of them has just learned she might have cancer. It’s that impulsive sex that sends them on their journey to happy-ever-after. Yet I still consider that book a slow burn. Twenty years as friends makes it so, right?


How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

I’m not adverse to alpha male heroes who rule the world. Trust me, I’m thrilled when a new Eve and Roarke story is released or the next in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world comes out. Claire and Jamie are two of my absolute favourite romantic characters. But sometimes I want to read a book that feels like it could be my story. Or the story of one of my friends. So that’s what I write. My ideal reader enjoys getting to know people who are handling their life as best they can, no matter what fate has thrown at them. They enjoy reading steamy scenes where the sex is underscored by each character’s acceptance of the other exactly as they are, both physically and emotionally. They want to escape into an imaginary world, but not one so far out of their existence that they can’t relate. They’re curious and confident and intrigued by the way people live and meet and build a life together. I like to think they’re just like me!


What are your favorite or most helpful author resources?

I honestly don’t know how anyone wrote a book without the internet. I am always searching for random details. For example, the hero in my work in progress is a motorcycle mechanic, though I’ve only ridden on one once and figured that was enough courting death for me, thank you very much. I’ve bookmarked links to “parts of a motorcycle” and referenced Youtube videos on how to ride. Two of my books are set outside of my usual city, and Google Maps, especially Street View, was invaluable for refreshing my memory and/or giving me glimpses of distant places so I could make my descriptions more authentic.

I think my most helpful resource, though, is the community of authors I’ve cobbled together over the years. So many offered their time and talents to help me through the maze of self-publishing. I couldn’t have done it without them. During the pandemic I discovered The Creative Academy of Writers, which is a wonderful online community of writers in all genres. We have monthly meets up where we share challenges and celebrate victories. In fact, I dedicated my new release to them.


Are your books wide or only in Amazon? Are any of your books part of a series or are they all standalones?

My books are available on Amazon, Nook, Apple, Kobo (and Smashwords, if you prefer to buy from a hub, not a specific retailer). I believe words are meant to be shared in the widest way possible, so this just felt like the right fit for me. Some of them are also available through online libraries like Hoopla.

All of my books are stand alones, though I have a trilogy and a series where characters make appearances in all the books. You can always rest assured that, no matter which of my books you may pick up, the romance will have a satisfying ending.



As I mentioned, my next release (coming April 13) is Strictly by the Book. This is the fourth book in my Silverberry Seduction Seasoned Romance Series (all the characters are 35 years or older).

An adventurous, go-with-the-flow historian…a scrupulous, stick-to-the-rules scientist…an attraction so wrong it’s absolutely right.

Natalie Minton’s cheerful exterior hides desperation. She’s been out of work for months when her estranged sister appears on her doorstep pleading for help. An offer to write the biography of a local political legend couldn’t come at a better time.

Rafe Talbot rejected family tradition and chose medicine over politics. When he stumbles upon evidence of a hidden scandal, his only recourse is to work alongside—and stay one step ahead of—the vivacious scholar hired to chronicle his mother’s career.

Natalie’s exuberance strikes sparks off Rafe’s steely severity, luring them to ignore the secrets shadowing their pasts…until the glare of the present exposes intolerable truths.

***

You can dive right into the series by pre ordering this one today! ($2.99 Ebook, $13.99 Print) https://books2read.com/StrictlybytheBook



Or, if you want to start at the beginning, Book One in the series, Secrets Under the Covers, is always free! https://books2read.com/SecretsUndertheCovers


Two long-time friends…one impulsive seduction…zero percent chance their lives will ever be the same again.

The peace Helen Mansfield struggled to achieve after the death of her husband is threatened when she discovers a lump in her breast. Determined to keep the alarming news to herself until the biopsy results are revealed, she sets out to wring every drop of delight from her days. Nathan Spieth stood by his wife while she fought and ultimately lost her battle with cancer. Since then, he’s devoted his energy to rebuilding the career that he neglected during her final years, and all his hard work is about to pay off. As neighbours and friends, Helen and Nathan’s lives have been woven together for more than twenty years. One impetuous, impassioned night might destroy everything they share—or prove to this fiercely independent woman and determinedly solitary man that love is always worth the risk.

***

Thanks so much for hosting me, Colleen! I truly appreciate it!


If anyone wants to know more about my books, you can find buy links and excerpts to all of my books on my website https://www.brendamargriet.com/.

As for social media, I am most active on Facebook www.facebook.com/brendamargriet and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/brendamargriet_author

For new release notices, be sure to follow me on https://www.bookbub.com/profile/brenda-margriet. And if you’re interested in joining a community of reader and authors who celebrate later in life romances, consider my Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/worththewaitseasonedromancereaders


But the absolutely best way to stay in touch is by subscribing to my newsletter. You’ll get a free short story by signing up, and I love to share personal news, books by author friends, and of course my own book news! Here’s the link https://www.subscribepage.com/brendas-newsletter-signup.


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