My friend, Gency Brown, recently published her first novel, A Right Fine Life. I attended her book launch party at one of our locally owned bookstores, Books on the Bosque, an excellent store that welcomes author events.
The book is a contemporary saga of a young man who dreams of becoming a country western recording artist and the challenges he encounters as he learns about the tradeoffs required to achieve fame. The research that went into this book made it come alive for me. I learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes world of country music. Gency is active in the country music community, and I asked her how important it was to write about a character breaking into the music business in her first book.
“I wasn’t ticking off an item on my bucket list,” she said. “The character grabbed me and told his story through my memories and imagination. I knew people like him. I wanted to show that not all country music stars are drunks or drug addicts. They’re good people in a hard business.”
When I asked Gency about her biggest challenge in bringing her story to life, she mentioned the editing process, and how valuable her beta readers were, as well as a helpful critique partner. Gency also mentioned that she attends writer’s conferences, always a wonderful source of information and inspiration.
Gency is retired, as are many of my writing students, and I asked her what advice she has for writers starting their books later in life. “Believe in your story and yourself,” Gency declared. “You bring a lifetime of experience to the work but never stop learning.” Good advice for us all.
Finishing a first novel and having it accepted by a traditional publisher is an enormous accomplishment, and when I asked her what was most rewarding about the process, she smiled and said, “Finishing! I had doubts throughout the writing, but kept going, and now I’m proud of the finished product.”
Given the enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers at the launch party, it was clear that her readers appreciate her efforts.
You can pick up a copy of A Right Fine Life at Amazon and and, of course, Books on the Bosque. Gency’s website is www.gencybrown.com and her social media is under gencybrownauthor. Her website blog offers insights into her writing process. Check it out for words of wisdom from a published author!