Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself!
I am Brenda Grace de Jong, and professionally, I hold a Master’s Degree in Human Services Leadership with a minor in Women’s Studies. I have worked with individuals from every population, and delight in encouraging and aiding women to fulfill their highest goals. Personally, I am an avid barefoot, tree-hugging, candle-lighting student of the Universe, who follows the phases of the moon and the turn of the seasons.
Tell us about your latest project or publication, including where readers can purchase it.
I am an author of both short and flash fiction published works, and I have just released a book entitled, “My Name is Elpee: A Trilogy”. ‘Elpee’ is a darkish fantasy about a girl from a Brooklyn brownstone who escapes the neglect and abuse within it by creating a realm in which she experiences both fun and pain on her journey to wholeness. It is available on Amazon.
How did you become a writer?
When I was a young child, my mother foretold that I would write a book and her words have stayed with me throughout my life. I was a dreadful and delinquent student in grammar and high school and discovered that utilizing my writing skills could make the difference between a failing and a passing grade.
Tell us something people would be interested, but surprised to know about you.
Publically, I am seen as a highly educated, reasonably intelligent woman. People also perceive me to be privileged and ‘all together’ . . . It is partly an illusion. I have done community service, volunteered, and cleaned factories in the middle of the night, to pay my bills and put myself through college. Also, I possess a slim amount of common sense and often do not think things through before doing them. Although this has mostly served me well, there have been times it ended dreadfully. Here are a few examples of the latter: As a grown woman I have: accidentally driven my car into my house; fallen out of a tree; broke my back and was rendered incapable of walking; concocted a mixture of bleach, turpentine, and paint thinner in an enclosed shed resulting in a police boat ride off Fire Island. The list is endless. They all have back-stories, which made sense to me.
What was the high point or best part of your latest project?
The relief of, after almost a decade, publishing, “My Name is Elpee: A Trilogy”, which finally freed me to pursue writing my next book!
What was the hardest part or the lowest point of your latest project?
Becoming emotionally ready to let go of the story contained within the book in order to publish it.
What is the one you would like your readers to know and remember about you or your latest project if nothing else?
I am fortunate to have experienced a number of different lives in this go-around on the planet. In a more recent one, I left behind an extremely affluent existence, and all I knew, to construct (brick by brick) my authentic life. I stood, stripped of my identity, in a stark and humble place for several years before I could see my way to the other side.
It was through courage and grace that I am where I am today. As said by Elpee, “People will think you odd or insane, and perhaps you are, but weigh your options. Is it better to leave and be deemed crazy or to stay and be driven mad?”
What have you found has been the most successful marketing forum for your latest project?
I am still exploring those avenues, however, above all, I write because I must, and as an aside, I market.
What is your biggest hope for your latest project?
That those who read it will find value in the many hidden messages woven into it.
Please share your links where readers can learn more about you and your work!
What advice would you give prospective authors?
Identify as an author. Write. Ignore the rules. Edit later.
What is the one thing or skill that has helped you be most successful as a writer?
Dropping out of Chemistry class in high school and taking typing instead.
What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
I indulge in many and feel guilt about few.
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
That people would push through their fear of change and uncover the world that exists on the other side of it.
What are YOU currently reading?
“The Alienist” by Caleb Carr (again).
Thanks for visiting with me today Brenda. Your story is inspiring and your advice to writers is insightful!!!
I write this with compassion, empathy, and in support of our brothers and sisters in France who are reeling from yesterday’s senseless attacks, and in memory of those who lost their lives there. For those of you who feel the need to politicize this event – shame on you. This is not about you, or your political ideologies, or your need to admonish those you feel superior to. This is not an American issue, but rather a global issue. This is not about the right wing or the left wing; it is about humans, about the people who died senselessly and a nation that must learn to live with the aftermath of these attacks. This is not about your being right and your point being proven correct; instead, it is about a world that has been forever changed because of extremists, regardless of the roots or origins of those extremists. This is a time to offer strength and hope, not a time to analyze and point fingers. So, please, if you cannot speak from your heart, then try to remember what your emotions were on September 11, 2001 and for the many days that followed. Allow the good people of France to grieve and mourn for what occurred, and for those and that which were lost. Please, support them in that effort and save your critical, impertinent, and untimely comments for a more appropriate time and place…if indeed one exists.
My head will explode if I do not purge the information that runs amok within it on a continual and folly-filled basis; therefore, I must convert it to the written word and commit it to ‘paper’. I invite you take this journey with me and follow my writings, musings, isms, and grisms…not to mention flotsoms and jetsoms…and polys and wogs. They may make you think, answer some questions, or perhaps simply entertain you. There is of course the last, and least, chance that what is contained in my writings may solely make you profoundly grateful that you are not me.
Please and Thank You.