Interview: Brenda Drake, YA author

Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air-force brat and the continual new kid at school until her family settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Brenda’s fondest memory growing up is that of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tall tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write young adult and middle grade novels with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting bookstores and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappoint).

Brenda writes young adult and middle grade novels. She’s represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. Look for her debut young adult novel, LIBRARY JUMPERS, coming February, 2014 by Month9Books and visit her here.

Let’s check out Brenda’s answers to the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
Today, and each day where my family and friends are healthy and around to enjoy it with me.

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
In My Life by The Beatles. I can’t narrow in on a specific memory of when I first heard it. I just know that it fits life perfectly. I’m sure one of the many adults in my life had played it sometime while I was growing up.

Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to heal. No one would ever be sick again. Of course, I’d be swamped with people stopping by to cure things and stuff. But I’d make tons of friends in the process.

On what occasion do you lie?
Only when it is necessary. There are just times when the truth doesn’t do anyone any good.

What is your present state of mind?
Peaceful. I’m contently happy with my large cup of coffee, at the computer writing, my hubby beside me doing that top secret thing he does, and the Wild Kingdom (aka cats and a dog who thinks he’s a cat) perched on my desk or nestled at my feet.

What is your motto?
Accept gifts. Give back. Be compassionate.

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
Acceptance, because I can be off the wall sometimes and they have to understand and accept my unique humor.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Awesome. Is there a better verb than that? I don’t think so.

Your favorite painting?
Mona Lisa, because the girl looks like she just woke up and didn’t do her hair or makeup. No cares, she’s still loved by masses.

Mona Lisa
Leonardo da Vinci, 1503-05

What is your favorite journey?
To the coffee pot. It’s short and rewarding at the end. But seriously, going to Anne Frank’s annex in Amsterdam was one of my favorites. It makes one very grateful for a peaceful life.

What is your favorite time of day?
Morning. Coffee and writing, need I say more.

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
Dr. Seuss. I really want to know what went on in his mind. How did he come up with all those stories and make them rhyme? All is right in the world when I read his many books at night to the girls. I feel like a kid again and wonder, oh the thinks I can think.

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
This is a tough one. I could die happy today.

Who or what is your first love?
My grandfather. He was such a giving man, and everyone loved him. He showed compassion to all and helped whoever he could when they were down. I still hear his pockets full of change jingling around me, as if he’s letting me know he’ll always watch over me.

What’s the last dream you remember?
I’m not sure I should repeat that here. Ha! No, seriously, I don’t know what are dreams or just my head playing out stories I want to write.

What’s your madeleine?
The smell of Christmas cookies baking. It reminds me of the many years of decorating parties with the ones I love. So many great times and laughs.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?
Family.

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