Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ask An Author: Rhonda Brutt


A couple of weeks ago, my Aunt Rhonda became a published author. She wrote a book entitled Voyance. Since then, I've been having her answer your questions about the writing process.

(On a random side note before some questions get answered, I'd like to give you all a heads up that I shall be doing a giveaway. This will be my first giveaway. Of course, I am currently hampered by a looming finals week. I just wanted to let you all know what's stirring in my brain.)
Asked by Greg: What makes a good book?

Answered by Rhonda: This is a highly opinionated question! A professor in literature might answer that it needs to be written on the highest literary scale possible. You know, big words, eloquently flowing sentences, that kind of stuff. And to a certain extent, and it certain scenarios, I would agree. But when I read for pleasure, it’s just for that, pleasure. I don’t want to be looking up the meaning of big remote words that only kids who compete in spelling bees know. (and yes, I used to like to compete in the spelling bees!) My life is complicated enough without cluttering it up more with a book that I’m struggling to understand. I hear this same thing from many adults.

Reading for many people is an escape from the norm, it’s letting yourself get caught up in a story that is out of what is ordinary for you. To put it more simply, reading can be, among other things, a form of entertainment. When reading a book at your leisure becomes a grammar lesson, it can lose its appeal real fast. If you are a student studying English, you might disagree. It may be hard to envision reading as entertainment in our visual media world of movies, TV, computers, etc. But when you begin to think of reading in this light, it’s kind of fun actually. I also think a great story makes a good book and there is plenty of proof on the market today for that! Some of the best selling series that are currently out there aren’t necessarily that well written, but the story is so entertaining that it pulls you in regardless. If a reader gets engaged in your story, so much so that they can’t put the book down, or they are lying awake at night wondering what happens next, you’ve done your job, and you’ve done it well, regardless if you wrote it at only a 9th grade level.

Asked by Nancy: Since you wrote about ESP, do you have it or know someone that does?

Answered by Rhonda: I think most people have some ESP or psychological intuition wired into them. We have probably all experienced at least one of those “Twilight Zone or just plain freaky” moments where something happens that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. For instance I have two sisters who live very far away from me. Yet I feel very “in tune” at times with what’s going on in their lives and I’ve heard this from many other people as well. Perhaps this is because the physiological bond between siblings is very strong as they are closest blood relatives an individual has. Of course it could be because being raised together, you just shared so many similar experiences. Who knows? If you are ever sitting around with a group of friends and you find that your conversation is stale or lacking, just bring up the topic of ESP. You’ll get to hear some very unusual stories, I guarantee it because I have a few of my own I could tell, and no, they are not included in my book!

Asked by Kristen: What are your favorite books/authors?

Answered by Rhonda: I really don’t have any particularly favorite books as I enjoy all typed of genres, with the exception of true crime. Crime is not something I enjoy reading about, particularly since I can turn on the nightly news and see all the disturbing crime and violence I want. I have probably read well over 200 young adult novels in the past few years. I guess if I had to pick a favorite YA author, I would have to say it is Phillip Pullman. Mr. Pullman wrote the trilogy titled His Dark Materials, which included the books The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass and all of these received fabulous ratings from all of the big reviewers. Yes, he is a renowned atheist, but it didn’t distract from the quality of his writing and I didn’t find these books to be offensive in any way, of course that is my personal opinion. I really also enjoy reading anything by Phillip Yancey, a Christian author, and I believe that I own all of his books, with the exception of his newest book which I really do need to put on my Kindle. Phillip Yancey’s work never disappoints me. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve enjoyed all of the books in the adult vampire series that Kerrelyn Sparks writes, so I guess variety really is the spice of life!