Monday, June 20, 2011

Lois D. Brown Interview

So I have a little treat today...another e-book prize to dangle before you. I know the submission deadline is past so those of you that entered can be more excited and those of you that didn't enter can learn more about a really great author and e-book.

Today we welcome Lois D. Brown and her non-fiction e-book Be Still: Stress and Anxiety Management for Latter-day Saints.

Lois D. Brown received her bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s degree in communications. She has worked in Washington, D.C., as a news correspondent and in Utah as a corporate communications specialist. Since 1994, she has been a freelance writer, editing and writing nearly fifty articles and books on varied subjects. In her own life, Lois has put into action the material in this book to better manage stress and anxiety.

She is even more interesting than that! To read longer bio, go to her website.

How diverse are the nonfiction subjects you've written on? What are the subjects that you've most enjoyed or are dearest to your heart?

I studied journalism in college, and I don't think I'll ever completely get newspaper writing out of my system. I'm a news junkie at heart. As a news correspondent in Washington D.C., I covered everything from "happy feely" stories (like the visit of the queen of England) to political nitty-gritty congressional hearings.

One of my favorite things I've written is a historical article for the Ensign about the LDS Church in Russia. I wrote it years ago, but every once in a while I pull it out and re-read it. Each time I do, I get this joyful, excited feeling like I had while I was researching and writing it. Kinda weird, but true.

Not weird at all! I'm intrigued by Russian history.

Your past careers sound fascinating! And where did writing fit into all of this? Did you always know you wanted to write? Would you say your past work experience has contributed to your nonfiction works?

I'm the youngest of seven children. All of them graduated from college with either an engineering, math, or computer science degree . . . except me. I'm definitely the black sheep of the family, but I've always loved reading, writing, researching, and discovering. I think writing has been a great way for me to combine all my loves.

After I married and had a child, I stopped working full-time. I wanted to start a freelance writing business that I could do from home. I sent out a bunch of contact letters, made a bunch of phone calls, and got absolutely no response. What is interesting is that months later I got a call out of the blue from someone who needed a ghostwriter. They had never received one of my resumes, but had heard of my name through a friend of a friend.

In the end, that first project kick-started a 15-year career as a ghostwriter. I feel I was very blessed. I believe when we keep moving forward with our writing dreams, good things happen. BUT the waiting can be hard. I know firsthand.

I think most of us are in the waiting part of this journey, so stories like yours are always very encouraging!

How did you and Dr. Anderson come together and decide to write this book?

Victoria is such a fascinating person, and I feel lucky to be her friend. We met when she worked in Utah but lived in California. She commuted (by plane) each week to Utah. Can you imagine? She loved her job and her clientele, and that made it worth it to her.

She knew I was a writer, and I knew she was a fabulous psychologist. The desire to write a book about stress management for Latter-day Saints evolved over a year or so. When we finally set out to do it, it didn't take long. She had a lifetime full of stories to incorporate into the book, and I loved organizing them and putting it together. After writing Be Still, we had the opportunity for several years to teach about stress management at BYU's Education Week. After the classes, students would come up to talk with us, and I was struck (again) with the amount of pressures members of the church face. It is sad to see how some of us perceive anxiety and stress as a mark of weakness, when in reality they are part of normal life.

I was a good choice as a co-author for this book because I've had to work hard at trying to "Be Still." A lot of my learning on the subject is hands-on. You know how in Relief Society the person giving the lesson learns more than the ones listening? That's how I feel about writing this book.

It sounds like you were the perfect person to co-author this book. The best advice comes from somebody who has been there in trenches.

I see from your website that you have recently turned your hand to fiction. Do you have any big projects in the works?

For years I was scared to write fiction. It seemed overwhelming, and I worried it would sound cheesy. A few years back I finally got the guts up and wrote a young adult urban fantasy. I had so much fun I then wrote a middle grade mystery. Recently, on Amazon I e-published a collection of short adventure stories for any age about treasure hunting. I wish I hadn't been intimidated by writing fiction for so long. Lesson learned? Face your fears!

For only $2.99 I think I'm checking that one out:)

And the BIG question each MMW REALLY wants to know...How do you balance motherhood and writing? Any secrets or magic spells are appreciated.

Wow, hard question. Like everyone else, I have moments when I feel I'm spending too much time with my writing and ignoring my family, or when I feel frustrated that I never get to write because of all my mom jobs. Everyone is different, but I think it never hurts to do a monthly "time inventory." This is when I purposely pay attention to how much time I spend on certain things. Lately, I realized I spend WAY too much time on email, so I made a goal to check it only twice a day. (I know some of you are probably thinking that's excessive too, but for me it will be a great improvement.)

Balance is one of those things that is going to take me a lifetime--or more--to figure out. But I figure the most important thing is to keep trying.

You are right! It's so easy to get discouraged, but the whole point is that we just keep the time inventory idea. Thanks for your time, Lois. I'll be checking out your book very soon :)

1 comment:

  1. Yes! A time inventory! That's exactly what I need! It's so nice to get to know you Lois! I would love to hear more about your ghost writing and how one breaks into doing that! I am excited to read your book as well. Just trust me when I say that stress has been my middle name lately!



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