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Beverly Brandt spent the majority of her teen years scribbling one story after another in the notebooks she carried with her at all times. Even then, she dreamed of becoming a published author, but fate had other plans for her. Her life took a detour through fast food and financial analysis, but she finally returned to her first loveŚwriting. Determined to fulfill her lifelong dream, Beverly completed her first two books and sold them both in record time.

Beverly loves hearing from her readers. You can visit her on the web at www.beverlybrandt.com or e-mail her at beverly@beverlybrandt.com.

Bonnie Rock caught up with Beverly Brandt in October for this interview.


 
RECORD TIME
St. Martin's Press
October 2002
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True North
St. Martin's Press
January 2002
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Writerspace: How did you get started writing? How long was it before you sold your first novel?

Beverly Brandt: Writing and I go way back! I wanted to be an author back when I was a teenager. I even wrote to MY FRIEND FLICKA author Mary O'Hara to ask if I could write a sequel to her series. I wanted to give her protagonist, Ken, a girlfriend. I guess I should have realized then that I was destined to write romance!

I stopped writing when I was in my later teens after getting a "real" job at McDonald's. Writing really wasn't something anyone encouraged me to do for a living, so I shelved my dream of becoming an author in favor of college and a regular paycheck. I went through a period of major burnout in my late twenties and had one of those, "What do I really want out of life?" moments. I have to tell you, the answer wasn't, "I want to be a financial analyst for the rest of my years"! It was then that I started reading romance and rediscovered my dream of becoming a writer. I sold TRUE NORTH, the first novel I ever completed, to St. Martin's Press six months after I wrote "The End" on that last page. But I guess you could say that it took me twenty years to get published!

Writerspace: Could you tell readers a little bit about your current release, RECORD TIME?

Beverly Brandt: RECORD TIME is a humorous romantic suspense starring disaster-magnet Kylie Rogers and uptight music mogul David Gamble. Kylie's parents are famous actors, her brother is a successful author, her sister, a rising pop star, and she is . . . an unemployed accountant with a major crush on one of the most successful businessmen in Seattle. Record company owner David Gamble has no idea who Kylie is the night she tumbles out of his home office window and into the surrounding shrubbery. He soon discovers that disaster follows Kylie around like a faithful puppy dog, and, in record time, David finds himself faced with royalty thieves, CD pirates, a warehouse break-in, a boat chase, three Shih Tzus, a cook who resembles Sylvester Stallone, and the ultimate sacrifice for our hero-his sense of control.

Writerspace: In RECORD TIME you go into a great deal of detail about the music industry. How did you do your research? Is there a particular reason that the music industry is of such interest to you?

Beverly Brandt: On the research question, I'll bet I have more books on the recording industry than any music company president! I actually enjoy researching different industries and careers for my books. In RECORD TIME, I set out to discover how to sabotage an independent record label, so I read a lot about the business side of the industry. Then, to get some flavor for the more artistic side, I read books and articles about the actual recording process and some "insider scoop"-type books that had stories about the musicians themselves. Obviously, much of what I learned didn't make its way into the book, but I've found you just never know what nugget of gold you're going to find when you start digging through the research materials.

There's no special reason that I chose the music industry for the backdrop of RECORD TIME. I have no connections to the business or anything. It was just something that interested me at the time I was brainstorming characters for the book.

Writerspace: The characters in RECORD TIME were simply priceless. I have to admit that there were times when I wanted to slap Kylie for her seeming inability to think about the consequences of her actions before she acted, but she always took responsibility and solved the problem in the end. What inspired Kylie and David?

Beverly Brandt: Ah, poor Kylie! I don't believe that she's unable to think about the consequences of her actions-I think she just has a skewed vision in her own mind of what those consequences will be. I have to say that, so far, I haven't had real-world inspirations for any of my characters. They spring to life in my head as if they're real people. That said, I can see now that Kylie resembles Lucy in the old I LOVE LUCY television shows. She thinks like Lucy would think, which is totally illogical to the rest of us. Like Lucy, though, everything always turns out all right for Kylie in the end.

David came about as a result of Kylie's kookiness. I had this vision in my mind of a guy who was always trying to control the outcome of every situation and how vexed he'd be by someone like Kylie, who doesn't know the meaning of the word "control"!

Writerspace: Will you be writing any other books including characters from RECORD TIME? I know that at the end of the novel I really didn't want it to end. And not to give away the end, but you did leave one particular character hanging, so to speak. Do you have plans for more books with these characters?

Beverly Brandt: I'm glad to hear that you didn't want the story to end! I know exactly which character you're talking about, and I left her story open-ended because she'll need a book of her own to get her comeuppance! At this point, however, I don't have concrete plans for any books connected to RECORD TIME. My third book, ROOM SERVICE, which is a May 2003 release, is connected to my fourth, tentatively titled GOLD DIGGING. I do have a three-book series planned after that, but no one, including my agent, has even seen a proposal for that yet and none of the characters are connected to RECORD TIME.

I hope to have a long career in writing, though, so you may see Robyn Rogers, Bradley Nelson, and Clint Walsh starring in their own books at some point . . .

Writerspace: Why did you decide to write romantic comedy? You have a wonderful comedic voice. Did you start out writing comedy, or did you discover it along the way?

Beverly Brandt: Thank you! I really never set out to write comedy, it just sort of happened as I was writing. I think the comedy is a function of how I view the world. I'm always the one with the wisecrack, or the one to take a small event and look for the humorous twist that makes it larger-than-life. As an example, there's a scene in RECORD TIME where Kylie accidentally backs her Mustang into David's new car. Now, in and of itself, that isn't funny. But wait, I thought, what if Kylie asks David not to report it to her insurance company? And, being Kylie, it isn't because she doesn't want to pay higher rates-it's because she feels sorry for her insurance company. And why would she feel sorry for them? Because of a recent "lawnmower incident" that cost them thousands of dollars to settle on her behalf. So, by taking an ordinary event and making something unexpected happen, I (hopefully!) added some humor to the situation.

Writerspace: What are you currently working on? What will your next release after RECORD TIME be?

Beverly Brandt: The most interesting thing I'm currently working on is a website for the three-book series that I mentioned above. It's about a group of female ex-FBI Special Agents who have started a company called Partners In Crime. One reviewer has labeled my books as "humorous romantic suspense" and these books will definitely be in that same vein. I haven't sold the series yet, but I'm hopeful that the books will find a home and be out in 2004.

My next release after RECORD TIME is titled ROOM SERVICE and is scheduled to be in bookstores in May of 2003. ROOM SERVICE features a penniless heiress, a bucktoothed Boxer, and a hotelier who's a sucker for damsels in distress. One of my favorite scenes is the one where my heroine's belongings are being auctioned off-very much against her will. But don't worry, everything will turn out all right in the end. That's what I love about romance!

Writerspace: Finally, how can readers contact you?

Beverly Brandt: Readers can visit me on the web at www.beverlybrandt.com or e-mail me at beverly@beverlybrandt.com.


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