I have seen today’s guest everywhere! Well, her books anyway. And – to my shame – I have not yet been able to squeeze in some time to read one. But my buddy Kav loves them which means I will too. And so will you!
Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Past-President of the ACFW Chapter of the Year, MN-NICE, from Minnesota. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball, and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 29 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.
Her newest book, Capturing Beauty, released February 7th from Vivant Press.
He’s a nature photographer returning to make amends. She’s a camera-shy naturalist seeking privacy. Their love for a boy brings them together, but the camera could drive them apart.
Photographer Haven Carlysle is a changed man. Six years earlier, he had run from his tragedy-filled life in Duluth. Now he’s back in town to capture the North Shore’s beauty … and to recapture the love of his son. But that means making amends with his ex-girlfriend too. When camera-leery Callie Beaumont steps in to bridge the relationship between Haven and his former family, he’s wary, but she’s his only hope.
Callie Beaumont is surrounded by beauty. Her parents are local news celebrities. Her sister is a model. And Callie is … Ordinary. All her life, Callie has longed to work outdoors soaking up God-breathed beauty, and the opportunity is finally on the horizon. But being the liaison between the handsome photographer and his son has thrown her dreams, and her heart, into chaos.
Can Haven capture her heart when she won’t let him capture her image? And will his poor choices cost Callie her dream job and him the love of his son?
Yay! Hi Brenda! Welcome to the blog 🙂 Thanks so much for chatting with me. I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Brenda: Tough one! I like them both, but I’d probably reach for an apple because you can eat them peel and all.
Carrie: True. They are much more convenient.
Brenda: Winter, definitely! And I live in Minnesota where we can have very harsh winters. But, I really dislike the heat and humidity. You can always put more clothes on, but you can only take so much off.
Carrie: Amen & amen.
Brenda: I like both, grew up with both on a dairy farm, but I’ll have to say cats because they’re so much easier to work with. And I do love a cat’s ever-changing attitude.
Carrie: Speaking of attitude, my dog Zuzu is not pleased with your answer. She does not feel cats are easier to work with… case in point, their ever-changing attitude 😉 Never fear though – Zuzu is fairly forgiving.
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Brenda: Reading or eating chocolate are what first came to mind. 😊 But then I’m reminded of Elastigirl in The Incredibles, an amazing, flexible, stay-at-home mom. She’s my hero! I may not be as flexible as Elastigirl, but as a former stay-at-home mom whose kids turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself, I can certainly relate to her.
Carrie: Reading and eating chocolate are excellent superpowers to have 😉 LOL. And yes! Elastigirl is all kinds of awesome. Being a mom of any sort – stay-at-home, work-outside-the-home, etc – is a superpower all unto itself!
Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Brenda: Definitely Jane Eyre. I’ve always loved a non-traditional, non-perfect hero, someone who isn’t the prettiest or smartest, but has a big heart and has depth beyond the first impressions. Trixie Belden is a close second.
Carrie: I love that description of Jane Eyre (and heroines like her, of which there are far too few)!! And Trixie – gotta love Trixie!
If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Brenda: My characters would say they see a bit of themselves in me, sometimes the good, and sometimes the bad. They would say that I’m honest about people, and that I always try to understand people and situations from multiple perspectives, not just my own.
Carrie: That’s so important – seeing people and situations from multiple perspectives.
In Capturing Beauty, your hero Haven and your heroine Callie both spend a lot of time absorbing the beauty of nature. Where is your favorite spot to go to be ‘wowed’ by creation?
Brenda: No surprise, my favorite spot is right up in Callie and Haven’s region. I love Lake Superior, and I could just sit at the water’s edge and marvel at God’s immense power. I witnessed a sunrise over the lake this past fall, and was awed by God’s ever-changing masterpiece.
Carrie: That is some of the most beautiful part of our country, up there. Second only to God’s country which is of course Kentucky 😉
Between Haven and Callie, who do you most closely relate to and why?
Brenda: I can really relate to Callie. Like me, she loves God, and loves His creation, and sees beauty in all He made, even in the earth worms. Yet she has trouble seeing herself as a beautiful creation. She knows it in her head, but has trouble convincing her heart of that. That’s where Haven comes in. 😊
Carrie: Hmm… you and Callie had me until “earth worms”. But ohhhh how so many of we women fall victim to the same lies. That we aren’t beautiful enough … or talented enough … or just “enough”.
What do you most want readers to take away from Capturing Beauty?
Brenda: I’d love for readers to think about seeing beyond our first impressions. First impressions do matter, but they only give a shallow sneak peek of the entire story / person. It’s always important to move beyond the initial reaction and see the depth of what God has made. If we could all look at a person and see the heart God sees, the world would be a much better place.
Carrie: Amen. So true.
Again thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Brenda: Thank you so much for welcoming me, Carrie! This has been a fun interview!
Right now I’m working on Planting Hope, book #3 in my Where the Heart Is series. This story is about Callie’s model sister Jess and the local candy store owner. Planting Hope is scheduled for release this coming fall!
Brenda is offering an autographed copy of Capturing Beauty to one of my readers (continental US only). Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies.
What about you? Where is your favorite spot to go to be ‘wowed’ by creation?