Interview Question: When did you start writing? Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Author Brea Behn: I have been writing stories since I was in elementary school, full length books since I was fifteen. The first story I ever wrote had no words. It was a series of drawings I drew for my twin brother about mice secretly plotting against a cat family who lived like people. It was dark, but he loved it. I wrote the last one when he died and put it into his coffin with him. The first book I ever wrote took around eight years. It was a mess of emotion and grief over his sudden death. While recovering from surgery, I pulled it apart and put bits and pieces of it into the first non-fiction book I wrote and published: Death Sucks, Life Doesn’t Have To. I had been holding on to so much for so long, it only took me three days to write it.
Interview Question/request: Please describe your desk/workspace:
Wisconsin Author Brea Behn: My workspace is a computer desk in my living room. I am a stay at home mom, so it’s a nice central location where I can keep an eye on the kids while I am working. Someday when they are older I have plans for my own office, but I have learned where you write is not as important as just getting some writing done!
Interview Questions: Julie C. Eger, please, describe your desk/workplace.
Julie C. Eger: My first response was; which one? I have two main desks where I write. The main one is in my therapy office, and I try to keep it looking half-way respectable, because, you know, people are coming in and they look around. They see what’s there. But it’s hard to write there because I have to keep putting all my ‘ideas’ away, because, well…my desk would look like what’s going on in my mind, messy! When I’m in writing mode, I like to sprawl out. And that is what I can do at my other desk, which is upstairs. With a door. And a lock. A sign that says “No Admittance – Author at Work! PS: I still love you but I’m not coming out until I finish this scene…” And a Don Williams CD. For some reason I’m most comfortable with Don Williams singing in the background. There are papers everywhere. Things taped to the wall, as though the whole wall is my personal ‘storyboard’. There is a bed next to the desk, and I’ll have all sorts of research papers and maps scattered about. Pens. Pencils. My Acer laptop. The window. Where I watch the Downy Woodpecker pecking away, same as I’m pecking away on my keyboard, searching for something good, something worth digesting. Alice, the housekeeper on the Brady Bunch, would have a field day trying to make heads or tails of the mess in my office!
Getting to Know You Interviews
Interview Question: Julie C. Eger, what is the most recent statement you’ve heard that has stopped you in your tracks and why?
Julie C. Eger: What with everything going on, you would think it would be about politics, but it was something a man said in the middle of a conversation we were having about being creative and the ideas some people had about our creativity. He said, “There is a big difference between being under someone’s wing and being under someone’s thumb.” I immediately had a vision of myself under a huge thumb, arms and legs flailing as I desperately tried to crawl out from under it. I wondered why his statement affected me so profoundly. I thought maybe it was because I often have a hard time following directions, let alone rules. Even when I was a little girl. Sometimes when I’m supposed to follow a rule, it feels like I’ve been backed into a corner, and when I’m backed into a corner, my Grandma Carolyn taught me to come out swinging. And then I thought maybe it was because I have been accused of being highly creative. Highly creative people seem to tune out of reality and the rules are different there. It’s a world where anything goes. If being under someone’s wing starts to feel like I’m under their thumb, that creativity becomes stifled or interrupted and that’s where things can get less than pretty. (she says with a raised eyebrow and a smile.)
Interview question: Julie C. Eger, do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I would have to say the first ‘real’ story I ever wrote was titled The Rat Who Ruined Christmas. I was about eight years old. Before the rat story I was always writing stories about a princess who kept losing things, but those were more like lists than stories. But the rat story, it started out with The sun was shining high and bright on Christmas day…and then it went into how the family handled Christmas after they found out a rat had chewed up all the wrapped presents and ruined Christmas morning. The family went on to give each other ‘thoughtful thoughts’ as gifts and the rat wandered away hanging his head in shame until the youngest member of the family left him a piece of cheese even though he’d destroyed her present. The thoughtful thoughts the family gave to one another carried them through this sad time and the story ended with…The sun was shining high and bright the day after Christmas.
Julie C. Eger 7/11/16
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These mini-interviews will allow you to get to know some of today’s best ‘unknown’ authors. You are literally in for a treat!