Friday, May 20, 2011

Thinking in Words by Brandy Bruce

I’m one of those people who thinks in story form. Do you know what I mean? It’s when you’ve read so many books that you can turn any scenario into a romance, adventure, or mystery. Think of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, where the heroine’s overactive imagination makes her turn ordinary people into villains. She can’t help but add just a little melodrama to whatever situation she finds herself in. That’s me. Add to that the fact that I’m a book editor by profession and you can see how books are a huge part of my life.

The truth is that my love affair with reading started way back when I was child, snuggling up to my mother as she read to me. In middle school I discovered Robin Gunn’s Christy Miller series and I was so hooked that I’d count the days impatiently until the next book in the series would be released. I was on the lookout for my own personal “Todd” (Christy Miller’s love interest), checking every guy I knew for “silver-blue eyes” and a passion for God. There’s just something about a well-told story that stirs my soul. I’ve got my stack of favorites that I can read over and over again, and yet I still get wrapped up in the stories.

Several years ago I went on a European tour. I visited Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, and Italy. Talk about scope for the imagination! I was amazed by Stonehenge. I was in awe of Westminster Abbey. I sat at a café near a river, just steps from a Beatrix Potter bookstore. I laid down in the grass and looked up at the Eiffel Tower. As I was on a coach in Paris, I could hear Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA being sung in French! I ate pizza in Rome.

I came home with my mind brimming with stories, and eventually I wrote what ended up being my first novel, Looks Like Love. Can I share a secret with you? Since it’s been published, I’ve reread Looks Like Love and there were moments I was so into the story that I forgot the fact that I was the one who wrote it! I just love the feeling of falling into a good story. Of characters becoming alive to you. Of closing the book and feeling so satisfied. For a book-lover, that’s an experience you want to duplicate over and over.

Has there been a book that left you inspired? A story that you’ve read again and again? For me, a good book is a gift. It stays with me, inspires me, even changes me.

Brandy Bruce is a book editor for Focus on the Family. She makes her home in Castle Rock, Colorado, with her husband and daughter. Looks Like Love is her debut novel.

Her blog

Want more info about Looks Like Love? Here's the book blurb:
Following a break-up with her boyfriend, an unfulfilling career, and a general bad taste in clothes, Kasey Addison feels lost in her own life. With the help of her best friend, Amanda, Kasey embarks on an unexpected journey to rediscover life and love, starting with a whirlwind London jaunt. Surrounded by red telephone booths, double-decker buses, and men in fuzzy black hats, Kasey falls in love with mud baths, Jane Austen, and stone cathedrals. And in the middle of London she meets Lincoln Davis, a Texan with a really great tan, and her life gets even more unrecognizable.

When her spur-of-the-moment vacation is over, Kasey, a junior marketing consultant, finds herself on the marketing team for LETA, a growing cosmetics company. Kasey's thrown into the fast-paced world of promotional galas, photo shoots, and magazine interviews. When the owners of LETA decide to release their very first fragrance, Kasey’s new assignment is to find out what love looks like and then find a way to sell it. With the help of Amanda and a few new friends, and with a rekindled relationship with the Lover of her soul, Kasey discovers that sometimes love looks like what we least expect.

And here's the book trailer:


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