Brenda Hasse is a multi-award-winning author and freelance writer. She has written and published young adult historical romance, pre-teen historical mystery, and adult metaphysical/visionary novels. She is also the author of several picture books for children. Brenda volunteers her time researching the history of her home town and writing scripts for the Fenton Village Players to perform during the Fenton Ghost Walk and Fenton Historical Cemetery Walk. She is a guest teacher at Fenton High School and resides in Fenton, Michigan with her husband and cats. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, The Moment of Trust.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Moment of Trust is about.
Confined to a nunnery, Rhoslyn, a high-spirited seventeen-year-old, struggles to abide by the strict rules of the convent and yearns to return home to Bardenham. Her prayers are answered when Jayden, a young lord from Aldwinster, and his knight arrive with orders to escort her from the abbey. She ignores Jayden’s unwanted forwardness, his flirtatious stare, prying eyes, and arrogant demeanor throughout the journey to their destination.
Mesmerized by Rhoslyn’s aqua eyes, silky brunette hair, and feisty yet confident determination, Jayden finds the woman stunningly attractive. Accustomed to women swooning in his presence, he fails to understand her frigid behavior toward him.
A permanent guest of Aldwinster, Lady Carling, a widow, no longer has a home to call her own. She is determined to become Jayden’s bride and will undermine any woman who blocks her way, including Rhoslyn.
When Jayden and Rhoslyn learn of their betrothal, he vows to prove his loyalty and win her heart. Will she trust his change of character or continue to resist his affection and endure a loveless marriage?
What inspired you to write about a young lord who has to escort a girl from a nunnery?
I like to create conflict and tension between protagonists. Jayden, a handsome young Lord of Aldwinster, is a womanizer, proud, and crosses the line into arrogance, or at least Rhoslyn believes so. Women are drawn to him and he enjoys their attention.
Tell us more about Rhoslyn. What makes her so special?
Rhoslyn is a self-reliant, confident, strong-minded individual, and strikingly beautiful. Even though she is small in stature, she has been well trained in wielding a dagger and a marksman with the longbow.
Why did you involve Lady Carling in the story?
Lady Carling, the antagonist, desires to become Jayden’s wife and causes distrust within Jayden and Rhoslyn’s relationship.
What fascinates you about history?
Everything! History entails stories from the past. It entertains us through individuals’ experiences, the choices they made, and hopefully, guides us to make better decisions.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Writing is an art form that paints pictures within the reader’s mind. It is creating. I appreciate all forms of art – two dimensional, three dimensional, music, and performing. I underwent two open-heart surgeries as a child. My doctor encouraged me to dance to keep my heart strong. I danced at the Flint Institute of Arts and performed Whiting Auditorium in Flint, MI until I went to college and earned my degree as a computer programmer analyst. I like to spend time in my flower garden and bake from scratch.
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
Designing the cover of my books is one of my favorite things to do. Each cover includes a picture of a significant item that is key to the storyline. For The Moment Of Trust, I found the background on Pinterest. It resembles a piece of scrapbooking paper that is applied to the spine and wrapped onto the front and back covers. The picture of the box was purchased from iStock and the font is a download that I am particularly fond of for my historical romance novels. I made a mock-up of the cover. My graphic illustrator puts the finishing touches on it.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively as an author?
I believe my writing has become better over time. I look back at my earlier work and cringe a little. I have evolved for the better, or at least I hope so. Like other authors, I am my own worst critic.
Which actress would you imagine in the role of Rhoslyn, and why?
A good question. Rhoslyn is seventeen years old, so someone of that age. I would leave the decision up to the casting director and hope he/she chose someone accomplished in portraying the character’s disposition. It would be fascinating to work as a consultant though.
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
Each character is different and must evolve, learn a lesson, and grow in morality as the story progresses. Overall, kindness, loyalty, and truth prevail within each of my books.
Do you ever have days when writing is a struggle?
Oh, yes. When I am home, which many of us have experienced over the past weeks, it is easy for me to become distracted by laundry needing to be done, my cats wanting a treat or my attention, my husband asking my opinion and simply wanting to chat, and meals to be prepared. I do much better in an isolated area like a coffee shop or a public library. I think it is important for me to know what I am going to write before I sit at my computer in order to avoid writer’s block. Are there days I don’t write? Absolutely. Life gets in the way. I set goals I want to achieve and push myself to achieve them.
Talk to us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
I like to think I write in layers. I usually write a ‘happily ever after’ ending and know how the book will end before I begin. I research character names for the meaning to reflect their personality. I have a 3″ x 5″ character card for each character that describes their physical attributes and personality, including faults. This helps me stay consistent throughout the writing process. I also have a card for each kingdom and seating at the High Table. An idea for the protagonist’s problem usually begins my creative process. I also set a goal counterproductive to the protagonists for the antagonist. I do a rough outline and begin writing. I participate in National Novel Writing Month and write 50,000 of the novel each November, well since 2012. I return to the novel in January and begin a rewrite adding details followed by two to three additional pass-throughs where I flesh it out even more. I run the manuscript through Grammarly before sending it to my beta readers. While they are going over the manuscript, I am busy designing the cover and writing the synopsis for the back. Once I receive the feedback from my betas, I make changes, edit, and format the book for printing. I have a professional formatter, who adds the headers and page numbers for me. My editor goes through the manuscript identifying errors, I make the changes and convert the file to a pdf and ebook. With the number of pages confirmed, I receive a template from my printer and forward it, along with my cover mock-up, synopsis, author picture, and bio, to my graphic illustrator, who polished up the ebook cover and print cover. The remaining files are converted to their requirement, uploaded, and approved before printing.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently editing the third book of a trilogy. It is about an afterlife journey of a woman who passes away from cancer. The first book is titled On The Third Day, book 2 – From Beyond The Grave, and book 3 – Until We Meet Again. I am also writing a novel based on a true event about human trafficking titled A Victim Of Desperation.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My website is www.BrendaHasseBooks.com. I have author pages on Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads. My books may be ordered through any bookstore are available online through Bookshop, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Kobo, and Apple.
As a child, I struggled to learn to read. I was one of five out of 30 in my class and had to work with a paraprofessional to improve my reading skill. I find it quite ironic that I now write for others to read.