Brenda Sloan started writing in response to the challenge, “One can’t simply just write a book.” Accepting this challenge gave life to two novels: The Elusive Mot Juste and Holy Unorthodox, and turned an amazing woman into an author worthy of recognition. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four children, and their goofy Labrador, Buddy.
“I never set out to become a writer.
I have always been a reader. I have read others’ works, be they fiction or nonfiction, philosophy or religion, poetry or prose – but unlike Goldilocks, none was “just right.” So I began to write down my own words, bits and pieces, here and there. The more I wrote, the more comfortable it felt. I started to find my own niche.
It was during this process that I came to realize the journey was more rewarding than the destination. Writing became a method to re-live a moment, a thought, an idea. And as the author, I got to choose what to put in and what to take out, what to make real and what to make fantasy, who gets to live and who must not. Words became the messenger of my imagination, and they were compelling. They stimulated my senses and empowered my mind.
I find my time constantly split between the living, breathing people around me and thinking about or listening to my characters. These are my parallel universes. My characters accompany me everywhere (in my head, of course) and are always embroiled in a myriad of dialogues or happenings. So I ask you, does this qualify me as insane that I hear their voices? The good news is that I can control what they say and do…so far, although occasionally one will tweak me the wrong way so I simply erase them–write them out, or worse, I punish them with my words…and I can be ruthless.
I still don’t think of myself as a writer; I am just a person who writes things down. For me, writing simply exists as a natural occurrence. Like the river during a rain, I am flooded with creative inspiration. And when the monsoons come, I become swollen to the brim with ideas, thoughts, poems, and stories that must be written for the sake of peace of mind. It is simultaneously selfish and selfless.
I once read that a person must be insane to write, and if not, then writing would eventually make a person insane – I now understand. I read to enrich my mind but, ironically, I write to preserve it. I don’t continue to do so because I am addicted to writing; I write because I am addicted to wonder. How I got here, I do not question.”