BIW Member Interview
Brenda Schilly lives in a small town in Missouri with her husband, five children, three dogs and bird. She has had poems published in small chapbooks and recently went back to her favorite genre, fiction. Currently, she is working full time in sales and moonlighting as a fiction writer.
Moe: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Brenda Schilly: I wrote my first story when I was in the fifth grade for English. I remember thinking I wanted to write a scary story in which the girl wasn’t the victim and was intelligent enough to be the hero. Mrs. Whaley, my teacher, wasn’t fond of me but conceded to my mother I should consider writing as a profession. But I laughed it off. I had different plans; my love was music and I was going to be a singer. But I was a mother and wife by the age of 18, so that dream was channeled into singing lullabies.
Looking back though, writing essays and stories were easy all through school for me and I took it for granted. And I was so excited when I finally got a typewriter for Christmas when I was 14 years old. But still… I don’t remember wanting to be a writer, it was something I just did. I write now because it’s my therapy, my hobby, my love and a necessity for me. And since joining BIW, it is easier for me to write now than it is not to write.
Moe: Describe three lessons you have learned about writing?
Brenda Schilly: Writing something-anything even about not being able to write is better than writing nothing.
No matter how brilliant or how vapid you think your work is… let it sit for a week or two and review it with a fresh eye.
Notebook and pen… never leave home without them
Moe: What are you working on now?
Brenda Schilly: A project which has evolved over the past two years. The “working title” is Monticello. A small town on the Mississippi, in which seemingly separate events happen–all witnessed by the same person.
Moe: Do you have a favorite writing related book?
Brenda Schilly: Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg, has a permanent place on my night table.
Moe: What is your favorite writing website?
Brenda Schilly: WritersMarket. The site emails new markets and lists contests for free and for a nominal fee you can gain full access to the website and all the markets with the latest updates in regards to editors and the like.
Moe: Do you have an important BIW tip you’d like to pass along?
Brenda Schilly: Always… always show up at the page.