Author Interview with Brenda de Jong

Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself!

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I am Brenda Grace de Jong, and professionally, I hold a Master’s Degree in Human Services Leadership with a minor in Women’s Studies. I have worked with individuals from every population, and delight in encouraging and aiding women to fulfill their highest goals. Personally, I am an avid barefoot, tree-hugging, candle-lighting student of the Universe, who follows the phases of the moon and the turn of the seasons.

Tell us about your latest project or publication, including where readers can purchase it.

I am an author of both short and flash fiction published works, and I have just released a book entitled, “My Name is Elpee: A Trilogy”. ‘Elpee’ is a darkish fantasy about a girl from a Brooklyn brownstone who escapes the neglect and abuse within it by creating a realm in which she experiences both fun and pain on her journey to wholeness. It is available on Amazon.

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https://www.amazon.com/Name-Elpee-Brenda-Grace-Jong-ebook/dp/B07GK314VD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1537198152&sr=8-1&keywords=brenda+de+jong

How did you become a writer?

When I was a young child, my mother foretold that I would write a book and her words have stayed with me throughout my life. I was a dreadful and delinquent student in grammar and high school and discovered that utilizing my writing skills could make the difference between a failing and a passing grade.

Tell us something people would be interested, but surprised to know about you.

Publically, I am seen as a highly educated, reasonably intelligent woman. People also perceive me to be privileged and ‘all together’ . . . It is partly an illusion. I have done community service, volunteered, and cleaned factories in the middle of the night, to pay my bills and put myself through college. Also, I possess a slim amount of common sense and often do not think things through before doing them. Although this has mostly served me well, there have been times it ended dreadfully. Here are a few examples of the latter: As a grown woman I have: accidentally driven my car into my house; fallen out of a tree; broke my back and was rendered incapable of walking; concocted a mixture of bleach, turpentine, and paint thinner in an enclosed shed resulting in a police boat ride off Fire Island. The list is endless. They all have back-stories, which made sense to me.

What was the high point or best part of your latest project?

The relief of, after almost a decade, publishing, “My Name is Elpee: A Trilogy”, which finally freed me to pursue writing my next book!

What was the hardest part or the lowest point of your latest project?

Becoming emotionally ready to let go of the story contained within the book in order to publish it. 

What is the one you would like your readers to know and remember about you or your latest project if nothing else?

I am fortunate to have experienced a number of different lives in this go-around on the planet. In a more recent one, I left behind an extremely affluent existence, and all I knew, to construct (brick by brick) my authentic life. I stood, stripped of my identity, in a stark and humble place for several years before I could see my way to the other side.

It was through courage and grace that I am where I am today. As said by Elpee, “People will think you odd or insane, and perhaps you are, but weigh your options. Is it better to leave and be deemed crazy or to stay and be driven mad?”

What have you found has been the most successful marketing forum for your latest project?

I am still exploring those avenues, however, above all, I write because I must, and as an aside, I market.

What is your biggest hope for your latest project?

That those who read it will find value in the many hidden messages woven into it.

Please share your links where readers can learn more about you and your work!

http://cherrycottagefi.com/, Facebook, LinkedIn, https://www.instagram.com/brendagracede/ and about.me

What advice would you give prospective authors?

Identify as an author. Write. Ignore the rules. Edit later.

What is the one thing or skill that has helped you be most successful as a writer?

Dropping out of Chemistry class in high school and taking typing instead.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

I indulge in many and feel guilt about few.

If you could have one wish, what would it be?

That people would push through their fear of change and uncover the world that exists on the other side of it.

What are YOU currently reading?

“The Alienist” by Caleb Carr (again).

Thanks for visiting with me today Brenda. Your story is inspiring and your advice to writers is insightful!!!

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Best-MKorman

Sunny the Skunk Visits Amazon!

“How Sunny the Skunk Found His Smell” is now on pre-sale in eBook format on Amazon. The 8×10 paperback will also be available for purchase by July 20th.

A heartwarming tale about an adorable young skunk who is a bit different from all his other friends. Sunny wants to play Hide and Go Smell but none of the other skunks can ever find him, because he doesn’t have a “Smell”! Join Sunny on his journey to find his smell. A great story, that will help build your little one’s confidence and self-esteem. This is a great resource for early childhood classrooms and daycare providers.

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8 Basic Tips for Social Media Etiquette

A great article on Social Media Etiquette! I highly recommend following the PBS Blog!

The PBS Blog

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On social media, everything is a part of your brand and is an extension of you. People don’t know you personally so all they have to work with is the vibes you give off. From the way that you send emails, your blog posts, your social media posts and newsletters, everything. What you publish reveals who you are and can tell people one or two things. Either you’re a nasty, disrespectful person or you’re a kind, respectful person. It doesn’t take much to show others respect and appreciation and it may also grant you a follower, or more, a supporter for life. Below are some basic actions we can implement to help to keep our respect levels at an all-time high.

Give Thanks

When someone reblogs or pingbacks on one of your posts, say thank you. It really just takes a second. Although the person probably didn’t share your post…

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