Since our launch in April 2021, The Writer’s Network has had the opportunity to meet some top notch writers and authors. With such a talented group, we’d like to begin sharing their journey a little bit more with you.
Recently, we had the opportunity to exchange a Q&A session with Lillian Brummet from Brummet Media Group. Her answers were both candid and fascinating, and gave us a little more insight behind the brilliance of her work.
Q: How and when did you get into writing?
A: My mom dabbled at writing and was an avid member of her local library; she passed away in 2010 however my fondest memories with her were either visiting the library and art gallery, or tending to the gardens. I truly feel that early exposure to the world of writing started me on this journey.
In my youth, I spent a great deal of time observing and taking a lot of quiet time to process what I had observed. Poetry was my way of recording it. I naturally gravitated to writing as a tool to express myself and examine my feelings about a variety of experiences. A few of my short stories were noticed in school and in my 20’s, a few poems were published that won a few awards. However the writing career began in earnest when I was assigned a project in a writing course I was taking – create an article that had the potential of becoming a column. That was where the Trash Talk column began and our career just organically evolved from there. My first job was as a staff writer for both a small, niche magazine and a city newsletter. Once the Trash Talk column took off, however, I slowly turned toward freelance work. From
Q: What was your first published work?
A: My first published work was a poem titled Women’s Jealousy, it was written when I was 18 and it won a couple of literary and poetry awards.
The girl in white lace and shiny gray stockings,
Attacks every man with her nightmarish taunting.
Her beauty is rare, her movements are sure.
Her casual flirting leaves minds in a blur.
Women both hate her, and dote on her too.
They wish they could be that woman anew.
But they’re only themselves – though jealous they be;
Thinking: “from women like that, no man would flee”.
But she’s covered in make-up and shading and light.
And she’ll take many photos until she gets it just right.
These women wish with all of their foolish might,
That they forget who their man’s with tonight.
And as they wrack themselves over this orchestrated myth,
They enlarge the distance from the one they’re with.
Q: Do you consider writing a passion? A job? Or both?
A: That is a difficult question to answer… writing remains a healing tool for myself. It is a way for me to feel that my life has some value and that I have contributed to the movement toward a more sustainable, proactive and inclusive culture. I can easily slip into depression – about all the awful things going on in the world, all the problems and all the issues that need addressing… my own judgmental and critical mind and issues with my past experiences, my anxiety and all the stress encountered on any given day. Writing takes me from that mind-set and gives me a purpose, gives me hope and helps me address emotions and challenges in a positive way.
Q: Is there an area or focus you center your writing around?
A: Well, no – it varies a great deal. All 6 of our current books are in the non-fiction genre. Trash Talk – It’s Easy To Be Green is a 2-book green-living series. Book 1 lists items commonly found in the trash or recycling bin in alphabetical order, it discusses facts, stats & alternatives like rent, reuse, repurpose, refuse, recycle, & reconsider for each item. Book 2 goes a bit further re: water conservation, composting, energy saving tips & organic homes / offices. Towards Understanding is a collection of 120 non-fiction poems telling the story of a young girl on her own at 14, overcoming her nightmares & issues from the past & discovering that she does indeed have value & deserves to be loved. Rhythm & Rhyme is a collection poems addressing the heavy weight of grief, the joy in music, celebrates nature & love. From One Small Garden – Over 300 Nutritious Delicious Recipesis more than a healthy cookbook that focuses on fresh super-foods – it addresses other issues like: food waste, plastic bottle & waste reduction, frugal menu planning, supporting local food producers & gardening. Scattered throughout its pages are tidbits of historical, nutritional, cultural & agricultural facts. Purple Snowflake Marketing – How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd is a step-by-step guidebook for the author to follow, helping them create a frugal, effective marketing & business plans for each book they write.
Q: What are your writing motivations? What inspires you?
A: Art, especially the written word, has changed society dramatically and it continues to evolve our world – that is very powerful. I am so inspired by readers who tell me they decided to clean up a section of the highway, were inspired to begin volunteering, recycling, gardening, or shop in a more conscious way, run their business more effectively, or follow their dream… – this is powerful fodder for me. It keeps me going, motivates me beyond difficult challenges because I know what I do makes a difference in people’s lives. Of course I desire to make a living, and selling books has gotten a hundred times more difficult. This means that a lot of my time is spent in promotional, networking and marketing activities.
Q: What does a typical writing day look like for you?
A: Let me start by saying that Dave and I work off an action plan created from our current marketing and business plans. That action plan is broken up into do-able steps that we tackle one step at a time. We might step aside because something came up that takes precedence, however we get right back to where we hit the pause button as soon as possible. Once in a while we will have a meeting to discuss what worked, what needs to be done, what wasn’t accomplished and why, etc. And then the cycle starts up all over again. I find myself often making difficult choices between what has to be done now and what can be set-aside. That said – this is a typical day in my office:
I rise fairly early to tackle the morning activities and any imperative chores that have to be dealt with around the home and garden. The first thing I do in the office is to check the calendar re: upcoming appointments. Then I’ll check all the communications via email, messenger, etc. and determine if I have to deal with them now – or if they can wait a bit. If I have interviews to complete, articles to submit, communications to deal with, and items to file – they will be handled first. Secondly, I’ll hit up the social networking sites giving them a glance over to see if there is anything to follow up on and then I’ll hit our blogs, give them a glance over. Depending on the day, this might bring me to noon or it might mean there was so much to do that I’ve already reached the end of the day. I’ll take periodic pauses to deal with the dogs, check the laundry, unload the dishwasher, change the sprinkler, stir the stew pot, etc.
If there’s time left the next thing I do is address the writing project at hand. (Right now – the project is a trilogy honoring Dave’s dad’s photography and writings.) Between 2 and 4 o’clock the dogs are exhausted and napping – ah, the quiet and calm ambiance begins. I will sometimes put some quiet ambient music on and disappear in the project at hand. When this happens time evaporates for me and I am often startled by the garage door opening and the fur-kids telling me their man is home. I do try and end my day around 3 or 4, which allows the time to rest, deal with the menu plan, or attack those house chores.
Q: How did you start Brummet Media? Was it born from your writing, or was your writing born from Brummet Media?
A: No actually it was born in the mid ’90’s when Dave began offering teaching and repair services for drummers and percussionists in the Okanagan Valley (BC, Canada), which he called: Drum-It Percussion. At that time, I was running an unrelated business called: Incredibly Clean, but had to let that go after a car accident. Dave and I began writing in 1999, and moved to Grand Forks where we published our first 3 books through traditional publishers. I started blogging in 2002, as well as hosting both a live talk radio show and a podcast. In 2010, we made it out to our dream location – the Kootenays. We took some time to settle in the community, fix up our home, revise a book and publish a 4th book, and re-launch our business as Brummet Media Group. Since then the business has continued to evolve and take us thru new experiences. * I’m glad you asked this question – it was interesting for me to examine the growth of our business 🙂
Q: What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
A: The actual process of writing is very interesting and exciting for me and I have no problem with querying, researching or behind-the-scenes activities like record keeping. My issues rise with public appearances – I’m super shy, get red in the face so easily, and don’t like crowds or seeing myself on camera at all. That is where Dave steps in. Ironically I have less of an issue with appearances online – i.e. talk radio – where I find myself quite comfortable. I loathe the editing, re-writes, formatting, proofing and editing, stages… did I mention editing? (she laughs) There is a lot of this type of activity involved in the world of writing. It sucks. A lot.
Q: Do you write every day or does your writing come in spurts?
A: It comes in spurts. I’m writing and mulling over writing inside my head all the time, but when it comes to putting words on paper – that definitely comes in spurts.
Q: What is your favorite book or author?
A: When I was younger my favorite books were Friday (about a female action hero, a genetically modified underground spy) and the Tolkein series. In my 20-40’s I had a real thing for crime solving detective stories from authors like Agatha Christi, Stewart Woods and Dick Francis. Later I came to adore Shibumi (Trevanian), Ovum Factor (Zimmerman), The Clan of the Cave Bear series (Auel), Prayer of the Dragon (Pattison), and The Sea of Trolls (Farmer).
Brummet Media Group
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