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Dave and Lillian Brummet Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
Dave and I have been writing professionally since 1999. We have published two books: Towards Understanding - A Collection of 120 Poems (2005; non-fiction, chronological), which depicts the healing process one goes through and the steps taken to get past the pain and towards understanding of both the purpose in life, and the value of life. Trash Talk (2004; non-fiction, environment) shows readers how they can save money while making their community become a more prosperous, attractive and healthier place to live. Our third non- fiction book will be released on June 30, 2007: Purple Snowflake Marketing - How To Make Your Book Stand Out in a Crowd - for authors that are seeking ways to make their book stand out like a purple snowflake in a snowstorm.Dave and I were honored with an award for "outstanding use of various media in ongoing outreach work to reduce waste in our environment" by the Recycling Council of British Columbia. Seeds of Diversity also awarded us with a Certificate of Appreciation for volunteer contributions and Dave won an award for his photography through Cottage Magazine. The Boundary Family Read, Columbia Basin alliance For Literacy recognized our support of their programs. My poetry has won several awards and appeared in five hardcover anthology books and numerous publications throughout North America. Just recently we were informed that we had been nominated for the Home Town Hero award, which is a Canada-wide event.

When did you decide to become a writer?
Both of us have written as a hobby long before deciding to go professional. My earliest recollection began with the influence of two teachers. An elementary teacher gave me special attention for a story about a sad elderly widow who dressed in colorful, flowered clothing in an effort to brighten her day. The teacher said she had never seen such writing from a student. A high-school English teacher, Mr. O'Connor, encouraged me as well. I wrote poetry as a private therapy for a rough upbringing and was encouraged by friends to enter poetry contests. It was at this time that the writing bug really began.About 9 years ago, I received injuries from a vehicle accident that required me to retire from my business "Incredibly Clean". At the time, Dave was taking a correspondence writing course. He had written several short stories and had dreamed of becoming a writer for some time. I began taking the course as well. When our articles sold, we realized that a career was possible and began our journey.Dave recalls that his earliest inspiration began during the fourth grade when he wrote a short story that received compliments from his mother and aunt. He is currently re-writing that same story that started it all...

What was your first published work?
Trash Talk (ISBN# 141372518X) is the first book that Dave and I wrote.Trash Talk began as a series of articles that focused on ways the average person can make small changes to do their part for the Earth. We compiled all the articles and other information that we could not fit in the limited space of our bi-weekly column into this book. Trash Talk embarks on frugal and conscious living techniques for the individual. We focus on the reuse of "waste" materials and reducing the consumption of resources. Trash talk is written to empower people to feel more positive about their worth as individuals in a hectic, expensive, environmentally stressed world. We show how to make a real and visible difference, while saving money at the same time. People are constantly bombarded with negative information about the environment and our resources. Feeling powerless because we cannot afford to donate cash or time to a cause, we begin to feel overwhelmed by the immense environmental problems our world faces. In Trash Talk, we focus on changing people's mindset to a more open, hopeful and proactive one. Not by finger-pointing at corporations and governments, but by starting in our own homes, at our own desks. Trash Talk is an excellent resource in the classroom for recycling, environmental and gardening programs. Educators/caregivers can use the book to teach gardening skills (seed saving, composting, tree planting) and Vermiculture (worm composting) - the students can build their own worm bin and learn from the "worm farm". (Did you know that compost worms (red wigglers) can produce 2,000-9,000 babies annually?) Craft websites are listed for artistic projects using "waste" items. The book could be used as a tool for probing young minds to come up with original reuse ideas or environmental activities that the group can participate in. 140 resources listed at the back of the book will lead educators and individuals to new information and ideas. Trash Talk is at the Grade 10 level of reading, however, in the hands of a teacher the concepts and projects can easily be implemented as early as Grade 4.

What other books have you published?
Our second book is also a non-fiction work, but is of the poetry genre. Towards Understanding (ISBN# 1413793371) his book of 120 non- fiction poems is written in chronological order. It is a story of survival from childhood abuse, of breaking the chains of inner demons, finding value and purpose in life and growing towards understanding - but not quite reaching it. The poems also embrace the environment and question society. Towards Understanding will reach today's female audience because it is a true story of a young woman growing through childhood trauma, being independent at age 13, moving through healing and finding self worth. Readers will witness me battle my past demons, raise my voice in anger, discover self- awareness and recover from and intense relationship bordering on obsession. They will see the healing process as I become aware of the value of my life and fall deeply in love with a wholesome man. Finally, able to see beyond myself, I begin to question society and endeavor to understand others. In the end, I discovers a love for nature and a dedication to the health of the Earth.Our third non-fiction will be released on June 30, 2007 as an e-book: Purple Snowflake Marketing - How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd is a reference guide for self-marketing authors who want to stand out in the crowd. With over 500 direct links to resources, a holiday/event calendar and images of sample promotion materials, the e-book creates a way for authors to design an effective marketing plan and utilize frugal promotional tools with the click of their mouse.Release date: June 30 2007 Publisher: http:// www.twilighttimesbooks.com

What is your dream as a writer?
Our goal is to leave a lasting legacy - by this I do not mean having our name in print or being remembered after we are gone. When I say "legacy" I am referring to the impact that our lives have had on the world. Have we left it a better place? Have people benefited from our existence? Is the world a brighter cleaner, healthier planet due to our actions - or have we only worsened the issues? This is what I mean by a legacy. Our free-lance writing and photography are also useful tools for us to pursue this endeavor. We practice what we write about in our home, our gardens, around local wilderness and in our office as well.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
Well, as I mentioned earlier - we are freelance writers, in fact this is how we began our career as writers. I have also written book reviews for Curled Up (http://www.curledup.com/) and Poetry In The Park. Currently, I am a freelance book reviewer, though I still work for Book Ideas as well (http://www.bookideas.com/).Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?Absolutely. There is no doubt that we would have benefited from a book like Purple Snowflake Marketing when we first started out. Firstly, we had issues with keeping records of all the marketing endeavors we were doing. The amount of research required and time put into marketing a book was a bit of a shock to us when we first began. Another issue we had trouble facing initially was to not take it personally when people would say they would buy the book, and didn't.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Research. If you know something is coming up, research it and make a plan of action well ahead of time. If we did not start the market plan and develop a plan of action and estimated schedule soon after finding out the manuscript was accepted, we would have never been ready for the myriad of work ahead of us, much of which is time- sensitive. Join writers’ forums and research the previous messages for several months in the past. You will find many novice questions are thoroughly answered with many different people contributing ideas and opinions. Also sign up for several writers’ newsletters (there are many publications for each genre and aspect of writing). Always research your market and query them in a professional manner before sending a finished product. Doing it right is essential - there is but little chance to make an impression with a reviewer, editor, reader or publication. However, even with the best of preparation you will be caught off guard or unprepared. Don't sweat it too much if you make a mistake. Think of it as a lesson.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
Yes - I urge your readers to investigate our websites: http://www.sunshinecable.com/~drumit and http://www.myspace.com/canadianauthor Anyone interested in free articles, book reviews, tips on reusing "waste" around the home and office; people looking for author interviews, book promotion information and links to environmental organizations and individuals around the world, will find something useful at our websites.

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