Greetings from my favorite setting: a restaurant.
Hello, and how are you? If you are feeling down, just take a look at my picture up there and know that my blouse was on backward and I was in a very nice French restaurant. That should be enough to let you know who I am.
Brenda Carol Eaves aka Brenda Carroll aka Brendan Carroll, Author
My name has become a troubling source of angst for me over the years. I started writing under my real name way back in the twentieth century. When I got serious about writing and letting someone else read my writing, I used pen names. The reason for the pen names eludes me, but it seems there was some worry about being a complete failure or laughing stock and hiding my true identity. I could say I was expecting to become rich and famous, but that would not be entirely accurate. Working on my self-esteem has been a lifelong project. As the picture at the top of the page indicates, I do not exude confidence in most normal situations.
However, when I hid behind a nom de plume, I became someone else, full of self-assurance, confident, comforting, and in control. For example, my most frequently used pen name, Brendan Carroll, allowed me to stride through the world of self-published authors with a carefree, happy-go-lucky personality focused on writing entertaining stories about entertaining characters with the primary goal of making people forget their daily lives for short periods of time.
I grew up in Southeast Texas AKA Southwest Louisiana (pronounced Loozi-anna locally). Half of the people in my sphere of existence as a child were Cajuns accidentally rooted in Texas for a variety of reasons. Mainly they were there because, at some point, they got drunk and woke up on the wrong side of the river. Never realizing they were in the Texas swamps as opposed to the Louisiana swamps, they just stayed. My mother’s family were mostly Cajun and a lot of them lived across the Sabine River. They talked funny like my grandma and they drank very strong coffee sometimes laced with chicory.
My life as a child was fairly normal and about half-rural/half-small town. It was a happy childhood until I discovered that we were poor. Being poor has little impact on children until they start noticing things. Things like fashion, makeup, boys, toys, and the number of shoes your friends had in their closets. Fortunately, my mom and dad were determined to make better lives for their children than they had. They saved their money, paid cash for things, and eventually made their way up out of the lower class mud they played in as children.,
By the time I graduated from High School, they had two new cars in the drive, a nice house with a nice yard, a color TV, and a dishwasher. These were the signs of the times. We never got out of the lower middle class, but we did pretty well. No one ever made fun of us for our clothes or our house or our name. This made my life as a teenager pretty damn easy. I got my own car at seventeen and that was the epitome of success. I was the first of all the grandchildren to have a car in High School and even better, I was the first to graduate from said school.
I discovered what I loosely call my writing talent in the eleventh grade when we had to write term papers. I did so well with writing term papers, I made a little money writing term papers for other folks. In this same year, I entered and won an essay contest with a grand prize of $75. In the early 1970s, $75 yielded ten dresses, two pairs of shoes, new underwear, and several pairs of pantyhose. I was set for my senior year.
After graduating 13th in my class (I should have known 13th might not have been the most auspicious ranking), I joined the US Navy and sailed off to Georgia and Florida. I never got to see anything north of the Mason/Dixon line or west of San Antonio. Join the Navy and see the world did not apply to me. I went all over the southeastern United States but could tell very little difference between northwest Florida and southeast Texas or Brunswick, Georgia.
After my military service ended on a good note, I went to college, juggled home, and finally ended up with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education. It proved almost useless to me after one year of teaching what passed for middle school students. So I quit that job and went to work with full-time criminals in the Texas Department of Corrections. One thing I always said about my career change was that opposed to teaching, working inside a prison, you were always aware of who the bad guys were.
During my twenty-year career in corrections, I managed to write thirty-four novels and a handful of short stories. Failing to catch the attention of any publishing house even when I hired an agent, I was overjoyed to publish my books on the new Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform in 2008. I did pretty well at first and it was thrilling to see my books on the web and eventually in paperback form.
I finally retired and was immediately caught up in family crises, one after another that kept me completely out of writing, publishing, and promotion for over six years. Currently, I am trying to renew my presence on the web, revamp my series by adding historical data, better editing, new covers, and a renewed enthusiasm for the thing I love to do more than drinking coffee: writing books.
I hope to finish updating and re-releasing my series within a couple of years while working on a new idea for a horror genre novel.
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