Who’s That Indie Author? K. Blanton Brenner

Author Name: K. Blanton Brenner

Genre: Family Saga

Books: Appaloosa Sky published December 2019. Trinity Rivers Trilogy will be published by the end of September 2021.

Bio: I grew up in North Texas in a large, extended family that raised horses and holy hell. Living in Chicago, I co-founded a Montessori School for children who are deaf. My husband, Tom (a gerontologist) and I created the Montessori Method for positive dementia care for people living with dementia and we’ve co-written and published two books on our work.

What got you started as a writer? When I was in second grade a substitute teacher asked the class to write a story about Christmas. I wrote about an angel who came down to earth to help children create a Christmas play. The teacher called me up to her desk and said, “You are a wonderful writer!” And the seed was planted.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? When I was 13 years old, my parents (stalwarts of our small town) split up. My entire world was turned upside down and inside out. I learned from that experience that we humans are resilient and can survive heartbreak and loss. My books are stories of families who are seeking resolution and grace.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? No

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Tight rope walkers learn to walk the rope by practicing this skill over and over and taking more and more risks. It’s the same for writers: we have to keep writing and writing and learning to take the risks necessary to create our stories.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? As with almost everyone, I missed being with our children and grandchildren. It has been heartbreaking to learn about so many people becoming desperately ill and so many dying. How will we honor them? How will we remember them?

What are you reading right now? Let the People Pick the President by Jesse Wegman and re-reading Barbara Pym’s books in chronological order.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? I love that rare book that makes me both laugh and cry. P.G. Wodehouse is my go-to guy when I’m feeling discouraged or down. My husband was reading one of his books aloud to me as we were waiting for me to go into surgery for uterine cancer. The medical staff was a bit shocked to hear me laughing while hooked up to IV’s lying on a gurney.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? No, but I did read books while lying on the back of my horse as she wandered around the pasture. When Star got tired of me, she’d shake herself and off I’d come.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? OMG! I was in the bathtub reading How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill and somehow the book slipped out of my hands into the water. I was stupid enough to tell him this story at a book signing. Mr. Cahill looked up at me and said, “I don’t approve of people reading my books in the bathtub.” YIKES!  

Could you live in a tiny house? I do live in a small house, the ground level apartment of a two flat in Chicago. It’s about 850 sq. ft. We raised our children here and have had some great parties and gave lodging and meals to rock and roll bands overnight in this little place. (We have a lot of musicians in our family.)

What are the small things that make you happy? I grew up with the enormous Texas sky. Clouds chasing the sun kind of days make me very happy as do the flowers in our garden, listening to a child who is deaf read for the first time, my husband reaching out to me in the night.

Website and social media links: Working on a website. I have an author’s page on Facebook and an author’s page on Amazon.

Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

22 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? K. Blanton Brenner

    1. Thank you Jill. I can still see the substitute teacher’s face; she was wearing those cat eyed glasses so popular in the 1950’s and she had curly blond hair. I wish I could have told her what her words meant to me throughout my life.

    2. Thank you, Alethea (what a lovely name!). Barbara created such thought provoking questions, it was fun to answer them!

    1. Hi, I’m glad you liked the Thomas Cahill story. I love his books but he does NOT love me! We had another run in at another of his book signings where I quite inadvertently leaned on a card table where piles of his books were waiting to be signed by him as he sat at a table next to the stacks of books. Can you guess what happened? YES! All the books came tumbling down on him. He yelped and jumped back and then he glared at me and said, “Kindly remove your hand from that table!” I don’t know for sure but he may have filed an injunction against me, barring me from any more of his book signings! Double YIKES!

  1. What a delightful interview, Barb and Karen. I love how Karen got the writing bug. It’s amazing how teachers can inspire us with one small heartfelt compliment. And the story about dropping Cahill’s book in the tub and then his response had me in stitches. Thanks to you both for the fun.

  2. Thank you D. Wallace! What a great name you have. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the interview. Barbara’s questions made it so much fun.

  3. Barbara, I like how you showcase indie authors, who struggle to standout in the publishing world. Karen, you have the resilience the writer’s life requires: surviving your parents’ breakup early in life and minding a teacher who nurtured your writing “seed.”

    1. Dear Marian, Thank you so much for your kind words. What you say is so true: resiliency must run deep in anyone who writes, or is involved in any of the arts. A thick skin doesn’t hurt either!

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