Tag Archives: The BRAVE Interviews

The BRAVE Interview #9 April 2017: Charlotte

Please enjoy this month’s BRAVE interview with Charlotte!

Who are you? I am a Registered Nurse, a Mom to 3 adult children (where has time gone?!), and a 5 month Golden Retriever named Charlie. I was born and raised in Maine, and have lived here ever since. I live in the small town of Limerick, Maine, a quiet country town.

What is your ‘one brave thing’? My One Brave Thing?  Let’s see. I have done a few brave things up to this point in my life, but the one I’d have to say that tops all was taking care of my terminally ill brother. He was 51 yrs old when diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, mets to the brain. His wish was to get home to Maine to die. I had no choice but to be brave, and honor is wishes. It was a very difficult, emotional time.

When did you do it?  In June 2007, my brother called me from the hospital in Florida, telling me he was very sick and needed me to fly down to help him.

Where did it occur? Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

How I made it happen: flew down, packed up his apartment.  I rented an RV, and found portable oxygen, filled his meds and things for the trip. Right out of the hospital, we were on our way home to my house. It was a rough ride in the back of an RV. I stayed back there with him, while my fiancé and my brother’s friend took turns driving. I wasn’t sure my brother would make it all the way, but he said he was okay each time I asked. I had spoken with hospice while traveling, and I got things set up for when he arrived. My bother lived only 5 days here, but made it to where he wanted to be, and that was home!

It is an honor to print your story, Charlotte, and I thank you so much for sharing it with us all!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!


The BRAVE Interview #8 March 2017: Jennifer Greiner

Here is #8 in The BRAVE Interview series! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How, (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’! December’s interview is with Jennifer Greiner. 🙂

jen-greinerWHO are you? I am Jennifer Greiner, a strong, individual woman who knows what she wants and works hard to get it.  I am passionate, caring and considerate.  I am professionally a therapist but also an essential oil and hula hooping enthusiast! Part of my identity has become being a significant other to a first year Med Student.

WHAT is your One Brave Thing (so far!!)? My One Brave Thing was starting my essential oil business, Green Thinking.  It is something I have never done, nor have ever particularly wanted to do.  It was very scary for me to jump into selling products to others that I, myself, love.  Not only did I just start Green Thinking, I was also adjusting to a big transition: moving to a new state and vicariously beginning medical school.  Thank goodness I was brave enough to launch into this wonderful endeavor as it helped keep me busy, adjust and gain a wonderful new community!

WHEN did you do it? I officially started Green Thinking at the Saco River Market on October 29th, 2016.

WHERE did it occur?  The Saco River Market had just changed locations from Saco Island to a church in Biddeford, ME.  It was an adjustment for the whole Market and was crushing after that first market day, to learn that we would be moving to another new place, 40 Main St., Biddeford.  I could easily empathize with other vendors as it was normal for me to move around and wait a while to get used to a place.  I have been able to easily settle into our new space, as I believe, so has the rest of the market.

HOW did you make it happen?  
 Pretty easily, looking back on the year.  I had been making my own products for myself for months.  I had tested them out and shared with friends.  When I learned of the Saco River Market, I went down there to speak with them about becoming a vendor.  I printed out the application, sent it in and discussed that I would start at the end of October.  Then it was the scramble to get products made, labels on and purchase a table!  I was able to make it all happen and be ready for that first market.

WHY did you do it? 
One of my many passions is essential oils.  I want to share them with everyone and teach how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle, to help elevate your life and live naturally, chemical free.  I’ve always admired market vendors and was eager for the opportunity to become one myself.  I consider myself a people-person and looked forward to talking with and meeting new people to immerse myself in my new community.  I am so happy to have persevered through my One Brave Thing to feel successful and accomplished!

If you’d like to read the other interviews in the series, click here for the list: https://kwrites.com/?s=the+BRAVE+interview

If you’d like to be interviewed for this series about your own ‘one brave thing’, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com.


Being BRAVE is catchy!

I was trolling Facebook recently, after working on the next “The BRAVE Interview” for my blog (coming in March, 2017). I must be primed to see the word ‘brave’. You know, like when you’re pregnant and suddenly you see pregnant women everywhere?


So I couldn’t help but notice this page with Being Brave with Abbie McG emblazoned across the top.

Since I chose BRAVE as ‘my one word‘ in 2015, I’ve been all about the brave.

I created the “One Brave Thing” group on Facebook, a private group for anyone who has read my book (One Brave Thing), where we support one another’s efforts to do brave things.

I launched The BRAVE Interview Series on my blog at kwrites.com, where once a month I invite a reader of my book to discuss ‘one brave thing’ they have done in their own lives.

I acquire ‘brave’ jewelry wherever I find it. This ‘brave’ bracelet is from The Shops at Cape Neddick in Maine.


I also try not to hide from any chances I get to be brave in my own life now.

So, coming full circle, of course I will be watching Abby McGilvery’s Being Brave TV episode!

The BRAVE Interview #7 February, 2017: Jennifer W. Smith

Here is this month’s BRAVE Interview with author, Jennifer W. Smith. ENJOY!


Who is Jennifer W. Smith?

I put my family first, so I’d start with I’m a wife and mother.  My next top three answers: I’m a novelist, a world traveler, and a foodie. I live in a cozy New Hampshire town in a busy household including a blue-eyed kitty and a collie who looks just like Lassie. I’ve had other careers before I became a fulltime writer in 2015. I’ve used my experiences from when I was a flight attendant and interior designer to inspire my story ideas.

What is my One Brave Thing for 2016?

Well, if you asked me my brave thing for 2015, I’d have said publishing my first novel, Flying Backwards. In 2016 I published two books, The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl, but I’d say the One Brave Thing was pushing myself to maneuver—and conquer—the digital age to produce all aspects of publishing my latest books—mainly book cover design. The cover is critical. It’s the first thing a reader sees. If the cover isn’t appealing they won’t bother to flip it over and read the back. I worried that I’d be unsuccessful, but I was determined to give it my best effort. Let me state, my skills were basic at first. I’m happy to report that after all the puzzle solving I’m pleased with the final products.

Why did you do it?

So why make my own book covers if I could just pay someone? Well, I love design in general. As I mentioned I’m a former interior designer by trade. Also, I spent a decade taking photos and documenting my family’s life in scrapbooks. So a part of me thought it would be fun and creative. Besides, I found it difficult to explain what I wanted my cover to look like to someone who hadn’t read my story. I paid to have the cover done for my first novel Flying Backwards. I explained what I wanted, and I do love the cover, but it’s not perfect. For example, in that story the main character is an international flight attendant and the airplane on the cover is a domestic plane (it should have four engines instead of two). I know it’s a tiny detail. But the control is what I like—and it is kind of exciting and fun.

When and how did you do it?

I spend loads of time the whole year reading and watching YouTube tutorials about how to produce a successful book cover. Who knew fonts had so much impact! It took me a while as I tried different programs, but eventually I discovered which ones worked best for me. My fellow friends and authors recommend sites where I could purchase photos or fonts. I also stumble across Derek Murphy’s book cover design tutorials which helped me immensely. After vastly improving my MS Word skills, I managed to produce book covers for my Broken Water Series, which include The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl. I was able to manage 95% it, but I confess, my husband helped with the file conversions. I may have shed some tears of frustration throughout the learning curve, but it was worth it.

Where did you do it?

I learned, and continue to learn, right from the comfort of my home. After I got used to navigating the internet—I realized the world is at my fingertips. With dedication to succeed, I’m grateful to live and thrive in this modern age. This is a usable tool to become self-published. I hope I inspire other budding authors to give it a try.

I always love to hear from readers. Please check out my website at JenniferWSmith.com for book trailers, release updates, events, blogs, and more. Also, you can read the first chapter of The Rare Pearl, Book One in the Broken Water Series for FREE. You can find me on Twitter @authorjenwsmith and Facebook at AuthorJenniferWSmith.



On the radio with Megan Brady

**UPDATE: Here is the link to listen to the interview!**
I was just interviewed about my book by Megan Brady for her show “The Morningline with Megan Brady” for EdgeRadio (an online streaming station through Seacoast Media Group).
smg2How wonderful it is to be interviewed by someone who is great at it (thank you, Megan). I felt comfortable right away, like I was having coffee with a friend. Which, I sort of was. I mean, I did bring my coffee, my current favorite, Spicy Eggnog (was that wrong?). And Megan was very friendly.  🙂
We talked about how I wrote the first draft of my book, One Brave Thing, during NaNoWriMo in 2010, and my blog, kwrites.com.  I mentioned how people can ask to join the One Brave Thing Private Facebook Group for readers and purchasers of my book, and about how I interview one reader a month about ‘one brave thing’ that they’ve done in their own lives. Click here for the current list of The BRAVE Interviews. We also talked about my upcoming book, which is related to One Brave Thing. The working title is: What if Bebe Stays with Steven?
I know, right?!
And we talked about the Stephen King trick of putting the draft of your manuscript away in a drawer for a while to give you some perspective on it. Megan reminded me of Joey Tribbiano’s trick of putting Stephen King’s book in the freezer! So I leave you with this clip, to leave you with a laugh today:
My talk with Megan Brady will air Monday morning at some point between 6AM-10AM. 
Click here to listen on Monday morning for my interview (not sure what time yet!) or anytime, just to listen! After it airs, I will be posting the audio clip on my blog, so if you miss the show you can still hear the interview.

The BRAVE Interview #4 November 2016: Kristen Conley Leighton

Hello and welcome to the next in the series of The BRAVE Interviews! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How,  (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’!


Welcome to Interview #4 with Kristen Conley Leighton!

  1. WHO are you? Share whatever you want to about yourself personally.

Wow, so we’re starting with the hardest question!  Most days, I’m not really sure.   That statement can be traced back to the day I was born.  See, I was switched at birth.  Truly.  I was somehow confused with another baby girl born at almost the exact same time.  The next morning, a nurse arrived in my mother’s room with the wrong bundle. “That’s not my baby,” my mother said to her.  “Go back and try again.”   

The socially acceptable answer: My name is Kristen Conley Leighton.  I am a yoga teacher and a storyteller/writer. 

  1. WHAT is your One Brave Thing (so far!!) for 2016?

I destroyed a manuscript that I had been working on for seven years.  I’m not sure if that is brave or just plain stupid.

My trusted readers advised me to set the manuscript aside because so much of the story wasn’t working for them.  The consensus was that I should begin writing a new novel.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was born to tell THAT story, the one I’d just thrown away.  Instead of taking the professional advice, I turned to a blank screen and began rewriting the manuscript I had discarded.

  1. WHEN did you do it?

 It was March of this year. 

  1. WHERE did it occur?

The magic happened in the space in my home where I read, write, and practice yoga.

  1. HOW did you make it happen?

 I had burned the pages, permanently deleted all the drafts from my computer, and smashed the memory stick with a hammer before putting it in the trash.  I had no other choice.  It was a good thing, really.  

  1. WHY did you do it?

That’s a great question, and one my husband keeps asking over and over again.  It probably would have been easier to start working on something new.  That said, I had a pretty strong feeling that if I couldn’t save the drowning man in my novel, I’d never be able to save myself.  I felt like I had to tell the story.  And, based on feedback from the original manuscript, I had to find a better way to tell it.

This novel and its main character brought me closer to all of my well-guarded fears and insecurities than I’d ever come before.  The subject I was writing about could not be explored from a safe distance.  When I tackled the story in a more honest way and allowed myself to dive in and swim around in all of that fear and insecurity, well, I think it resulted in a more empathetic character in the final draft.   If you love a drowning man with a fierce heart, he just might figure out how to swim to shore on his own.  The first draft lacked heart.  Deep down, maybe I always knew that. 

So, that’s it.  It’s not glamorous…but it is my “one brave thing.”

Thank you so much for telling your story here, Kristen!

Check out Kristen Conley Leighton’s other writings here on her website:


The BRAVE Interview #3 October 2016: Sheila Brownlow

Here is #3 in The BRAVE Interview series! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How,  (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’! November’s interview is with Sheila Brownlow!


WHO AM I?  Sheila Brownlow

MY ONE BRAVE THING—when, where, with whom:  I have stopped discussing eating, how upset I am at my eating, how much I weigh, whether I am peeved at myself for overeating, how awful I am for not weighing 110 lbs., whined about how I can’t eat like a normal person anymore at age 55, or otherwise wasting time – precious time – talking with my friends, so many good friends….about eating and weight.  Not in person, not online.  For one month. 

WHY DO I THINK THIS IS BRAVE?  I’m at this age/stage of my life where I’ve felt compelled to start every interaction with a justification of how I look and why I don’t look like a 30-year old anymore. It’s not ok to essentially apologizing for myself to start every interaction.  To me it’s brave because I have completely shifted my lens on the world.

WHY:  Because I waste so much time and energy where I could be helping others, learning things, doing things, having meaningful conversations, being supportive, just being in the moment…with all this constant food and weight talk I am taking away from the productive possibilities of my life and my friends’ lives. 

So how do I feel about this?  Well, I miss commiserating, and I’m still working on not “leading” with that foot in every conversation (“let’s talk about food, eating, how much, when, regrets…again?”).  I think I am listening better rather than just winding up to say how upset I am about this that or the other weight thing. 

Can I continue?  I don’t know.  Maybe if we all spent a month on something other than our food and body appearance we could make a lot of changes in the world.

Thank you so much, Sheila!