Today, in ChickLitGurrl’s “Where are they now?” segments, we catch up with author Brenda Scott Royce!
What’s the latest happenings in your writerly world?
Monkey Star, the sequel to Monkey Love, was released in August! Struggling stand-up comedienne Holly Heckerling is back (along with her wacky friends and family). This time she heads to Hollywood, where she lands a job as an animal trainer on the set of a big budget movie. Holly is in her element wrangling monkeys, snakes, and ferrets, but she doesn’t know how to handle the hunky movie star who follows her around like a lovesick puppy.
ReaderToReader.com called it “fast moving and way too much fun to put down.”
I’m currently writing for a children’s TV show, working on my third novel, and occasionally blogging on the Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com/brenda-scott-royce). And I am still working at the Los Angeles Zoo, as editor of the zoo magazine.
What’s one thing you’ve learned about the writing industry over the last year?
With constant deadlines and often conflicting commitments (work, writing, family), I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to say no (even when it’s something you feel would further your career or improve your sales).
The urge to say “yes” to everything is strong. A book contract? “Yes!” A signing? “Sure.” A speaking engagement? “You bet!” A magazine article? “Of course.” And on and on and on. Last Christmas, when my January 3 deadline for Monkey Star was fast approaching, I had to choose between working on the book or taking my 3-year-old son to have his picture taken with Santa. Santa won, but other decisions were more difficult. Often, instead of choosing one or the other, I sacrificed my health and sanity to try to do both.
After a year of being wildly over-scheduled and over-committed, my health and relationships were suffering. I learned to make the most of those opportunities I can accept, and not to dwell on the ones I have to decline. I have learned to say “no” with a smile. Doing so might cause me to lose a sale or two, but it helps keep my personal and professional lives in balance.
(I’ve also learned not to sign a contract that has a deadline in early January, so I never again have to struggle with the decision of Christmas with family or finishing a book!)