Local author Brenda Hill was first introduced to Yucaipa City Council with her book “Ten Times Guilty” in 2007. Since then, she’s been hammering those keys, with a total of four award-winning books in print.
Hill’s latest book, The House on Serpent Lane, is a paranormal love story with a twist, just in time for Halloween.
Hill also runs writers’ workshops across Redlands and Yucaipa.
She was at the Calimesa Library on October 15 for the Mystery Book Club reunion, as she provided writing tips and encouragement to local authors and mystery book fans.
Hill told attendees that she was steadfast in the idea that she should never give up on her dream, and for her, it was always about writing.
“Don’t give up,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how old you are. When I was younger, I always wanted to be a writer. However, I didn’t finish college and felt like you had to be educated to be an author.
Then, in the 1980s, Hill worked at a Denver bookstore and began working with authors, reading their manuscripts.
“I started to criticize some of their books and it was a turning point in my life,” she said. “So, I decided to give up all my extras – vacations, dining out, and enrolled in local writing classes. “
Hill bought a word processor and started writing.
She said it didn’t happen overnight. For over five years she worked on the first book. There have been a lot of rejection letters and lessons learned.
“But I never gave up on my dream,” she said. “You can make your dream come true. Whatever you want in life, you should do it! We need something that we are passionate about. So think about what you really want to do in life, what gives you the most thrills and do it.
Hill recommended writing the goal down on paper.
She introduced Judith Ring who is a proud 80-year-old author for the first time.
Ring, who took a writing workshop with Hill, turned her novel into a novel she hopes to get a contract for and publish.
Ring agreed with Hill’s positive attitude.
“It doesn’t matter what your dream is, it’s yours,” Ring said. “Not theirs. This is what you want to do.
A participant asked Hill how long it takes to write a first draft.
“It depends,” said Hill, who added that she writes every day. “There is a craft in writing,” Hill said. “You have to learn this trade.”
Hill said one of the hardest things for her is learning the structure.
Hill teaches an ongoing writers’ workshop in Redlands at the Lifeway Bookstore behind Chili’s. For more information, see the web page; www.meetup.com/SoCal-Novel-Writers-Workshop/
She will be at the Ovitt Library in Ontario to present a class on November 3rd.