Brenda Novak

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has written forty novels, three of which will be coming out this year—INSIDE, IN SECONDS & IN CLOSE. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com. To date, she’s raised over $1.4 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

Find Brenda at:


Virgil Skinner served fourteen years for a murder he didn't commit. He's finally been exonerated, but he can't escape the gang he joined in order to survive. They'll do anything to keep him from telling what he knows. And if they can't get to Virgil they'll go after his sister and her kids.

The California Department of Corrections needs someone to infiltrate another gang, one that's taking control of the state's most notorious supermax. Virgil agrees to do it under an alias—in exchange for his sister's protection.

Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams is opposed to having Virgil in her prison. How will she protect him if things go bad? Besides, she's far too attracted to him; she might even be falling in love with him. That makes her all the more desperate to keep him safe—and it gives him someone else to lose.

I'm very excited to have Brenda Novak join us today. As a huge fan for years, I was delighted to interview her for Get Lost In A Story. I hope you enjoy getting to know Brenda as much as I did.

CAT: How often to you get lost in a story?

BRENDA: I’m always lost in a story—usually several at once. There’s the one I’m writing, the one I’m critiquing for my mentoree, the one I’m reading out of genre and the genre reads. That’s before I get to any books I might be reading for an endorsement or contest I might be judging. I LOVE BOOKS!

CAT: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

BRENDA: Ooooo, have to be honest here. My favorites are period pieces.

CAT: What turns you off like nothing else?

BRENDA: Shallow stories. I want something with some layers and complexity, something that dares to be different.

CAT: What was the first story you remember writing?

BRENDA: My first story was the historical I started when I first decided to write. I rewrote it several times, but I was lucky enough to sell it to HarperCollins. It came out in November 1999 and I just got my rights back. I’m going to be offering it as a free e-book to anyone who buys INSIDE, my new release, before July 5th.

CAT: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

BRENDA: LAST OF THE MOHICANS. My kids groan every time I suggest we watch it (because I can watch it over and over again). One time fellow author Sharon Sala and I were sitting in a writing workshop together. The instructor asked what movie we watch when we run into a brick wall with our writing, what inspires us to punch through that wall. We both looked at each other and said the same thing. LOL

CAT: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?

BRENDA: Being a rather shy person (although no one ever believes that when I say it) I would much rather hide behind my typewriter and have the chance to perfect my words before sending them out so…I’m a much better writer.

CAT: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?

BRENDA: Buy my new book. Does that count? LOL

CAT: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?

BRENDA: I can have a dozen kids tramping through my house and talking to me while I’m writing but I can’t have music on. Weird, I know.

CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

BRENDA: Start the next one.

CAT: If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?

BRENDA: Margaret Mitchell.

CAT: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?

BRENDA: Medieval England. I’m fascinated by that location and time period.

CAT: What do you do to unwind and relax?

BRENDA: Unwind? Relax? What are those things? LOL

CAT: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?

BRENDA: Virgil Skinner. He’s the hero of INSIDE, which will be out June 28th, and he was incarcerated for a murder he didn’t commit for fourteen years. He’s a very interesting fellow—and has a lot of stories to tell.

CAT: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

BRENDA: I’ve always dreamed of hitting The Times. The day I got that call from my agent was one I’ll never forget.


If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?

Black. I love black. I think people look very classy in black. LOL


Why do you think wounded heroes are so much more appealing than less complex men?

Brenda would like to give away an autographed copy of INSIDE and a limited edition Brenda Novak silk scarf designed by Hayden-Harnett ($128 value).**

**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North American addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


  1. We enjoy wounded men more because it brings out the mothering/nurturing side of us. Just as men enjoy being the hunter/protector. We like that they need us. We also think we can "fix" whatever is wrong. All you can do is love them.

  2. I think wounded men have experienced more in life and dealt with more obstacles and it makes them stronger and smarter.

  3. Hello Brenda! Welcome to GLIAS!

    I think wounded men are more interesting to women because of our nurturing instincts. With unflappable alpha males the only thing we can do is hang on tight while they take us on the ride of our lives. With wounded men, we get to help them mend their troubled spirits. And what woman doesn't love a project!

    Thanks for joining us here today. I loved the opportunity to interview you!

  4. Good morning Brenda and welcome to GLIAS, such a pleasure to meet you on-line.

    What a great interview! I beleive wounded heroes (or men) bring out the need in women to "fix" what's broken. Cat described it very well.


  5. Welcome Brenda! What an honor to have you here. Your annual auction is one of the spending highlights of my year (though my credit card doesn't agree!)

    Enjoy your visit - I think we cleaned up and tidied the dirty dishes before you came :)

  6. Welcome, Brenda!

    I think wounded heroes can be so sexy... The idea of someone whose life you can make better... Not sure most women want those men in real life, but in books they make a great fantasy.

  7. I read the comments and realize I look at it so different. I see them not so much wounded but recovering from what has battered them. They have a strength to get through it. They may not always make the right decisions but they don’t give up. His parents hellacious divorce when he was in junior high forever affected the way he perceives relationships but when he meets the right woman he battles through his fears. She doesn’t change him. He changes himself. That strength draws me to him. Eeep! This has really made me think about how I write my guys.

  8. Hi Brenda,
    I've been meaning to try your books and it looks like I'll have to change that soon. I have always found the dark, tormented and complicated heroes more appealing. I think it is because they are so complex, there are many layers to be uncovered that makes understanding them far from easy. That doesn't mean they aren't worth getting to know. There is something deep about them and each discovery I make them is surprising. They are not perfect but they can be just as good, perhaps even better in spite of their circumstances, as the next man.

  9. Hi Brenda! Cannot wait to read your new book!
    I think wounded heros are stronger emotionally because of what they went through. This opens them up more sometimes but also closes many of them off. Being more emotional makes the story more compelling.

  10. I love the wounded hero! They just seem to be stronger and a lot kinder to their women like that have been through everything and know how life really is.Just seems to me like you have the need to try and help them over come their wounds.

  11. Hi Brenda,

    I love your books. I am so thrilled to see you here. Wounded heros need the help of a good woman, so they add to the story. I do like complex heros the best.

  12. Hi Brenda,

    I just wanted to stop by and say that i enjoy reading your books immensely. Wounded heros are so complex and reading those complexities unfold adds a new depth to the story and makes it so much more enjoyable.

  13. Oh, gosh, I love me a wounded hero! Why? Well.... I don't know! Broody, moody heroes just call to me! :-)

  14. Oh my goodness! Look at this! Cat, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize the date had come for my post, and I've been traveling. It's so nice of you guys to have me. I feel terrible I missed the REAL day. :-(

  15. Thanks goodness for Google alert. Better late than never, I suppose.

    Thank you for your comment, Sonali. I agree completely! I love a good wounded hero.

    Chelsea, I wouldn't want to be married to a brooding hero in real life, but they make great fiction!

  16. Tammy, so glad you like my books. Have you tried INSIDE yet?

    Na, I feel the same about wounded heroes. They've been through enough to have learned a few things--and it's so fun helping them find peace and love. I hope you like my books!

    Hi Angi--I think you're right. Thanks for your comment.

  17. Simone, thanks for the warm welcome. And thanks so much for supporting my auction. I've been hearing so many great things about people getting an agent or selling through the auction. I think I've been at it long enough now that those seeds are starting to come to fruition. Hurray!

  18. Rita, excellent comments. It's that recovering that's the point. It's so cathartic to see someone heal. And who better than a hunky man we're in love with (even if he is just a character).

  19. Sherie, so glad you're excited. I hope you LOVE the story!