Friday, July 13, 2012

Friendspiration Friday: Beth Stillborn on Beverly Brenna

Welcome to the second installment in my new Friday series in which YOU get a chance to guest blog about someone who has inspired you in the writing community! I look forward to hearing from many of you. 

Today we welcome Beth Stillborn.  Beth is a very active member of the online writers communities, PiBoIdMo and 12x12in'12.  She is also an administrator for the incredibly successful Children's Book Hub.  Through these sites I have grown to both know and admire Beth. 

Please welcome Beth as she shares her Friendspiration with us...her cousin, YA author Beverly Brenna!

How exciting to be in at the beginning (well, near beginning) of Marcie’s new feature, Friday Friendspirations – and what a great idea it is!

It’s also exciting for me to share with you my Friendspiration, who has been inspiring me since she was a little girl and I was a slightly bigger girl.

Beverley Brenna has been a part of my life since her birth. I was six years old at the time, and didn’t realize that not only did I have a new cousin but I also now had a life-long dear friend, cohort in zany escapades, and a writing inspiration and staunch supporter for my own writing efforts.

Bev was writing stories before she could read or write (her father was adept at “reading” her scribbles), and she had poems published on the kids’ page of a provincial rural weekly newspaper at a fairly young age. I was so proud of her! I still have a clipping one of those poems by “Persicaria.”

I tend to yack a lot about writing, Bev just gets on with it. Somehow, while working (first as a classroom teacher, then special education teacher, then special education consultant for the city school board, and now professor of education in a university), raising a family (she and her husband have three boys, two of whom are in university, the youngest is still in high school), accompanying her husband to London, England while he worked on his doctorate (he’s a drama professor), and then getting her own doctorate, Beverley has managed to write and be published in several genres: picture books, middle grade novels, YA novels, short stories and poetry.

My favorites of her novels are her two YAs about a young woman, Taylor Jane Simon, who deals with Asperger’s Syndrome and with becoming an adult: Wild Orchid and Waiting for No One. The third book in the trilogy, The White Bicycle, is due in the fall of this year, and I am waiting impatiently for it (although I really don’t want it to be the last book about Taylor). For reviews of the books, please see Pat Tilton’s blog, Children’s Books Heal.

Bev is very warm and generous in her support of my writing, and, indeed, of my being. She’s my go-to person when I have school or theatre related questions for my books. (She’s an actress as well as an educator, and her husband is an actor and director as well as professor.) She is definitely a Friendspiration to me!

To learn more about Bev, check out Bev’s website, 

When I asked Marcie how long this post should be, she said, “as long as you need to tell us how fab she is!” Well, I could go on and on about how fab Bev is, but I think the best way for you to find that out is to read her books. Thanks, Marcie, for giving me this opportunity to talk about one of my favorite writers – and one of my favorite people.

Note from Beth: When this post is published on Marcie’s blog, I will be at the Stony Brook Southampton Children’s Literature Conference, and so my replies to your comments may be delayed, but I will get here to reply at some point!

Do YOU have a Friendspiration you would like to introduce us to on a future Friday? Please send an email to and we will make that happen.


  1. Wonderful friendspiration, Beth! Going to check out Bev's books. Hope you're enjoying the Southampton conference!

  2. Nice to meet you Beth and Beverly! It’s so cool that you’re family, friends and each others’ fans! I’m Canadian and it’s great to meet fellow Canadian children’s book authors:) I’ll be sure to check out both of your works.

  3. What a wonderful tribute to Beverly! I've got to check out her books! Thanks, Beth and Marcie!

  4. You are truly blessed, Beth, to have a cousin such as Beverly! What an inspiration...and I'm sure some of it rubbed off on you...enjoy your "blogation"!

  5. What a nice post, Beth. It was great hearing about Beverly. I went to her website and her books look wonderful.
    Marcie, Friendspiration Friday is a great idea!!!