RHYTHM AND MUSE ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
Hi, I’m Author Susan Joyner-Stumpf. Being a Published Author and Certified Graphics Artist myself, I am always curious to uncover the artist BEHIND their work, whether it be a writer, artist who draws, musician and/or singer/songwriter. Here on my site, Rhythm and Muse Artist Spotlight, I interview Artists of all genres and talk about their inspirations, their current endeavors and future projects. If you’re looking for a good book to read, maybe you will find it after reading the Interview; or wanting to discover new art to look at and possibly buy? Or music to listen to? Come to Rhythm and Muse Artist Spotlight Interviews and meet the Artists that keep Art Alive and Breathing in our world today!!
Today we will be interviewing
AUTHOR AND POETESS DEBORAH BROOKS LANGFORD.
[Susan] Deb, hi, and thank you for coming today and allowing me to Interview you. Could you please start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Hello Susan, thank you for interviewing me. I am so honored. I am an Author of 31 books and a Poetess. I write under the name Brooke Dylan. Poetry is my first love. I am a Mother and a Grandmother .. this gives me the most joy in my life. I love to travel and meet new people. I love to help people, I believe this is a gift from God.
[Susan] Wow, impressive, 31 books!!! How in the world do you find the time with the grandkids and all? Tell us when you started writing and why?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, I started really writing after I retired from working in the workplace. I have always loved to write poems and short stories but never had any published except in a few anthology books when I was younger. When I was writing my first novel, I did not mean it to be, I was just writing my life trying to remember what happened to me when I was younger.. and before I knew it, it was a novel.
[Susan] Well, your body of work is phenomenal, I truly look up to you and admire your go-getter veracity. Deb, what KIND of books have you published?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] I have published thirty-one books, Poetry books, 2 novels, 5 cookbooks, plus six children’s and quite a few anthology books. Not sure how many.
[Susan] Where do you publish your books?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, you can find my books on Lulu.com and Amazon, Kindle Fire.
[Susan] That’s great. Deb, how important or critical do you think, are Titles and Book Covers?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, you taught me long ago.. if the title and book cover is not appealing, then who in the world would want to buy the book? I have to admit that when I look at books in the book store and if it’s not appealing, then I keep looking.
[Susan] Deb, I’ve always felt that it’s the first thing potential buyers will see before they discover the jewels inside; but they won’t discover the jewels unless we attract them in the first place. And may I add that your covers and titles are totally the bomb and not knowing you, I would buy your books based off their covers and titles. Deb, who would you say are your major influences and inspirations behind your own works?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] I started reading Jane Austen and Wuthering Heights, all the old Classics. And then one day, five years ago on Facebook, I read a new poet and Author, her name was Susan Joyner-Stumpf, and I was infatuated. Her writing was superb and amazing. She was my new favorite Author and Poetess plus she became my new best friend.
[Susan] Oh I will have to meet her lol. Thanks Deb, that’s very sweet. Have you read any good books lately, and could you share that with us?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, I write so many books, and I am so busy helping others get published, I do not have a lot of time anymore to read. But I do love to read poetry books. I love to read everyone’s poetry. It seems there are so many new poets in the world and are published, but my favorite poetry lately is inspirational poetry. Author Stacia Lynn Reynolds is a wonderful inspirational poetess and so is Susan Worrell.
[Susan] Something I’ve always admired about you Deb is your relentless support of your fellow-writers, that I can testify to and you are so looked up to in the Writing Community and such an inspiration to me and others. I will have to check out the poetry of Stacia and Susan Worrell.
Deb, would you say there is a recurring “theme” that runs through the vein of your writing?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, I am so traditional it’s funny; love hurts poems, woe is me poems. I can be so pathetic but it is fun.
[Susan] Deb you know I’ve always called you the POETIC MISTRESS OF ROMANCE, right? Because your Love Poems are the BEST out there by any Poetess I’ve had the pleasure to run across over the years and read, so so beautiful. And, to be quite honest because I’m familiar with your body of work, I haven’t known you not to be able to write on any subject matter. You could write the Yellow Pages, I swear, lol, and it would be a masterpiece. Deb, do you personally have a favorite poem by any writer that has inspired you?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, absolutely. I met this wonderful Poetess from the Philippines name Helen Sarita, her poem about her children and family made me cry. It had to have been the most Beautiful poem I ever read.
[Susan] Wow, Deb, I wish I would have been MORE prepared and asked you to bring that poem with you today to share with me and the readers here. I will have to get with you later and maybe you can share Ms. Sarita’s poem with me? I’d love to read it.
Now Deb, I KNOW this is a hard one, and probably, like for many of us, there isn’t just ONE: but do you have a favorite author?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Yes ~ there are so many Susan, You are definitely one and Jane Austen, Sylvia Path, yes soo many.
[Susan] OMG, I’m not worthy to be in the SAME sentence with Austen or Plath, are you kidding me? lol. Those two are trail blazers and paved the road for many of us, like Dickinson and Sexton, too.
Ok, off of cloud nine here, lol, Deb, how do you go about choosing titles for your books, stories or poems?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, a lot of times I dream about it, but most times it will just be in a paragraph or a poem. I don’t know, it just comes to me.
[Susan] That’s happened to me too, composed poems straight out of a dream. Deb, we know you write MORE than just Poetry. Which genre of writing do you prefer? The reason I’m asking is because I’ve always heard, strangely enough, that not all your well-known-established Novelists are Poets, but many Poets out there, like myself, and you, are Prose writers, Songwriters, Short Story writers and Novelists. Do you know what I mean?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, yes, I understand and know what you mean, I am loving Children’s books. They are so much fun.
[Susan] I can imagine your Children’s Books are so much fun, with your grandchildren as a muse. I remember some of the titles and covers and they couldn’t be any cuter. Deb, what you are currently working on?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Yes Susan, my third novel, “Forever Brooke,” which I have been working on for 3 or 4 years now, it is the hardest book I have had to write. It’s about sexual abuse when I was a child by an Uncle and I have to relive it. Plus, I am working on a children’s book for one of my grandchildren. But lastly for now, I am working on a family cookbook that will be dedicated to my Mom and Dad that are now deceased.
[Susan] Deb, I’m so sorry, I did know this of course, but still, it’s never an easy topic to discuss or even write about, as I, too, am a Survivor of Childhood Abuse and Domestic Violence. I’m so sorry but you are an incredibly strong woman and I have no doubt you’ve overcome this obstacle in your life by staying busy, a good Christian woman, remaining positive and super creative like you are. Good news too, about another cookbook, I know you have several out there that are fantastic, I’ve bought two of them, and that’s sweet to dedicate them to your parents, they will be so proud of you in Heaven.
Deb, how do you feel about sharing your work on Social Media?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] I don’t share anything new anymore. There are too many thieves. I will share what I have in books already published.
[Susan] You are so smart. I know, it’s hard to put ourselves out there due to that very threat, among others. But if it hadn’t been for social media, I never would have met you and all the other friends I’ve met online that I love so dearly and consider FOREVER FRIENDS, so it does have its plusses as well, unfortunately, as it minuses. How do you feel about entering contests and have you won any?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] I used to enter contests but it’s not real important to me. They are fun.
[Susan] I agree. What worries me is some believe Deb that winning or not winning is a status pro of their skillset and we know that’s not true. Do you know how a poem is going to end or do you just allow the poem to write itself?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, every time I think I know how a poem is going to end, it usually doesn’t. It writes itself.
[Susan] Lol. My experience exactly. Sometimes I feel like I should just sit back in the swivel chair with my hands to my side not touching the keyboard and watch the magic unfold on its own, hehe, like, don’t interfere. The Poem can handle itself, thank you very much.
Deb, do you write your poems freehand in a notebook and then type it directly on the computer or straight smack on the computer or Cell phone, or all of the above, just depending? Peoples’ methods fascinate me.
[Deborah Brooks Langford] I usually start everything on documents because I have lost too many poems. But I have found out so many people do not have a computer and all they have is their phone. But I have been known to write a poem on my phone because I was out and lines, words, were just coming at me.
[Susan] I will never forget our mutual friend Max Eidex, who we call the ONE FINGER WONDER, lol, because he does NOT have a computer and types all his fantastic poems on his cell phone with ONE FINGER. I mean, that is just totally awesome that he does that. I’m sorry about losing poems, I know how that feels.
Deb, what genres do you write primarily: Romance, Nature, Dark, etc.? And I guess this question could also lead into any kind of personal “style” you have adapted as your signature, i.e., Free Verse, Traditional?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] I love Free Verse and Romance, are my signatures.
[Susan] Yep, I repeat everyone: there’s a reason Deborah Brooks Langford is labeled the POETIC MISTRESS OF ROMANCE, check her out.
Now Deb, we know you have grandchildren. Do you require the need for private space with little to no distraction to stay focused in your “zone” so to speak or does it not phase you? Like TV or music in the background? Telephone ringing off the hook?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Noise usually doesn’t affect me. But sometimes Life gets in the way. But I do write best in quiet with a glass of wine, lol.
[Susan] Oh yes indeed, the wine will help be a great barking and kids playing squeaky toys blocker lol. Deb, is there a method to your madness, lol, as to your writing process?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Well Susan, whatever happens, happens. My madness is crazy . . .
[Susan] Deb, whatever you’re doing, it’s working so don’t fix what’s NOT broken, lol. It suits you well, my friend. Ok, in a few sentences, describe your life as a writer. For instance, has anything changed or not at all?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Yes Susan, my thought process has changed about things. I seem to love life more and I value people more. I found out things are usually what it seems to be, and people do not like others to be happy, but I don’t care, I just go on.
[Susan] It has a great positive effect on you I see. Then of course, we do witness those not being happy towards others’ successes and we have no control over that, do we? That’s right, all we can do is continue to do what works for US and that’s stay in the positive, despite those who try to bring us down.
Deb, would you like to see writing as a Profitable, Professional Career or is it more or less a hobby, a Labor of Love, at this point?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] I was told a long time ago that I should Write because I love it and if I make money, then awesome. But If I write just to make money, I never will make any money. It’s a Labor of Love. An Addiction … If you love to write you just can’t say no!!!!
[Susan] Perfect advice and I 150% agree with you. See how easy I am to get along with, lol? Are people from your past, like Grammar School and High School, childhood friends, aware of what you have accomplished in the literary world?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, yes, I have found some of my childhood friends here on Facebook and they know and are probably amazed as I am….ha ha.
[Susan] I bet they are proud of you, that’s great! Which brings me to my next question; how does your family and close friends feel about your writing, do they support you? Are they proud?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, my baby sister buys every one of my books. She is so proud of me and lately, one of my brothers told me never to quit and loves my books, especially my book “Dancing With Jesus.” I have been getting messages from childhood friends that they are proud of me and are buying my books.
[Susan] To be recognized by family and close friends is a wonderful feeling. Though it’s never happened for me, I’m happy when I hear it for others. It makes me smile. So, on the flip side of the coin, Deb, what do you say to those who thought you’d never get this far? Or do you even care?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, I used to care about those people or family or so called friends that did not wish me well but now it doesn’t matter, it is the love of writing.
[Susan] Again I agree with you, what a great attitude. And what other way is there to be? Success is in the pudding. lol. You’re the ONE out there at book signings and asked to speak at Universities so …. in the name of Poetic Justice, I say court adjourned, lol.
Deb, name one person whom you feel is instrumental in your success today as a writer, anyone you would like to personally thank for believing in you when no one else did?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] My mother always believed in me. I would thank her every day, and of course God that gives me the ideas, but you, Susan, never gave up on me and I want to thank you for that.
[Susan] I wish I could have met your mother, I know she raised wonderful daughters, like You. Yes, God gave us our gifts. And thank you Deb, I saw early on the potential of you and I say to EVERYONE, out of all the writers I’ve ever known, I”ve never known one like you to have grown so much in such short amount of time, literally leaps and bounds, and I’m not just saying that because of our close friendship, I truly mean it.
Now, what does it feel like to know that tens of thousands of people could discover you and be touched and inspired by your work?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, I am always amazed that anyone would be inspired by my work but it is a great feeling. I really hope and pray that I do help others.
[Susan] Deb, believe me when I say, YOU ARE an INSPIRATION to many of us, to me, countless others. You do TOUCH lives and we thank you Deb for all your encouragement and belief in US. Your writing is unforgettable and straight from the heart.
Ok, wipe the tears, lol, we have an interview to conduct, lol. Deb, is there anything you would like to say to your fans/followers and other aspiring writers out there who may want to follow in your literary footsteps?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Ahhh, Susan, I would like to say thank you to all that read my work and actually buy my books, and I want to say you all are absolutely wonderful amazing people.
[Susan] It’s because YOU are amazing, Deb, and we all find your work inspiring, romantic, nostalgic … it evokes all kinds of emotions in your readers and fans.
Now Deb, you can MEET any famous person you want, dead or alive. Who would it be?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] JANE AUSTEN!!!!!!! SHE IS FABULOUS !!!
[Susan] That’s a great choice. What do you find the most CHALLENGING about writing?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, sometimes it can be hard to get across how I am feeling because my feelings get so mixed up with other feelings … and my words to me seem jumbled. I know you understand what I am trying to say . . .
[Susan] I do, Deb, as we are both very sensitive people, and our emotions can be hard to rein in, yes, I understand completely. Ok, what do you ENJOY most about writing?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, I can be me in my writing, that is what I enjoy most. I have no restrictions, Life gives us so many restrictions, but I can be me!!!!
[Susan] Yes, the literary outlet of Freedom to be whoever we want to be, I relate to that. As long as we come out of character and return to being ourselves, we’ll be ok, lol, instead of personifying ourselves as one of the characters from our novels, lol.
Deb, what do you think is the biggest misconception about Poetry or poets in general today?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, so many people that do not write poetry think it is boring and just don’t understand it. I found the only people that read or buy poetry books are other poets.
[Susan] You know what Deb? You said a mouthful and it’s the truth ~ it seems today only poets respect, read and buy the books of other poets. Sad. Well, then, do you think Poetry is a dying art form because maybe it doesn’t get the attention and respect it deserves? And if so, how would YOU go about changing that?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Wow Susan, what a great question, all I can say is we all need to keep writing and I think we all need to learn about the classics. I have found poets that do not know about the wonderful classic Poets. I don’t think it’s a dying art, at least I hope it is not. I would cry if it was.
[Susan] I love the Classics, of course that’s what you and I grew up on and were influenced over our writing careers by them. I agree that every writer should be exposed at some point to the Greats from the Past, Deb. I hope not too that poetry is a dying art form, but I feel good about it because there are writers out there like YOU, Deb, that are keeping it alive. Thank you. Deb, what are your chief interests and aspirations?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] My chief interests are My writing and my family but mostly my Lord Jesus!!! ..
[Susan] Amen to that. How do you find time to write? Do you write every day?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] I have slowed down on writing. Sometimes I take a Break, I have panic attacks and health issues, it gets in the way. I will be 65 this year. I keep telling myself to keep moving, but sometimes I just can’t. I have to stop and wait for it all to pass.
[Susan] I suffer panic attacks and health issues too, I’m sorry Deb. And 65? My God, you are beautiful. You are blessed not to look your age, so please feel good about that, I never would have guessed you to be 65. Not that there is anything wrong with that, lol, I’m just saying, I would not have KNOWN had I not known you personally.
What is the title of your latest book?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Divine Tender Moments I co-wrote with Toni Lovric. I am proud of this book. It’s about love, My Our Lord, family etc.
[Susan] Love the title and co-writes are such fun to do, aren’t they? I have done many, even with you, two of them you and I co-wrote.
Deb, when you’re NOT writing, where can we find you and what are you doing?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Chasing grandkids and traveling and just having fun. I started paying someone to clean my house.. ha ha.. It gets in the way of me having fun.
[Susan] Hey, when this person is finished at your house, can she come to mine too, lol? I’d rather write a poem than vacuum any day, lol. Deb, do you like eBooks or physical books? Or both?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] I love physical books, I love to feel them and smell them. Shoot, I have a library of everybody’s books..lol .. I hate Kindle and eBooks.
[Susan] I think we are twins, Deb, lol. I feel EXACTLY the same way. My Library/Office is my sanctuary, with all 10 book shelves from floor to ceiling filled with books, and books from friends, as well. I love it and spend 90% of my day right there.
Ok, moving right along . . . Deb, I’m reading on a Poetry Forum site. Why would I stop and read yours out of fifty others? How do you make sure YOU stand out above the rest?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, I hope you would like the title of my poem or the picture would attract you to read it, but I agree, there are so many great poets out there, I am always thankful of anyone that reads my poems.
[Susan] Deb, Newsflash! You have established yourself as a household name in Poetry Circles, you have NOTHING my dear, to worry about. When we on poetry forums come across the name DEBORAH BROOKS LANGFORD, for us, you’ve earned the respect from us to put on those breaks and stop right there and read whatever you have written. Just know that’s a fact, Jack. lol, Jill, lol, I mean . . .
Do you promote and/or self-market your works, books? If so, what avenue do you utilize to “put yourself out there” for exposure purposes?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, oh yes I believe in marketing. It’s a must . . . There are so many Authors out there self-published. Unless you have a famous name, which I don’t … you have to market your book. I do wonderful book launches. I charge $75.00 and it gets your name out there. I insist you post your books on Google and Twitter and Linkage; there are so many avenues. If you do not market, you will get lost in the thousand and thousands.
[Susan] I agree and it’s YOU Deb, that taught me the marketing tools and I appreciate that. Deb, is it possible to share a poem here of yours for the readers?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Ohh yess thanks:
A ROSE IN TIME
He gave her a rose, a rose so pretty
She held her breath as he made her feel lovely
Oh what a sight to see, as she blinked her eyes
He stood kissing her soul, can’t you see~
She smiled her smile, as he kissed her hand
Darling nice to meet you, may I take you away?
Oh my dear kind sir, oh yes take me to your heart
Wherever that may be, you see dear kind sir
I rather like you and I need your love~
My lady, you are special to me,
Let me whisk you away
And make you whole;
It’s been a while since I met someone
Special and pretty as a picture.
Let’s fly together and find our
That was a rose in time;
In their dreams they ruled the world~
Their love was special their love was true!
She followed him to the end of the earth
She dreamed of his arms and wonderful lips
She dreamed so long it maybe come true…
He kissed her and held her tight
He thought, I would never lose this fight
He smelled her hair and brushed her face
Oh, he thought, how I love this dream
He picked her up and fell headfirst
In the sweetest love in time…
Yes, it started with a rose~
Debbie Brooks ©March 2016
[Susan] I told you, I told you, Romantic Poetess, there she is, in full color, lol!!! That’s the Deb we all know and love, beautiful poem, I loved it.
Deb, is there anything else you’d like to add or share before we close?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, I would just say: NEVER QUIT WRITING . . . even if you get negative comments. Not everyone will like your poetry or your writing and so many are very judgmental . . . so don’t worry!!! Just do YOUR THING!!!!
[Susan] Perfect advice, Deb, thank you so so much. One last thing. What would you like to be KNOWN for and how would you like to be best remembered for future generations?
[Deborah Brooks Langford] Susan, I just want my children and grandchildren to know they are all my inspiration, my books are for them.
Deb, you are continuing to leave a beautiful legacy for all your future generations of family and for all your friends, as well.
Thank you for allowing us all here today to get to know the ARTIST behind their works. I wish you tremendous success in all your endeavors. I will be posting your Interview soon here on the Rhythm and Muse Blogsite, multiple Website Forums I’m on (Twitter, Google +, TSU, etc.), plus also on Facebook in several different places, of course with your permission. Have a great day Deb and thanks again so much for all your time.
Where the Artist can be found, their books, etc.:
Deb’s book stores:
Deb has OVER 31 books, I will list here one of my favorites of hers,
called BROKEN STARS: