Brandy Rae, a professional writer/editor and aspiring author, grew up in the Southwest and learned the power of words at a young age. She enjoyed the traditional oral stories passed on by her ancestors, and once believed La Llorona, El Cucuey, or La Chupra Cabra would come for her if she stayed out after dark. She also believed (and still does) in the strange and unusual, which is why she’s a big fan of Magical Realism. Brandy Rae also grew up in a low-income urban neighborhood plagued with violence, drugs, and gangs. All those experiences helped shape who she is today as a contemporary writer.
Starting the Writer’s Journey
Brandy Rae didn’t always want to be a writer. She originally sought a future in music, but later realized that industry wasn’t for her. Thus, she decided to focus on writing, her other love, full time.
Brandy Rae’s love of writing originally started with books. Since the age of five, the aspiring writer loved getting lost in the world of make believe through the adventures found in the many books she read. At the age of eight, she put her first words on paper in the form of song lyrics. She continued writing songs over the years, and by junior high, she took her first journalism class. She later joined her high school newspaper, but at that time, Brandy Rae considered writing a hobby.
That changed when she entered her twenties and decided to write down the story ideas swarming in her head. It was at that point Brandy knew she wanted to do more and began drafting her first novel, Tears of Clowns. After she finished the draft, she submitted it to a published author in California for feedback. When she got the manuscript back, Brandy Rae couldn’t contain her excitement. The writer told her the book sounded like a movie and encouraged her to learn scriptwriting. But when she saw all the red marks and the comments, “I had to stop marking after a certain point,” the inexperienced writer knew she had to return to school and improve her writing skills. Unfortunately, life took precedence, so she had to wait for the right moment.
Putting Writing On Hold
Initially, right after high school, Brandy Rae went off to college, Arizona State University. She managed to earn a full scholarship, but had to quit her sophomore year after divorcing her high school sweetheart and becoming a single mother. She had to put her dreams of getting an education on hold to work full-time in banking to support her daughter.
Brandy Rae had remarried a Texan, Esau, and they decided to move their daughter and son to West Texas where he grew up so they could enjoy rural living. They chose San Angelo, a small city close to the town her husband grew up in. The opportunity to return to school came up a year after their move, in 2003, and she enrolled at a different ASU, Angelo State University.
Brandy Rae left banking after almost 10 years and returned to school to pursue her goals of becoming a better writer. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English with a minor in Journalism. Her first novel remained shelved as she focused on her education, wrote for her university and city newspapers, taught writing composition, research methodology, business communications, critical thinking and reading, and English Language Learning. She also started freelancing and established her own business, WriteForMe. She then worked non-stop for almost two years as Editor-in-chief for online news source San Angelo LIVE!.
Overcoming The Detour
Today, almost 16 years after moving to Texas, Brandy Rae, as an established professional writer and editor, has hundreds of published news articles, features, editorials, and blog posts, along with published academic articles, conference presentations, poems, and short stories. She also enjoys teaching writing composition at the college level and mentoring young writers. Not to mention, she’s tackling many fiction writing projects, including the novel that started it all, Tears of Clowns. Brandy Rae hopes to have the novel completed by the fall of 2017.
When she’s not writing, editing, or teaching, Brandy Rae enjoys spending time with her now grown kids, three grandchildren, Ayden, 7, and twins, Alana and Leila, 5, and her overactive 2-year-old Husky, Zeus. She also enjoys working out six days a week and singing (now a hobby). Also, her family recently returned to Arizona for family and better education and career opportunities.
Although she’s a late bloomer, Brandy Rae is proud of her accomplishments and hopes you will join her on her writing journey whether you are a fellow writer, editor, publisher, colleague, friend, family, or simply an avid reader.