Lillian and her husband Dave are the team behind Brummet Media Group, high-fiving cheerfully as they pass each other on the way from checking off one item or other from their long to-do list. After moving to their dream location (in the Kootenay Region of BC, Canada), they have been methodically converting the abused lot over to the little park it has become – and in doing so have gained certification with bee, pollinator and wildlife organizations. Their home, too, has become energy efficient via the many upgrades they have done. Their business includes Dave’s music studio and percussion accessory products and graphic design work as well as numerous award-winning non-fiction books and popular blogs. Today we help them celebrate their latest book release - From One Small Garden, with over 300 delicious, nutritious recipes! Check out their author page here and don't forget to follow them them on Facebook!
Q: Where did you find all the sources for your research?
L: When it comes to the world of writing, online commerce and business in general - the Internet is a treasure. My end of the office duties often has me upgrading marketing and business skills via online courses and spending a lot of time searching online looking for new resources that could lead to networking, learning or marketing opportunities. However the volume of information and opportunities can also be overwhelming, one feels a bit intimidated by the mass of it all, and so I have learned to simply make a note of anything I do not have the time for yet, knowing it is there to follow up on later. Nothing is lost, I haven't let an opportunity go, and I don't have to mull it over in my mind feeling inadequate because a note has been made.
Q: What do you do when you are not writing?
L: I love to garden, it is like meditation for me and while I might come back in the house covered in mud, I am happier, calmer. Quite a lot of my off time involves cooking and also the mundane chores of cleaning the house, office and workshop. We share the recycling and compost duties, most of the yard duties and we both take time to train and play with our fur kids (3 dogs and a cat). Downtime is often spent on the little deck or down in the sitting area on one side of the house. Winter evenings and late nights see us cuddled with the dogs on the couch.
Q: Who/what inspired you to pursue a career in writing?
D: I was inspired by various sci-fi writers at first and felt I would go the fiction route but haven’t yet found the time to develop anything of my own in that genre. I definitely have some story ideas rattling around in my head. Some day…
I was also inspired by Neil Peart, he's the drummer and lyricist from Rush. He inspired me as a drummer to get songwriting credits whenever I am involved with original music. Oddly enough, as a drummer, there are no credits for your performance as compared to a guitarist, keyboard player or songwriter. So I started by writing song lyrics and most of
my poetry found in our Rhythm & Rhyme book is also penned in that style.
Q: What have you learned about while working with your spouse?
L: Verbal communication is a challenge for me and I have to say that has been my biggest learning curve through our 2 decades of working together, and our 30+ years of marriage. It took a while for us to determine which of us had a better knack for this task or that duty, and over time we just slid into our roles and did our best to support each other in any way we could. We learned to give each other space to do what needs to be done and to be gracious when one of us has personal challenges. We have regular, spontaneous meetings and brain storming sessions. We talk about what needs to be done and determine priorities based on what is realistic to take on that week... and we divide the duties as best we can.
Q: Describe a typical writing day.
D: Well, when Lillian is responding to interview questions and running the social media end of things, I am working on the back end of things like images, ad creation, copywriting, or editing anything we have written together. We always proof each other’s work; it is amazing what one might miss that fresh eyes can catch. And with the graphic work I always have a hard-nosed critic with a keen eye just upstairs from me to give an honest second opinion. What looks good to my eye after working on something for hours might be seen as too wordy or the wrong color scheme. A fresh set of different eyes with a common understanding of the goal is the best feedback I could ask for – and she brings me cookies!
Q: How do you manage social media, what social media have you used, which do you like to use the most and why?
L: I have us listed with quite a number of social media outlets, the most popular being LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter. I use LinkedIn mainly for business related topics, links, resources and announcements such as book releases and media appearances. I don't use Twitter for much except to share links to meaningful posts on our blogs or links to media appearances. FaceBook is where I am able to network, find specific groups and get into great conversations with others on a variety of topics. Posts about media appearances, links to blog posts and business announcements, book ads... FaceBook is used for so many things. Dave has his own separate FaceBook account as well where he networks with other musically minded individuals. When it comes to social media, I'll check out and often join any that suits our situation whether the focus is writers or members of the media, other bloggers or authors. Even if the audience is fairly small there; if I can reach out to them then this is a great opportunity.
Q: How do you go about choosing a book title?
D: For me the title almost always comes near or at the end of the writing process. If ever I have had an idea of the title first it was usually changed by the time the book was done. A title for me has to explain the book’s purpose or intent in some way. I like it to be catchy and not too wordy. Like a good melody that you can easily whistle, a good title should be memorable, appropriate and roll off the tongue easily.
Q: The two of you appear to be very involved, you care about the world and you do your best to make a difference. What can you tell us about your contribution to society?
L: I love this question, because Dave and I care a great deal about being consciously proactive. When we were young and much more active, we would clean up litter along mountain bike trails, old railway paths, along rivers and lakeshores, campsites and roadways. While walking the dogs around the neighborhood, or downtown - we can be seen bending down to pick up litter. Once we became writers we were able to donate copies of our books to various fundraising events, as door prizes to community events and to libraries. As gardeners we are able to share nutritious harvests with our neighbors, clients and friends while providing important habitat for bees, butterflies and birds. Over the last 2 decades we have donated 10% of our business earnings annually to a number of environmental, pet and gardening genre charitable organizations. And of course Dave has donated time to charitable fundraising events, his skills and used parts to schools through his Drum It Forward program, and he's a handy sort of neighbor... there when you need him.
Q: Tell us the process of creating the cover for your book.
D: From One Small Garden’s cover was a process that evolved over the years. By the time the final title was decided on the concept of what we wanted to portray was clear - How to cook with fresh produce. If you look at the front cover closely, in the background is an image of our actual garden ghosted out with dishes of prepared food in the foreground – from the garden to plate in a sense. The back cover concept is similar but with images of our freshly harvested produce in place of the food dishes. All from one small garden - is what we have lived for the past 30+ years as a life style and a health choice and we know it saves a bunch of money while having you eat like royalty.
Q: What is the significance of your book/the cover? What do you hope readers will feel when they have read/seen it?
D: The significance of the book is to guide others on how to cook some great food with fresh wholesome ingredients that you could potentially grow yourself or get from a local market or farm gate. I intentionally designed he cover to catch the eye of gardeners and portray the journey from harvest to plate.
Check out 'From One Small Garden, with Over 300 Delicious Nutritious Recipes.' now at Amazon to start enjoying fresh food in a deliciously, nutritiously new and exciting way.