Meet the Characters with Brenda Maxfield

Brenda Maxfield coverHello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Brenda Maxfield, and her characters from Cornered (Ocean Mist Book #2). It’s a fantastic YA contemporary with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Courtney, the heroine from Cornered.

Hi, I’m Courtney Phillips. I’ve never been interviewed before. I hope I do okay. 🙂

What do you do for a living?

I’m in high school right now, but I have big dreams for my future. I want to work in medicine — which is why I need to go to Brecken University. Mom’s against it, though. But I’m going. I don’t care what I have to do to get there.

What is your greatest fear?

My mom will die. She gets worse every month. It’s not really fatal, but I have a really awful feeling in my gut.

It’s true — she drives me crazy. But that doesn’t mean I want her dead. Another fear I have is about my sister, Tiffany. I’m afraid she’ll run away and live off the streets. I know she’s tough, but I don’t think she could survive it. It keeps me awake.

What do you think your greatest weakness is?

Whoa. Depends on who you ask. lol My sister would call me a jerk and say I’m bossy. Mom would accuse me of being selfish. (Which totally slays me since I do everything for her.) My brother would have to think about it. (Isn’t he sweet? He loves me!)

What do you think is your strongest attribute?

I’m responsible. I take care of just about everything at home. I hate it, but I do it.

What do you like most about where you live?

I live in Ocean Mist on the Pacific Coast in Washington. I love it here. It’s small, so everyone knows everyone. That drives my sister wild, but I like it. We look out for each other.

What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?

I remember my mom before she got sick. She was fun and smiled. Those days are long gone, but sometimes when I’m feeling horrid, I sit and purposely remember. It makes Mom seem more human, somehow. I used to like her, not just love her. She used to be the mom, you know. Before I had to take over.

Vivid memory of my dad? His backside as he walked away from us. Seeing Tiff stand at the window, sucking her thumb, waiting for him to come back tore my heart. Hey, can we not talk about this question anymore?

What word makes you the happiest?

Watching Keegan run at a school track meet. He doesn’t run so much as fly over the track. He’s beautiful. Oh, please don’t tell him I said that.

What is your least favorite word?

Fibromyalgia. For obvious reasons.

What sound or noise do you love?

This is an easy question. The sound of the surf crashing onto the sand. The feel of the ocean breeze brushing against my face. The cry of the gulls circling overhead. Whoops. That was more than just the sound. Sorry!

Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo, what would it be and where? If not, what if you had to?

Okay, this question cracks me up! It’s my sister Tiffany who would get a tattoo — and she wouldn’t stop with just one. If I had to get one, I might tattoo Keegan’s name. But somewhere nobody but me would see it. DON’T TELL HIM, PLEASE.


Seventeen-year-old Courtney Phillips is striving to earn an internship to escape from her unhappy home. But when her mother becomes ill, Courtney is stuck caring for her rebellious sister, Tiffany, and her little brother—until Tiffany runs off to live with their dead-beat dad.

Track star Keegan Hank’s current girlfriend is cheating on him, but having fallen for him herself, Courtney is afraid to tell her best friend the truth. When Keegan discovers that Courtney withheld the facts about his girlfriend, he rejects her apologies.

Courtney finally lands an interview for her dream internship, but mysterious calls from Tiffany spell trouble. Courtney must now find a way to win Keegan’s love and rescue her sister without jeopardizing her own future.


The phone rang in Mrs. Johnson’s calculus class, and I sank into my chair with dread. She scuffled to answer it, clucked a few times into the receiver, and pressed it to her chest. Peering at us over her glasses, she zoned in on me.

“Courtney, please report to the office.”

A few of the kids snickered, probably with relief. I stood to leave and glanced over at Keegan.

He brushed a few strands of hair away from his deep brown eyes and offered me his sympathy face. I grimaced, shrugged, and pushed through the door into the empty hallway. My flats clacked out my progress with a hollow echo.

The secretary, Mrs. Pellan, waited for me in the office, perched behind the counter like a judgmental owl. “Courtney Phillips, this is getting to be a habit.”

“My mom again?” I asked, already knowing her answer.

“Yes, and we simply can’t have you interrupted at all hours with these calls. Mr. Anderson is not a happy camper, young lady.”

I sighed and held out my hand for the phone.

“Court? Are you there?” Mom’s whiny voice trembled through the line.

“I’m here, Mom. What’d she do this time?”

“The middle school just called, and Tiffy didn’t show up for school again. You know I count on you to get the kids off in the morning.” She paused for a huge gasping breath. “Didn’t you take her to school? She didn’t walk, did she? You and I both know…”

I held the phone away from my ear, letting her ramble into the air. Nosy Mrs. Pellan left her chair and inched closer, her eyebrows raised in a thin V across her forehead. I knew from experience Mrs. Pellan loved any hint of gossip. I pressed the phone back to my ear.

“…since she can’t do it alone.” Mom had finished her tirade.

“Yes, Mother,” I said.

“So you’ll do it then?”

“Give me a replay.”

Mom’s voice quacked an octave higher. “Courtney Phillips, have you listened to one word I’ve said? Now get over there to the middle school and find your sister.”

I handed the phone to Mrs. Pellan. “I have to go. Mom will explain. I’ll sign out, but I’m not sure I’ll be back.”

I scribbled my name and the time on the clipboard lying on the counter. I dashed out before Mrs. Pellan could return to lecture mode.

It wasn’t my fault.

But then it never was.

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Meet Brenda:Brenda Maxfield pic

My passion is writing! What could be more delicious than inventing new characters and seeing where they take you?

I’m a teacher so I spend most of my waking hours with young people. I love chatting with them and hearing their views on love and life. My students are magical, and I am honored to be part of their lives.

I’ve lived in Honduras, Grand Cayman, and Costa Rica. Presently, I live in Indiana with my husband, Paul. We have two grown children and three precious grandchildren, special delivery from Africa.

When not teaching, I love to hole up in our lake cabin and write — often with a batch of popcorn nearby. (Oh, and did I mention dark chocolate?)

I enjoy getting to know my readers, so feel free to write me at: Join my Newsletter Gang and get the latest news, contests, releases:  Visit me to learn about all my books and some smart and sassy, clean teen reads: Happy Reading!

Connect with Brenda:



Goodreads Author Page:




Amazon author Page:

Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!




13 thoughts on “Meet the Characters with Brenda Maxfield

  1. Sounds like an emotional book. I can imagine how hard it is to have to take care of everything. Best wishes!

  2. Courtney – You did great! There are too many teens holding families together for numerous reasons. I’m certain you have a huge readership out there that will understand exactly what you’re going through. Wishing you much luck!

    Brenda – You’ve done a great job penning for Courtney. Her story needs to be told.

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