Brown did her first book as a ‘pantser’

By Gary Herron Rio Rancho Observer 2/1/2024

Staff writer

GARY HERRON/ Observer Rio Rancho
Author Gency Brown, with her old Yankees cap and some miscellaneous
Cal Ripken items nearby; she’s a longtime baseball fan.

RIO RANCHO – Gency Brown still remembers being told by an elementary school teacher that she’d never be a big-league baseball player.

That was decades ago, in response to a fifth-grade class assignment in which Brown said she wanted to be the left fielder for the New York Yankees — back then, she would have been a teammate of a couple great Yankees outfielders named Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

“I got a big ol’ red C on it, and when I took it home, my mom went ballistic,” she remembered. Her mother was so irked that she paid a visit to that teacher in Cushing, Oklahoma.

Of course, Brown never played for the Yankees, but now when she writes, she doesn’t get rebuked.

“I’ve always wanted to write; just business emails and things like that wasn’t cutting it,” she said. “Technical writing in retail, training materials and so forth, but I had stories to tell. … I come from a long line of storytellers, and so it was just kinda natural to put some stories down on paper.”

Now, she says, “I try to do something about my writing every day, whether it’s research

or promotion, or actually sitting down, writing or editing, I try to be in the writer’s chair every day.”

She recently completed her first novel, “A Right Fine Life” (published by Wild Rose Press on New York), which she began in 2018, and has another one in the planning stages.

She only wishes she had chosen to be an author a long time ago, something her older brother, E. Joe Brown, also of Rio Rancho, had done. She’s spent a lot of time in retail, she’s been a musician — she initially played the trumpet and also plays guitar — for a long time, managed a golf course, and is active in a Western band, worked for the U.S. government and was last working in Atlanta for Golfsmith until she retired in 2016.

She decided to move to Rio Rancho to be closer to her brother, who’s also active in the International Western Music Association, which stages its annual convention in Albuquerque.

“I didn’t even need to buy a street map when I got here, you know? I knew where I was,” she said, happy to be a resident here.

“A Right Fine Life,” she says, giving the Reader’s Digest version, “is about a young man that wants to be a country music star. I felt like I had been around enough performers and done enough performing

myself and whatever that I kinda knew some of the story and ups and downs and trials and tribulations. It just kinda came naturally.

“It just came out. I didn’t do an outline or anything. I guess I’m what they call a ‘pantser’ – you just kinda do it by the seat of your pants,” she explained. “And when I sat down and started writing, it just flowed out for me. I didn’t have bouts of writer’s block or anything.

“It does have a great, happy ending,” she revealed. “But he still realizes, through it all, that he needs home and he needs family, so he has to figure out how he can have it all.”

She confessed she has received some guidance and advice from her brother, out often on book tours, but doesn’t want to be referred to as Joe’s little sister.

“A Right Fine Life,” she says, “is obviously for the country music fan or music fan, in general, and I would say 25 (years old) and above, generally.”

Just like she won’t forget that dream of being a Yankee, she won’t forget her delight when she received a box of her first book.

“You know, it was fulfilling. I had a grin on my face, for sure, when I opened the box,” she said, “and immediately went and posted it on Facebook and all the places to begin promotion. It was very fulfilling, just to know that I had finished it, somebody liked it


enough to publish it, and now it was out there, and I could share that story again.”

Does she envision that debut novel on TV or the silver screen?

“I do think it is marketable,” Brown said. “It may be Hallmark; it may be Lifetime.”

The book launch took place at Books on the Bosque Jan. 6. The book can be found online at the usual places, such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


Author and fly-fishing enthusiast Gency Brown used her experience as a performing musician to help craft her debut novel A Right Fine Life (The Wild Rose Press, January 2024), the story of a young man striving to succeed in the music industry. Look for Gency on her website at, and on FacebookInstagram, and her Amazon author page.

What do you want readers to know about the story you tell in A Right Fine Life, and what do you hope they take away from it?
I wanted to write about a boy next-door type making it in a tough world but sticking to his standards. It can be done. It takes tenacity, patience, and a passion for what you’re doing.

Who is your main character in the book? What are his flaws and strengths?
My main character is Randy Walters, a young man with a dream. He just may be too nice a guy for Nashville.

What is the main setting of the book, and why is it the best place for the story to play out?
The main setting is Nashville, Tennessee. As Music City, USA it is the center of the business that each young hopeful heads to for a career in country music.

Have you ever been to Nashville? If so, how did that experience affect the story you wrote?
Yes, I have been to Nashville three times and driven through on I-40 many times without stopping. My first time was with my dad in the early 1970s when the Opry was still held at the old Ryman Auditorium. We took a couple of tours of the city including stars’ homes. In writing the book, I was able to use my thrill at being in such a historic place and meeting country stars I idolized. The next time I visited Nashville was on a bus tour of the Smoky Mountains and the area with my aunt. The Opry had moved to the new facility by then, so I’ve been to both. My third time was in October 2023 and boy had things changed by then. Luckily, the time setting for the book utilized my memories of earlier visits instead of the glitz and glamour and very loud music coming from clubs. Good thing, since the book had already gone to print.

What sparked the story idea, and how did the book come together after that?
I wanted to present the life of a music star that wasn’t riddled with alcohol or drugs but would show the human side. It took two years to research and write and one to edit.

When did you know you had taken the manuscript as far as it could go, that it was ready for publishing?
Probably not until the publisher, The Wild Rose Press, sent me the contract. Every time I read it, I find something to change.

You published two short stories in 2022: “Sister” and “Ladies of the Quilt.” After writing short pieces, what challenges did you face writing your first novel?
My main challenge was knowing when to stop. After the word count limitations of short stories, I felt free and had to make sure everything I wrote moved the story forward.

What was your favorite part of putting this project together?
When I was putting the words on the page, the words flowed. Sometimes I had to get out of bed to put down an idea that couldn’t wait.

How has the creativity and discipline you use as a musician helped you in your writing journey?
Music is very structured. In its look on the page and the rules that create harmony. If you play this note, you have to play this one next. In writing, you make a statement or create a scene early on, it affects another twenty pages later. I can improvise, but in the end the words have to harmonize.

What writing projects are you working on now?
I am in the middle of another novel about a woman striking out to follow a passion for writing while looking for answers to questions in her life.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
I am appreciative of the learning opportunities and friendships that come to me through SouthWest Writers.

KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kat has a speculative fiction blog at and writes about memoir at