Friday, November 2, 2012

Where the Greener Grass Grows

Today's special guest is Lin Brooks. Lin is a lifelong Southern girl who lives in Mobile, Alabama with her family. She is a lawyer, runner, mother, home improvement enthusiast and an avid reader with a bucket list that includes visiting Australia, running a marathon and trying every kind of margarita ever made.

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

We interviewed Lin about her writing and herself:

When and how did you become interested in writing?    

I used to hate writing in high school. They never let me write about anything fun. Then, about twenty years ago, I realized that I enjoyed reading and, every time I picked up a book, I had plots swimming around in my head.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t any good at it! All that blank paper was intimidating. So it took another ten years for me to actually finish a manuscript, and another two or three to finish one that I didn’t read later and think “Wow, that’s pretty bad.” I think going to law school helped. There is A LOT of writing involved in law school, and I got a lot of good practice.

How did you select the genre you write in?

I have always read a lot of women’s fiction and romance. My mom and my grandma used to pass around big brown paper bags of romance novels, so that was what was lying around when I was looking for something to read. The genre has grown so much since I was young, and there is such a variety of romance and women’s fiction now that you can write about anything that interests women, which makes it personal to me. There are so many great romance and women’s fiction authors that I can pick up a book by just about anyone and enjoy it, so writing in that area just means that I’m writing about things I know and am interested in.

What books do you read for relaxation? Who are your favorite authors and why?

My favorite author is Stephen King. My husband and I started dating when I was 17, and he was the one that turned me on to him. He can be a little dark (King, not my husband!) and sometimes it’s a little weird, but the main thing I like about King is his ability to entertain. The man can spin a story! The Gunslinger novels are a perfect example of just plain good storytelling. When it is time for bed, I can’t seem to find a good place to put the book down, and before I know it, it’s 3am.

How do you develop your characters?

My main characters are usually someone that I can identify with. When I was in college, I had screenwriting professor who told us to “always write what you know.” That advice stuck. All of my characters have at least a little piece of me in them, because if I can understand them, then I know how they should act in any given situation. From there, I give them a pretty thorough history. Sometimes that history never makes it into the book (and that’s a good thing—I think people lose interest in a story if you try to give them an encyclopedia on all of your characters), but it does motivate them to do and act in a certain way. And that’s what makes the characters interesting. My characters often do things that I don’t expect, and I really like that.  I hate it when a writer has a character do something that doesn’t fit just so the plot will go in the right direction. It feels forced. I have changed many a plot point because my character decided to go off the deep end.

Where do you get ideas for your plots?

I am a moderate introvert, which means that I have several very close friends, as opposed to a lot of sort-of close friends. I am very involved in my friends’ lives and we’re all a little off (in a good way). So there is a lot of fertile ground. Sometimes I will see something, like a newspaper article or a story on facebook, that will trigger an idea, but mostly, my plots are twists on personal experience on the experiences of people around me.

What are you working on next?

I have a straight romance novel coming out early next year. Meanwhile, I have a short(ish) work coming out soon that is a little different for me. It’s called “The Divorcee’s Field Guide: Surviving the Apocalyptic Break Up”. It’s therapy by laughter for women who are recovering from divorce. The book is a perfect example of drawing inspiration from experience. My two closest friends and I are all twice divorced, and we have some doozy ex husband stories. We all three kept thinking we should put them in a book, because no one would believe them. So I finally did. My editor (he’s a guy) is looking over it now. I can’t wait to hear his comments….

  ABOUT THE BOOK

Sending the children off to college is never easy. For Lacey Marchand and Cara Myers, an empty nest is enough to drive them a little crazy -- but sometimes, a little crazy is just what the doctor ordered.

Now that their daughters have left for college, Lacey and Cara have too much time on their hands. With nothing else to do, Cara decides to help single-mom Lacey get a life. And what better way to get a life than a few blind dates?

Lacey, however, can't think of a worse way to spend her weekends. She has her own ideas for curing their empty nest problems -- Cara needs a new career. And a career just happens to be what Lacey understands best.    

For Cara and Lacey, coping with the empty nest means reinventing their lives without losing their sanity. Where the Greener Grass Grows is the story of two mothers learning to live, to laugh and to let go.

AN EXCERPT

Lacey nodded at the young man in the ticket booth, the grin still fixed on her face. That had to be one of the more unusual gifts she had ever heard of. At least Cara had a sense of humor about it. “That one’s going on the list.”

Cara dug in her purse for her wallet. “Would that be the ‘gifts guaranteed to piss your wife off’ list or the ‘gifts only a total moron would actually buy’ list?”

“Neither. I was thinking the ‘out of ideas’ list. You’ve been married a long time,” she reminded Cara. Sometimes that was almost impossible for Lacey to comprehend. It had been twenty three years since Cara had given up flirting with every guy in sight and settled down with Brian. How could two people manage to stay in love that long? To Lacey, it was a complete mystery.

“I’ve been married since the frigging stone age,” Cara muttered. “Which means he ought to know better. Fortysomething people in those stupid coffee commercials do things like sit on a deck overlooking a mountain range while drinking cappuccinos or jet off to Paris to exchange anniversary rings while staring up at the Eiffel tower. I get pizza and a wood toilet seat. He just doesn’t give a rip.”
 
HOW TO CONTACT THE AUTHOR

Lin will be awarding a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://www.goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/09/virtual-book-tour-where-greener-grass.html

Connect with Lin at:


And on her Blog:

10 comments:

Lin Brooks said...

Thank you for having me today!

p.m.terrell said...

Thank you so much for visiting us today, Lin! I also have a blog at www.pmterrell.blogspot.com, in which I introduced you this morning with a link to this one. I find the premise behind your book fascinating: so many friends have looked forward to becoming empty nesters only to find a huge void once they had the homes to themselves. Can't wait to read your book!

Shannon Ro said...

I love that you are late bloomer in the writing world. It definetly makes a difference when you are writing about something you are passionate about. Thanks for sharing the novel

Lin Brooks said...

Thanks! The empty nest does make for a big change, that's for sure! In fact, I guess writing was one way for me to deal with it. I had a lot more time (and quiet) on my hands...

Anonymous said...

Best of luck with the release!

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today!

Ingeborg said...

Great interview and excerpt.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Catherine Lee said...

HMMM...The Divorcee's Field Guide sounds interesting. I'm also a big Stephen King fan. I loved 11/22/63 by him. As a librarian, I'm a sucker for a librarian love story.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Patricia said...

I love women's fiction and this one I'm going to buy. Two women going through life's problems. Cool.
Patti

Lin Brooks said...

Thanks, all. Catherine, I bought 11/22/63 the day it came out and absolutely devoured it. And The Divorcee's Field Guide was a fun write! I have several divorcee friends. We spent many night over a glass (or three) of wine coming up with material! Patricia, I hope you enjoy! Thanks for the vote of confidence!