Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome Guest Author Brooke Moss!

I'm so very excited to welcome fellow Entangled Publishing author 
Brooke Moss 
to the blog today!
Welcome, Brooke!  Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

Thanks for having me here today, I am thrilled to be sharing The What If Guy with you!

My name is Brooke Moss, and I live in eastern Washington state with the husband I lovingly call my nerd, a very lazy dog, and our four lovely (crazy) children. I write contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction, my debut book, The What If Guy, came out on August 2nd, and I have a trilogy coming out during summer of 2012.

Awesome! The What If Guy is at the top of my TBR pile—looks like so much fun! Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

The What If Guy tells the story of single mother, Autumn Cole, who is returning to her miniscule hometown of Fairfield, Washington to reluctantly reclaim her role as daughter of the town drunk. Her live becomes even more complicated when she discovers that her son’s history teacher is none other than Henry Tobler, the college sweetheart she left behind, but never stopped loving.

Sounds so good! Which character is your favorite and why?

I love all of my characters, because they all were parts of the whole that wound up being my debut novel! Though…in all honesty…I have a certain fondness for Autumn’s son, Elliott, who is twelve. He is based on my oldest child, who marches to the beat of his own drum and has an incredibly sarcastic wit. I loved Elliott.

Oh, man, kids can be such wonderful scene stealers, can’t they? As the author, what surprised you about this story?

When I set out writing this story, I had no idea that Autumn was going to be a single mom after getting pregnant in college. When I wrote that part, I actually gasped. I was shocked! I had no idea that it was going to happen. I guess Autumn had a story to tell… J

That’s really cool! Just shows how a story takes control sometimes! Will there be any sequels or other books in the same series?

I am planning on eventually writing Layla Deberaux’s story, who is a character in The What If Guy. Plus, I would like to tackle the loose end that is Autumn’s mother. Ultimately, I would love to make a Fairfield Series. But right now, I have to finish the WIP I am currently working on, and I need to finish the trilogy coming out next summer.

Sounds like a busy schedule! What was the hardest thing for you about writing this story?

Billy Cole’s struggle with alcoholism struck a cord with me. It was an emotional subject matter to write about, and a very cathartic process. I’m glad I tackled it.

Good for you. What are you working on right now?

Right now I am working on edits to the Secret Series (trilogy), as well as an amazing WIP that I am incredibly proud of! I can’t wait to share it with the world!

Oh, I’m so intrigued! I guess I’ll be good and wait patiently! *stares at Brooke* What happened to the first book you ever wrote?

It is still sitting here in my office, all 250K words of it. J It is not fit for human consumption. I can promise you that.

Hello Tome, how are you? That’s kinda awesome! What do you find easiest and hardest to write?

Easiest would be dialogue between lovers or friends. The back and forth banter. I love that. The most difficult for me is writing and condensing backstory. My editors can attest to that.

LOL Have you incorporated actual events or people from your own life into your books?

Yes, I most certainly have. But I keep that info close to my heart. If you read my book and think you see a piece of yourself in the characters, I want to keep you wondering…
I like that. Is there a theme or message that runs through your work?

Definitely. I write characters that are real. When a woman talks, she doesn’t sound like a thesaurus. We don’t all sound like Jane Eyre. When my internal dialogue is running amok, I don’t speak eloquently. I speak like a normal, everyday woman. I make jokes, silly observances, sarcastic and snarky quips, and I whine. I strive to write characters who are real. The theme for all of my books is: real stories, about real women, in real situations that could really happen.

And I’m sure that makes your characters ones readers can readily identify with! What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

That I studied art and wanted to become a children’s book illustrator or a cartoonist. I still draw, but not nearly often enough. I had grand dreams of living in a loft in Seattle, working as a freelance artist, and living off of coffee and cigarettes. Good thing it didn’t work out.

That’s pretty cool! Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?

Oh, that’s an easy one…I wish I’d written any one of Kristan Higgin’s books. She is a genius. Her work is evocative and multi-layered, yet…completely hilarious and sentimental at the same time. I admire her work in so many ways. Plus…word on the street is, she wears fabulous shoes.

LOL Nice! Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

Vincent Youngblood. He is the hero in the WIP I am currently working on. He is wonderfully handsome and charming, but wounded and flawed, and I am so excited to share him with the world.

Can’t wait! Okay, now, just for fun:
Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Dark, dark, dark!!

Salty or sweet? How about both?

Bed or kitchen table? Hmmm…I prefer against the wall in my office. Oh wait, are we talking about where to store my favorite books?

Beach or mountains? Mountains. The greener the better. I am a Washington girl through and through!

Give or receive? Always give. Always.

What would you do if your “what if” guy showed up at the lowest point of your life?

(Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.)

After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington to put the pieces of her life back together.

Her disgruntled twelve‐year old son isn’t thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn’s got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that’s been decades in the making.

Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love–and herself–with her “what if” guy teach Autumn to forgive before it’s too late?

 I knocked on the door of room five. Elliott briefly slipped his hand into mine and whispered, “Love you, Mom.”
I squeezed his hand. “Love you, too, buddy.”
“Come on in,” a male voice called.
The classroom looked and felt exactly the same way it had when I was a kid, including the judgmental stares from the students. With his back to the class, the teacher scribbled a makeshift map on the whiteboard at the front of the room. All of the students’ eyes shifted to Elliott. Some looked at him with interest, but others already glared with disapproval. I wished that El hadn’t been wearing his yellow and black checkered vest and a bow tie when I’d thundered down the stairs to find him waiting at the front door, tapping his foot. What had been stylish in his funky Seattle school was a blinking neon sign declaring I’m an oddball at a small country school like this.
“Um, hi?” Elliott’s voice cracked. “I’m Elliott Cole, and I’m, uh, new.”
Pride swelled in my chest, and I beamed at my son. I leaned down and whispered in his ear. “You’re awesome, El. I love you.”
He gave me a stiff nod. “Thanks.”
“Welcome, Elliott, it’s good to have you.” The teacher spoke in a low, gravelly voice.
I straightened and smiled at the teacher. “Thanks…”
All the oxygen left my lungs, and I stood paralyzed. The class became silent. Elliott’s teacher and I stared at each other, dumbfounded—mouths open, hands half-extended, eyes round and wide like headlights set on bright. My insides vibrated like the engine of an idling grain truck. All in response to the teacher, who gawked at me with what appeared to be the same mixture of shock and disbelief.
Elliott’s teacher was Henry Tobler.
“What are you doing here?” I whispered.
I regretted my words the moment they came out. I should have said something eloquent or profound. Something that would have made seeing each other for the first time in over a decade less awkward. As if that were remotely possible.
Henry’s eyes, that rainy-day shade of gray, narrowed, and a line formed between his eyebrows. “I work here.”
I couldn’t help staring. Henry looked like a teacher, but no teacher I’d ever had at Palouse Plains. He wore a grayish-blue button-down shirt, untucked, and a worn, olive-colored sport coat. His wavy, brown hair was cut shorter than I remembered. Even at ten o’clock in the morning, he sported a sexy five o’clock shadow that made my stomach twist. I remembered those whiskers well.
He still resembled the young man I’d made eyes at across the lecture hall during college, so long ago—his face chiseled and rugged-looking. Back then, a perpetual smile had teased at one side of his mouth. Now, I saw no hint of that smile. But his eyes still revealed his emotions, no matter how hard he tried to hide them. I wish he’d outgrown that, because his eyes screamed, I’m not happy to see you.
“Y-you’re a teacher now?” I stammered.
“I’ve always been a teacher.”
            “Right, but…”
Brooke writes complex, character-driven stories about kismet, reunited lovers, first love, and the kind of romance that we should all have the chance at finding. She prefers her stories laced with some humor just for fun, and enough drama to keep her readers flipping the pages, and begging for more!

When Brooke isn't spinning tales, she spends her time drawing/cartooning, reading two books a week (ask her who her faves are), watching movies then comparing them to books, and, of course, wrangling four kids, one hubby she lovingly refers to as her "nerd", and attempting to conquer the Mount Everest of laundry that is the bane of her existence.
Thanks for being coming on the blog! 
Where can we find you on the web?

Everyone, leave Brooke some comment love! And thanks for reading,
Laura & Brooke


Ciara said...

Sounds like a great story, Brooke. It is a pleasure to meet you. Entangled seems to be taking over the blogging world lately. LOL. I'm so proud of so many authors from there. You will all rock those sales. :)

Laura Kaye said...

Thanks for commenting, Ciara! And I love what you said! :)

Brooke--great to have you here today!

Nina Croft said...

I love the excerpt, Brooke. I spend so much time reading stuff that's definitely not real and you've so made me want to read this!

Chris and Aubrie said...

Great interview! I love when the story takes over and characters tell you stuff about them that you don't even know!

CatherineKean said...

I loved the interview and the excerpt, Brooke. Your book sounds wonderful, and I can't wait to get my copy.

Shea Berkley said...

Whoa-ho! Great excerpt, Brooke! Love it when characters start dictating their story. Keep up the energy. I wanna see more great stories from you.

Brooke Moss said...

Thanks, everyone! I sure hope you enjoy The What If Guy. Be sure to read it, then tell me what you think!

Fondly, Brooke Moss

Lisa Kessler said...

Great excerpt Brooke! :)

And the interview was fun too...

Lisa :)

Rosalie Lario said...

Ooh, love this excerpt! I can practically see her squirming in discomfort.

Laura Kaye said...

Awesome support for Brooke, guys! Thanks for coming out!