Monday, November 5, 2012

Where the Greener Grass Grows: An Interview and Giveaway with Author Lin Brooks

Where the Greener Grass Grows is the story of two mothers learning to live, to laugh and to let go.

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.

What is your favorite non-writing pastime?
I’m an overly enthusiastic runner—and by that I mean I will bend your ear about how far I ran, how I felt about it, and what I’m training for if you give me half a chance (I’m training for my first marathon on New Year’s day—see?).  I love the sense of accomplishment so much that I’m willing to do things no other sane human would do, such as pay money to run in races where I will come in two thousandth place (at least), stand in the rain waiting for the starting gun, and even get up at 3:30 am.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?
My greatest challenge is to stay focused. I get sidetracked in the middle of a book and it might be months before I come back to it. Or I get so caught up in a new plot idea that I forget that I’m supposed to be promoting the one I’ve already finished. I don’t think I’ll ever overcome that. I can do many things at once, and that keeps me from getting bored. But the down side to that is that sometimes I let myself get ahead of myself and thing fall off to the side. I’ve learned to take the bad with the good.

If you had to sum it up the book in 30 or less words, what would you say?
People think their own life is dull and others’ are so much more exciting. But your own life can be as exciting as you are willing to make it.

What message do you hope readers take away from the book?
We are all responsible for our own contentment. I always tell people I don’t have a bucket list. If there is something I want to do, I do it. I don’t wait until later. Instead of looking at someone else’s life and thinking “Wow, I wish I could be like that”, figure out what it is you want and go out and get it. Don’t wait for someone else to hand it to you. And if you find you don’t like it, it will have given you some great stories to tell!

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
There is a lot of real life experience in the book. I have a daughter, an only child, and we are close. I thought a lot about how I would deal with her leaving home, which was the main inspiration for the book. Starting with that, I drew inspiration both from my daughter, her friends, and my friends who were similarly situated. Many of the situations in the book are based in reality. The wood toilet seat? Yeah, that really happened to someone I know. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

While writing the book, did you connect with one character more than the others? Who and how?
I probably identify more with Lacey than I do with any of the other characters. Lacey is driven, practical and fun in a very quiet, unobtrusive way. Cara thinks Lacey needs to quit working so much and have some fun. I can relate. In a room full of people, I’m the one in the corner talking to one or two people that I already knew when I got there. I have a few very good friends, rather than a lot of sort-of close friends. I work a lot because I enjoy it, and I don’t have a lot of down time. I haven’t had a nap in years (okay, I admit to missing a good nap).

Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write?
Yes, I really do. I have to have quiet to think about anything seriously. I get distracted way too easily!

What do you have in store next for your readers?
Actually, I just finished a humor book called “The Divorcees Field Guide: Surviving the Apocalyptic Break Up” (think Zombie apocalypse, except with ex-husbands). That was SO much fun to write. It should be out by the end of the year.

What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author
That’s a tough one. Seeing the book cover for “Where the Greener Grass Grows” was a huge charge for me. My sister in law hand painted it, and the publisher agreed that it was awesome and used it. There is a huge difference between finishing a manuscript (a HUGE task—just ask anyone who has ever done it) and actually seeing it in print. It legitimizes the whole process and makes you feel like you’ve really accomplished something.

Why did you choose to be an Indie writer and would you choose to self-publish again?
I love being an indie writer. I think you get a lot more control, more support and more input into the process working at an indie level than you do at the corporate level. I’ve written a few non-fiction, work related books with major publishers, and there was nothing there. They put it on the shelf. That was it. With Nooks and Kindles, I can do that! If I’m responsible for so much myself, why not be responsible for it all myself?

How long did it take to get this book from idea to being published? What was the most grueling process?
Probably about two years to write and rewrite the whole thing. The rewrites are the worst. After draft number three, my eyes start crossing, especially when I have to throw out large chunks of the story that I originally thought were pretty good. That’s heartbreaking!
Laptop, desktop or notebook and pen for writing?
Laptop. And sometimes smart phone (they’re great for taking notes when you can’t get to your computer). I can’t think with a pen in my hand. I’ve tried. My brain just short circuits and refuses to do anything.

Is there a book you’ve ever read more than five times? Which book and what drew you back to it?
The Stand, by Stephen King. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. That man can tell a story. And I like that one because it has really strong good vs. evil themes in it that are just basic. They never go out of style.

You’re spending one year living on a desert island – which three authors do you want with you?
Jeff Lindsay. I love the Dexter series. Stephen King. I’ve read everything he’s ever written. Twice. I’m looking for a third favorite author. If anyone has any suggestions…..
Favorite place?
Pompeii, in Italy. So cool….

Best Christmas present?
Cruise to the Bahamas, courtesy of my wonderful husband.

Favorite author?
Stephen King.

Favorite smell?
Fresh baked cookies.

Favorite series?
Ghost Adventures (yes, I’m serious).

Favorite movie?
Pirates of the Caribbean

Favorite dish?
Homemade lasagna

Favorite color?
Red

Favorite quote?
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

Your best trait?
Perfectionist.

Your worst trait?
Perfectionist.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your reader’s today?
Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for my new releases at isolibris.com!
Lacey stood on the street in the humid Memphis night wondering what to do next. How anti-climactic. After leaving in such style, she suddenly realized she didn’t have a way home.

Damn.

She dug in her purse for her cell phone and stepped into a neighboring store. Cara picked up on the first ring. “How’s it going?”

“You got me into this,” she whispered fiercely. “Now you can come get me.”

 “That well, huh?”       

“I’m hiding out in a shop next to the restaurant, hoping he won’t see me” she replied. “What do you think?”

“Lacey!” Cara cried indignantly. “You can’t just disappear. At least go say goodbye.”

“I’ve got that covered,” she replied. “I think he’s pretty sure I’m not coming back.”

“What happened?”

Lacey exhaled an impatient breath. “Just come get me, alright?”

“Alright, alright. I’m on my way. Stay put.”

“Stay put,” Lacey repeated dryly. “Sure. I’m not going anywhere.”

Lacey caught sight of a dark haired man walking by and ducked behind a rack, swearing under her breath. “I cannot believe I’m doing this.”

“Hang on. I’m coming.”
Lin will be awarding a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour! Be sure to leave a way to be contacted!


Lin Brooks is a lifelong Southern girl who lives in Mobile, Alabama with her family. Lin 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.

9 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thank you for joining us today Lin--sounds like a fun book. I like your book message, that we're all responsible for our own contentment--nicely said.

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  3. Thanks so much for having me! I look forward to talking to everyone today.

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  4. Why do I have the feeling that I don't want to ask about the wood toilet seat? :-) Good luck with the release!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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  5. Great interview, I enjoyed it. I don't have a bucket list either. I think you should do it now you may not have another chance.
    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  6. Haha, I had a friend whose husband gave her a wood toilet seat for their 5th anniversary. By the time I met her, they were divorced. Go figure.

    And as to the bucket list, isn't that a great way to live? If you let it go on a list, there is a very good chance you don't ever get to it!

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  7. Thanks for the interview. I think you have a really great message of siezing the day and making the most out of what you have. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

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  8. Good luck with the running. It's all yours. Walking on the other hand.


    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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