Welcome to my stop on Lin Brooks' Virtual Book Tour for Where the Greener Grass Grows. Please be sure to leave a comment or question below for Lin, as she will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during her tour. You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.
Interview with Lin Brooks
Me: Can you tell us what the inspiration was that prompted you to write "Where the Greener Grass Grows"? What is your take on the effects the economy is currently having on the "Empty Nest Syndrome"?
Lin: This was my first full length work, and my first women’s fiction work (I normally write Romance). I have a daughter, an only child, and we are very close. It was about the time she hit tenth grade that I realized she was getting ready to move away from home, and I wondered how I was going to deal with it. The book was born! I do think the economy affects everything, and I don’t think Empty Nest is an exception. Less money means we have to be more creative about how we occupy our time; so those trips to Europe to compensate for an empty house may not be an option! I think moms, especially moms of daughters, may find it harder to find ways to deal with the empty house when they have fewer resources that would help them to get out and do new things.
Me: Did you always know you were a writer at heart?
Lin: Actually, no. I was a math and science wiz when I was young, and then I decided to study film making, of all things. Which meant a second career was almost a given! I ended up in law school a few years later, and that’s where I discovered how much I love writing. I think the difference between being younger and being required to write (about things I didn’t find the least bit interesting) and being older and choosing to write (about things that fascinate me) is what made the difference.
Me: Are you a currently a full time writer or do you still have a day job?
Lin: No, I still have a day job. But I think I always will. I love practicing law. I’m in a very specialized area that most people don’t get to work in, and it’s so much fun. I’ve met some of the most interesting people.
Me: Are you more of a plotter or do you write by the seat of your pants? Do you listen to music while you write or do you need complete silence.
Lin: Silence!! I’m way to ADD (really) to have anything going on. I get distracted. And I write by the seat of my pants. I usually have a general idea of where I’m headed, but sometimes, my characters surprise me by doing something really cool that I didn’t expect.
Me: IsoLibris is a fairly new publisher based in Mississippi, your home state, can you provide us with some insight into your experience in going with such a new publisher?
Lin: Publishing is all new these days. With Kindles and iPads, the old publishing model is being turned on its ear. That gives writers some pretty serious hills to climb (traditional publishers are even harder to get to), but also some tremendous opportunities. So working with a new publisher is an opportunity, I think. You get to deal one on one with the people that make decisions, you get tremendous support, and you get a business that can literally turn on a dime, rather than having to go up the chain of command. They are learning with me, I think, which can be a down side. But the landscape has all changed so much that I think we’re all learning. It’s been a good experience.
Me: How did you celebrate when you received "the call" or the "email" accepting your manuscript for publishing?
Lin: I don’t think I ever did!! I was so busy getting it packaged up and sent off I didn’t take the time to. Hmm. Maybe it’s time for a margarita??
Me: Who would you say has been the biggest influence on your decision to write? Is your family supportive?
Lin: My family is hugely supportive. My husband insists on reading everything I write (even the boring, technical, work related stuff which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies). He’s my greatest supporter. My influences are all over the place, but I suppose the influence on my decision to write didn’t come so much from one person as it did from an entire group of people. I work with so many people that write, and I review and edit and market and promote for so many others that I started wanting to do it for myself. And I have to admit, it’s much more fun to do it for me.
Me: Your second book, "Revenge of the High Priestess" is very different from "Where the Greener Grass Grows" - it's a mystery/romantic suspense. Can you tell us which book was easier to write or which genre is the one you are most comfortable writing in?
Lin: I’m more of a romance writer, really. “Where the Greener Grass Grows” was a challenge, especially from a plot standpoint, because the resolution was not as clear to me from the beginning. On the other hand, “Revenge” was paranormal AND a short story, which I also don’t usually write. Isolibris approached me about putting out a short story, so I wrote “Revenge”, and it actually came together very quickly. “Where the Greener Grass Grows” went through several rewrites, additions, deletions, etc., and “Revenge” just basically hopped onto the paper. I guess that means “Revenge” gets my vote as the easier project.
Me: What can we expect to see from you in 2013 in regards to your writing?
Lin: I have one complete and one almost complete romance novel, which should be out early in the year. I also have a humor book coming out before the end of the year (Isolibris should have it up on the site any day now) called “The Divorcees Field Guide: Surviving the Apocalyptic Break Up”. Think surviving the Zombie apocalypse, except with ex husbands. That one was serious fun to write, so I’m looking forward to its release.
Quick Get To Know You Questions
Favorite Color? Red
Favorite Margarita Flavor? Raspberry
Favorite Childhood Book? Fox in Sox
Heels or Boots? Boots!!
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Print book or Ebook Preference? Actually, audio book (I listen while I run). But if I can’t pick, I’ll go with eBook.
Favorite College Football team? Roll Tide!
Where the Greener Grass Grows
by Lin Brooks
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.
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. Forty something 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.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
Most parents look forward to their children going away to college and moving out of the family home, it's a time to regain life as you knew it before the kids came along. Yet, as in any passage in life there are growing pains for this period too - sometimes known as "empty nest syndrome", the focus of Lin Brooks' fictional story Where the Greener Grass Grows. With fun and likable characters, good dialogue and a well paced plot, Ms. Brooks grabbed me from the first page, I really didn't want to put down until I finished it.
Friends from their college days, Lacey Marchand and Cara Myers suddenly find themselves "empty nesters" when their daughters go off to college together. For single mom Lacey, this means more time spent at work so she doesn't come home to an empty house. For married homemaker Cara, this means she finally has the time to do all she put off because of her daughter, only now she can't remember what it was she wanted to do. While they both ponder what to do with their free time, Cara's husband finds himself suddenly faced with a changing situation at work and their two daughters suddenly find themselves in charge of their own lives.
As Cara works to fill her life, and Lacey's, with new purpose, Lacey finds herself agreeing to go on some blind dates in exchange for Cara going on some job interviews. Neither quite turns out exactly as they had hoped, Lacey creates a blog with her dating experiences while Cara begins to look closer at her marriage. Ms. Brooks develops both of these characters separately, and together, as the story progresses and we get to see who these women really are. While I was drawn to Lacey's character because of her personality, Cara really makes this story - she's Lucille Ball compared to Lacey's Ethel Mertz.
The secondary characters, mostly Cara's husband Brian and their children Abby and Michelle, provide plenty of emotional support and their own version of humor to the story. Lacey's boss and a client, who's more of an adversary during most of the story, provide us with a look at Lacey the businesswoman - a completely different person than the Lacey we see at home. The blind dates provide us with laugh out loud humor.
Will Lacey and Cara be able to let go of what they thought the future would be and learn to grasp what the future is really offering them? And will everyone make it through this new growing cycle? You'll have to read Where the Greener Grass Grows, I enjoyed it a lot and I think you would too.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns
FTC Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review
Please be sure to leave a comment or question below for Lin, as she will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during her tour. You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.