Interview & Contest: Brooke Moss

Jen: Entangled Publishing opened their doors this week and are kicking off their grand opening with a book tour for Brooke Moss. We’re excited to be a part of this tour.  Brooke, will you please share a short bio with us?

Brooke: First off, thanks for having me here on Romancing the Book, I’m a big fan of the blog, and so excited to be here!

Brooke Moss is the name, contemporary romance and women’s fiction are the game.

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.

Jen: Tell us about The What If Guy and where is can be purchased.
Brooke: After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington. Autumn’s disgruntled twelve-year old son isn’t thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn’s got it worse. She’ll get to resume her role as the town drunk’s daughter.

When his public divorce turns ugly, history teacher Henry Tobler decides to disappear. He finds exactly what he’s looking for amidst Fairfield’s quirky residents, but when the woman he’s pined for since college shows up and nearly breaks his nose in front of a classroom full of twelve-year-olds, his newfound peace threatens to crumble.

Autumn cannot believe Henry is in Fairfield, or that fate chose such a miserable time to drop him back in her life. She and her father face a crisis decades in the making. Can rediscovering love–and herself–with her “what if” guy teach Autumn to forgive before it’s too late?

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Brooke: I started writing when I was a kid, probably about eight or nine years old. I remember writing a story about a French family who immigrated to the US, and they were named the “Groin Family”. I read it to my parents in the car, and they both laughed and laughed at me, (I didn’t know what groin meant) and when they finally told me, I was crushed and embarrassed. My writing became a closet hobby I had clear until I hit thirty years old, and I decided I wanted to see if I could make something out of it. I pulled out an old story I’d written when I was nineteen, rewrote it (all 213K words…oy!), and was so proud of myself that I decided to write another. It snowballed from there.

My call story is funny…The What If Guy will be my debut, and I actually got “the call” on April Fool’s Day. Heather Howland of Entangled Publishing wrote me an email telling me that she wanted to speak to me, and asked me to send her my number. So I quickly threw my two youngest children into their beds, begged them to go to sleep easily, then quickly called my best friend to freak out. When the phone rang, and it was a number I didn’t recognize, I screamed bloody murder again. My neighbors must have thought I was nuts.

When Heather and I were talking, one of the first things she said to me was, “How strongly do you feel about the word ‘wetly’?” I agreed to let the word ‘wetly’ go, and we wound up discussing The What If Guy for an hour. At the end of the conversation, she said that my contract would be coming through the email within five minutes. I thanked her (profusely), then hung up and stared at the computer. Five minutes passed…then ten…then twenty…then thirty. Finally, against my better judgment, I called Heather back and asked her if this was an April Fool’s joke.

Thank goodness she said no!

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.

Brooke: Funny, multifaceted, and romantic.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Brooke: I tried plotting out every detail once, but felt too constricted, and wound up scrapping the book. I’m not able to call myself a “pantser”, because I like to have a loose idea of where I want each chapter to go, and what needs to be accomplished in each chapter. (Otherwise we wind up with 200K saga’s like my first completed book) But I also really love it when characters take a scene in a direction I never planned on. That’s the best part of writing…letting your story take you on a journey, then seeing where you wind up in the end.

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from? Why?

Brooke: I would love to write a paranormal/ghost-themed love story. I am a sucker for a good ghost story with romantic elements, though contemporary romance and women’s fiction are usually my first pick. I can’t see myself writing a fantasy or sci-fi. Not because I don’t enjoy them, because I do! But, when I make up worlds and creatures and languages, I have an awfully hard time taking myself seriously.

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?

Brooke: Well, The What If Guy is set in Fairfield, Washington (located on the eastern side of the state where there are lots of rolling plains) which is where I grew up. So much of this book is written from memory. Though I did make several trips out to Fairfield to snap pictures so that I had some visual aids to hang up in my office. Other than that, I think I made a few phone calls, to ask some friends/family members a few questions about certain heath issues, etc, (Don’t want to write any spoilers!) so that I would be referencing the correct treatments and procedures in the book.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?

Brooke: I can identify with Holly Judd (best friend to the heroine) the most. She is a stay-at-home mother of five kids, and expecting her sixth. She is able to carry on a conversation with someone, all while changing a diaper, washing the dishes, and serving her kids lunch. Without breaking a sweat!

Though, I have to admit, I am a real sucker for the character of Elliott Cole (the heroine’s twelve year old son). Elliott is a real artsy-fartsy kind of kid, who is used to being surrounded by like minded kids. Well, that is, before he and his mom moved to the smallest town in the world. He is dry and witty and sarcastic, and based on my own twelve year old son. Elliott is very close to my heart.

Jen: If The What If Guy was made into a movie, which actors would you cast as the main characters?

Brooke: GAH! You ask the best questions! Actually, whenever I write a book, I see it play out in my mind like a movie. So I had actors in my mind through most of the writing process. For the role of Henry Tobler, I imagined none other than my boyfriend, Gerard Butler, minus the Scottish accent. Think of Gerard in The Bounty Hunter. Oh yes, now you’ve got it. For Autumn, I pictured Isla Fischer, who was in Confessions of a Shopaholic. She’s got the pretty red hair and the white skin, and she can do comedy…which is key in Autumn’s world. The role of Billy Cole was always played by Ed Harris in my head, but they would have to make Ed look pretty haggard to play Billy. I guess that’s the magic of modern makeup, right?

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?

Brooke: If I could become a writer who fits nicely somewhere between Kristan Higgins and Jennifer Crusie, I would consider myself pretty successful. I also enjoy Sarah Addison Allen, Rachel Gibson, Jane Porter, Liza Palmer, and though it may sound odd…I’ve been inspired by the late comedienne, Gilda Radner, since I was little. So we can’t leave her out.

Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?

Brooke: Not much, yet! I’ve spent too much time editing and doing publicity! Though my writing partner and I have big plans to go to a spa day sometime soon. My husband did take me to dinner and to see Wicked recently. That was a combination birthday/celebratory night out.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?

Brooke: I draw and cartoon, read (all the time), watch lots of horribly mind-numbing reality TV, spend time with my family, and enjoy girls-night-out with my besties as often as I can.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Brooke: I have a romantic women’s fiction trilogy coming out in June, July, and August of 2012 through Entangled Publishing, and several other projects in the works.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

You can connect with me at Website, BlogTwitterGoodreads, and Facebook.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Brooke: Yes! I have a theory, that no matter where a woman is at in life, no matter if she is in a happy relationship or single…she has a “what if guy”. I want to hear about your what if guys.

 Contest details:

  • The prize is an ebook copy of The “What If” Guy.
  • The contest is open to everyone.
  • You must leave a comment for entry.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Friday, August 5.
Purchase Links

Entangled Publishing is holding a launch party and is giving away a Kobo.  For more details, check them out at http://www.entangledpublishingblog.com/2011/07/08/2-spectacular-launch-events/.