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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Meet Author Kristen Brockmeyer

I love Thursdays. That's when I get to meet new authors or learn more about others. Kristen Brockmeyer is a member of my romance writers' chapter, Mid-Michigan RWA. I knew about the camper, but the rest... Well, maybe I should just let you read her story for yourself.

Welcome, Kristen. Congratulations on your debut novel. Please tell us about yourself.



I live on a little farm in southwest Michigan with my husband and kids and work full time at an advertising agency. When I'm not chasing my two boys, I'm chasing chickens, gardening, or sewing, all with little success. I do know my way around a kitchen, though, and love cooking from my collection of old cookbooks that spans the 1920's to the 1950's. At night, when things slow down, I can be found in our vintage camper in the backyard, working on my latest book.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I can't remember when I didn't want to be a writer. I started reading when I was 3 years old (according to my mom) and I've always made up long, complicated stories. Still do, whenever my husband asks me a simple question.

How long does it take you to write a book?

The first 100 pages of my first book, Lucky in Love, took more than fifteen years. The last 200 pages took only three months, so I'm hoping for some sort of happy medium on the next book.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Writing gets squeezed in when everything else is done for the day, I try to write for at least an hour and a half every night.

What does your family think of your writing?

I have the best family. I know everyone says that, but I really do! For example, my husband was the one that kicked me out of the house. (To the camper, so I could write. But I like telling people he kicked me out of the house.) He also encouraged me to join the RWA and finally start taking myself and my writing seriously. Plus, my mom is the best cheerleader you could ask for, constantly telling me how awesome I am and pimping my book on Facebook to all her friends. And my 9 year-old is convinced that I'm already bigger than Nora Roberts. I don't know if I'm more tickled by that idea or the fact that he knows who Nora Roberts is.

If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?

Just write. Seriously! Tell the internal critic in your head to can it and just get your story on paper. You could have, like, 50 novels done by the time you're 33 years old!

Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?

Lucky in Love is a fast-paced, contemporary-romantic-suspense-comedy. That's its own genre, right? The main character, Lucky, is so not lucky and I had to laugh out loud at some of the things that happened to her. Most of them, I never even saw coming. And Chance? Her man? I never understood when writers talked about falling in love with the guys in their books. I mean, they're just characters, right? But I get it now. Please don't tell my husband or he won't let me go out to the camper anymore...

Blurb:

Lucky MacFarlane... isn't. And, mostly, she's used to that. Lucky's bad luck streak is as much a part of who she is as her blue eyes and her vintage wardrobe. But a lifetime of clumsy accidents and embarrassing moments can't prepare her for what happens when she runs into sexy ex-boyfriend, Chance Atkins. Literally. With her 1948 Buick Roadmaster. 

Now, Lucky's got a few questions. Like why Chance moved away without a word 10 years before—right after a memorable scene in the backseat of her car. Does his return have anything to do with the disappearance of Julian, her geriatric sometimes-roommate and drinking buddy? Why did someone just shoot out her kitchen window? And does Chance need a license for those dimples? Because they're killer hot. 

Excerpt:

I dreaded getting ready every day.

Invariably, one of several things would happen: I would snag my nylons, poke myself in the eye with a mascara brush, burn my finger on the curling iron, slip in a puddle of water and bang my shin on the tub, or drop my toothbrush in the toilet.

If all that failed, there were always spills. I would spill nail polish on whatever I'd planned on wearing, spill nail polish remover too near a candle and ignite the tissue box, or spill scalding coffee on myself and let out a string of swears that would make a frat boy blush.

Today, nothing happened.

I was relieved, but apprehensive. My hair looked better than I'd ever seen it. It waved softly around my face and the nondescript reddish-brown looked downright auburn, shining with glinting gold highlights. Some eye drops had cured the hung-over look and my perfectly made up eyes were sultry and mysterious. I looked like a vintage Hollywood starlet. I shook my perfectly-coiffed head in disbelief, and the stunning woman reflected in the mirror shook her head back. Yup, it was definitely me.

My dress—that must be it.

I searched every inch that I could see, twisting backward at an impossible angle, sure that somewhere in the powder-blue satin there was going to be a gaping hole, a cigarette burn, or a tear as long as the Mississippi. Nada. The dress wasn't even tucked into the back of my panties.
Really nervous now, I slipped into a pair of high heels dyed delicate blue to match the dress. No one thought the high heels were a good idea, given my coordination skills, but it was Addy's wedding and we didn't want to stress her out any more than necessary. She was already a basket case. One messed-up flower arrangement away from homicidal maniac, actually.  A safe and sensible pair of flats might throw her right over the edge.

Mission accomplished without so much as a broken shoe or a broken ankle, I grew more and more disturbed. I gathered my keys and clutch purse, feeling like Chicken Little waiting to get squashed by an asteroid-sized acorn. But no ten-car pile-up occurred on the way to the church. Was I destined to pass out during the ceremony? Throw up on the minister? What was the deal?

With all that edgy speculation, mowing over the best man in the parking lot really shouldn't have come as any surprise.

Chance Atkins had been a fixture in my life ever since he and my twin brother, Jack, were both annoying little second graders eating worms and looking up the art teacher's skirt, but I hadn't seen him in almost a decade. Now, he was spread-eagled on the pavement, looking dead.

He groaned again and cracked open one eye.

"Jeez, Lucky, is that you?"


Okay, Kristen, one last question. Where can readers find you?

If I'm not at a Cub Scout meeting, doing dishes, or in the camper, I'm probably at one of the following places:


I take it back. That wasn't the last question. Where can readers find Lucky in Love?

 
Kristen, it's been fun learning more about you. I wish you much success with Lucky in Love.
 
 

18 comments:

  1. Thank you, Diane - this was a lot of fun! :)

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  2. Great post, Kristen. Wishing you all kinds of success with your debut novel. Sounds like a fun read. And kudos to your hubby for suggesting the camper for your very own place to write. Smart man! :)

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    1. Thank you, Loralee - I definitely had fun writing about Lucky! And yes, hubs is pretty smart. I plan to keep him. :)

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  3. I love that you write in your camper! Smart husband. :) I think the most important thing is finding a place/routine that words for you. For me, it's headphones. I can write anywhere--coffee shop full of college kids, the car with the 5 yr old singing in the back seat, living room with DH watching some male-type TV show--as long as I have headphones!

    And your cover is amazing!

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    1. I think I'm going to have to try your trick, Alyssa - I have no heat in the camper and live in Michigan. I don't want to be a seasonal writer! And thanks for your compliment on the cover. I was nervous, designing my own! :)

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  4. Nice to meet you Kristen! I wish you much success with Lucky and Chance! They sound like a fun couple!

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  5. Enjoyed the excerpt. Definitely sounds like a fun book. Love the idea of writing in your camper, too. What a novel idea!

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    1. Thank you, Lucy! I might have to invest in a space heater soon, though. :)

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  6. Awesome post Kristen - I LOVE your book cover!!!

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  7. I had the privilege of critiquing the book before Kristen published it. It was great, and I enjoyed reading it. The calamities are hilarious. If you haven't had a chance to read it, I suggest you purchase the book. A MUST HAVE!

    Connie

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  8. I enjoyed meeting you, Kristen. You have such a fun "office", and you're very fortunate to have such an understanding husband and supportive family. That's almost half the battle. I hope Lucky in Love is lucky for you. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your good wishes, Jolana. I really enjoy your blog. :)

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  9. I am at the tail end of Lucky in Love and you speak of Kalamazoo often throughout the book. I went to high school at Parchment and just read the part about her bikini top coming off in the pool. Is that where you from? Love the book btw

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  10. I am at the tail end of Lucky in Love and you speak of Kalamazoo often throughout the book. I went to high school at Parchment and just read the part about her bikini top coming off in the pool. Is that where you from? Love the book btw

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  11. I am at the tail end of Lucky in Love and you speak of Kalamazoo often throughout the book. I went to high school at Parchment and just read the part about her bikini top coming off in the pool. Is that where you from? Love the book btw

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