February: Brooke Moss
Welcome to Author’s Corner!
This is a new feature on my website where I get to talk to the authors we know and love and ask them all kinds of questions. All. The. Questions. Think of it as the author’s version of Inside the Actor’s Studio and I’m the quirky, awkward female version of James Lipton.
I’m so excited to have Brooke Moss here today as my first guest. We’re going to talk about writing, author life, and general tomfoolery. Not to mention, her latest release, Here’s to Campfires and S’mores.
I’ve been a huge fan of Brooke for years, ever since Baby & Bump and Keeping Secrets in Seattle, so there will be a lot of fangirling going on. She’s an amazing author who writes real and unique characters who you can’t help falling in love with.
Let’s get started:
I have to ask the token “where do you find inspiration?” question, because I have to know where the idea for books such as Baby & Bump, Here’s to Campfire and S’mores, and The “What If” Guy came from.
Actually, I got the inspiration for Baby & Bump on Facebook. A friend of mine posted about how awkward it was when she saw her obstetrician who was exceptionally handsome. It became a long threat with lots of my friends chiming in with their stories, jokes, etc. And it grew from there. Baby & Bump—Lexie and Fletcher were born. The What If Guy was born from a conversation between myself and a girlfriend about our “what if guys,” or the ones who got away. And honestly, Here’s to Campfires and S’mores was born from old memories of summer camp as a kid in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I wanted so badly to write a book where I could rehash those memories fondly.
What does your workday look like? Did it change when you moved abroad?
Yes! My writing workday changed a lot when we moved abroad, in the sense that I am awake while all of my reader and writer friends are settling down for the night back in the USA. It usually starts with getting my kids out the door to school, then going back to bed for a while. I’ve got some health issues, and so fatigue seems to be my constant companion. So once I’ve gotten a bit more rest, I start my social media work for the day, followed by lunch and walking my two dogs, and then I spend most of the afternoon until the kids come home from school. Then it become a flurry of homework, chores and chaos until dinnertime. Then I try to write a touch more before bed.
This one is from one of my Instagram followers:
Do you still read the genre you write in? What’s your favorite book?
This is such a good question. :) I do read contemporary romance. That’s probably what I read the most. I also like post apocalyptic, some fantasy, some historicals (set in the 1940’s-1950’s,) and women’s fiction. I am a complete sucker for ANYTHING written by Kristan Higgins or Liza Palmer. Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer is a work of art. A must read.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never, ever, ever stop writing. Never, ever, ever stop fine tuning and learning more about your craft. The minute you think you’ve learned everything there is to learn, that’s the day you should pack it all up and become a podiatrist.
What’s a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?
Post apocalyptic. I have ideas….but don’t have the guts to put pen to paper yet.
Do you cry while writing some of your more emotional scenes? Or get angry with your characters when they screw up?
Abso-freaking-lutely! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t feel like I was writing a true “Brooke Moss” story. :)
I have either cried or raged along with your characters while reading. There are some fellas I’d love to slap upside the head (especially in the This & That Series), but I’d hug them afterward.
Me, too. Thank you. I feel like I write true-to-life characters, even when they’re TSTL (too stupid to live) because frankly, that’s what makes them human.
One of my favorite things about your books is that I feel the whole spectrum of emotions while reading them. Is that something you set out to do when you begin?
Yes, it is. And that’s a flattering compliment. It means I’m doing my job. Again, I do it because I’m trying to write a true-to-life story, about real life scenarios. And that’s what real life is…you laugh and cry at the same time. You want to punch and hug a person in the same sitting. It’s life.
Kiss, Marry, Kill the following: Mr. Darcy, Edward Cullen, Harry Potter
Kiss: Edward Cullen (but only if he looks like Rob Pattinson;) Marry: Harry Potter (because, duh;) and kill Mr. Darcy. I’m so, so sorry. I find Mr. Darcy infuriating. Though if Colin Firth is playing him, I might have to rearrange spots.
Tell me about your book and the two main characters.
My book is called Here’s to Campfires and S’mores, and it’s about a group of friends who met at summer camp as kids, and carried their friendship into adulthood. One of them has died, and now they’re all revisiting the camp before it closes. The main characters are Jamie and Molly Burnham, a divorced couple who met and married at the camp. This is the first time they’ve been together in eighteen months, and their passion for each other clearly never went away—despite the fact that they also want to throttle each other.
Would you rather… have anything you write become real or make any real thing disappear by hitting the delete key?
Anything I write become real. I would write a story about moving back to the USA, being financially sound, having a big plot of land with a big house, no mortgage, right on the edge of Priest Lake, Idaho.
Thank you Brooke Moss for answering my questions.
Here’s an excerpt of her latest release, Here’s to Campfires and S’mores!
“I know, I know, sweetie. Hey, did you answer that email from the fabric lady?” When he gave her the thumbs-up, she turned her focus back to Jamie. “Speaking of douche bags…”
“Told you it was about me,” Jamie muttered to Graham, grabbing the door handle. “I’m going to bed.”
“Wait. You don’t have to go. We want you to stay.”
As soon as I said it, I covered my mouth as if the words slipped out accidentally. Maybe they had. I’d been thinking them, but refusing to let my mouth move. Like Rachael said, I needed to be a strong, independent woman. Move on. Slut it up, and all that.
Except that I’d had more vodka in one sitting than I’d had since college, and now felt like I was sitting in a rowboat in the middle of the lake Apparently it loosened my lips a wee bit.
“Speak for yourself,” growled Rach, sitting back in her chair with her arms folded across her chest. She kicked at one of the remaining empty folding chairs, missed it, then tried again successfully. “Come sit in the hot seat, Jamie. Let’s catch up.”
“Super.” With an eye roll, he dropped into the seat.
Graham opened his camp stool and sat down next to April. “This okay?” he asked her politely.
April shook her head, her face becoming as red as her hair. “Sure. I mean, it doesn’t matter. Wherever is fine.”
I looked from them to Rachael, to see if she noticed the weird dynamic, or if I was hammered and making things up. But her moody gaze was fixed on my ex. “So Jamie, still dating that preschooler?”
Jamie glanced at me, the tips of his ears flushing. “I’m not… we’re not… how do you know what I’m doing?”
Rachael raised just one eyebrow at him. “I have eyes everywhere, Burnham. So seriously, do you have to buy her alcohol for her? Speaking of alcohol, want some, jerk?” She held up the bottle and a half-crumpled paper cup.
“Yes.” He shoved the cup at her. “And no, I do not have to buy her booze. Why don’t we talk about you? Who are youdating now? Still pulling the runaway bride act? Have you run out of rich, powerful men in California yet?”
“Nope. Just getting started.” She gritted her teeth as she poured a splash. Rach didn’t like being called out for her relationship issues. And boy did she have them. Rachael and relationships didn’t mesh well, despite the fact that she was tall and gorgeous. She’d been engaged five times, and walked out on two fiancés the day of the wedding.
Rachael blamed it on her parents. She said that was what happened when you had divorce attorneys for parents. Years of listening to them talk about their clients’ marriages imploding, the explosive fights over wine collections and who got what vehicle, and the custody battle that followed had terrified her into a crippling fear of commitment. It wasn’t something she was proud of, but that never stopped her from trying… and trying again… and again.
Jamie took a sip. “Give my sympathies to your latest victim. I still have a credit at the tux rental place from your last wedding. I’ll bet I can cash it in, if you’re heading toward taking the plunge again. Or trying to.”
“Shut up,” Rachael muttered, looking at me. “How did you tolerate him for so long?”
“He was much nicer then,” I admitted. Looking at Jamie, I shrugged. “Sorry.”
Graham leaned close to April. “So, you came here every year as a kid?”
She blushed heavily. “Yeah. I mean, so did Rachael and Molly and Bree. But this is where we all met.”
Rachael and I watched with pointed interest as Graham listened eagerly to April. He leaned close to her and Rachael nudged me. It I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought he had a crush on her. Hell, maybe he did. She was gorgeous and curvy and sexy, all without realizing it. The mousy girl we’d met at camp nearly thirty years ago, had blossomed into a beautiful woman despite being saddled with a loser husband and punk kids. Of course, it was possible I picked up on the wrong cues. It was becoming increasingly clear I was hammered, and would likely sleep on the bunk next to Rachael like old times.
“And you, too?” Graham asked, turning his focus to Jamie.
He nodded, looking darkly at his paper cup of liquor. “Chimalis is how we all know each other.”
“Or to blame,” added Rachael. “You know, depending on who you ask.”
“Be nice.” I hiccupped. “Let’s all try to get along.”
“Fine.” Rachael pointed at our resident handyman. “Truth or dare, Graham.”
He blinked his light blue eyes. “We’re playing truth or dare?”
“Of course we are,” she remarked, gesturing to the room around us. “What else do you do late at night at Camp Chimalis?”
About Brooke Moss
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.