Brooke Moss is the name, contemporary romance, fantasy YA, 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, 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.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer as your career?
I knew I wanted to be an author when I was as young as 9 or 10. I used to cut out pictures of people from my mother's JC Penny's catalogues, glue them onto paper, and then name each member of the "family". Then once the family was complete, I would write stories about them. It's safe to say I was a very strange and dramatic child. But it evolved into a great career!
When did you start writing?
I started writing with the intent of getting published (I wrote just for myself and my friends) when I was about 30-31 years old.
What made you decide to publish with independent publishers?
My books are a hard sell. They don't often fit into the mold that many traditional publishers expect their books to fit into. My books are multifaceted. They have romance, but along with that, there are stronger themes tied in. And I always have a large, intricate cast of characters. I've been given more attention, and what feels like a fairer chance by indie publishers. They're more willing to read my work than the bigger publishers are. Unfortunately for them, the indie publishers have been able to see the potential.
In your debut novel The "What-If" Guy, is it similar to any experiences you have had?
Yes! Tons....oh, I've crashed on my ice skates and landed on a guy's crotch the same way Autumn did, and I've spilt hot gravy on a man as well. I've very clumsy. It's pathetic. I always tend to draw from my own self deprecating humor and personality when I create a character. None of my heroines are bursting with confidence. I want my characters to be relatable to the average woman.
What inspired you to write The "What-If" Guy?
I wanted to write about my own personal theory that every woman--whether she is in a relationship or not, happy or not--has a "what if" guy she wonders about from time to time. I wanted to explore the notion that a single woman finds her what if guy, and winds up with a second chance. I also wanted to set a story in my hometown of Fairfield, Washington. That was really fun.
What was your inspiration for The Carny, which by the way, I absolutely loved, it is so much more brilliant than the recent things Nora Roberts wrote.
Thanks! From your lips to God's ears....I hope the rest of the world loved it as much as you. I actually got the original idea for The Carny when I had a really strange dream about an extremely handsome carny. In the dream, I was a teenager again, and the scene between Charlotte and Vincent when they were kids...well, that was the dream. I sat down to write one day...and it just unfolded right in front of me.
In the Carny, what made you write about mixed relationships? I am asking from experience, I dealt with that before lord it was awful.
I was inspired to write The Carny because my brother and his wife are an interracial couple, and have been married for 20 years. Though they aren't always mistreated for their relationship, subtle racism is always present in their lives. I wanted to explore that problem in small town America, and *hopefully* encourage more people to examine what they're saying, how they're saying it, and whether or not it is an appropriate way to view others any more.
Any new projects you've been working on or any new releases you have coming out soon?
I am currently trying to sell my first fantasy YA, which is the first in a trilogy. I'm really proud of it, and I hope that a publisher feels the same way. I also have a romantic women's fiction coming out from Entangled Publishing, entitled "Keeping Secrets in Seattle". I don't currently have a release date, as it has been pushed back to late fall or early winter of 2012. I wish I had more details for everyone! Write to Entangled and tell them to help me get this book out soon! :)
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Never stop perfecting your craft...and learn how to take critique. The day you start considering yourself "good enough" to stop investing in conferences or workshops is the day you need to quit and become a podiatrist. Real writers never stop learning, and never stop working at becoming better. Ever. And real writers know how to open themselves up to critique and comments. Good or bad. When another author offers you solicited advice on how to make your book better, LISTEN. There's nothing more important, or beneficial, than an awesome critique partner.
I absolutely lover Brooke's novels! In my opinion, they are ten times better than Nora Roberts, and I grew up reading Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts. What I love about The "What-If" Guy is that it has so many humorous situations! I especially love Autumn how clumsy she is. I also loved The Carny is the dramatic atmosphere the novel takes place. Brooke's writing is absolute beautiful work and I highly recommend people read her novels they are so beautiful. If you ever get the opportunity to read her novels, they are so enjoyable and beautifully written, they are books you can't put down.
The "What-If" Guy
What would you do if your "what if" guy showed up at the lowest point of your life?
(Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.)
After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington, to put the pieces of her life back together.
Her disgruntled twelve-year old son isn't thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn's got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that's been decades in the making.
Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love-and herself-with her "what if" guy teach Autumn to forgive before it's too late?
Elliott shifted his weight between feet. “I take it you guys know each other?”
I started. I’d forgotten about Elliott. I put my arm around him and tried to smile. “Yup. El, this is Henry…er, Mr. Tolber."
Elliott looked around self-consciously. “Geez, Mom, chill. I already know this is Mr. Tobler.”
“Of course you do. Sorry. I just… He’s um…,"
Henry stood frozen in place, staring at me as if I were a ghost.
I trembled, struggling to regain composure. “He’s an old friend.”
Elliott squinted at me for a few beats, then turned to Henry. “I’m sorry. She’s… uh, wired this morning. Where do you want me to sit?”
Henry’s mouth remained set in a line. “There’s an open seat by the window. Go ahead and grab a textbook off of my desk.”
“Okay. Mom, you can go.” Elliott bumped my toe with his.
I waved at him and backed toward the door. “All right. Have a good day… And you,” I said to Henry, “have a good, um, class.”
“Yes.” Henry nodded stiffly.
I misjudged and backed into a bookshelf, ramming my butt into a sharp corner. A shock wave of pain shot through my right cheek, and several encyclopedias tumbled onto the floor.
The kids laughed. Elliott sat at his desk, then covered his face with his hands.
“I’m so sorry.” I bent to pick up the books, hot tears of embarrassment
pricking my eyes.
Henry stepped closer and reached for one of the encyclopedias. “Here, just let me—”
“No, I’ve got—”
I stood, bringing an armload of the thick books up as I did. Whack. The books collided with Henry’ nose. Bright-red blood instantly flooded all over the “G” encyclopedia and the sleeve of my shirt.
“Argh.” He grabbed for the box of tissues on his desk, leaving a trail of blood droplets on the floor.
At a town fair on the coast of Oregon, handsome Native American carny, Vincent Youngblood, bestows an unforgettable kiss on shy, awkward teenager, Charlotte Davenport. Then he disappears without another word, leaving her baffled and enamored.
Ten years later, Charlotte is still living in the small fishing town of Astoria, while being trained to--reluctantly--take over for her philandering hotelier father when he retires. After all, who else will do it? Her two perfect sisters are busy being married to their flawless husbands and having cookie cutter children, while Charlotte remains single, childless, and every bit as mousy as she was a decade ago.
As Charlotte struggles to climb out from underneath her judgmental parents thumb, the carnival rolls back into town, and Charlotte finds herself face to face with Vin again. He's back to run his father's carnival, walking away from a promising career in medicine he started in Chicago. Will her biased and judgmental family accept her relationship with a man who is not only a Native American, but works as a carny for a living? And what unsavory secrets bind the well-educated and seemingly superlative Vin to that ramshackle carnival?
After all, you can’t judge a carny by its cover.
The heat on my face increased. “Charlotte Davenport.” I noticed that he’d not ended the contact between our two hands yet. “Yours?”
“Vin. Vincent Youngblood.”
I pointed to his shirt. “Of Young’s Blood Enterprises?”
The corner of his mouth tugged up, and he took a step closer to me. The people in line craned their necks to see what the holdup was. “That’s the one. And you’re of the Davenports of the Astoria Resort?”
I nodded. Sunlight positively radiated off of his skin, and I suddenly felt drunk.
He glanced up at Regina, who was watching with a disapproving scowl. She preferred to be the center of all male attention. “We should give your rotten friend something to really talk about.”
“She’s not all rotten.”
Vin laughed softly. “Yeah, she is. Why do you hang out with someone like that?”
I bit my lip. “She doesn’t do it all the time.”
One of his hands rested on my arm, closing the space between the two of us. “You deserve better friends.”
I didn’t respond. I just stared up at those two shining eyes that were reflecting my own face back at me. His face was coming closer to mine. My knees knocked together, and I wavered in my spot before his other hand came up to anchor my other arm.
“I think I should kiss you.” He raised his eyebrows. “To really drive the point home.”
His lips touched mine before I could agree with him. They were soft and full, and tasted faintly of the soda pop he’d been drinking. The spin cycle in my stomach came to a sudden and abrupt halt, as did all activity of my internal organs.
Everything froze. The music on the loudspeakers faded away, and the crowd around us melted like crayons, blurring into an undecipherable picture. His mouth parted my lips tentatively, and his tongue brushed the inside of my upper lip, sending a shock wave of catastrophic earthquake proportions up my spine. Every hair on my body stood up and the ground swayed under our feet.
When we pulled apart, both of our eyes opened back up sluggishly, as if we’d both been dreaming. I realized that neither one of us was breathing.