Thursday, July 28, 2011

Writing Under the Influence with Guest Blogger: Brooke Moss

Welcome Entangled author Brooke Moss to the Book Boost!

She's here to discuss the trials of writing under the influence of...children. Here's what she had to say...

Parenting & Writing: Do they mix?

Thanks for having me guest blog on The Book Boost, I am thrilled to be here. The topic at hand is one that is very near and dear to my heart. So many aspiring writers put their careers off while they are raising their children, citing that they have to wait to pursue their dreams until after their job as mom/dad is finished. Well, I am living proof that isn’t necessarily the case.


This is a sound I hear often. At least twenty three times while I am trying to work. It’s inevitable. Like the tides, or the phases of the moon. There’s literally nothing I can do to stop my children from interrupting me while I am writing.

Everyday, every single day, people ask me: how do I manage to write books AND be a mother to four insane, er, energetic children? And the answer is simple: I just do. How do some mothers find time to scrapbook, or go jogging? How do some mothers find the time to be affiliated with clubs and organizations? They just do.

I have a passion for writing. My writing time is not only my time spent doing my job, but is also my time spent doing the one activity that is completely, 100% for me. It doesn’t involve anyone else. It doesn’t require me to dress or look a certain way. It doesn’t require me to put on makeup or fix my hair. Nobody expects me to be composed and wise. I am not required to have my maternal instinct set to high, and I don’t have to do any of the icky requirements that mom’s are usually expected to do. (Diapers, snacks, fetch socks and shoes, wipe boogers, kiss boo-boos…)

My writing time is all for me, and I love it.

However, unless I want to hear the aforementioned cry of “Mooooooooom!!”, which happens no matter how many Disney movies I put on, or how many sprinklers I set, and popsicles I hand out…I have to plan my writing time carefully. Which is why I have become very nocturnal over the years.

As soon as everyone in my house is fast asleep, the dishes are done, the toys are picked up, and the dog is fed….that’s when I write. That’s when I slip out of my pasty, chubby housewife and mother skin, and become the characters I embody in my books. Heroines who are chasing their dreams, and who are struggling through pain and heartache. Heroines who usually have long, thick, beautiful hair…and who are often thin. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)

Sure…I haven’t gotten a fill eight hours of sleep since starting this author gig, and I know exactly what channels show the good reruns of 80’s sitcoms after 1am. I might have circles under my eyes that are often mistaken for eye black, and there is a permanent impression of my ass in my computer chair.

But I am chasing my dreams. Both of them.

I am a published author, and a mom.

A Note from the Book Boost: Brooke, I too am the mother to 4 children and feel your pain. If only there was a time during the day when all my children were sleeping simultaneously, I might take on your nocturnal method of writing. As it is...I have to squeeze in my words when I can throughout the day. I do a lot of squeezing. Congrats on your release, please tell us more!


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?


Seattle, Washington

“Why are you doing this?”

The desperate, sad look in Henry’s eyes made my heart ache. His brown hair fell across his forehead in rain-soaked waves, and his eyelashes gathered in dampened clumps. Henry’s eyes, the same shade of gray as the weeping clouds above us, searched my face for answers I was too ashamed to give.

“What we have is real, Autumn.” He pulled me against his chest. I felt his heart pounding through the wet fabric of his soft, flannel shirt, and we trembled in unison, standing on the front steps of Henry’s apartment building. “Why do you want to break up? Don't you love me?”

“Don’t do this,” I said weakly. My eyes filled with hot tears that threatened to undermine my brave fa├žade. When he grazed his fingers across my cheekbone, swiping away a tear, I instinctively turned my face into his hand, breathing in the warm, outdoorsy aroma of Henry.

My Henry.

He kissed my cheeks, my temples, my shivering lips. My resolve started to crumble. Strength. I needed to show strength. I needed to walk away before I ruined his life, before I hurt him any more than I already had.

“Tell me that you don’t love me,” he whispered into my drenched hair, tangling his fingers in my curls. “Tell me, and I’ll let you go.”

I choked on a sob. I did love Henry. The past two months had been the best months of my life. Not once had I dreamt of meeting someone who made me feel safe, peaceful, beautiful, and deliriously happy, the way Henry Tobler made me feel. I wanted to be with him—and no one else—forever.

“Of course I love you,” I said.

“Then why are you doing this?” His voice cracked.

I shivered in Henry’s arms, not only from the cold, but also from the burden I
bore. Pulling back, I raised my eyes to meet his. “I….I’m pregnant.” My words were barely audible over the sound of the pounding rain and passing traffic.

His face morphed from shock to anger, then settled on absolute sadness. We hadn’t slept together yet.

“It was from before,” I explained lamely, feeling dirty as the words came out my mouth. Henry’s shoulders drooped. He released me and a shadow fell across his eyes. That said it all.

His girlfriend was pregnant with someone else’s child.

Henry deserved better than me.

I had to get out of here. I backed away, down the cement steps and onto the sidewalk. I rubbed my chest, my heart breaking just beneath the surface.

“I’m sorry,” I said, words quavering. “I’m so sorry.”

I turned and ran. Away from love

Want More Brooke?

Click here to learn more.

Coming August 2nd from Entangled Publishing!

Click here to purchase your copy.


Misa said...

Only four days until The "What If" Guy is released. Can't wait, Brooke! I'm a mom/writer/working woman, too. Glad you make it work for you.

Elijana Kindel said...

Oh My Word--It was like reading an excerpt from my life. Mooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmm!!! Argh, it's like a never ending, chocked full of love and strife, symphony. Sigh. But I love it. LOL

Nice to know I'm not the only one who THOROUGHLY enjoys the peace and quiet of the after midnight(/kidlet is passed out asleep, finally) writing time.

Congrats on the book and good luck with it! I can't wait until it's on sale and I can pick up a copy!

Danielle said...

That takes discipline (and superhero energy) to write at night after the little ones are in bed. *nods to Brooke* I remember simply collapsing into bed myself after the kids were down. I don't know how you do it!

Congratulations on The What if Guy Brooke!

Unknown said...

Hi Brooke! Great post!!

I'm not a mother (yet?), but I'm having fun with the presence of children in my current WIP. My characters, while defeating evil / saving the world / finding true love have to deal with the "mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mother, mother, ma, ma, ma--" "What!" "Nothing."
Best of luck with the new release!

Rayka Mennen said...

What a great cover Brooke. Not a mom but with a demanding day job that may be as well be 2 kids.....those unrelenting tugs of life sure are hell on a writer's life. All the best with your release.

Lucianne Rivers said...

Hi Brooke, I just discovered my What If Guy from seven years ago just had a second baby with his wife!!! No more what ifs about him. Loved your book, and can't wait for the next.

Rosalie Lario said...

I'm a mom too (though only of one; I can't imagine four!), and it constantly amazes me that I get anything done with him around. This reinforces my theory that mothers really are Superwomen. We're not perfect, but we still kick ass. :-)

Nina Croft said...

I'm always wildly impressed by people who have children and still find the time and peace to write.

Good luck with your release!

Lisa Kessler said...

Great blog Brooke!!! :)

I'm a Mom of two, but my kids are older now... I still write late at night out of habit or conditioning? LOL

Congratulations on your upcoming release!!! I hope it's a huge success for you!!!

Lisa :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I remember the days when hearing "Mommy!" made me understand why some people go totally over the edge. I could NEVER have done it with double the kids, that's for sure!

The best thing about motherhood/writerhood? It changes. The kids get older. More independent. They can make their own meals and clean up after themselves. They find things that interest and keep them occupied. And then you can truly savor the pleasure of a few uninterrupted hours of sheer creation. :)

Good luck next week! :)

Anna Jeffrey said...

Hi, Brooke...I no longer have any kids around, but I've been where you are. Somehow you hang in there and survive. I just pre-ordered your book from Books on Board. As a contemporary author myself, contemporaries are mostly what I like to read. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Tracy March said...

Hi Brooke,

Kudos to you for keeping it all together AND writing terrific stories!

I, too, don't know how you do it! You are amazing...and so is THE "WHAT IF" GUY! Congratulations...

Tracy :)

Shea Berkley said...

You sound like a great mom, Brooke. It's nice to hear you've found your groove. So important. Bouncing in my seat for the release of The "What if" Guy!

Aubrie said...

Congrats for balancing time with your family and time for your writing.

Unknown said...

Motherhood and writing, there are so many precious moments. Like when your kids tell their teachers that their mom likes demons. So cute. I owe my twins a lot. They're the whole reason I locked myself in the bedroom on Sundays and started to write. Don't tell them that though. I'm getting so excited about the launch!!!

Sandra Cox said...

Kudos to all you young moms who write. Its not easy.