We're pleased to have Brea Brown visiting us today to talk about The Family Plot, which was published last summer. Melissa A connected with her through Chick Lit Chat on Facebook and found they have a lot in common, including their day jobs as administrative assistants and being from the Midwest (although Brea still lives there).
Brea Brown is a humble Indie author who lives in Springfield, Missouri, with her three hilarious sons and her amazing husband. Her passions include writing, daydreaming, laughing, football, and not taking anything too seriously. When she’s not doing those things, she hangs out on Facebook and Twitter or blogs as “The Reluctant Blogger.” To learn more about Brea and her novels, visit her website.
Brea has THREE e-books of The Family Plot for some lucky readers to win.
Whitney Faelhaber is a strong, independent woman. Just ask her, and she’ll tell you. Over and over again. When her favorite aunt passes away and bequeaths to her what feels like an entire life in Small Town, USA, Whitney’s supposed strength and independence meet their biggest challenge, to date. Leaving her family, a boyfriend, and a budding career in academia, Whitney moves to Morris, Maine, to settle her aunt’s numerous affairs and take up running Velvet Printing, Aunt Vel’s pride and joy.
“Culture shock” doesn’t begin to describe Whitney’s intro to Morris. To make things even more uncomfortable, the townsfolk seem intent on matchmaking her with the local oddball, Eric Mulligan. But romance with anyone—much less a socially awkward mortician—is the last thing on Whitney’s agenda. Her goal is to learn everything about her aunt’s business as quickly as possible, so she can return to her “real” life in Boston and oversee things from afar.
As Whitney digs through her aunt’s finances, looking for spare change to fund the operational fixes that will allow her to escape back to Boston, she discovers some strange discrepancies with no obvious explanations. But Weirdo Mulligan seems to know more than he’s letting on. And when Whitney finally drags the truth from him, it changes her entire view of the aunt she thought she knew… and the course of her own life.
Why did you decide to write chick lit?
Chick lit has been my favorite genre to read since before I even realized it was a genre. My intro to it was Jane Green's Jemima J, followed closely by such classics as The Devil Wears Prada, Good in Bed, and In Her Shoes. My favorite chick list author of all time is Jennifer Weiner. Her books were the ultimate inspiration for me writing my own stories. I just wanted to make readers feel as good as I felt when I read one of her books.
Do you base any of your characters on yourself?
Every single one of my characters has a little bit of me in her... or him. Even Nate in my Nurse Nate trilogy. I'm a fairly introspective person, so I'm hyper-aware of my quirks. I try to give one of them to each of my fictional friends. It helps me to better get into their heads and write what I hope are realistic characters. And after all, misery loves company, right?
What was the inspiration behind The Family Plot?
I get most of my ideas while driving. I don't have a particularly long commute to and from my day job, but it's the only alone time I have all day. I tend to study the people in the cars around me at stoplights. Daily, I'm caught staring as I wonder, "What's their life like?" Most of my books, though, start with a main character's job, and that was definitely the case with THE FAMILY PLOT. I drove past a funeral home one day near my neighborhood and thought, "Wow. What inspires someone to be a mortician?" That led me to think about the stereotypical undertaker (creepy!) and what it would be like to meet someone who defied some of those preconceptions. Eric Mulligan in all of his awkward, misfit glory was born. I'd also been mulling over an idea for a story taking place in a small New England town. I could definitely picture Eric in that town, working at his family's funeral home. Now all I needed was the perfect fish-out-of-water female protagonist. Enter Whitney Faelhaber, reluctant heiress to her aunt's print shop on Main Street, U.S.A.
If The Family Plot were made into a movie, who would be in the lead roles?
Reese Witherspoon would definitely play Whitney, and I'd love for funnyman Rob Delaney to play Eric.
What is your longest friendship?
I'm still in touch on Facebook with friends from elementary school. That has been the best benefit to social media, hands down.
Which TV show, book, or movie reminds you most of your own life?
I'd love to be able to cite something cool like The Mindy Project or Sex and the City, but alas, it is as if the creators of the show, The Middle, have been camped outside our windows, changing tiny details here and there to protect the innocent. I have three sons, and my organizational style is best described as, "Stores quilts in the oven." I'm basically Frankie Heck... on a good day.
Thanks to Brea for visiting with us and sharing her book with our readers.
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Giveaway ends February 21st at midnight EST.