Tuesday, May 13, 2014

20 Questions with Kristen Brockmeyer: Getting to Know Your Favorite (or soon to be Favorite!) Writer

In the case of LUCKY IN LOVE, you can judge a book by its cover. The second it caught my eye, I had to pick it up. The minute I read the back blurb, I knew I had to buy it. And Kristen Brockmeyer’s first contemporary romance delivered everything promised, from the flirty print dress to the sassy seamed stockings, to the sexy heels and delightful prose. What a fun read! Charming characters, bubbly dialogue, and engagingly over-the-top plotline whisk you along on a whirlwind road trip to adventure and heartfelt romance with the top down.

I enjoyed meeting Kristen for the first time at our Mid-Michigan RWA chapter’s Retreat in April. She’s every bit as effervescent as her writing which you can see for yourself as she answers my Twenty Questions. Then enjoy a peek at LUCKY IN LOVE before making use of those Buy links!

1. Party dress or blue jeans?

If I’m not at my day job, you’ll find me in scrubby jeans and long-sleeved thermal shirt with a concert tee over it, like it’s still the 90’s or something, but I do love a good vintage party dress!

2. Broadway or museum?

During the best day I’ve had in recent memory, I spent an hour talking Art Deco with two flirty elderly men at our small-town museum. I love museums. And elderly men.

3. Other creative outlets?

Okay, it’s weird, but I have a big collection of pre-1950’s cookbooks, most with sample menus provided for adventurous back-in-the-day housewives. I like to have random Vintage Menu Sundays, where I cook exactly those recipes, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Talk about broadening your culinary horizons.Wartime-era kidney bean loaf, anyone?

4. Things that make you want to go “EEEEEEK!”

My top three would probably be hairy spiders, seeing someone get embarrassed publicly and boogers on other peoples’ kids. My kids’ boogers are fine, though. There might even be a few on my vintage party dress.

5. Favorite books from childhood?

The Narnia series, L. Frank Baum’s books, and Harlequin paperbacks. (Both my grandmas started slipping me Harlequins when I was 8 or 9 years old and I was hooked.)

6. Three favorite movies?

Amelie, Lethal Weapon and Some Like it Hot.

7. Something quirky about you that no one knows (we won’t tell anyone!)

I have long toes. Not freakishly long, but oddly dexterous. I can pick things up with them.

8. Favorite comfort food?

Steak and mashed potatoes with lots of butter. And something green so I don’t feel guilty.

9. Favorite type of hero (Type A bad boy or Type B good guy)?

My favorite type of hero is the Alpha Male. I like those super-protective, physically strong, “let me take care of you, baby” cowboy types. A Beta would probably be easier to live with, though, and more likely to do the dishes.

10. What type of fiction heroine would you be? Jane Eyre or Lara Croft?

I enjoy kiester-kicking females like Lara Croft. I’d like to think I’d be that type of heroine: sweep me off my feet, but I’m hooking a leg behind your knee and taking you down with me.

11. Favorite genre to read? (Is it what you write?)

My favorite genre is romance, of course, but specifically, something with some humor, a little action and a happily ever after. No Notebook-type tearjerkers, please. Ack.

12. What would you love to write that you haven’t?

I think it’d be cool to write an epic adventure like the ones I used to read when I was a kid. I have a very smart almost-10-year-old who also writes and we’re planning to do a tween book together later this year.

13. Fiction hero you would run off with?

Movie-wise, a Lethal Weapon-era Mel Gibson is probably just crazy enough to talk me into it, or maybe Steve McQueen or Paul Newman. I’m a sucker for blue eyes. In terms of book heroes, definitely Tracy Brogan’s Tyler Connelly from The Best Medicine. He could buy me tampons any day.

14. Paperback or e-book?

Paperback, please. It’s hard to dog-ear a Kindle.

15. Favorite books you can read over and over?

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas, any of Nora Roberts’ longer books (Montana Sky is a favorite), Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plums and all of Julie Garwood’s Scottish historicals.

16. OCD plotter or free range pantser?

I’m still trying to figure that out. My first book, LUCKY IN LOVE, was a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants effort that took years to finish. My second book was carefully plotted and took a fraction of the time to write, but just wasn’t as much fun. I think that’s why I haven’t been motivated to make it public yet. I’m searching for a happy medium in Book Three.

17. Which is easier, the synopsis or the book?

The book. Distilling 200+ pages into a sentence or a paragraph just kills me. (Wait, add writing synopses to #4, under things that make me go eek!)

18. Live to write or write to live? Day job?

By day, I’m a mild-mannered receptionist. But I do have to say that writing romance is tons more fun than answering phones. So I live to write… for now.

19. Do you have a set writing schedule?

I’m good at making schedules, but not so much at keeping them. I write best when I run out to the1965 Yellowstone camper parked out behind our garage (you can’t see my dirty kitchen from there) once the kids go to bed. Then, I write furiously until 10:00 PM. After doing that for a solid month, every day, I finished my last book in 30 days – 55K words.

20. Biggest hurdle to getting words on the page and how you overcome it?

Myself. I make all kinds of creative excuses not to write and said dirty kitchen is always trying to take priority. Once my butt is in a chair, though, look out.

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 did Chance move away without a word 10 years ago-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.

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. As I gathered my keys and clutch purse, I felt like Chicken Little waiting to get squashed by an asteroid-sized acorn. But no 10 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?

It really should have come as no surprise that I mowed over the best man in the parking lot.

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 lay spread-eagled on the pavement, looking dead.

He groaned again and cracked open one eye.

“Jeez, Lucky, is that you?”

Kristen Brockmeyer is a romance writer. A member of the RWA and the MMRWA, she's currently up to her eyeballs in an awesome contemporary romance manuscript.

She's also a wife, a mom, an admin at an award-winning digital agency and a chicken-wrangling, weed-pulling, mosquito-slapping farming newbie. She enjoys reading romances, buying useless things at thrift stores, baking cupcakes semi-professionally, and hyphenating phrases, sometimes unnecessarily.

She has three kids, one husband, two dogs and a partridge in a pear tree. (Okay, there really is a pear tree out back, but the bird in it is probably just a chicken.)


  1. Hi, Kristen. The interview is great. I loved Lucky in Love. (Like the new cover, too.) Lucky is so funny. She reminds me of Stephanie Plum as she gets into crazy situations. Best wishes and get that next book out. :)

    1. Diane - thanks for reading! Nancy was so awesome to feature me. And if you wouldn't mind following me around with a cattle prod, I might get the next book out faster? :)

  2. Kristen, so happy for the chance to meet you here. Nancy's questions are always a fun way to get acquainted. The excerpt from Lucky in Love had me laughing out loud. Now I'm off to get the book.

    1. Loralee, you're the best, and I completely agree - Nancy's questions are so much fun to answer. I hope you like Lucky!

  3. What a fun interview! I feel like I know so much more about you. Do you take the camper out? I have a wonderful little camper that will be my home away from home for a week in June. <3

    1. Melissa, I don't take the camper out yet. It has a bit of work to be done before it's road-worthy, but I hope to be able to yet this year. Enjoy your home away from home - I hope you're going someplace fantastic!

  4. What a great interview and its so nice to learn all those neat things about you. I loved Montana Sky and Mel Gibson, yep, any day! I'm a vintage lover as well and envy your fab camper!

    1. Teresa - I can't think of a more worthy opponent to fight with for Mel Gibson's affections. ;) And glad to know I'm not the only vintage gal out there!

  5. Great interview! Btw, I can't stand snot on my kids or anyone else's kids. ;) Happy Tuesday!

    1. Thanks for reading, Elizabeth! And ITA with your stance on snot. Kids are nasty little critters, aren't they? Good thing we love them anyway! :)

  6. Thanks for featuring me, Nancy - so much fun, and I love the photoshop to my pic. Fantastic - I never thought to try that!

  7. I love the interview and love the teaser for your book. Darn it all, one more book to buy. :-) I can't wait to get to it.