Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Brooke. E. Wayne, author of the Vineyard Pleasures Series. This interview is especially exciting because Brooke is one of my dear friends. We both dreamed of becoming writers when we were young, and when we were in college together, we were always spinning ideas while on our adventures (shocking for English majors, I know). After graduation we traveled all over Europe and the UK together packing away ideas for the future. Now, I have the pleasure of seeing her dream unfold.
BROOKE E. WAYNE is a Contemporary Romantic Comedy novelist who lives the RomCom dream in California. She is married to a South Philly, Eagles-obsessed Italian who she met online before it was cool. They have two young daughters who flood their happily-ever-after lives with girly giggles and immeasurable love. When she is not dribbling sticky sweet/sensual romance with a lighthearted, witty twist all over the pages of a RomCom manuscript, she teaches English Language Arts.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Apart from poetry, which I’d been scratching out since I was a wee lil girl, I actually wrote my first “novel” when I was eleven.
On lined paper.
All eighty-seven pages of it. Bahaha. The MC [main character] falls into a portal and goes on a crazy adventure with her older self as a mentor. I made sure the new cute boy in town moved in across the street from her in the end.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
I write ‘Romance with a Kiss of Humor’ aka Romantic Comedy. While romance novels tend to evoke lots of page-turning swoon, I actually endeavored to write a sexy book without any actual super-descriptive sex in it. Oh, it’s swoony, but it’s not get-my-butt-fired swoony. I like my day job. (Teacher, eep.)
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m one of those weirdo writers who like it quiet when I write. I even keep a pair of earplugs tucked away in the sleeve of my binder if the sound of me pecking away at my keyboard starts to drive me nuts. If I need music to wrap my emotions around a scene, I’ll listen to a song first, then go into silent mode and write.
Another quirk … the binder. I dive into novel writing with an organized mess. I load a binder up with a synopsis, detailed chapter outlines, locations, including diagrams of rooms, characters descriptions, random-middle-of-the-night-gotta-write-it-down-scenes, context norms, resources, you name it. I also keep Pinterest boards for each book I write then make each board public when a particular book goes live. Pantser? You betcha. I also have this awesome writer friend, Robin Woods, (*wink, wink*) who created this book, Fiction Writing Journal & Workbook that I load up, too, as a must-have companion to my binder.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
One of the characters in Whine with Cheese goes into a rant about true love that struck me as pretty profound once I stepped back from my writing and tried to figure out what he was really talking about. I suppose you could call it his message. It eventually became his anthem and a plot-point for my next book that revolves around his journey. His loaded question that inspires the heroine of Whine with Cheese, Maxine Novaline, to take a deeper look in her heart: “…Wouldn’t it make more sense to fall in love with someone because you truly loved everything about that person, not just how he made you feel, if it was authentic love?” Writing romance is tricky. Insta-love isn’t real. It also makes for a boring plot. Everyone has a different reason for falling in love with someone, even imaginary people. His point is, love the person for who that person is not for that person’s mad skills in making you feel something. Warm fuzzies-induced infatuation, sure. Bring it. True love, not so much.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Whine with Cheese is the product of my wild imagination running all over the place, but I did seed it with snapshots of my trip to Europe with one of my college besties when we were twenty-five. A particular hotel in Paris is spot-on from our own journey. The main character, Maxine Novaline, and her best friend, Blanca Grazia, are like those good vs. evil angels you see parked on someone’s shoulder. Blanca’s story is the second in the Vineyard Pleasures Series, Love the Wine You’re With. Her journey takes the reader back to France, as well. Though it’s a continuation, the books can be read as standalones. I’m in the process of packing my Fiction Writing Workbook & Journal and a new binder with the makings of Wine Not?, the third in the series which will have the reader wanderlusting all over the world. Have I ever globe-trotted? No. But a girl can dream … and write.
What is your favorite motivational phrase or positive saying?
Yoda’s “Do or do not. There is no try.” That’s some sweeeet advice right there.
That’s some great advice!
Book Descriptions below the interview.
THIS OR THAT—The Speed Round
Writing during the night or writing during the day? NIGHT
Writing from home or someplace else? HOME
Reading a ebook or print? EBOOK
Buy books online or buy in a bookstore? ONLINE
Weather: Hot or Cold? COLD
Music or Silence? SILENCE
Classic Fairy tales or Fairy tale retellings? FAIRY TALE RETELLINGS
Chocolate or Vanilla? CHOCOLATE (and Caramel)
The Beach or The Mountains? THE BEACH
The World being taken over my zombies or sexy blood sucking vampires? SEXY BLOOD SUCKING VAMPIRES
Time travel to the future or past? PAST
Facebook or twitter? TWITTER
Being able to fly or being able to go invisible? FLY
Bookmark or Dog eared? BOOKMARK
1st character POV or 3rd character POV? DEEP 3rd POV (for now)
City or Country? CITY
Pen or Pencil? PEN
Polk-a-dots or Stripes? POLKA DOTS!!!
Pancakes or Waffles? WAFFLES
Books or Movies? BOOKS
Coffee or Tea? YES, PLEASE, but if I had to choose one, COFFEE
Elbows the size of pumpkins or knees the size of watermelons? ELBOWS THE SIZE OF PUMPKINS
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Book Description for Whine with Cheese (Vineyard Pleasures Series, #1)
SWIRL a hot mess, a savvy vintner, and a meathead ex into a chaotic adventure and indulge in a taste of humor when a sensual journey of self-discovery collides with true love.
Maxine “Max” Novaline just had her heart ripped out by her ex-boyfriend, Bart Moore. Determined to bounce back, she’s ready to do some serious damage control on her shattered self-esteem thanks to that narcissistic meathead.
Max heads to Napa Valley’s Angel of the Vine Winery, maker of her favorite Moscato, to scout out tours for work and–let’s be honest–catch a glimpse of the owner’s drool-worthy son, Chase L’Angevin, as seen on YouTube.
Nothing says movin’ on like some sweet wine and eye candy. Right?
Chase, who likes the pin-up girl type, starts to pour on the charm the moment he meets this demure beauty. She even blushes over every compliment he gives her like she’s been deprived of them.
Lavish the bubbly blonde with all the attention she deserves? Of course.
When their first date rolls into a long, romantic weekend, their chemistry ignites faster than a matchstick in hell.
But, when Max’s fears of rushing into another relationship start to haunt her, and Chase becomes all too eager to keep trying to sweep her off her feet, they both find themselves tumbling down a rabbit hole of an adventure in pursuit of what true love is all about.
WHINE WITH CHEESE is about a young woman discovering her full potential while falling in love one sweet wine tasting at a time.
Book Description for Love the Wine You’re With (Vineyard Pleasures Series, #2)
SPRINKLE an emotionally unavailable woman, a lovelorn man, and some delicious chemistry into the middle of wine country then candy coat it with a whole lotta passion when a friends-with-benefits arrangement turns a vacation into an unexpected journey.
Blanca Grazia, queen of calm, has it all under control. Headstrong. Self-reliant. Determined. She thrives on an intriguing challenge.
So, when Blanca’s bestie, Maxine Novaline, begs her to distract Maxie’s boyfriend’s cousin while he’s visiting them in Napa Valley, California, Blanca is all about stepping it up for her BFF. Hot French guy? Yes, please.
All Blanca plans on doing is the—ehem—favor. Then she’ll just friend-zone Julien L’Angevin’s butt all the way back home to France where he belongs.
… Until that wrecking ball of a man decides to cash in on a favor of his own.
All Julien wants is another opportunity to see what this wild, pint-sized, fireball of independence is actually made of. Sugar? Spice? Everything nice?
Counting on Blanca’s wanderlust for worldly adventures, Julien invites her to his home in Champagne. A traveling opportunity the Italian-American beauty can’t resist.
So what if they decide to add a little pinch of friends-with-benefits to the mix after they come face to face once more and realize that their physical chemistry can’t be denied.
Besides, their arrangement is only for one week. Then they’ll be continents apart again, and life will go on. Right?
LOVE THE WINE YOU’RE WITH is about a young woman bent on staying single while falling in love one scintillating wine tasting at a time.