Today we’re talking to Brook Richmond from the upcoming romantic novella, “Brooke Runs Away,” by Carrie Padgett. The book is scheduled for release this summer.
I like to sit with my characters and have a cup of coffee. Even their choice of coffee tells me a lot about them. Then I dive into some other questions.
So first up, Brooke Richmond, what kind of coffee can I get you? Or would you prefer tea?
I would love a cup of hot, black coffee. I’m from a German and Mennonite heritage, and we like our coffee the way our women are: strong and hardy.
How old are you and what is your relationship status?
I’m 28. Although some members of my family think I’m a spinster who should be rocking and knitting, I’ve been pretty happy to be single. I had one serious boyfriend back in high school, but we broke up when he went away to college and I stayed home in Harts Leap to take care of my mother who was dying of cancer. I’m dating a man now, and … I think it may be serious. We’ll see.
I’m sorry about your mom. And losing your boyfriend, too. Double heart break. Tell me about Harts Leap.
Thank you. *She smiles broadly* Harts Leap is a small tourist destination town in the Sierra Nevada, just outside Yosemite National Park. I’ve lived there all my life. My family has apple orchards, just down the hill, at a lower elevation. I’ve spent many hours picking and sorting fruit. Now I’m a second-grade teacher at Harts Leap Elementary school.
Name three of your favorite things.
*She lifts her coffee cup in a toast* Well, this is one for sure! Then my seven-year-old niece April. She’s my brother Jake’s daughter. We all live in the family ranch house that’s been handed down through the generations. My brothers are building me an apartment over the garage, so I’ll be living alone soon, but still close by. My sister-in-law … well, Anna likes a house run a certain way and it will just be easier on everyone if she and I don’t live together. So that’s two, right? Coffee and April. And I love waking up on a Saturday morning with nothing to do but read a great book, then go for a hike or bike ride.
Are you close to your family?
We are super close. Partly because I live with my brother and sister-in-law. And partly because all my brothers work together. I have four brothers. They run the orchards and the business now. My dad helps out, but he’s semi-retired. I adore my niece April. Did I mention April yet? She has blonde curls. Her permanent teeth are coming in, but they’re still all crooked and adorable.
Name three things that tick you off.
That’s easy. *Brooke leans closer and whispers* Anna knows how to push my buttons and it drives me crazy! *She relaxes against the chair again* And dishonesty of any kind really makes me angry. I don’t care if you don’t like me, just be honest about it. I respect that. And thirdly … anyone who insults my family or my hometown.
What was your first impression of Austin? How did you meet?
*Brooke sighs deeply* Well, my first impression was that he was slick and glossy. *She laughs* Because I saw him on a magazine cover! He was the next bachelor on that reality show, Date My Son! I thought he was good looking—I mean, hello?? Have you seen his dimples? —but in a far off, I’ll-never-meet-him kind of way. So I when I ended up on the dating show—completely by accident—I was blown away by how kind and genuine and transparent he is. Even surrounded by all those women wanting him to fall in love with them. Not to mention his mother tagging along on all the dates and having a say in who he kept on the show. It was crazy. But we laughed a lot together, and I think that made both of us more comfortable with each other, in spite of the cameras and all the reality drama.
That’s sweet! If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change in your life?
Wow, that’s tough. I’ve had two things I would change in a heartbeat, if I could. First, I would keep my sister close. She moved away and cut all ties with the family. I’d do everything I could to keep her in my life. And of course, I’d invent a cure for cancer so my mom would still be here.
Those are two very heavy things. I don’t blame you for wanting to change them. Now, on to something lighter. What is your favorite food?
I love a good, juicy burger. With cheddar cheese melting down the sides.
Now, I’m hungry. Thanks a bunch. And thanks for the coffee and chat, Brooke!