D.W. Brooks will award a randomly drawn winner a $15 Amazon/BN GC.
Author Interview: D.W. Brooks
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
I have spent most of my reading life reading mysteries and thrillers—starting with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. My first (failed) attempt at writing stories when I was eight years old focused on trying to create a coherent mystery story. So, writing mysteries was always my goal. Once I created the character of Jamison, having a romance incorporated into the story seemed like the next logical step.
During the early-to-mid 2010s, I developed kidney failure due to a hereditary condition. I had to spend a lot of time in bed, which seemed like it might be fun but, in actuality, became quite boring. Dialysis was even more challenging. It created a lot of wasted time, so I decided to write a novel. I had come up with my main character already, so I built the story from there. It took me a while to complete, and once I did, I sat on it for a couple of years while I received my kidney transplant and my father moved into our house. After he passed away, I took another look at Homecoming Chaos and decided I was going to publish it and see how readers would respond.
2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle, or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?
I am an ONLY child. Honestly, I HATED it, and, in many ways, I still do.
I spent a lot of time with my parents, which was wonderful. I wasn’t treated like an adult, but they (for the most part) seemed interested in what I had to say. They took me to many cultural activities, we spent a lot of time with our extended families, and I could take part in many sport teams and music and dance lessons. My parents didn’t get me everything I wanted, but they made sure I got to do the things I needed to and many of the things I wanted to. For example, I made my high school dance team. My parents ended up getting all my uniforms made from scratch and spent over $1000 so I could be on my high school dance team.
Even with that kind of attention, and multiple cousins around that were around my age, I still felt lonely sometimes. It probably played a role in my love of reading. I learned to entertain myself because there wasn’t always someone around to play or talk with. That carries over today. During the pandemic, I was more afraid of getting ill (immunosuppressed because of the kidney transplant) than having to stay in the house. My family was at home, but I could read, watch TV or movies, write, look at my computer, cook…the list of activities went on and on. I didn’t want to have to stay in, but I wasn’t bored.
I also find it challenging now that both of my parents have died. It was more obvious when my father lived with my family, and we had to help with his care. My father had planned well for this stage of his life, so we could afford outside help. My husband and children were helpful as well, but I didn’t have any siblings to help with the decisions. Having a sibling could have been nice. While I know siblings don’t always get along, I didn’t want to have only one child myself and put that child the same situation.
Being an only child had a large impact on who I am today.
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
Looking at the ocean. I would say on the beach, but the glare from the sun and water can make that difficult. Sitting on the terrace outside my hotel room with my computer is about as good as it gets.
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
Killing your darlings can hurt. You wrote the perfect scene with the perfect comeback line, and it just won’t fit in the story anywhere! Obviously, you try to resurrect it somewhere, even if it is in another story, if you can!
I did kill some content from Homecoming Chaos. Some of it is dead forever with no hope of resurrection, but a nice bit of it ended up being the basis of my prequel novella, I Do CHAOS. I have started on a second novel in the Model MD Series already, but I have wavered on the storyline. So, some darlings are being killed in my next novel as we speak!
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
First, I have to decide who my favorite author is. It would likely be a writer of some classic novel, like Charles Dickens or Alexandre Dumas.
I would love to ask Alexandre Dumas how being a man of African descent in France during that timeframe affected his writing.
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
I just learned how to swallow pills. Like only in the last six years since I got the kidney transplant. And even now, I have to break some of them into smaller pieces or even chew them to get them down. It’s my hidden shame!
7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?
I guess there is no internet or electricity on this island? So, no tablet, cell phone, or laptop. I would need a pair of sturdy and big water bottles, paper, and a book. Because of my kidney transplant, I have to have a lot of water available all day so I would prepare my water at night and put it in the water bottles. I need paper to write and doodle on. I can fashion my own charcoal (by burning wood) to write. And a blanket to protect from the hot sun or the cool nights.
Now, hopefully, this is not a long-term stay on the deserted island. I need to take my medicine (I am pretending it was in my pockets, so I am not counting it among the three items!).
8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?
I had to look this up because I am not familiar with many superpowers except for the obvious—super strength, super speed, ability to talk to the animals, shapeshifting. I am using my knowledge of the Super Friends cartoon from my childhood.
I found the superpower I would want: temporal lock. You are immune to time, so you aren’t impacted by it. It renders you timeless. I needed that around age 33 because that’s the age that I was in my best shape and health. My kidneys were still normal. If I could have physically stayed at 33, it would be perfect!
9. Favorite snack?
I love popcorn. Plain, buttery, caramel, white cheddar, Chicago style, kettle corn—it’s all great! I eat popcorn several times a week.
10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?
It is a running gag in my family that I always drive the speed limit. Even if we are running late or if there is no one else on the road, I stick to the limit. I also get lost a lot, so driving the speed limit is the best way not to miss street signs and other markers to help me get to where I need to go.
The speed limit issue is ironic because when I was younger, I was less interested in obeying it. I had a Black Camaro which I drove very fast all around the country. Limits were suggestions. But when I had children, I suddenly lost my lead foot and began obeying all speed laws. Who knew?
PS. I marched in the Indy 500 parade my junior year in high school when I was on the Lee High School dance team. We rode up there on school buses, slept in what I can only assume were barracks, and sat in the infield at the race. Coolest thing ever…until my first novel hit the streets!
by D.W. Brooks
GENRE: Romantic Suspense/Mystery/African American Fiction
A dead body in the parking lot of her family’s business, a killer on the loose, and a handsome detective asking a lot of questions…
Jamie Scott’s life fell apart four years ago when she broke off her engagement, turned down a dream job, and went overseas to run away from her life. Now she’s back, but the reunion is not without problems. She arrives home just in time to attend the soiree her mother planned, but she’s not prepared for what she finds—a dead employee in the parking lot.
Detective Nick Marshall is assigned to the murder case at the forensics lab owned by Jamie’s family. He meets the headstrong Jamie, but he has a job to do. And his attraction to her… well, he’s a professional.
Jamie knows the stakes are high. She has to face the past and save her parents’ business while dealing with her family drama and an uncertain future. She also has to deal with Nick, who wants her out of the way of his investigation. But fate keeps throwing them in one another’s paths… and into chaos that they both want to avoid, but neither can seem to escape.
“Wait, wait. Hold on. Do you have a warrant? Do we need an attorney?” Jamison stood up, too. She was almost as tall as the detective and incredibly pretty up close, which caught him off guard. “Aren’t there proprietary issues at the lab?”
Nick paused and deferred to Ronald. Ronald chimed in. “We’re just trying to get information about this woman’s death. You can call a lawyer if you wish but retaining one may slow things down.”
“Hmmm.” Jamie stared at both detectives. She couldn’t read either of them, but the situation gave her pause. She recognized the importance of finding out what had happened to their employee. However, the family business needed to be shielded as much as possible. Jamie hadn’t been back long, and her brain was still cloudy and jet-lagged, but she recognized the potential perils in just letting the police roam free in the lab. “Dad, Mother, someone should call Richard,” she said, scrutinizing both parents.
Margaret said, “Good idea. I’ll call while I change. He can meet us there.” She gave the detective and the other officers a superior glance. “Richard Bradshaw, he’s a partner at Bradshaw, Taylor, and Kline, and he is our son-in-law.” She turned to walk into the master suite, with Gregory following.
Nick shook his head, and Ronald was less subtle with a steady scowl. Both had heard about Richard’s firm and peripherally knew Richard. This situation just got a lot more difficult. Nick didn’t suspect the family, but involving a lawyer usually complicated their police work. He turned back to Jamie, who was studying his reaction. He adjusted his face so she couldn’t sense his annoyance.
Jamie noted the subtle change and smiled to herself. She could tell she had annoyed him. Even annoyed, he’s pretty cute. “I need to get my coat. If you will excuse me,” she said, heading back to her bedroom.
Upstairs, Jamie changed clothes, retrieving a pair of skinny black jeans from her bag. As she slid into her jeans, her mind wandered to the detective. She typically dated guys that were taller than her—with her ex-fiancé being the lone exception—Eddie had been the same height. A strong jaw, wavy-ish hair, nice lips, and a commanding presence—which Jamie suspected the detective had in spades—didn’t hurt either. Just the type of guy she would typically go for if the circumstances were different. Rifling through the dresser, she found a white Henley shirt she’d left on a previous visit. She had gained almost fifteen pounds since then, and the shirt fit snugly. She now had boobs! Placing the hat back on her head, she was glad she had an appointment at the hair salon later in the day.
Yikes, she thought after catching herself primping in the mirror. Am I trying to impress the detective who’s investigating us? Girl, it has been a long time. Although he is hot. She shook her head exasperatedly.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
The author is a doctor and editor who lives in Texas with her husband and children. She enjoys trying to stay in shape, sporadically cooking, reading (still), writing, and working on her blog. She is eternally grateful to the woman who donated a kidney to her over 5 years ago and continues to advocate for organ donation as much as she can.
To learn more about D. W. Brooks and future publications and events, visit https://authordwbrooks.com.
https://authordwbrooks.com for an autographed copy