Brooks Eason loves stories, reading and writing them, hearing and telling them. He also loves music, dogs, and campfires as well as his family and friends. His latest book is Fortunate Son - the Story of Baby Boy Francis.
Brooks has practiced law in Jackson, Mississippi, for more than 35 years but has resolved to trade in writing briefs for writing books. He lives with his wife Carrie and their two elderly rescue dogs, Buster and Maddie, and an adopted stray cat they named Count Rostov for the central character in A Gentleman in Moscow, the novel by Amor Towles. In their spare time, Brooks and Carrie host house concerts, grow tomatoes, and dance in the kitchen. Brooks, who has three children and four grandchildren, is also the author of Travels with Bobby - Hiking in the Mountains of the American West about hiking trips with his best friend. Visit Brooks online at www.brookseason.com. WordCrafts Press is an independent publishing company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit WordCrafts online at www.wordcrafts.net.
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I love books and writing and wanted to see if I could write one. I also thought it would be way cool to have my name on a book and to have people tell me they liked what I wrote. I was right.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
There are perks? Nobody told me about the perks. But there are two: the satisfaction of knowing I’ve done my best and the response of people who appreciate my work. Plus people think it’s cool when they find out I’m an author. The biggest demand has been finding time to write while I had a full-time day job. But that’s not a demand anymore. I have only a part-time job now, and soon I’ll retire and won’t have any job at all. I also won’t have any excuse.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I self-published my first book because I was too impatient to wait until I could get a publishing deal. It was a good experience, but I found there were limitations, including the fact that it’s hard to get a review of a self-published book published. I chose a small, independent publisher this time, WordCrafts Press in Nashville, and I’ve been very pleased. The financial arrangement is better, and I’ve gotten more assistance.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My wife Carrie and I are empty-nesters, so it’s just her. She hasn’t complained so far and has been very supportive. She even typed part of the manuscript. I’m a two-finger typist, which is a problem when you’re writing a book that’s nearly 80,000 words long. I would ask her how she feels about the whole thing, but she’s out running errands.
Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
Our pets get everything they want and they get it when they want it because Carrie gives it to them. She makes eggs and bacon for the dogs on weekends. She even puts cheese in the eggs.
Are your plants actually still alive?
The plants are fine because Carrie waters them. I’ve bestowed a title on her: World’s Best Wife. We met on eHarmony nearly ten years ago. I highly recommend eHarmony or a similar service. It’s low risk and potentially life-changing reward. I guess I changed the subject, didn't I?
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
I don’t have a boss and Carrie nearly always cooks dinner, so there’s just the phone, and I don’t think it was much of a problem. It’s easy to crank back up after interruptions because I can see the last thing I wrote, though occasionally I send myself emails with ideas and read them later and can’t figure out what I meant.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
Nothing crazy or insane has happened yet. I decided a small, independent publisher made sense. Another author recommended WordCrafts, I completed the submission, Mike Parker, who’s the head guy, emailed me the next day and said he would love to publish my book, and we signed a contract the day after that. Not typical, I know. I hope some other author who’s had a difficult time doesn’t read this and burn our house down. If he's tempted, I hope he thinks twice because of Carrie, our dogs, and our crazy cat named Count Rostov.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I do Facebook only. My posts about the book seem to have generated a lot of interest. We’ll see. I'm told I should do Instagram and I may.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
My book is just now being released and I’m just getting started, but I’ll do a number of readings/signings. They’re fun even if they’re not lucrative. I’ve been invited to do an event at an Irish pub in the Bronx. Going from MS to NY will be a big loser money-wise even if I sell a whole lot of books, but I’ve never been to an Irish pub in the Bronx. I think I’m gonna go for it.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
I’ll stick to writing in this answer so as not to offend anybody and will say bad grammar. I'm ok with offending people who use bad grammar. I’m a purist, a grammar nerd, a nerd's nerd, and bad writing and grammar drive me up the wall. I read briefs drafted by young lawyers, and I wonder how they got through high school, much less college and law school. They can't even get their subjects and their verbs to agree.
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
After you’ve sweated and fretted over choosing just the right word, whether to set off a phrase with commas or dashes, how to end a chapter, and thousands of other decisions you have to make, and after you've completed a draft and then revised it, revised it again, then revised it one more time, and then decided to revise it one last time, but it wasn’t the last time because you thought you could make it just a little bit better by going through it yet again, after you’ve done all that and you finally see the final product and what started out as just an idea is now a book, and it’s your book, and it's got a cover with your name on it and everything, and people actually want to read it, well, there’s nothing cooler than that.