Lisa: We’re so pleased to welcome Killian Brewer today, author of Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette.
Hi, Killian, thanks for stopping by. Let’s start by having you tell us a little about yourself.
Killian: Hey, y’all! I’m Killian Brewer, though most people just call me Brew. I’m a Southern boy, raised in the land of peaches and peanuts. I grew up in a tiny little town in a house where we would entertain each other by telling stories. My father can spin a yarn with the best of them and taught me early to enjoy the fellowship of storytelling. I went to college and earned my degree in English Literature, mostly because of my love of a good story. Of course, like most English majors, I don’t use that degree at all in my day job, but it does come in handy for my writing.
My current novel, Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette, was inspired by the people I grew up around in South Georgia. I wanted to explore what life could be like for a young gay man who is suddenly transplanted in a small town with little understanding of the way of life there. In particular, I wanted to follow his search for love and a sense of family in a world where he feels like a fish out of water. I also wanted to write about older southern women, because I think they are awesome.
Q: What’s the basis for the story? Is it based at all on personal experience?
Killian: In my childhood hometown, there was actually a real Do-Nothing club. One of my aunts was a founding member of the club, but I never knew it existed until I read it in her obituary. My mother gave me a vague description of the club and I was fascinated by it. I knew I wanted to use the idea of older Southern women in a club like this in a story someday. I am also fascinated by older generations’ changing attitudes about LGBTQ people. I think as they know more gay people as people and not just an idea, they become increasingly open to LGBTQ issues and acceptance. When those two ideas intersected, I got the kernel for what became Lunch with the Do-Nothings.
Q: What skills do you think a writer needs?
Killian: I think one of the most important skills an author needs is empathy. Only when you can place yourself in the mind and body of a character can you begin to write them as more rounded and fleshed-out characters. An author needs to be able to understand and sympathize with a character’s desires and emotions, even if that character is a villain or has less than admirable motivations. Empathy also allows a writer to understand how a reader might react to what he has written. This helps with story development, scene building and dialogue.
Q: What do you consider to be the perfect book hero?
Killian: I know this is a bit of a cliché, but a hero needs to have a flaw. Nothing can kill my interest in a story quicker than a one-dimensional or too perfect protagonist. I particularly enjoy when a character has struggles that are internal and external. When a hero has to overcome some aspect of their own psyche and some physical/external barrier to happiness or success, I find the story interesting on two levels.
Q: As a writer, is there anything you find particularly challenging?
Killian: I love to write dialogue. I enjoy hearing a character’s voice in my head and imaging the interaction between groups of people. However, I have to be careful not to write a play where the page is nothing but speaking and characters moving around. Working in the descriptions of settings and physical characteristics can sometimes be the most difficult part of writing for me.
Q: Tell us about your favorite childhood book.
Killian: As a very young child, I was obsessed with The Monster at the End of the Book, starring lovable old Grover from Sesame Street. Even though I knew every word and the inevitable ending by heart, I loved the process of reaching that ending. Also, Grover was always a personal favorite, with his frustrations and insecurities. As an older child, I loved reading all of the Judy Blume books, like Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge. The variety of character types and personalities in her books kept me amused through many readings. I also liked that the books were about kids who were outsiders and struggled with their lives and emotions.
About the Book
Title: Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette
Author: Killian B. Brewer
Publisher: Interlude Press
Length: 232 Pages
Blurb: When Marcus Sumter, a short order cook with dreams of being a chef, inherits a house in small town Marathon, Georgia, he leaves his big city life behind. Marcus intends to sell the house to finance his dreams, but a group of lovable busybodies, the Do Nothings, a new job at the local diner, the Tammy Dinette, and a handsome mechanic named Hank cause Marcus to rethink his plans. Will he return to the life he knew, or will he finally put down roots?
About the Author
Killian B. Brewer lives in his life-long home of Georgia with his partner and their dog. He has written poetry and short fiction since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. Brewer earned a BA in English and does not use this degree in his job in the banking industry. He has a love of greasy diner food that borders on obsessive. Lunch with the Do Nothings at the Tammy Dinette is his second novel. His first novel, The Rules of Ever After, is available from Duet Books, an imprint of Interlude Press.
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Hold//Five winners receive Lunch With the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette eBook
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