Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bring Me Back by Karen Booth Book Tour


Music critic Claire Abby is a single mom dreading her daughter’s departure for college and worried that turning forty will leave her career running on fumes. She’s floored when she lands a Rolling Stone cover story on 80s British rock legend Christopher Penman. She spent her teenage years fantasizing he was her boyfriend.

In person, Christopher is everything Claire feared he’d be—charming, witty and unwilling to address the rumors he’s dodged for a decade. Still, she contains her adolescent fantasies and manages to earn his trust, unearthing the truth and the devastating secret behind it. His blockbuster story is her first priority when she returns home, a nearly impossible task when Christopher starts calling and flirting. She knows she should maintain a professional distance. She knows she should focus on the story. She knows it would be best to simply walk away. But how can she say “no” to the man she could never forget?

Thanks, Emily for having me on the blog today. My daughter’s name is Emily—love that name! You had asked me a few questions and I’m going to attempt to tackle them all, mostly because I couldn’t choose, but I will talk about music the most because that’s my biggest obsession.

What influence does music play and how does that translate to writing?

Music is a huge influence in my life and has been since I was little. I have vivid memories of lying on the floor of my dad’s den when I was five, listening to 45s on his record player. This was in the day when there was no such thing as a home office. If your dad had the modern equivalent of a man cave, it was called a den. I listened to the same songs over and over again. I couldn’t get enough. I remember listening to “She Loves You” by The Beatles hundreds of times. I’m sure I drove my dad crazy, but he is also a big music fan, so he tolerated it.

When I was a teenager, music was the thing that galvanized my friends and I. We were a rag-tag bunch, all of us coming from families who didn’t really have a lot of money. Music was a chance to be different. I cut my hair in strange ways that I’m sure my classmates did not understand. The big bands for me at that time were U2, REM, Duran Duran, and local MN bands like The Replacements. Much of that is mainstream by today’s standards, but the other kids in my school listened to Journey and REO Speedwagon, so I thought I was pretty damn unique.

That preoccupation with music was only stronger in college and eventually, I ended up at the college radio station at the University of Minnesota. Through that, I earned an internship at Minneapolis record label, Twin/Tone, which was home to The Replacements, Soul Asylum, and The Jayhawks among others. That led to a job and set me off on a ten-year adventure in the music industry. To say that music is a big part of my life would be an understatement.

But how does that translate to writing? Well, first off, I’m influenced by lyrics just as much as I am by books. Musicians are poets (well, the good ones are) and I enjoy trying to glean the meaning of the words they choose to set to music. Secondly, music affects my mood greatly. This is a very useful tool when writing because I can quickly get myself into the correct mindset for whatever scene I’m working on. And it doesn’t matter—sad, happy, hyper, melancholy, angry—with music, I can get there. I will add, however, that I am almost never listen to music while I’m writing. My brain isn’t able to leave music “in the background”, however quietly I might be playing it.

What do you do outside of writing—hobbies, etc.?

I love to cook, especially baking because I have a serious sweet tooth. My 14 year-old daughter also loves to bake and we experiment together. We mastered homemade marshmallows over Christmas. So amazing. There was a macaron attempt that was a bit of a fail, but I know we need to keep trying. Our best baking invention is a browned butter malted milk chocolate chip cookie. They are ridiculously good. Otherwise, I like to garden, read, listen to music with my son and do artsy projects with my daughter. I’m also a huge college basketball fan (Go Heels!) and am admittedly completely addicted to Zumba. I abhor most exercise, but love to dance, so Zumba is a good thing.

What are you watching?

Ooh! Let’s see…It seems like my favorite TV night is Sunday. Right now it’s Downton Abbey and Girls. It’s a VERY strange combo, but I love both shows. I enjoy the drama and pomp of Downton, and I can’t really say enough good things about Girls—it’s funny and awful at the same time. I realize it’s an acquired taste, but I think Lena Dunham is an incredibly brave and talented woman. Boardwalk Empire was a recent Sunday night thing that I can’t get enough of. I also love Breaking Bad.

Otherwise, I’ll catch a few sitcoms during the week, I really like Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project. We still watch The Office, but I’ve been over that show for a good season or two. I’m very sad to see Thirty Rock go. My husband and I have been working our way through The Wire and just started Season Three. I think we might be the last people on the planet to watch that show. It’s riveting, but you have to pay attention and I’m not always good at that.


Tour Schedule 










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Prize information:
Each blog will be able to award one lucky commenter a digital copy of one of Karen's back list, winner's choice.