Hey y’all! I’m so happy to be here today. My name is Louise Caiola and I’m a mother, blogger, editor and USA TODAY bestselling author. My mystery novel described as Oz meets Tuscan Sun, THE MAKING OF NEBRASKA BROWN made its debut earlier this year and I’m thrilled to have the main character, Ann/Ana, here with me today to answer a few questions for you guys.
Ann Leigh…What was your life like growing up?
I’m the middle child, which if you ask me, really does get a bum rap. My older sister, we call her Sissy (yes, my parents could’ve used a lesson in originality) and my younger brother, Duke, were my sandwich-siblings. Our folks made sure we learned our ABC’s and our manners. Fed us three squares. There wasn’t a whole lot of hugs and kisses passed around in our house. But as long as we didn’t cuss and we helped out when we were expected to, things were pretty smooth. For the most part love was dispersed in sufficient doses. Emotions were contagiously contained, but that was okay since we didn’t know any differently. It was a quiet country life. If you didn’t like fresh corn, the smell of manure and singing with the church choir you’d best choose not to let on. Or plan to move. Moving was always a dreamy option.
Before your story began, what were your hopes for the future?
I wanted nothing more than to escape, go to Hollywood and be anyone else than somebody who spent their weekends garage sale hopping, collecting popped buttons in a jar and basting chicken wings in crushed corn flakes. It wasn’t that I thought I was any better than the people in my neighborhood. Or that I imagined I deserved more than my fair share. Nothing like that. But I would look into the faces of these men and women and wonder if they were…happy. I remember I once asked my mom if she was happy with her life. She was like, “Why wouldn’t I be? I have all I need in this world to be satisfied.” That was when I knew. For sure. My hope for the future was to never ever be “satisfied.”
What changed that?
I want to say that Shane did. That Shane’s “Big Wedding Plan” changed everything. And maybe in some ways it had. But somewhere along the line I started to believe all the hype about soul mates and happily-ever-after. It was something in his eyes. Then something in my heart…shifted.
How would you describe your personality?
Some people say that I’m a bit like a summer thunderstorm. By that I think they mean that I’m warm and bright for the most part, but then just as easy, I can cloud over and rumble and pitch a fit. At least I think that’s what they’re trying to say. But if you ask me, I’m a regular girl, size medium with a giant thirst for simple greatness.
Who do you love?
Love is one of those “lesson things” for me. I’m still learning what it is and what it isn’t.
My heart was contrary where Shane was concerned, as though it wasn’t quite ready for that sort of over-the-top emotion, even if some part of it wanted to be. And I’m sure I loved Tommy – the way you love a puppy or a new car, for the instant, overwhelming novelty of it. But it’s far more complicated when the novelty wears off, and it always wears off.
I think Grandpa Wayne said it best. Love, he said, is special as a rocking chair. Works perfectly fine as long as you put in the legwork to keep her rocking. Otherwise it’s like any other ordinary chair.
Grandpa Wayne was brilliant.
What do you think is going to happen next?
It’s hard to know for sure. Just when I think I have stuff pinned down, it’s like a clue to the planets to realign and throw me off course. All I know is this:
I want to keep pushing the limits of what I know to be true, and how I view the universe. Open my mind as far as I can. Explore love until I finally figure it out. Make amends with the imperfections of life. Create a destiny I can be proud of.
That sounds pretty deep, I guess. Perhaps a little too ambitious. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll simply take it one day at a time and see where Life leads me.
Don’t forget to vote for Tommy in the Hottest Guy Competition!
Shane was Ann’s first love. Or was he?
Meet the Author: http://www.louisecaiola.com/
Check out the Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9IHCQy0g2k
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Theme song from THE MAKING OF NEBRASKA BROWN: