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Rising Stars: Meet Brooke Fossey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Fossey.

Hi Brooke, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
​Thanks for having me! So long story short, I’m an author, but I wasn’t always. It’s a habit I picked it up after I’d quit my engineering job at Lockheed to stay home with my kids. ​At the time, I was knee-deep in diapers and baby talk. (I had four kids in five years, just to give some perspective.) I wasn’t reading much at that time for obvious reasons, but one day my neighbor left a book series on my stoop and insisted I try it. So I did, and after finishing the last book, I thought to myself​: I could write a novel. Just like that, I opened my computer during the kids’ naptime and start​ed writing. It amounted to fan faction, really, but I discovered I love to write. Soon after, I joined a local writing organization (DFW Writers Workshop, highly recommend), wrote some more (six novels, countless short stories), submitted my work, logged hundreds of rejections, began logging acceptances, landed an agent, and ten years later—voila—here we are. My novel, THE BIG FINISH, debuted in 2020. It was also translated into German and released across the pond.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The movies make writing a book look so romantic. Fictional authors disappear to a remote cabin or beautiful locale, scrawl feverishly on loose-leaf paper or an ancient typewriter (why?), and within a week, they write “THE END” while simultaneously finding the meaning of life or their one true love. Oh, and their book lands on the bestseller list. In truth, writing is lonely work, it takes forever, and when you finally type “THE END,” you are met by one thing: rejection. Tons of it. I think that’s the hardest part for aspiring authors to get past, or else there would be more of them in the world. There is no such thing as a smooth road when you’re trying to get a book published. I had five novels that didn’t make the cut, I had some heartbreaking, near misses when trying to land an agent, and my debut came out during the middle of a pandemic. But if WRITING 101 has taught me anything, it’s that a story without a storm isn’t very interesting.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I write. That’s the total sum of it. I write lots of copy without a byline—corporate script work, pull sheets, print advertising, etc. And then I write with a byline — short stories, novels, occasional poetry. To date, my proudest achievement is my novel, THE BIG FINISH, published by Penguin/Berkley in 2020. It’s about an 88-year-old man at an assisted living home whose life is turned upside down when his roommate’s wayward granddaughter climbs their window. It’s often funny, occasionally heartbreaking, and I suppose if I become known for anything as a​n author, it will be my ability to balance those two things.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
​What is it that Walt Whitman said? Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you. My family ​is my sunshine I have funny kids and an incredibly supportive husband. My home parish—Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, host of Dallas’s Greek Food Festival!—​makes me happy too because I can always go there to re-center my faith, priorities and perspective. And then there are the usual suspects: walks on warm sunny days, a really good hollandaise sauce, Shiner Bock, a clean house, and a well-timed gif sent in one of the many ongoing group chats I have going with my friends. ​It’s the little things in life.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Chemenn Chugg (for all headshots) Jake Busch (for family photo)

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