Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about why I wrote Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette! The simple answer is this book follows that old cliché of “write what you know”. The story grew out of the place I grew up, the people I knew there, and the home I was raised in. I wanted to write something that honored these things.
After setting my first novel, The Rules of Ever After, in the world and tropes of fairy tales, I needed to take a break from world-building and write a novel that took place in the real world. I wanted Lunch with the Do-Nothings to be set in the rural southern United States. I know the way of life, language, and attitudes of the area well. Marathon, Georgia, where my novel takes place, is not a real town but is based on several of the small towns that I grew up in and around. While most people would buzz right through these places without even noticing much more than an inconvenient traffic light, but I knew they held a certain magic and charm that would make an interesting tale. I also knew that the types of people who live in these towns had tons of stories just waiting to be told.
Once I had a location, I had to decide what I wanted to happen there. My greatest goal in writing is to provide positive stories with LGBT themes that always have happy endings. Many LGBT-themed books that are set in the South deal with the main character’s struggles with coming out and growing up gay in the conservative bible belt. Instead, I wanted to look at life for a gay man who has already moved beyond the coming out process and is just living life as an adult looking for his place in the world. I thought it would be interesting to take a gay man who is used to life in a more metropolitan area, with all of the freedoms and opportunities it provides, and plop him down in a small town to see how he would maneuver the culture shock of a slower and simpler way of life. I also knew I wanted his search for family and love to be at the center of the novel.
Finally, the tone of Lunch with the Do-Nothings grew out of my father’s love of and skill at storytelling. Whenever my family is together, we love to sit around and tell tales about people we know and funny events from our past. We often repeat tales and even request someone to tell a particular story. My father is especially good at this. It doesn’t matter if he has told a story a million times and used the same old phrases with each telling, he lives for the absolute delight of telling a good story and hearing people’s response to it. The greatest lesson he gave me in life is that you “never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.” I tried to make this novel feel like an afternoon spent listening to my father spin his tales.
Though Lunch with the Do-Nothings was intended to be a break from writing fantasy, I discovered that I really enjoyed writing in this style. I am sure that I will be returning to Marathon, Georgia again to check in on her citizens and their lives inside the Tammy Dinette.
About Lunch with the Do-Nothings
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 called 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?
Where you can buy Lunch with the Do-Nothings:
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.
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I’d like to thank Killian for stopping by. Love that cover. Love it. I’ve sat at counters like that. Readers, have you ever been in a diner? Heard the stories?
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