Friday, August 24, 2012

Review and Author Interview - Groom and Doom

Groom and Doom by Theresa Braun, is not your typical chick-lit, wedding story. That’s not to say that chick lit or wedding stories are automatically formulaic, but this book is not what I was expecting. Ms. Braun has her master’s degree in English literature, and you can tell how vast her knowledge is as she weaves in classic allusions and figurative language into her narrative. But she does so in a way that is unintimidating, merely adding flavor, rather than pretention, to the story.
And – side note – as an English teacher myself, I really appreciated her description of the plight of the high school teacher. It was spot on!
Anyway, the story of Groom and Doom is about a romance between Angela and Starvos and the trouble that ensues when they plan their perfect Greek wedding. Angela, among other things, is a fortune teller, and she has had her own tarot cards read many times. Most of the readings tell her wonderfully positive things about her wedding and her future, yet she can’t seem to relax and let go. There are constant nagging feelings of doubt about where she is headed, especially when it comes to her teaching career or her masters, but also when it comes to her personal life as well. But she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that she loves Starvos.
Will that love be enough to withstand a domineering father-in-law? Will Starvos be the “Greek God” Angela has imagined him to be? You’ll have to read it to find out. But know this: any obstacle or insecurity Angela must face is written with realism and gravity. That’s what I mean when I say this book isn’t typical. Angela’s story and her problems feel real, as if they were happening to the readers themselves. Because of this, her triumphs feel all the more vivid as well. I highly recommend this unique and charming novel!
Keep reading for an interview with the author, Theresa Braun!

LO - I like to do ten-word posts on my blog. Can you describe the story of your book in exactly ten words

TB - Greek wedding fairy-tale gone wrong with a quirky family cast.

LO - What is the theme or the message of your novel, and how did you incorporate it into your writing?

TB - The theme has to do with dusting oneself off after life’s disappointments.  Even though things might not go as planned, we need to try to learn something and move forward.  I strongly believe that and put it in the story.  Angela, the main character, struggles with this during the novel. 

LO - What did you enjoy most about writing this particular book?

TB - I loved finding the humor in things and tried to let that come through while writing.  There were parts of the story that sort of took on a life of their own—like the ghost stories and sightings of the father-in-law in Venice.  That was a lot of fun to write.

LO - If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?

Drew Barrymore as Angela.

John Corbett as Stavros.

Richard Dreyfuss as Georgius.

LO - What inspired you to become a writer? Are there any favorite authors or books you can name?

TB - My English teachers were always such interesting people who made literature come alive.  I was also fascinated by the writing process and what inspired those authors.  The idea of creating something that people could enjoy or get something out of was something I wanted to do.  There are so many authors I love.  I’m a huge fan of gothic lit like Frankenstein and Dracula, but I also enjoy Vonnegut’s satire.  And I try to keep up with some more contemporary writers.  I enjoyed Lolly Winston’s Good Grief and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help.

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