Today I have the pleasure of hosting the amazing Jessica Lawson, author of THE ACTUAL AND TRUTHFUL ADVENTURES OF BECKY THATCHER, NOOKS & CRANNIES, and the newly-released WAITING FOR AUGUSTA! She’s going to give us an inside peek at her new book and tell us a little bit about her writing process.
But first, here’s a little more about WAITING FOR AUGUSTA:
A month ago, Ben Putter’s dad died, and (crazy idea or not) Ben’s certain the lump in his throat is actually a golf ball. The lump won’t go away and it turns out Dad’s not quite gone either. Still warm in his urn, Ben’s father suddenly speaks up to ask why he’s in Alabama instead of sprinkled on Augusta National Golf Club’s 18th hole, the way he always wanted.
Ben might be going a little crazy, but escaping Hilltop, Alabama, sounds like a darn good idea (and just maybe it will make that lump go away). As he makes his way to Georgia, Ben partners up with a mysterious runaway named Noni, and they embark on a journey full of adventures at every turn.
Between Dad nagging to be put to rest, Noni keeping suspiciously tight-lipped about her past, security patrolling at all hours during the famed Masters tournament, and the lump in his throat staying put, creeping onto Augusta National may not be as easy as Ben originally thought. And letting go of a Dad who’s finally listening is going to be even harder.
JL: Roald Dahl’s Danny The Champion of the World is one of my favorite books—the father-son relationship in that story is so pure and beautiful, and I’ve always wanted to write a father-son story because of it. Then one day, several years ago, my brother-in-law and husband and I were in the kitchen, talking about where we might want our ashes scattered after we died (a rather morbid conversation, I know). My brother-in-law is a huge golf fan and I jokingly said, “You probably want to be scattered at your local golf course.”
JL: I think father-son relationships come with their own set of nuances, especially historically. Expectations for both sexes were slightly more narrow than they are now (though we’ve still got plenty of room for improvement) and my character, Ben, struggles with his interests being seen as less than masculine. That said, I tend to focus on emotions when I figure out my characters and emotions are gender fluid—so writing a boy versus a girl isn’t overly different for me in that respect.
2. Salty or Sweet: SALTY
3. Romance or Adventure: ADVENTURE
4. Beach or Mountains: MOUNTAINS
5. Music or TV: MUSIC
6. Drink of choice: MINT WATER (fresh garden mint leaves blended with ice water)
7. Favorite band or song: PATTY GRIFFIN (singer/songwriter)
8. Biggest pet peeve: BEING INTERRUPTED WHEN I HAVE A THOUGHT TO WRITE DOWN FOR A MANUSCRIPT (usually a “brilliant” thought that ends up getting deleted later )
9. Favorite part of writing: WRITING ‘THE END’ ON A FIRST DRAFT~ IT’S SO SATISFYING, EVEN IF I KNOW THAT I’VE GOT TONS OF REVISING TO DO.
10. Books or movies: BOOKS
11. Clean the toilet or Clean the kitchen: TOILET (way faster)
12. Least favorite part of writing: DELETING SENTENCES I REALLY LIKE, BECAUSE THEY SERVE NO REAL PURPOSE.
13. Down time or dance party: DOWN TIME, DOWN TIME, DOWN TIME (did I mention I have children?)
14. Dream vacation: WARM PLACE, WATER TO LOOK AT, BOOKS TO READ, FRESH SEAFOOD AND FRESH VEGETABLES AND FRESH BREAD, COMFY BED w/ GREAT PILLOWS