Brooks Eason loves stories – reading and writing them, hearing and telling them. He also loves music, dogs, and campfires as well as his family and friends.

Brooks has practiced law in Jackson, Mississippi, for more than 35 years but has resolved to trade in writing briefs for writing books. He lives with his wife Carrie and their two elderly rescue dogs, Buster and Maddie, and an adopted stray cat named Count Rostov for the central character in A Gentleman in Moscow, the novel by Amor Towles. In their spare time, the Easons host house

concerts, grow tomatoes, and dance in the kitchen.

Books, who has three children and four grandchildren, is also the author of Travels with Bobby—Hiking in the Mountains of the American West about hiking trips with his best friend.

Visit the author’s website and check out his book Fortunate Son at www.brookseason.com

INTERVIEW:

What got you into writing?

I love the beauty of the written word, I love books, and I love writing, from inappropriate limericks to short stories to the books I’ve written. When I was in law school and was poor as a church mouse, I wrote and gave my parents short stories for Christmas. The one for my daddy was about two football games and two campouts when he was the Scoutmaster of Troop 12 in my hometown and I was one of his Scouts. The one for my mother was about the creek where she taught me how to fish. But I didn’t get serious about writing until I started my first book, Travels with Bobby – Hiking in the Mountains of the American West, which is about hiking trips with my best friend. He and I started going on annual hiking trips in 1996, and we had so much fun and saw so many magnificent places that I would spend months after we got home telling stories about our trips. After a few years I decided to write them. I had a very busy law practice then and the book was years in the making, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

What do you like best about being an author?

I enjoy the act of writing, especially improving what I have written, revising and revising again until I get it just the way I want it. I also really like it when the book finally arrives and there it is with my name on it.

When do you hate it?

Never, really. There have been a few times when I’ve lost something I’ve written and I hated that, but I can’t recall a time when I hated writing or anything else about being an author. I will retire from practicing law soon, my wife has declared that writing will be my encore career, and I am looking forward to it.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

I’ve had a day job when I’ve written my first two books so I can’t say I have a regular writing day. After I retire, maybe I’ll develop one.

Do you think authors have big egos?

Absolutely. It takes a big ego to think you have something worthwhile to write and that you can write it well enough so that people should pay money to read it. I don’t deny having a big ego. (My friends and family are nodding their heads in agreement.)

How do you handle negative reviews?

Having a big ego and all, when someone criticizes something I’ve written, it’s painful. My instinct is to disagree. But then I try to get over it and be objective, if that’s even possible about my own writing. I sent a chapter of my memoir to a retired English teacher. She liked some of it but had some pointed criticisms. After wincing, I reread the chapter and decided she was right and made some changes.

How do you handle positive reviews?

Having a big ego and all, I bask in the glow.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

They’re impressed and interested. Lots of people have a secret desire to write a book, and they admire people who’ve spent the time and energy to do it. If the conversation was lagging before they knew I was an author, it doesn’t lag after.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I’ve never forced it. I write when I have time to write and when I’m in the mood. I’m usually in the mood. Sitting by the pool on our vacation two months ago, I typed the first chapter of a new book on my iPhone.

Any writing quirks?

I can’t type. Is that a quirk? I’m a two-finger man. I changed from typing to advanced science my senior year of high school because I couldn’t aim the fingers on my left hand with any degree of accuracy and was afraid I would fail. I wish I could type and hadn’t learned the Periodic Table of Elements, which I forgot long ago.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I have a doctor friend who’s also a successful author. He says his mother tells people writing is his hobby and he tells her not to. I’ve been a lawyer more than 35 years, and people I know are naturally going to think my writing is a sideline or a hobby. I don’t care what they think if they buy and read my books. My family and the people I’m close to know that I take my writing seriously.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate? 

I can’t really relate because I’ve never hated it, but I can understand that it would be miserable if writing was your only job and you depended on it to feed yourself and your family and you had writer’s block and just couldn’t produce. I can see how that would make you hate it.

What’s on the horizon for you?

Ah, the horizon, it beckons. I plan to retire from practicing law at the end of January 2020. I will drink a toast to myself on the last minute of the last day of the last year of my law practice at a music festival in Key West. I’m working on two books, one consisting entirely of conversations between me and our hound dog named Buster – it’s not much like my memoir – and another based on the two lives of my grandfather Harry Brooks. I knew about his second life, when he married my grandmother and they had five kids and he was a revered Methodist preacher who gave the invocation when FDR came to Mississippi to give a speech. I learned only recently about his first life, when he married a woman named Rose and they had five kids but he embezzled money from a school district, ran off with someone a newspaperman described as a woman of doubtful repute, fled to Europe, was busted by Scotland Yard, was extradited, tried and convicted, served three years in the state penitentiary, during which Rose divorced him and his family disowned him and after which he moved to Texas and met my grandmother and lied about his age and place of birth and they lived happily ever after because there was no internet and nobody knew. That’s a long sentence, but it’s quite a story. I will also travel with my wife Carrie, camp and hike with my friends, and spend time with my four wonderful grandchildren. Like Jimmy Stewart/George Bailey, I have a wonderful life. I had a mild stroke in early 2016 and the doctors thought I had a brain tumor. I didn’t, I recovered, and I appreciate sunsets and songbirds more than ever.

Leave us with some words of wisdom about the writing process or about being a writer.

Write for the love of doing it, not for the money. Maybe the money will come, but being able to write well is a great gift and a source of great joy even if you never make a nickel.

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