Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tiara Trouble Book Tour with Lane Buckman

Making Trouble

Lane Buckman

I always want to know where writers get their characters. Where did Katniss Everdeen come from? Who inspired Elizabeth Bennett? What was the impetus behind Bridget Jones? As I am writing, I am always asking myself the same question because there is very rarely a conscious connection between the person I am writing, and the people inspiring me.

When writing Tiara Trouble, I started with Destinee Faith Miller and then added in the people around her as the story called for it. At first I thought Destinee was a lot like me, though unburdened by education, but as the story progressed I realized we weren’t much alike at all. Destinee is a workhorse, built out of equal parts of ambition, self-discipline, and optimism. She succeeds by sheer will and elbow grease, and when she faces an obstacle, she just powers right through it. 

I am also an ambitious, optimistic workhorse, but I have zero self-discipline (ask the pizza box beside me) and would rather go do something else than struggle against any one thing for too long. Destinee is a true entrepreneur and I really like her. I don’t know exactly where she came from—she’s a lot of the things I admire about many different women. She fascinates me, but it’s Tishelle Tucker I love because Tishelle Tucker is my grandmother.

My grandmother was something else. Grandma was not a cookie baking grandmother. She was a Carlton smoking, Pabst Blue Ribbon drinking, Tabasco-on-rolled-up-bologna eating, cussing, scrapping, wild cat. If she didn’t like you, she would go out of her way to plot your demise. If she did like you, she’d only plot your demise in her down time. If she loved you, she wouldn’t try to ruin your life, only aggravate you to death every now and then.

Grandma delighted me. She was an imp, and since I was on her good side, I got to enjoy the entertainment factor of watching her push buttons and make other people dance. It wasn’t until I was getting married that she really turned on me out of stress and a sudden realization that I was a grown woman, and I was about to go love someone else more than I loved her.

In Tiara Trouble, Tishelle causes a lot of trouble for Destinee, and in every instance I found myself asking, “What would Grandma do?” If Grandma had been a modern, twenty-something, how would she have chosen to take down her big game? How would she react if caught? What strings would she be pulling behind the scenes to get her way? And what would she do if all else failed?

A few months before my wedding, I moved back home to live with Mom and Grandma. My lease was up, and Bryan and I were traditional so rather than moving in together, or me going month-to-month, it made sense for me to go home for 90 days. At least, I thought it did.

Grandma was agitated from the start, and conflicted. She adored Bryan, and flirted with him all the time. She loved his Southern manners, and liked how tall and handsome he was. But, he was taking me away, and that was unforgivable. To bridge the gap between adoring him, and being angry with him, she started aggravating me.

First, it was my wedding invitations. A box of five hundred disappeared. I hunted high, I hunted low. I looked in things, under things, on top of things. After tearing the house apart and putting it back together again, I had to admit I’d lost them, and was forced to buy more. Grandma, who had helped me look for them, was shocked that I would go to the expense of replacing the invitations. A little over two years later, after she had passed away, I found that first box of invitations tucked up under the corner of her bed.

Which is exactly where my shoes must have been when those disappeared. Once again, I tore the house apart looking for my wedding shoes. They were gone. First the invitations, now the shoes, and I was starting to believe I was losing my mind. I was getting ready to go to the store to buy new shoes—and believe me, it was an expense I didn’t need—when Grandma came into the living room holding a box.

She grinned. “Are these your shoes?”

They were and I exclaimed over them, and asked where they had been. She said she’d just found them in the laundry. And that’s when I knew I wasn’t going crazy. I was being driven crazy.

That’s also when I put a lock on my bedroom door because the last thing I needed was for my dress to go missing.

After the shoes (and probably because of the lock), Grandma managed to behave herself until the day of my wedding. That day, she refused to brush her hair, would not put on a clean blouse, and was generally acting a fool. I walked down the aisle to the sight of my uncle holding her shoulder to keep her from clawing at me from her pew, and as I passed, she moaned, “Don’t do this to me. Don’t go!”

It was heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time. When we lined up for family photos, the photographer asked Grandma to smile. She gave her best gremlin face and spat, “This isn’t a smiling situation.” I kissed her, her lips turned up, and the flash popped. She was a terrible little woman, but she was my terrible little woman and I loved her fiercely. I miss her every day, and I am so sorry I didn’t get to share this book with her.

She would have loved Tishelle, too.



Tiara Trouble:
A Destinee Faith Miller Mystery

New Series
Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (August 27, 2013)
Paperback: 230 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939816160
E-Book File Size: 609 KB
What happens when Dynasty meets Honey BooBoo, they have a baby, and that baby is raised by Charlie’s Angels? You get TIARA TROUBLE, a bedazzled cozy mystery full of gritty glitz.
One foreign policy question five years ago sent Destinee Faith Miller’s dreams of being Miss American Universe up in flames and landed her back in her hometown of Phenix City, Alabama, with her tail between her legs. But like the mythological bird that her hometown is misspelled after, she rose from the ashes to create Destinee’s Dolls, a thriving pageant consulting business knee-deep in pink, prints and tulle.
A death at the local level of a national event lands her the job of pageant emcee, and Destinee dares to dream of bigger things—maybe even a reality TV show! But when judges start dropping like flies, she has her hands full keeping herself alive long enough to see those dreams come true. Contending with catfights, car bombs, and the camouflage-colored funeral of a redneck’s dream, Destinee gets a little help from her friends, family, and a pit bull named Clarabelle.
About This Author
Lane Buckman is a former beauty queen from Phenix City, Alabama. Growing up, she wanted to be Miss America, a criminal lawyer, a super model, the President, a Bond girl, a brain surgeon, a journalist, a back-up singer for Duran Duran, and a college professor of Medieval Literature. In order to fulfill those dreams, she became a writer. She lives in Texas with her family, and enjoys every miserably hot second of it.

Her solo debut novel, TIARA TROUBLE, is available from Cozy Cat Press on October 28, 2013, with a sneak peek launch the week prior at the BOSTON BOOK FESTIVAL. TIARA TROUBLE, a light-hearted cozy mystery, marks a departure from Lane’s earlier works in the darker horror/fantasy genre.
The well-received THE ORDER OF THE BLOOD (Black Bed Sheets Books, April 09, 2011), co-authored with Nicole Vlachos, was Lane’s first novel. She has ghost written and consulted on two others.

Follow Lane on Facebook and Twitter, and keep up with her world on her blog.
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/lanebuckmanauthor
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/lanelese
Website:  http://www.lanebuckman.com

Purchase Links:
AMAZON              B & N


Anonymous said...

Great post Lane. I have an aunt like your grandmother. She tortures everyone, me slightly less because I am her favorite. Of course it is a bit worse because she has money (BIG as in she won the lottery) so she is sure everyone is after her money. So she delights in making us jump through hoops. She forgets I loved her when I was little and she had no money - and she made me jump through hoops then too. I used some of her qualities and her lottery win, in my book.

Lane said...

Family makes the best fiction!

Lane said...

Melissa, thank you so much for having me today! I'm sorry I couldn't comment to your page earlier. I've only just gotten home, and couldn't get the comments to work from my phone. I love your blog!

Judy said...

Loved the story about your grandmother. Some of my favorite memories of my grandmother are her giving my grandfather all kinds of hell. :)