April 29, 2014

Author Interview: Louise Caiola

The Making of Nebraska Brown

The Making of Nebraska Brown, by Louise Caiola.

"The last thing eighteen-year-old Ann Leigh remembers is running from her boyfriend in a thick Nebraska cornfield. This morning she’s staring down a cool Italian sunrise, an entire continent from the life she once knew. The events of the eighteen months in between have inexplicably gone missing from her memory.

All at once she’s living with Tommy, an attractive, young foreigner asking for her continued love. Though he’s vaguely familiar, she recalls a boy named Shane in America who she reluctantly agreed to marry. Juggling a new world while her old one is still M.I.A is difficult enough without the terrifying movie scenes spinning a dizzy loop in her mind: glimpses of a devastating house fire, a romance gone wrong, an unplanned pregnancy, and a fractured family – each claiming to be part of who she once was – a girl and a past somehow discarded.

Ann Leigh must collect the pieces of herself to become whole again, but she doesn’t know who to trust especially when Tommy’s lies become too obvious to ignore. And above all, her heart aches to discover what became of the child she may or may not have given birth to.

The Making of Nebraska Brown tells the story of one girl’s coming apart from the inside and the great lengths she’ll go to reclaim herself and find her way home."

Can you tell us a little about yourself, your book and how you decided to become an author?
First, thank you so much for having me here! I enjoy chatting about The Making of Nebraska Brown. As a long-time reader with a special affection for mysteries, it seemed almost natural that I venture into writing a few of my own. As for how I decided to be an author, well, if I'm being honest..it wasn't a conscious decision. I've said it before - I really believe that writers get chosen by the craft and not the other way around. At least that's what I tell myself when things get a bit frustrating! Aside from that, I'm a mother of two. My kids (pretty much all grown up now) are the biggest part of my world. I feel that we are placed on this earth with a specific destiny to fulfill. Mine was to realize my desire to be a mom and then to carve out a niche for myself in the literary landscape. These are just two of the things that define me. However, I would venture to say they are the most important ones.

What has inspired you to write such a different type of book, like The Making of Nebraska Brown?

I wanted to create a story that pushed the limits of the typical "identity crisis." I'm also a fan of dual locales. As a reader I grow quite weary of scenes that take place in the same setting page after page. This book was an exploration of the less glorious side of first love, of the far-from-idyllic family type, and of the consequences of our imperfect decisions and actions. These are all aspects of human behavior that I find fascinating.

Are any of the characters or events in this book based on real people or real situations you have been in?

Directly, no. Indirectly, yes. I have met a few "Shanes" in my life and also one or two "Tommys." I have seen young women struggle to notch out their individuality within a relationship. I think it is so easy for girls to become controlled by others and lose their own voice. Some people have described Ann Leigh as bratty or too strong-willed. But, in actuality she is simply very determined to rise above the emotional fray. That determination is often misdiagnosed as bad behavior. I also think it is important to reveal the flaws in each character in order to tap into the essence of their humanness.
As for the plot, totally fictional.

Why Nebraska and why Italy? (UGH I want to go to Italy!)

I am intrinsically drawn to the Midwestern culture. Not really sure why. As for Italy - it is a hope of mine to one day travel up one side and down the other of that lovely country. I suppose Ann/Ana was living out some form of my personal dream.

Do you have any other books in the works right now? If so, can we get a few hints at what it might be about?

I'd be happy to share! I am working on a new contemporary mystery currently titled "Counting Snow Doves." It is a young suspense story with a bit of murder, love, loss and family mayhem. I'm having a great time meeting these new people and helping to bring their tale to life. I hope you will all stay tuned for further details. In fact, if anyone is interested, they can sign up on my mailing list to receive an email as to any upcoming projects, contests, and other fun stuff. Promise - no spamming. Here is the link - The Making of Nebraska Brown by Louise Caiola

Thank you SOO much for stopping by and answering a few questions! I absolutely adored The Making of Nebraska Brown, and I'm excited to check out Counting Snow Doves!


Recently I've been into reading books about memory loss, and the retrieving thereof. I don't know why! I just LOVE reading about the struggle, the hardship and the rewarding feelings. The Making Of Nebraska Brown gave me ALL and that and MUCH more!

When I first started reading this one, I was intrigued by the cover, mainly because of the hole in her head! I had no idea what it was about, but just because of that I wanted to pick it up! Getting into the book we were introduced to a character named Nebraska Brown, we are actually introduced to Ann Leigh. Who wakes up on the ground one day, in ITALY with absolutely no memory of where she is, or even who she is.

She's confused as to why she's in Italy, who the guy is in her apartment, who this other guy is that she keeps having flashbacks of, and is she has any family. There is so much going on, and Ann has NO IDEA where to begin. But things do get a little harder when Ann realizes that Tommy isn't telling her the full truth. She wants to trust him, but her visions tell different stories than Tommy does!

Not only did I absolutely enjoy Ann, and even Tommy and Shane in a kind of strange way, but the ending completely stole my heart and broke me down... I pretty much blubbered like a baby days after.

If you're looking for something meaningful, beautiful, filled with heartache, and TOUGH struggles, this is the book for you!


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