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. And today, on the first day of her book tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and the release day of her book, TIARA TROUBLE, Lane is with us. You can read my review below and be sure to visit the other stops on the tour. Welcome Lane.
I was the baby on a milk carton (because I was cute, not kidnapped) and then Little Miss Cinderella but fortunately, my mother lost interest in all the pageant stuff after that. When did you start it all and how long before you got out of it? And was it your idea or someone else, like your mother’s?
I panicked a little for you when I read that first line! I’m so glad you were just gorgeous, and not abducted. My mother had no interest in pageants at all. She had won a beautiful baby contest before she was a year old, and that was the extent of her pageantry. She was at a loss when she found out my school had selected me to represent them at the Little Miss Phenix City pageant.
The Little Miss Phenix City pageant is the equivalent of the Puppy Bowl equivalent to the Miss Phenix City pageant, a preliminary to the Miss Alabama and Miss America pageants. Local elementary schools held interview sessions to select a representative from their First Grade classes to compete in the Little Miss pageant. That’s how I came to the event.
I did not stay in pageants for long, but that industry did open some other doors for me. I was very fortunate to be able to do a little modeling and a moderate amount of acting, so I ended up with a tiny stage and television career once we moved to Texas. I acted off and on, and still do some voice over work, but my great love is writing.
How much of what happens to Destinee Faith actually happened to you? Did you have your own “Harland” and “permanent enhancements”?
Destinee and I are very different, but she and her family live in my granny’s house, and with the exception of Royce, she shares a lot of the same neighbors. She goes to a few funerals that mirror either my own, or my friends’ experiences (because you can’t make up some of that!) and she shares a few anecdotes that originated in my reality. She tells you about an embarrassing mishap with mirrors that was actually my own. Apparently, neither Destinee, nor I know what we look like.
I did not have a Harland. I did have the benefit of working with some great makeup artists, wardrobe artists, and acting coaches. Harland is an amalgamation of some of those. My best makeup and costuming tricks were learned on the set of a television series, and backstage at runway shows.
I have not made any permanent enhancements to myself. I’m not saying I don’t fantasize about it, but I have a healthy fear of general anesthesia that outweighs my vanity. Ask me in ten more years.
Why the switch from vampires to cozies?
I co-wrote THE ORDER OF THE BLOOD with my dear friend Nicole Vlachos, and I have ghost written two others. Nicole and I were writing partners for well over a decade, and we took turns choosing genres, so our body of work is very diverse. I took a year off from writing after the first book was published, and when I came back to it, I was feeling sunny and silly. Destinee was born out of those emotions. A girl like that doesn’t have time to fool around with creatures of the night and all their drama, so no vampires for her.
What is the working title of the next book in the series and when can we expect to see it?
Because I am very creative, the working title of the next book is DESTINEE 2 THIS TIME IT IS PERSONAL. The original working title was A DATE WITH DESTINEE, but that’s misleading. We’re looking at March of 2014 for a release.
I can’t keep a secret, so you can always follow along with where I am in the process at my website, www.lanebuckman.com. I don’t give any spoilers, but if I’ve especially enjoyed writing a scene, I’ll share a snippet.
Do you have a routine for writing that you follow daily? Do you need anything special to motivate you?
I do not have a set routine because I write around everyday life. I have a full-time job and a family, as well. I write every day, whether it is working on a novel, blogging, writing guest articles, or just sending out long winded emails to my girlfriends. I love telling a story, and I love that when I am writing I am able to backspace and delete until I find the words I like best. Although, when I am telling a story, I don’t have to worry about commas. Commas are the bane of my existence.
I wouldn’t say I needed special motivation, but I absolutely must have something to drink at hand, and my personal Go-Go Juice is a nice, black coffee.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I can remember. I wrote my first book in Second Grade. It was about a duck who gets into land development and builds multi-family housing for some displaced field mice. Strangely, no one wanted to buy that. Then there was the neighborhood “newspaper” I wrote, in which I detailed all the gossip I had overheard by eavesdropping at a grown-up party. That lasted exactly one issue before my mother said never again. After that, I wrote Battlestar Gallactica and Star Blazers crossover fanfiction with a friend. I can’t think of a time I wasn’t writing something!
I have a degree in English Literature, so you know I did a lot of writing in college. In the same semester, I had one professor tell me I was the brightest star in his sky, and another tell me that I was a terrible writer and he expected me to end up working fast food. In that way, college more than prepared me for reading reviews on Amazon.
What do you like to do to balance the demands writing places on you?
Funnily, I find that writing about writing relieves the stress of writing. When I hit a block, or am having trouble making something happen, I go to my blog about it. It shakes up the creative juices and allows me to look at my work from a different angle. I also find that Little Debbie Snack Cakes help.
Now three things that have nothing to do with writing:
- What is your favorite food? All of it! I like salty/savory. Right now, my favorite meal is broiled Mahi-Mahi seasoned with just a little salt and ground pepper, with speckled lima beans cooked in beef stock, and buttered rice. That’s good comfort food to me. I also love a good lamb stew.
- What is your favorite TV show? Boardwalk Empire, Top Gear, and Homeland are the shows I never want to miss. You can probably guess that I never miss a televised beauty pageant, and Toddlers & Tiaras is a guilty pleasure.
- What is your favorite music? I honestly enjoy just about everything other than Scream-O. Ella Fitzgerald, Fiona Apple, Amy Winehouse, Florence and the Machine, and Pink are some of my favorite female artists. If I’m home alone, I’ll turn on the all 80s music cable channel and try to do the Thriller dance while I clean the dishes. If you look at my Pandora stations, you’re going to see Michael Jackson, Loreena McKennitt, Tupac, the Scorpions, Willie Nelson, Vivalidi, The Church and about ten other stations…I’m all over the place. (This moment, I am listening to Michael Jackson Radio. Don’t stop til you get enough, y’all!)
Thank you so much for being here today Lane, and good luck with the tour and your new book. Before you go, is there anything else you would like to tell your readers or have them know about you?
I really appreciate you having me, Kate! Your interview questions were a lot of fun to answer. I hope readers like Destinee Faith Miller as a person. She is flawed and lives close to the surface, but I wrote a girl I wouldn’t mind taking on a road trip. If you’re going to be stuck in a book with a character for a few hours, it should be someone whose feet you wouldn’t mind seeing on your dashboard.
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.
Ms. Buckman may never be accused of writing great literature, but she will be convicted of being criminally funny. It’s not like reading a book, it’s like your very funny BFF is sitting at the bar with you telling a story about what happened to her the other night. You’ll learn a lot about crazy pageant mothers. Pageant mother to police officer: “Is this about Harland? If it is, it can wait!He’s dead and gone, and we’ve got a pageant to get on with.” Gotta love a person with their priorities straight LOL. The story is a lot of fun and the mystery is going to keep you guessing right until the very end. Which is what’s important. An excellent first in a series and I will look for more of Destinee Faith Miller. ♚♚♚♚♚Those are supposed to be five crowns LOL
And just for the fun of it, my favorite beauty queen related clip from a show I really miss..
October 28 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Interview
October 29 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Guest Post
October 30 – Chloe Gets A Chloe – Interview
November 1 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
November 2 – Books-n-Kisses – Review, Giveaway
November 4 – fuonlyknew – Review
November 5 – My Devotional Thoughts – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
November 6 – Thoughts in Progress – Review
November 7 – Brooke Blogs – Review
November 8 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post
November 9 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 10 – Turning the Pages – Review