Virtual Tour: Lunch With The Do Nothings At The Tammy Dinette by Killian B. Brewer ~ (Interview + Reviews
When Marcus Sumter, a short order cook with dreams of being a chef, inherits a house in small town Marathon, Georgia, he leaves his big city life behind. Marcus intends to sell the house to finance his dreams, but a group of lovable busybodies, the Do Nothings, a new job at the local diner, the Tammy Dinette, and a handsome mechanic named Hank cause Marcus to rethink his plans. Will he return to the life he knew, or will he finally put down roots?
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The diner took up a quarter of the city block; its silvery siding glimmered in the morning sun. A metal bracket jutted over the diner door and held a bright neon sign that flashed The Tammy Dinette: Stand By your Ham and Eggs. Below the sign, two tall and wide single-paned windows showed the bustle of the crowd inside. Marcus could see that most of the booths along the windows were occupied, and a tall redheaded waitress stood next to one of the booths furiously scribbling on a pad and nodding her head.
“Let’s go,” Skeet said as he hopped to the door and yanked it open. He swept his arm across his body and said in a terrible British accent, “After you, my good sir.”
Marcus grinned at the boy and stepped into the diner. The sudden rush of country music mixed with the murmur of the restaurant crowd, the smell of greasy food and coffee, and the glare of fluorescent lights from the Formica tables and counter tops flooded Marcus with a sense of relief and comfort. The last bits of tension slipped from his shoulders as he watched the two waitresses in pink uniform tops and skirts scurry from table to table as different patrons raised their hands to get each woman’s attention.
Marcus grew up on the go, never settling down for long with his mother. Once she had dated all the available men in the little town she chose to stop in, she'd leave her job and run out during the middle of the night with Marcus to the next adventure. Until Marcus was 18, and then she decided she decided to move on without him. Marcus did what he was raised to do, he got a job as a short order cook and lived his life. But, in repeating his mother's behaviors, he looked for love and stability with the wrong kind of man and when he received a letter from his unknown grandmother's attorney, he decided to get away from his life and head to the small town. He's not in the town long and finds himself in the hospital with a head injury and a wrecked car. When he wakes up in the hospital, he finds himself wheeled out and left on the curb and told someone would be along to pick him up. And so begins a town and people unlike anything Marcus has ever experienced.
With the encouragement from his grandmother's friends, Marcus decides to stay in her house while he settles her estate and sells the house. His grandmother's friends are called the Do Nothings, and through them Marcus is taught about his grandmother and nurtured like he's never been before. Even though he'd prefer to get out of town and on the road, the Do Nothings are unwilling to just let him leave. This group of women are funny, sassy, smart, gossipy, whirlwinds of love that refuse to let Marcus just walk away. His grandmother's dying wish to her friends was that Marcus found happiness, and that is exactly what the Do Nothings are going to do. And, the benefit to Marcus growing up the way he did, he really is laid back and easy going. I don't think many young men are going to deal with the antics of these women but he just goes along with it and learns to embrace their behaviors.
Marcus ends up working as a cook for one of the Do Nothings, which allows him to do what he loves. Though he dreams of being professionally trained, his heart is in the kitchen of the diner where he can cook food for those around him. The Do Nothings also decide they need to find him a boyfriend and set about introducing him to any available man in their town, regardless of them being gay or not. For such a small town, they really are an open-minded, supportive community. Marcus isn't interested in any of the men, but there's someone who's caught his eye and when Marcus finds out he's gay, he doesn't keep his interest to himself. And, Marcus finds himself at the point where decisions have to be made and he has to realize that maybe once he stops and looks around, he already has everything he could want.
This book is Marcus' POV and is about his journey to find himself, and yes, there is a romantic interest but that comes later in the story and is really just a small part of this book with no on page sex. I had a hard time putting this book down once I started reading, it sucked me in from the very first page of the Prologue. The characters and town in this story were so well developed, and I fell in love with them. The Do Nothing ladies were a riot and made me laugh out loud many times! Each woman was such a character and they truly helped to make this story so fantastic. They're full of inappropriateness and I absolutely loved Hank's interactions with them at the end of the book. This is a must read book, and was such a delightful surprise!
Rating: 5+++ stars!!!
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Killian Brewer author of Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette.
Hi Killian, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hey, y’all! I’m Killian Brewer, though most people just call me Brew. I’m a Southern boy, raised in the land of peaches and peanuts. I grew up in a tiny little town in a house where we would entertain each other by telling stories. My father can spin a yarn with the best of them and taught me early to enjoy the fellowship of storytelling. I went to college and earned my degree in English Literature, mostly because of my love of a good story. Of course, like most English majors, I don’t use that degree at all in my day job, but it does come in handy for my writing.
My current novel, Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette, was inspired by the people I grew up around in South Georgia. I wanted to explore what life could be like for a young gay man who is suddenly transplanted in a small town with little understanding of the way of life there. In particular, I wanted to follow his search for love and a sense of family in a world where he feels like a fish out of water. I also wanted to write about older southern women, because I think they are awesome.
Character Interview Hank Hudson
BBJ: What’s your job like?
HANK: I run the main auto repair shop here in Marathon, Georgia. The shop is called Murphy’s Auto Repair because I bought the business from old man Murphy, who ran it for 40 years. I would’ve changed it to Hudson’s Garage, but I had a hard enough time getting the people in this town to trust that I could fix their cars as well as Mr. Murphy did. I mean people have been coming to him for so long, it was hard to break the habit I guess. I was new in town and people didn’t know if they could trust me. After I fixed Delores Richards’s car a few times people finally began to trust me. Bless Miss Richards, she keeps me well employed with her horrible driving skills!
BBJ: Would you rather be respected or feared? Why?
HANK: I definitely would rather be respected. That is very important in my line of work. I think most people don’t know enough about their cars to know if a mechanic is being honest or taking them for a ride, pardon the pun. You have to make sure people respect your opinion and know you are giving them a fair deal. I try to take that approach outside of the garage too. I figure life is tough enough with having to make life harder on people. I want people to know I am honest and kind.
BBJ: What’s your favorite book?
HANK: I have a huge coffee table book that is full of pictures from different opera productions around the world. It has posters and costume sketches and shots from live productions. I just love it. My father was head of the music department at the college where I grew up and he taught me to love opera. He is gone now and whenever I miss him, that book makes me feel like he is with me. I know most people wouldn’t expect a greasy mechanic to like that kind of thing, but the colors of the sets and the emotions in the music just get me excited.
BBJ: If you could go anywhere, all expenses paid, where would you go?
HANK: That’s easy! As I said, I really enjoy opera. So I would go to Milan, Italy to see the Las Scala Opera House. I have only ever seen pictures of it but it looks gorgeous. I want to see that beauty in person and attend some performances there. I would tour as much of Italy as possible while I was there too. Rome, Venice and Florence would have to be on the list. I speak a little Italian so I think I could get by. Also, I love Italian food so that would be a good excuse to eat a lot of it too!
BBJ: Tell us a bit about yourself.
HANK: I don’t know what to tell. I’m a mechanic but that just kind of fell into my lap. When I was just out of high school, my mother found out I was gay and pretty much kicked me out of the house. Since I didn’t really have any money to go to college, I got some part time jobs and enrolled at the local vocational school. I had always enjoyed tinkering around with mechanical things. I thought I might do computer repair but those classes were full. So I signed up for auto repair and loved it. That became my career and I have never looked back. I have to admit I love the look of relief and happiness on a person’s face when I hand them their keys back and they know their car will work again.
About the Author
Killian B. Brewer lives in his life-long home of Georgia with his partner and their dog. He has written poetry and short fiction since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. Brewer earned a BA in English and does not use this degree in his job in the banking industry. He has a love of greasy diner food that borders on obsessive. Lunch with the Do Nothings at the Tammy Dinette is his second novel. His first novel, The Rules of Ever After, is available from Duet Books, an imprint of Interlude Press.