Interview with Martha Brockenbrough, author of The Game of Love and Death

22 Jun 2015

Tell us a little bit about your new release, The Game of Love and Death.

It’s an epic love story. Imagine this…. Love and Death walk among us like gods. Every so often, they choose a pair of humans and play a game to see which is stronger. Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra and Marc Antony, Guinevere and Lancelot … In all of these contests over the eons, Love has never won. And this time around, it might be the toughest battle of all. The players are a pair of 17-year-old jazz musicians living in Depression-era Seattle. One is white, one is black, so the odds against them are high and one wrong choice will spell death.

That’s the plot. But stories are about something deeper than plot, and this one is about how and why we love, and the meaning that death can give it.

Do you have a favorite quote or life philosophy that you live by?

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.

I first heard this in the movie Almost Famous, and have since learned it’s a shortened version of a similar sentiment by a Canadian clergyman. But I love it because it says we are only alone if we hide in our fear.

What’s your current obsession?

I am currently eating a bag of dried cherries. They are the best cherries I’ve ever eaten either in dehydrated or plump form. I am eating the bag slowly because they will be gone and there will be no more cherries and I don’t want to be sad. That’s the thing with life and dried cherries. Both end. It’s tragic, and to eat slowly is to trick the self into thinking that all of this is a comedy.

I am also obsessed with the idea of posing naked mole rats as though they are famous works of nude art and calling it the Nude Mole Rat series. Unfortunately, I have neither mole rats nor sufficient artistic talent. Again, tragedy.

Which fictional universe would you most like to visit?

I’d probably want to visit Dr. Seuss’s world. It would be hilarious to see cats and foxes wearing people clothes and messing stuff up.

Where is your happy place?

I’m in it right now: A cupcake café in Seattle surrounded by some of my best writer friends. They’re talking about Judy Blume. Who wouldn’t be happy with friends, frosting and FOREVER?

Name a book from your teenage years that has stuck with you into adulthood. Why has it stayed with you?

It would be unfair to say all of them, right? But it’s true. I’ve always loved books. The ones that have stayed with me are the ones with unforgettable characters and heartbreaking emotional scenes. That’s what I go for as a writer: characters who seem real and flawed and yet fascinating, thrust into situations that make or break them.

What’s in your Netflix (or Amazon prime, or Hulu) queue?

Orphan Black. And I just got a pair of Cosima glasses. I don’t have the hair for dreadlocks, but I can still dream.

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Martha Brockenbrough is the author of the new book Searching for Beautiful.

Connect with Martha
Author Website

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Taylor loves books with a heavy dose of absurdity, hilarity, and beautiful prose. She is a marketer, adventurer, nature-lover, Hufflepuff, wannabe world traveler, and advocate of laughter.