Monday, May 14, 2018

THE WAY OF BEAUTY by author, CAMILLE DI MAIO

Hearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station.
Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. 

In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.

Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.
Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.

The Way of Beauty is a charming multi-generational love story, but it is more than that: it is a story of family, love lost, and love found…A loving tribute to the workers who risked their lives and health in building iconic structures in New York City…” —Historical Novel Society

“Fans of historical women’s fiction and light romance will enjoy this pleasant work of historical fiction.” Booklist

Some Q & A with Camille ~ 

1.               Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started writing.

I’ve lived all over – Denver, rural Pennsylvania, Washington DC, San Francisco, San Antonio, and now in southern Virginia. I’ve traveled extensively and have been to most of the states as well as four continents. Reading all the time and traveling a lot, I absorbed words and experiences until I had the inspiration to write what became my first book, The Memory of Us. All those years as the misfit girl in grade school with recesses spent in the library paid off! I’ve been married for almost twenty-one years and have four kids, a dog, and a cat.

2.               What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Travel is my big addiction, and if I’m not on a trip, I’m planning the next one. I love to read, of course, and I’m a big movie buff. We watch several movies a week as a family, taking turns as to who gets to pick. So we get quite an eclectic mix! I’m pushing the classics right now. Our last family movie was Casablanca.

3.               Do you have a “day job” as well?

I recently left my long-term real estate career to write full time. However, I also homeschool my children, so that’s definitely a day job! My first is off to college, and I still have a 17yo, 13yo, and 9yo.

4.               Where do you get your ideas?

It’s so eclectic. The Memory of Us was inspired by listening to the song Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles. Before the Rain Falls was inspired by a documentary I found while channel surfing. The Way of Beauty came from an image in my head of a soldier kissing his girlfriend in a train station. Just life, travel, and observation. I keep a notebook of ideas for future books and I think about each of them for a few years before seeing which ones pop up for further exploration.

5.               Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?

One of my favorite books is Olivia and Jai by Rebecca Ryman and I dreamed of writing something half as good. I love Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and anything by Kate Morton. All of those books really have the ability to suck me into their worlds.

6.               Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

Yes! My lack of knowledge about the process was a big road block. I finished the first draft for what became The Memory of Us in just six weeks, and thought, “I’ve written a book!” I learned about the querying process and, not surprisingly, got a bunch of rejections. Actually, agents loved the premise,  but the writing was nowhere near ready.

I spent about four years writing new drafts, attending conferences, and getting it closer to being ready to go. I learned in the process to give agents exactly what they want as far as a synopsis, number of pages, etc. And to be specific about why you chose THEM to query. Referencing comp books that they have represented and mentioning something from their bio that you connected with is a good way to go. It worked for me! I loved getting “the call” from my agent, Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

7.               If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?

In general, no, as the process is really part of the education. However, I do wish I’d been less naïve about the manuscripts readiness so that I could have turned in something more polished from the get-go. It is not enough to get to “the end”. Agents really want something that is in ready-to-publish quality.

8.               How do you market your work?

Though I’ve held sales jobs, I am not a salesperson by nature. I love to connect with people and be authentic. So my own marketing contributions are mostly through social media. I’m most active on Instagram and Facebook, and I’ve made a lot of friends through there. When people get to me and my work, they become an awesome megaphone when I have a new release, and I am so grateful for that. I like to give back in the ways that I can, so I also support other authors. I’ve recently added a You Tube channel in which I do book reviews. It’s all about community and sincerity.

9.               What are you working on now?

I just sent my fourth book off to my agent for review before we send it to my editor next week. I’m sure there will be many months of editing ahead. In the meantime, I’m playing with a few ideas that I want to pitch to them later in the summer.

10. Is there anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

In general, no. None of the events are based on anything in my own life. I have been to New York more times than I can count, so the observations I’ve absorbed certainly made their way into The Way of Beauty. The one real-life thing I added was this: my son and I like to pick up rocks at various places we go together and write on them when we get home the date and place we got it. I have a tidbit at the beginning of the book about that.

11.            Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

I have one scene in the book that is lightly romantic (I’m a PG-rated kind of girl). It takes place in a home darkroom as one character shows the other how to develop photographs. I thought about that scene for about a year before I wrote the book and always knew it would be in there. One scene that I didn’t plan but ended up loving is a scene in the lost luggage room of Penn Station and all the items the characters discover there.

12.            Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I do not have my degree in English or an MFA or anything like that. But I am a voracious reader. Read lots and lots and lots of books that are similar to what you write and you will naturally develop a sense of pace, tempo, dialog, language, story, setting, etc. I have gotten many compliments from other writers on my pacing, and I honestly didn’t know that was a thing! I just have a sense of what works in a story because I’ve read so very many.

13.            What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?

Even when I’m not actively writing, my head is almost always in the story. I’ve learned that I have difficulty being present with my family because there are characters and plotlines competing for brain space. I’m not sure how to turn that off, but I’m sure my husband and kiddos would tell you that it’s a downfall. The best part is the community of authors I’ve acquired. I absolutely love being friends with people I would have fangirled over. Reading their books, promoting them, suggesting them to friends, and then they do the same. I did not have a lot of friends growing up – the Coke-bottle glasses and stringy hair and lack of athleticism insured that! So I love having an abundant number of friends now.

14.            Favorite bands or music? Favorite book and/or movie?

I grew up loving British 80s music – Depeche Mode, OMD, Erasure. My 17yo daughter is a gifted connoisseur of music, so I’ve learned about so many bands from her and we’ve had a lot of fun at concerts together. Our favorites are Walk the Moon and Andrew McMahon. Just this week, we drove nearly three hours to see Banners in a tiny venue with 150 people. That guy is going to be big – just watch. My favorite book is Olivia and Jai, and my favorite movie is Elf. We repeat soooo many lines from that in our family.

15.            Places you’d like to travel?

Oh, so many! I have a huge bucket list. But if I had to go somewhere tomorrow, I’d love to go to Thailand. The beaches, the animals, the rice fields. I want to see it all.

16.            Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Just a giant THANK YOU! Your comments, reviews, shares, messages, and enthusiasm are the fuel that I need to push through frequent writer’s block and also the sense of self-doubt that plagues writers. You help me keep going and I appreciate you more than you know.

To connect with Camille ~ 

Visit my Amazon Author Page:  amazon.com/author/camilledimaio
personal youtube channel with book trailers & talk about craft of writing: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9Gmzq8NP6Jf77TzpWlkvg?view_as=subscriber
Follow me on Instagram:  https://instagram.com/camilledimaio/
Follow me on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CamilleDiMaio
Visit my website:  http://camilledimaio.com/





Sunday, May 6, 2018

Featuring some BOOK PROMOTERS this time ~ we'd be lost without them!


I've been doing this blog for three years now, featuring authors and their books, hoping to spread some book love to readers who ask me for recommendations of books I think they'd enjoy. And while I will continue to promote other authors and books, there is a group of people who rarely get the recognition they deserve: 

BOOK PROMOTERS!!!

So, periodically, I will be featuring groups of people who do everything but shout from the rooftops (and really, who does that?) about books.

If you love books, and obviously if you're here, you do, then you should check these people, and their social media links, out. You'll learn about so many great books, and sometimes, there will be book giveaways - and who doesn't like those? 

***

Kristy Barrett hosts "A Novel Bee" Facebook page,  which is home to over 3,300 book bees (page followers who love to find out the buzz on books!) "It's a book recommendation and author adoration society disguised as a Facebook group," Kristy sums up her Facebook page.

"My momma would say I love any books with words, except you won't find horror, erotica, or sci-fi promoted on this honey hive's page," says Kristy. Her Facebook page features endless book giveaways and author pop-ins. She often shares her "Queen for a Day" bee throne with authors and lets them take over.

Here's the link to her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130210920400229/

***
Susan Peterson hosts Sue's Booking Agency on Facebook and also posts on Twitter and Instagram (links below.) Susan explains the genres she features on her page. "I focus on women's fiction, literary fiction, southern fiction, historical fiction, and romance. I don't promote science fiction, horror, or graphic/violent books...because I don't read them!" 

Her goal is to make connections between readers and books and authors. "I don't do a lot of giveaways mostly because I want to have conversations about books, and recommending and reviewing books. I love it when others share what they're reading."

Susan retired four years ago and has read an average of 150 books each year since her retirement! "I love that, through Facebook, I've discovered so many new authors and books. Nothing makes me happier than when I recommend a book and somebody reads it based on my recommendation and loves it too!"

Here are the links to connect with Susan: 
Instagram: fuzzyhead1177, Twitter: @peterson4082. 
Facebook (Sue's Booking Agency): https://www.facebook.com/groups/SuesBookingAgency/

***
Linda Zagon hosts Linda's Book Obsession and you'll find it just about everywhere! 
Linda was raised with a love for books. "My father was an avid reader and had shelves built in our basement for his books." Linda retired from teaching five years ago and was able to get back into reading. "I gravitate to historical fiction, mystery, suspense, and thrillers, but I read most genres. I enjoy a novel that leaves me thinking." She knows everyone has their own preference for many things and that includes novels. "Every novel is not necessarily a good fit for every reader, and that's okay."

Linda started her Wordpress blog in 2016 to have a place for her reviews. "I want my page to be a safe place where respect and kindness are shown to one another," said Linda. She started her Facebook page in May 2017. "I love sharing books and helping other readers. I do read most genres and try to keep an open mind. I love to interview authors and see the readers enjoy when an author responds and gets involved."

Here are Linda's links to check out: www.Instagram.com/bookobsessionlinda/
https://lindasbookobsession.blog/ (her blog feeds into Bloglovin', Tumblr, & Pinterest)
https://www.facebook.com/lindasbookobsession/, Twitter: @peachyteach

***
Suzanne Leopold hosts Suzy Approved Book Reviews  and posts on other social media sites (links are below.) Like other book promoters, Suzy has a passion for books. "I found that my tastes in novels were a bit outside the norm, seeking out stories with more of an edge," Suzanne explains. "I couldn't find a good source for these books and that became my inspiration for the SuzyApproved blog, which is a big deviation from my prior work experience as a CPA for media and consumer companies."

Topics or books by authors in the political arena won't be found on her blog page, otherwise, her genres are varied. "I love to do book giveaways because I can't read everything that comes my way. I wish I had a book to give everybody!" 

All reviews by Suzanne are posted on her blog site (link below.) "When it comes to reviewing books I stick by what I learned at a young age - if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything."

Suzy Approved Books is celebrating two years of blogging with a month of giveaways! Check out her links ~ blog: https://suzyapproved.com/   Twitter: @SuzyApproved
Instagram: suzyapprovedbookreviews, & Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved/




Monday, April 9, 2018

WOMAN LAST SEEN IN HER THIRTIES, by author, CAMILLE PAGAN

From bestselling author, Camille Pagán comes a hilarious and hopeful story about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakthrough.


At fifty-three, Maggie Harris has a good marriage and two mostly happy children. Perpetually anxious, she’s also accumulated a list of semi-reasonable fears: falling air conditioners, the IRS, identity theft, skydiving, and airbag recalls. But never once did Maggie worry that her husband of nearly thirty years would leave her.
On the day Adam walks out the door, everything that makes Maggie secure goes with him. Only then does she realize that while she’s been busy caring for everyone else, she’s become invisible to the world—and to herself.
Maggie cautiously begins to rebuild her life with a trip to Rome, a new career, and even a rebound romance. But when a fresh crisis strikes and an uncertain future looms, she must decide: How much will she risk to remain the woman she’s just become?

Reviews ~

“[Pagán’s] writing is fun and engaging. Maggie is a wonderful character, and readers will identify with her struggles and successes in rebuilding her life.” Booklist

“Pagán (Forever Is the Worst Long Time) has created a winning character in Maggie. Watching her wake up to the world around her and realize that there’s more to life than a dull marriage is exciting and relatable. Women’s fiction readers will find a lot to like in this book.” Library Journal

“Pagán does a wonderful job of bringing us a character that is so believable you feel like you know her…If you enjoy family drama and stories of growth you will find this a terrific addition to your library. Tie in drama and romance and this will also intrigue those more interested in finding a silver lining.” Seattle PI

“The way the whole book unfolded was so true to real life…It’s an extremely well-written and accurate portrayal of what a woman would do after her life is shattered.” Novelgossip
“Both entertaining and filled with life’s wisdom…Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties is an empowering story for women of all ages with a wise reminder not to lose our authentic selves.” —Bookreporter

Some Q & A with Camille ~ 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.
I’m the author of four novels; my most recent book is Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write fiction, but I didn’t attempt an entire novel until just before I turned 30. I had just had my first child and my dear friend was dying of cancer; for whatever reason, those two things made me feel it was imperative that I write a book right away. I was hooked even before I wrote the last scene of the first draft. I am not the type of writer who hates writing; I really love the drafting process and I’m already dreaming of my next book before I even finish the one I’m in the middle of. 

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?    
I do; in addition to writing fiction, I’m also a health journalist and editor. I’ve written for Time, WebMD, Health, O: The O Magazine, and many others, and most recently served as the health editor at Real Simple magazine. I usually write fiction in the morning and work on journalism in the late morning and afternoon. When I’m really deep into a project—fiction or nonfiction—I often end up writing at night, but I mostly try to reserve that time for reading and hanging out with my family.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
It’s interesting—I had more of a struggle getting my second novel published than my first. I wrote my first novel, The Art of Forgetting, quickly (in about four months), then took several months to edit it before I began looking for an agent. I signed with Elisabeth Weed, who is still my agent today, and she sold the book at auction to Dutton/Plume (Penguin imprints) and to a half-dozen international publishers.

After Forgetting came out, I wrote two books in a row that I didn’t love and didn’t want to publish. Then I wrote Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which was such a joy to write—and my then-publisher passed on it, in part because sales for Forever had not been great. I was devastated, of course, because I really loved that book (still do). But this story has a happy ending: Lake Union bought Life and it has since sold more than 150,000 copies. But there was a several-year gap in which I didn’t know if I would ever publish a second book, and that was extremely hard.

What are you working on now?
I just finished the draft about a couple who exchanges lists of things of what they want the other person to change in order to attempt to save their marriage. It was fun to write, if uncomfortable at times—it’s hard to write a novel about marriage without taking a long, hard look at your own relationship.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?
Though I don’t write about the people in my life, most of my novels have been inspired by real-life experiences, though not in the way one might think—it’s not so much that I find the plot as I get sparks of inspiration from random situations. For example, Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties was inspired by a run-in I had in a grocery store; a college-aged man bumped into me, looked right through me without apologizing, and went on his way. It was a five-second incident that was the catalyst for an entire book.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
It’s always the same because it’s the single guiding principle of my career: write the book you want to read, regardless of what’s popular or what anyone else (whether your mother or your publisher) wants you to write. For me, that’s the only way to find joy in the process and produce a novel I’m proud of.  
Thanks for having me on your site!

You can learn more about my books at camillepagan.com and facebook.com/camillepaganbooks. 




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

THE GOOD LIAR, by author, Catherine McKenzie

When tragedy strikes, people react differently. Many panic. Others mourn. Some exist as if nothing’s happened. And some use tragedy to drastically change their lives…

In internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Catherine McKenzie’s riveting and thought-provoking new novel, THE GOOD LIAR (Lake Union Publishing; on-sale April 3rd, 2018; hardcover; paperback; e-book), the lives of three women are forever altered by a national tragedy—and by the choices made in its wake.

A year ago, Cecily Grayson became the poster child for a horrifying explosion that ripped a Chicago building apart. She was supposed to be in the building that day. Instead, she stood on the street and witnessed it going down, with her husband and best friend, Kaitlyn, inside. While she watched, a photographer snapped a photo of her—a photo that would become one of the enduring images from that day.

Franny Maycombe, a young woman in search of her birth mother, watched the horror unfold on the morning news, knowing that the woman she was so desperate to reconnect with was in the building. As the anniversary dominates the media, the memories of that horrifying morning become dangerous triggers. A thousand miles away in Montreal, a third woman, Kate Ring, is working as a nanny for a wealthy family. Haunted by the anniversary of the Chicago explosion, Kate fights to keep her past from catching up with her.

All three women are guarding important secrets. Just how far will they go to keep them?

The idea for this novel has been percolating in McKenzie’s mind for years and began with this thought: What if someone used a national tragedy to run away from their life? Later, she discovered stories about people faking their way into tragedies. And finally, she learned of a 9/11 widow whose divorce was about to be finalized right before the towers fell. From there, she thought what-if, and began writing THE GOOD LIAR.

An irresistible look at ordinary people in extraordinary situations and a gripping and incisive exploration of deceit, THE GOOD LIAR is Catherine McKenzie at her best!


“A Hottest Thriller of 2018”—GOODREADS

“Complex, thought-provoking…Who the good liar may be, and what that phrase might actually mean are questions that will resonate long after the book is finished. Many will devour this book in one sitting.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

“Give this to fans of seemingly benign characters with dark inner lives like those in Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.”
BOOKLIST

“For many years, Catherine McKenzie has been writing some of the best thrillers around. She’s outdone herself with THE GOOD LIAR, the powerful and heartbreaking story of the painful aftermath of a national tragedy. It’s sharply written with engaging characters and twists and surprises up until the very last page. A smart, fast-paced, and riveting thriller!”
David Bell, author of Bring Her Home

“With twists and turns, the lives of three women intersect in the most unexpected ways during the aftermath of a tragedy. Thought-provoking, suspenseful, and mysterious, The Good Liar is a true page-turner that explores the ways stories are connected and created, and what can be hidden underneath. This is a book you won’t be able to put down!”

Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger

Some Q & A with Catherine ~ 


Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.

I’m a lawyer. I always wrote growing up – poetry mostly – but in 2006 I had an idea that wouldn't leave me alone and that turned into my first novel which lives in a drawer.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Running, hiking, skiing, watching lots of TV and reading.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

Yep! I’m a partner in a law firm.

Where do you get your ideas?

Lots of places. Usually, I have several ideas coalesce into one – maybe a story I’ve heard, or an article I’ve read will start my imagination going.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?

Nick Hornby had a big influence on my early writing.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

Once I finished Arranged (the first “real” novel I wrote), I got an agent – that took about six months of querying. She then spent the next year and a half trying to sell it. In the meantime I wrote Spin. She finally sold that novel in a two book deal in Canada in July 2009 – almost two years after we’d started working together. It took another two years (and a change of agent) to get my first deal in the US in 2011. In short, I could paper a room with all my rejections.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?

Probably a lot of things, but that’s easy to say. I have a good career so I shouldn’t complain.

How do you market your work?

That’s a complex question! Hopefully, my publisher markets my work! I try to supplement through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and doing blogs like this. I also have a newsletter.

What are you working on now?

I’m on the 2nd draft of my next novel which is slated to come out in April 2019.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

I try not to do that. I might be inspired by real life things that I’ve read about.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

None comes to mind!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Read, read, read, read, read. If you don’t love reading, you’ll never be a great writer.

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?

Publishing books is asking to be criticized. That’s the main downfall, I think. The best part is hearing from readers whose lives you’ve affected.

Favorite band or music?  Favorite book and/or movie?

A big fan of Matt Nathanson. But I listen widely. I cannot pick one book!

Place you’d like to travel?

Too many places to name!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you.

To connect with Catherine:

Catherine McKenzie
Follow me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter 
Follow me on Instagram







Tuesday, March 13, 2018

DIGGING IN, by author LORETTA NYHAN

In author Loretta Nyhan’s warm, witty, and wonderful novel, a widow discovers an unexpected chance to start over—right in her own backyard.

Paige Moresco found her true love in eighth grade—and lost him two years ago. Since his death, she’s been sleepwalking through life, barely holding on for the sake of her teenage son. Her house is a wreck, the grass is overrun with weeds, and she’s at risk of losing her job. As Paige stares at her neglected lawn, she knows she’s hit rock bottom. So she does something entirely unexpected: she begins to dig.

As the hole gets bigger, Paige decides to turn her entire yard into a vegetable garden. The neighbors in her tidy gated community are more than a little alarmed. Paige knows nothing about gardening, and she’s boldly flouting neighborhood-association bylaws. But with the help of new friends, a charming local cop, and the transformative power of the soil, Paige starts to see potential in the chaos of her life. Something big is beginning to take root—both in her garden and in herself.

Reviews:

“Endearingly quirky…Emotional yet funny…Confronting grief, change, and a new way of being, Nyhan’s lovely story captures the rejuvenating power of hard work that can start right in the backyard.” Publishers Weekly

“Charming…Nyhan has fun with a bubbly satire of business culture.” Kirkus Reviews

“On the surface, this is a sweet novel about aging, grief, and redemption. But Nyhan (All the Good Parts, 2016), who has experienced loss herself, shares very insightful observations. She reminds readers that comfort and hope can come in the most unexpected encounters if the heart is open.” Booklist

“[Loretta Nyhan’s] novels are emotional for sure, but they still manage to deal with tough themes in an upbeat and hilarious way…By the end of the book, you’re left in a place of healthy, hopeful bliss, a place only Nyhan could take us to.” —The Suspense is Thrilling Me

“Nyhan has done it again! Her characters captivate and her gift for vivid prose shines in this roller coaster of a tale. My hope is that it leaps from the page to the big screen! Any reader with a heart won’t want it to end!” —Nicole Waggoner, author of Center Ring and The Act

“I want to scream my love for this book from the rooftops. What a delightful, funny, authentic, wise story about the healing power of gardening and the struggle to root yourself in the untilled land of grief. With a full cast of unique characters, Digging In is a must-read for anyone seeking pure entertainment.” —Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son

“I loved this one! Tender and sweet and hilarious. Packed full of wise moments, with a fresh take on what it is to experience grief. The characters seemed so lifelike I caught myself considering Googling one of them to see what she was up to in her life now! Hilarious take on split-generation offices—hipsters vs the shoulder pad brigade. Recommend this read to anyone.” —Virginia Franken, author of Life After Coffee

Digging In is the loveliest novel. The title is perfect—a metaphor for digging deep. It is the story of a woman who has been brought to her knees by the loss of her husband, the love of her life. Now absolutely everything is on the line, her job, her relationship with her teenage son, and her will to live, hangs in the balance. The unique and surprising—even to her—ways she recovers had me turning the pages, and yet I wanted to linger. In her own inimitable warm, witty, and compassionate style, Loretta Nyhan has written a wise and poignant story of recovery from grief. I loved this book.” —Barbara Taylor Sissel, author of The Truth We Bury and Faultlines

Some Q & A with Loretta ~ 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.
I took a few creative writing courses in college, but didn’t have much faith in my abilities. I graduated and took a job writing for trade magazines, which definitely bettered my overall writing skills. I wrote fiction in secret through my 20s and early 30s, terrified to show anyone my work. After my youngest started kindergarten, I gave myself a tough love talk—either really try to get something published or stop dreaming. I decided to try.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
FOOD—making it, eating it, paying too much for it in fancy restaurants.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
I teach and tutor.

Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas don’t come to me neatly tied in a bow. Maybe I’ll read about something that piques my interest, then I’ll add something to the idea from my own experience, then my imagination takes over…the process is both complicated and uncomplicated.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
I’m obsessed with John Irving and Charles Dickens. I like big, sprawling stories with heartwarming characters that continually surprise you.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?
Nothing. Seriously. It wasn’t easy, but I kind of like the way this all played out. Now, I wouldn’t mind having the success of a Rowling or King, but…I’m not them. And I’m okay with that. I write stories about characters I love and so far I’ve found publishers who love them, too. I consider myself lucky.

How do you market your work?
Mostly on Facebook and Twitter. I’m bad at marketing. Most writers are. This is one of the reasons I’ve gone the traditional publishing route—I like people who know what they are doing to handle most of the marketing.

What are you working on now?
A super secret project! (Translation—it’s early in the process and I don’t even have a title.)

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep at it---you have to force yourself sometimes. Tell yourself you’ll write for an hour or two every day, even if what you’re producing makes you cringe. You can always edit later.

What are the downfalls of your writing career?
The isolation. It gets mighty lonely sometimes!

The best parts?
The people I’ve met—the readers, the other writers, the publishing professionals. Wonderful, wonderful people.

Favorite band or music?  The Beatles. Always The Beatles.

Favorite book and/or movie?
My favorite books are The World According to Garp, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and a book by Susan Isaacs called Shining Through. My favorite movies are romantic comedies, particularly from the early 90s and starring Sandra Bullock.

Place you’d like to travel? Dublin, Montreal, Morocco.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans? 
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To connect with Loretta:

Facebook & twitter under ~LorettaNyhan 
Instagram @LorettaNyhan