Friday, October 7, 2022

Amy E. Reichert Interview - Once Upon a December

Photo Credit: Kelly Johnsen

Amy E. Reichert, author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE, LUCK, LOVE & LEMON PIE, THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER, and THE OPTIMIST'S GUIDE TO LETTING GO, loves to write stories that end well with characters you’d invite to dinner. A wife, mom, amateur chef, Fix-It Mistress, a volunteer baby snuggler, and cider enthusiast, she earned her MA in English Literature and serves on her library’s board of directors. She's a member of Tall Poppy Writers.

Greatest thing you learned at school.
The best thing I learned in school was how to write on a deadline. It comes in handy.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
While impossible to choose a favorite, the same book answers both these questions—THE HOBBIT by JRR Tolkien. It’s the first book with chapters I read and will always have a special place in my heart.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Making friends with some of my favorite authors.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
The nice weather! I was writing the bulk of it when it was warm and sunny. Who wants to be inside writing about winter?

Can you tell us when you started ONCE UPON A DECEMBER, how that came about?
I love contemporary stories with magical elements—maybe because I like imagining there is something fantastical write out of sight. ONCE UPON A DECEMBER came about when I dreamed up an alley that jumped around to different locations.

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from ONCE UPON A DECEMBER
“Once upon a December, a girl met a boy but she didn’t remember.”

“There was nothing quite like friendships forged in close living quarters, then tempered with copious amounts of bad pizza and cheap booze.”

  • Kringle is a local pastry specialty to Wisconsin.
  • The real Milwaukee Christmas market is now defunct. Here’s hoping it comes back.
  • I had fun coming up with punny names for the stores in the Julemarked.
  • Like Astra, I love snorkeling.
  • The Julemarked is magical—time works differently there.
  • The St. Kate is a real hotel where I stayed during a writing retreat.
  • Nisser are Danish Christmas gnomes that can be mischievous, good thing the ones in the book are not real.
  • I made Astra a librarian because they are even more magical than the Julemarked.
  • ONCE UPON A DECEMBER was loosely inspired by BRIGADOON.
  • Four brothers who can bake—need I say more?
Meet the Characters
Astra Noel Snow loves everything about Christmas, and her favorite weekend is spent with her college roomies at the Milwaukee Christmas market. She just wants full custody of her amazing dog, Bernie, and keep her library running smoothly.

Jack Clausen lives where it is the Christmas season every day and works in his family’s bakery with his three brothers. He loves to create new pastry flavors and carve small Christmas gnomes while rocking cozy sweaters and drinking vats of coffee.

Your Journey to Publication
I started writing my first novel in 2010. It took five years from opening the first document to when it appeared on shelves. Along the way, I revised so many times, was rejected by over 100 agents and publishers, and almost gave up. But it just takes one agent and publisher to believe in your book. Thankfully, I found those people.

Writing Behind the Scenes
No matter how hard I try, I can never keep my office clean while writing. It’s a slow progression from cluttered to disgusting. I celebrate turning in a draft by cleaning my office.

What is the first job you have had?
I was a dishwasher at a local diner. I worked every Thursday night when the special was pork steak, dumplings, and sauerkraut—the sauerkraut would get everywhere. I still can’t stand it.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Watching an incredible flamenco show with my family in Madrid.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
What happened to my hair?

A one-of-a-kind Christmas market offers holiday magic in the new romance from the author of The Kindred Spirits Supper Club.

With a name like Astra Noel Snow, holiday spirit isn't just a seasonal specialty--it's a way of life. But after a stinging divorce, Astra's yearly trip to the Milwaukee Christmas market takes on a whole new meaning. She's ready to eat, drink, and be merry, especially with the handsome stranger who saves the best kringle for her at his family bakery.

For Jack Clausen, the Julemarked with its snowy lights and charming shops stays the same, while the world outside the joyful street changes, magically leaping from one December to the next every four weeks. He's never minded living this charmed existence until Astra shows him the life he's been missing outside of the festive red brick alley.

After a swoon-worthy series of dates, some Yuletide magic, and the unexpected glow of new love, Astra and Jack must decide whether this relationship can weather all seasons, or if what they're feeling is as ephemeral as marshmallows in a mug of hot cocoa.

You can purchase Once Upon a December at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you AMY E. REICHERT for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert.

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