Monday, March 27, 2023

Q&A with Annie Rains




Annie Rains is the author of the new novel The Good Luck Cafe, the latest in her Somerset Lake series. She lives in North Carolina.


Q: What inspired you to write The Good Luck Cafe, and how did you create your characters Moira and Gil?


A: The cafe in this book has been present since the first book in my Somerset Lake series. It's called Sweetie's Bakeshop in the book, but the title references what Moira's mom had once considered re-naming the cafe.


The rift between Moira and Gil, the couple in this book, has also been brewing since book one in the series (The Summer Cottage). So, ultimately, this book was inspired by the subtle interactions that have occurred in books one through three.


This book stands alone (for those who haven't read the previous books) but if you've started with book one, you know that this romance has been brewing for a while.


There's a frenemies type of tension between Moira and Gil--and honestly, I didn't even know why Moira disliked being around Gil so much. I didn't figure that out for myself until I sat down to write this book. Ultimately, that need to know what happened in this couple's past is what inspired this book.  


Q: As you mentioned, this is the fourth in your Somerset Lake series--how would you describe the relationship among the books?

A: Even though this book is the fourth, I write the books so that they can stand alone. Readers will see other characters and couples from previous books in the background, but it's not part of this specific story.  


Q: Do you usually know how your novels will end before you start writing them, or do you make many changes along the way?


A: I never know! Even if I think I know, I never do. The books seem to have a life of their own once I start writing them. I'm always stopping to re-plot because my characters rebel against what I have planned for them. It's part of the magic of writing! 


Q: How would you describe the dynamic between Moira and her mother?


A: I think Moira and her mother have a great relationship. I've written mother-daughter relationships that are strained in the past, but in this one, there is a mutual respect for each other.


Moira admires how her mother has run this bakeshop all of these years, but at the same time, Moira is her own person. If Darla (her mom) retires, Moira doesn't want to run a bakery/cafe. It's not her dream. I love that Darla doesn't expect Moira to want to follow in her footsteps. These two have a very healthy relationship! 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I'm editing the first book in my next series with Forever! It's called The Finder's Keeper's Library, and I hope my readers will be excited about it!


The main heroine has a chronic illness, which is something I've wanted to write for a long time now. I think it's important to show illnesses and disabilities and messy pasts--and not just in the secondary characters, but in the main characters as well.  


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Yes! My first women's fiction novel releases this August. It's called Through the Snowglobe. It's Groundhog Day meets It's a Wonderful Life, so there's a magical element to it. I love this book and I can't wait to share it with my readers!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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