In addition to the final story readers see on the page, there is often one that remains behind the scenes. The research, the muses, the deleted scenes. Today, I’m going to let you in on a few secrets, a few fun facts about my most recent book, Champion Chocolatier: Reality Bites.
At first, I wasn’t sure about writing an adult book. Normally I’m more of a kid-lit kind of author, but once I got started, it was so much fun I didn’t want to quit. When readers asked for a sequel to Champion Chocolatier, I was happy to oblige. In my initial brainstorming, the idea to incorporate Valentine’s Day came into play. I mean, chocolate and Valentine’s Day? How could I not? Once I made that decision, I knew the book had to come out in time for the holiday, so I had to kick it into high gear. February was only four months away. I used writing sprints to help me get through my first draft, and then did two rounds of revisions with the help of a couple beta readers and my amazing copy editor, Christine Pingelton. The cover, designed by Les (GermanCreative) from Austria on Fiverr, was the icing on the cake for this beauty of a novella.
Unless it is soup, I’m not a great cook. But making food is my main character’s profession. Even if I can’t do it well in real life (it = cooking, planning a vacation, returning books to the library on time, insert other skills I do poorly), as an author I need to be able to write about it. For me and the content of this book, Pinterest was a savior. I often use pictures to help me describe places and people in my writing, and it turns out this technique works well for food too. Luckily for me, Pinterest is full of food related pins. In addition to pictures of food, I also found great recipes and step by step directions on the site. I saved several of them to my board, and you can check them out HERE.
The characters were one of my favorite parts of writing this story. I thoroughly enjoyed creating their distinct personalities. It was fun pulling their traits from real life friends and TV celebrities, and then stirring them together into fun and entertaining combinations. If you’d like to see a full profile for each character (as well as a book club discussion questions) you can click HERE.
Champion Chocolatier featured the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, MN. I loved writing about it so much that I wanted to include another gorgeous house in the second book as well. I am a sucker for alliteration, so the Vanderbilt’s home, in North Carolina was the perfect fit for my Valentine’s Day story. In this blog post I share all about how I used YouTube videos to help me learn about George Vanderbilt’s exquisite and expansive home, The Biltmore Estate.
And finally, although this probably isn’t a secret anymore… Emmy’s journey to national TV was partially inspired by Meringue Bakery owner (and my friend) Jen Barney. Learn more about our relationship and the process of turning real life into fiction, click HERE for a full explanation.
And there you have it. Eleven behind the scenes fun facts about Champion Chocolatier: Reality Bites. Almost a dozen sweet tidbits of additional info to satisfy your reader’s pallet. Let’s round it up to an even dozen, shall we?!?!? Last week I submitted both the original Champion Chocolatier and Reality Bites to Hallmark. Fingers crossed!!!
I should find out if Hallmark is interested in turning my stories into a movie in about two months. Of course, I will keep you all posted. So, check back again so you can stay in the loop!
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