When not visiting local farmer's markets or indulging her love for chocolate, Andrea enjoys writing stories dealing with friendship, family, and the power of love. She writes hopeful books in charming settings that take readers on uplifting journeys and leaves them with lasting impressions. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Summer of Second Chances.
Please give us a short introduction to what Summer of Second Chances is about.
Summer of Second is mainly a story of new beginnings and second chances. It is a feel-good story with multi-generational friendships, a first love for young Shelby, and an older in-life romance for her grandmother. Join the wonderful people and lovable dogs in the perfect summer get-a-way - Moonwater Lake.
What inspired you to write a second-chance love story?
I wanted to tell a story to inspire people of all ages that it is never too late to find and share love.
Tell us more about Shelby. What makes her so special?
Shelby has had a challenging life thus far, losing her father to a tragic accident and being raised by an unstable mother. They have never lived anywhere long enough for Shelby to make friends, feel safe, and find happiness. Still, she is a person who gives of herself freely and uplifts all those around her. And this summer, supported by family and friends, she will finally find what she is looking for.
Why did you pick Moonwater Lake as the backdrop for your story?
I wanted a wonderful summer resort area, yet still a part of an endearing small town atmosphere. A perfect place to vacation, laugh, eat waffle cones, and fall in love.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I am a developmental editor for novelists.
What did you have the most fun with while writing Summer of Second Chances?
I put together a wonderful board of pictures with the settings, characters and all of the dogs of Moonwater Lake. I referred to it often while writing and felt like I escaped into the wonderful scene myself.
Tell us more about the book cover and how it came about.
I fell in love with this cover designer when researching comparable author's books. I reached out to him and it was a perfect fit. I couldn't be happier with that cover. He even put a little dog that looks a lot like my miniature poodle, Ellie, on the cover.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
Logan, Shelby's love interest, has a younger brother who is feeding a stray dog named Mutt. That storyline took off on its own and wrote itself and opened up a whole new part of the plot.
Why did you decide to write dogs into the story?
I adore dogs and would have a ranch filled with rescue pups if I could. There is an adorable cat in the story too.
Readers say this is a heartwarming story, taking them through a range of emotions. How did you pull this off?
I wrote from my heart and what touches me.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
Years ago I heard about a man near where I was living. A widower, he was in his early 70s and had just lost his mother and his dog was aging and ill. As we talked about him, my heart went out to him and I hoped he would not give up. He had friends who loved him and life still ahead. That story inspired me to write the character, Theo, in this book. Then, while walking my dog one day along the water on the island I used to live on, I thought about all the dog walkers I saw daily and their personal stories. In a small way we all supported each other with kind words and smiles. And so my character Shelby became a dog walker who helps inspire others and care for dogs.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I love to write in coffee shops.
What are you working on right now?
A standalone novel that takes place on a cove in the Pacific NW.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?