HAPPY RELEASE DAY to Katherine Reay & The Printed Letter Bookshop (that cover!! I want to get an enlarged version for my wall) – I’m super excited that she’s here today to chat about her new book!
Katherine Reay is a national bestselling and award-winning author of several novels, including Dear Mr. Knightley and The Printed Letter Bookshop. She has enjoyed a lifelong affair with books and brings that love to her contemporary stories. Her first full-length nonfiction work will release in December 2019. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University. She currently writes full time and lives outside Chicago, IL with her husband and three children.
GENRE: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: May 14, 2019
Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop
One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.
While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.
The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.
Hi Katherine! Welcome to the blog!
Katherine: Apples — Honeycrisp or Fuji are the best! Now a good naval orange is great too, but those are the only oranges I really like.
Carrie: YES! I love honeycrisp! Yum! (excuse me while i go grab one lol)
Katherine: Summer…Unless I’m dressed in really great wool. There isn’t much I like more than curling up by a fire, dressed very warm, and reading. But… a summer sail or bike ride is heavenly!
Carrie: Winter is just made for reading, isn’t it?
Katherine: Dogs. Dogs. Dogs. Cat’s terrify me. I suspect they know something I don’t and are judging me for it.
Carrie: I am totally with you on this!
Katherine: Both… Coffee in the morning. Chamomile at night. I’m kind of like the Flopsy Bunnies that way.
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Katherine: Normally I’d say FLY as that would be amazingly cool, but… It would be amazing to actually be able to write down the full totality of what I want a story to be. My super power could be — SuperWriter!
Carrie: Love. It.
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Katherine: My favorite book character from childhood was Tom from The Great Brain, closely followed by Encyclopedia Brown. Tom, the Great Brain, was basically a ten year old con artist swindling the neighborhood kids with his intellectual prowess and daring. He was pretty fun!
That was a hard question because many of my childhood favorites I’ve revisited as an adult, such as Anne from Anne of Green Gables or Edmund from Narnia — but the Great Brain remains a childhood friend who has not been recast or revisited with adult eyes. I think that probably makes for the most honest answer here.
Carrie: what a beautifully expressed answer!!
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Katherine: This is my favorite space. Really — I don’t like to write anywhere else. It has all the things I love within reach, and I cultivate this space very carefully. My elephants hang on my cork wall and yearly I change the line up. And because the walls are lined in cork, I can pin anything to them. On my desk are my screens, computer, and two jars of pens. My favorite colored pens rest in the mug of my grandfather’s company — it’s a wonderful reminder of him. The desk also moves up and down — which was such a help when I hurt my back a couple years ago. Now I stand more than I sit while I write.
Carrie: Such a meaningful space to work! I can see why you prefer this to anything else…
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing The Printed Letter Workshop, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Katherine: I have a good skeleton, but not everything is mapped out by any means. In fact, the culprit of a pivotal change in the middle of The Printed Letter Bookshop was someone else in my first draft. Then another character started “acting out” and she needed an outlet — so she took over this tiny villainy. I often find that to be the case. A character is often not as resolved as I believe they are and there is more anger, angst, or drama to deal with, and that changes things. It also makes them more exciting for me so I let go off-script any time they want.
Carrie: oh how fun! I love insights like this into the process 🙂
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from The Printed Letter Bookshop?
Katherine: I hope readers feel they can come alongside these three friends at the Printed Letter Bookshop and see some of the same situations, predicaments and choices we face — and are delighted by their hope-filled, inspiring and relatable journey. In many ways I think social media has isolated us, and reaching out to friends can get forgotten in our busy lives. I hope this story will remind us to pick up the phone, take a walk, and share life with our friends. We need good dependable friends — and books. We all need books. There’s lots of bookish love in The Printed Letter Bookshop that I hope will charm readers as well.
Carrie: I’m so excited to read this book!!!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Katherine: So much fun stuff is coming up… My first nonfiction book will release in December 2019 and my next fiction book will come out May 2020. I am so delighted to return to Winsome (the town you’ll visit in The Printed Letter Bookshop) for this next novel.
Thomas Nelson is offering a print copy of The Printed Letter Bookshop to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about this novel?
Join Katherine tonight on her FaceBook Author Page 8pm Eastern/7pm Central to chat about all things bookish, behind-the-scenes tidbits, the inspiration behind the story, all the books listed in the back, etc.