I am so excited today to chat with Amy Lynn Green today – release day! – about her new historical fiction release, The Blackout Book Club!
Amy Lynn Green has always loved history and reading, and she enjoys speaking with book clubs, writing groups, and libraries all around the country. Her debut novel, Things We Didn’t Say, was nominated for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award, won two Carol Awards, and received a starred review from both Booklist and Library Journal. Amy and her family make their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit amygreenbooks.com to learn more.
THE BLACKOUT BOOK CLUB by Amy Lynn Green
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2022
“A salute to the power of books and of friendship!”–SARAH SUNDIN, bestselling and award-winning author of Until Leaves Fall in Paris
“The Blackout Book Club is an engaging story that illustrates the power of books to unite and encourage us in trying times. . . . A wonderful read.”–LYNN AUSTIN, author of Long Way Home
In 1942, an impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn’t be more different–a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.
At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they have more in common than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.
Includes a book club discussion guide and The Blackout Book Club book list
Hi Amy! Welcome to the blog!
Amy: Can I say autumn instead? All seasons are lovely in Minnesota where I live, but there’s something special about the changing of leaves and cozy sweater weather of fall.
Carrie: Autumn is absolutely an acceptable answer 🙂
Amy: Tea. You don’t want to see me with too much caffeine. 😊
Carrie: haha i bet it would be entertaining though
Amy: Right now, as temperatures are falling, I’d say soup. A pot of corn chowder is simmering as I write this.
Carrie: ooo my mouth is watering now!
Amy: Board game for sure! We’ve got a good collection, and right now my favorites are Wingspan and Terraforming Mars.
Carrie: We have a mostly-weekly game night with my husband’s brother and his family (which includes 6 of our nieces and nephews) and while we do play card games on occasion we are definitely more of a board game family, too.
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Amy: Wonderful! I can only think of reasonably useless abilities, like the fact that I’m excellent at being the one to give the cover story to someone to lure them to a surprise party, or that I can kill basically any houseplant that is doomed to enter my doors.
Carrie: i resemble that second superpower, too. I like to say that I have never met a plant I could not kill lol
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Amy: These days, I go to the board book section, since I have a baby in the house. If you haven’t stared at the beautiful illustrations of some children’s books lately, you’re missing out. Although my daughter’s favorite right now is the highbrow Never Touch a Monster.
Carrie: this answer made me smile 🙂 And YES I could easily get lost forever in the children’s book section. Gorgeous illustrations to drool over, even if you haven’t been a baby in years and years.
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Amy: It’s harder to write these days with a small crawler underfoot getting into everything, so outside of naptimes, I’ve found a surprising new way to write: when we go on our daily stroller walk, I’ll open the Notes app on my phone and use voice-to-text to jot down a few scenes. It takes some editing to fix the mistakes (“Her announcement prompted a chorus of boos” was translated, “Her comet prompted a chorus of booze”), but it’s a great way to be productive while getting fresh air and sunshine. Hopefully the neighbors I pass don’t think I’m too strange!
Carrie: haha love it!
Q: Which character in The Blackout Book Club was the most difficult to write?
Amy: Louise Cavendish, the rules-and-regulations heiress who wants to shut down the library, was sometimes difficult to write. Because she’s such an internal character, showing her soft side under her prickliness was a challenge. What really helped me was when I was able to write several flashback scenes to her young adult years, so the readers (and the author!) could understand what she had gone through and why she made the choices she did. Those ended up being some of my favorite scenes in the book.
Carrie: There’s a life lesson in there, too. Knowing someone’s story makes all the difference, especially when it comes to the antagonists we encounter…
Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in The Blackout Book Club?
Amy: There’s a ministry I love called Anchor of Hope that holds an annual auction, and I offered a chance for someone to put in the name of a friend or family member into the novel. Alvin “Daisy” Hagen is mentioned midway through the book, and he was a real soldier during WWII (who got his nickname from the girl he had a crush on as a young boy!). It was fun to support a good cause and honor one of the real heroes who fought in WWII.
Carrie: aww that’s special ♥
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from The Blackout Book Club & why do you love it?
Amy: “When you think about it, we’re all passing through, in and out of this world quick as a passenger boarding a train, on the way to something that lasts. Until then, you might as well make friends with your fellow travelers.” This line, near the end of the book, was a lesson I’ve had to learn when I’ve been afraid to reach out to others, wondering if it was worth starting to care about people and invest in their lives if one or both of us might move on soon. I’ve found that loving others, though a risk, is never a waste of time, and I hope that theme comes through in The Blackout Book Club.
Carrie: I love this quote – and the sentiment behind it. Even more important in this ‘make enemy’ culture in which we live now.
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.
Amy: I’m about to turn in a fourth novel, set overseas for the first time. It features a USO Variety Unit, a collection of performers sent to the front lines to entertain the troops, the dangers they face and the family-like bonds they form against all odds. We’ll travel together through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia—lots of fun WWII history in this one!
Bethany House is offering a print copy of The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) 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 makes you want to read The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green?