Author Rachel Linden Interview is here! Rachel’s latest novel, The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie, is out now, and I’m so excited. As soon as I read the blurb and saw the cover, I knew I needed to come chat without it!
Rachel Linden, welcome! The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie is your latest book. Tell us more about it!
It’s about Lolly, a pie maker, who gives up everything – including an engagement ring and her dream job in England – after the sudden death of her mother. She goes home to Seattle to take care of her dad and younger sister and try to keep their family diner afloat.
Ten years later, Lolly is given a magical chance to redo her three biggest regrets in life and live three days as though she’d made different choices all those years before. The story explores the question, “can Lolly regain the life she still longs for and the love of the man she can’t seem to forget?” It’s got magical realism, family struggles, travel, a second chance at love, and of course, PIE!
The cover of this book is amazing! Were you involved in the design process?
I was involved, and I ADORE this cover! I want a dress that matches the cover. J Lots of people are involved in the process of a cover design. My agent, editor, my publisher’s sales team, and the cover designer and I all collaborated and went back and forth a bunch of times to get the cover just right!
The protagonist, Lolly, is such a great character. I think so many of us can relate to the feeling of being stuck at some point in our life. How did you go about crafting her characterization?
I wrote this book in 2020 during the pandemic, so I really identified with Lolly’s character and her experience of finding herself living a life she didn’t choose! I could put myself in her shoes and really journey with her as she tried to follow her bliss despite her difficult circumstances. This made her character feel especially relatable and real to readers and me. I think many of us can identify with her journey as we try to figure out how to make a good life after hard things happen and how to take the lemons life hands us and make sweet lemonade!
Do you bake pies?
I love to bake! My wonderful Grandma Sally taught me how to bake pies. She made amazing pie crusts from scratch, which I’m still trying to get the hang of. I actually created a recipe for Lemon Drop Pie that is in the back of the book! I had a few duds in the kitchen during the creation process, but the result is creamy, sweet, tangy, and pretty delicious!
What inspired you to create the storyline of The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie?
I was on a flight from Nashville back home to Seattle, and I scribbled the words “What if you could redo your three biggest regrets?” on a Delta Airlines beverage napkin. And gradually, Lolly’s story was born from that question. What would happen if a woman who had given up everything was given a magical chance to redo her three greatest regrets in life? I just found that question and the possibilities so intriguing that I had to write the story to find out what happened!
Walk us through a day in your life when writing.
I’m a mom of young kids, so my day of writing begins after they’re in school. I usually take a walk around the island where we live, settle my mind, and work through the next steps in the story. Then I write for a few hours, procrastinate a little, answer emails, clean something while I work through the next plot point, then cook and get ready for the kids to get home from school.
I try to always know the next scene when I sit down at my computer so I don’t just stare at a blank page. I do a lot of plotting while my hands are busy with meal prep or dishwashing. And I write on a daybed, not at a desk, because I like to lounge and write. I think I might be part cat! J
Did you always want to be an author?
I was a storyteller from the time I could talk, and I wrote my first book when I was 6. It was called Beans! and it was about…beans. Not the most inspiring topic, but they were my favorite vegetable. And I bound the book in cardboard from cereal boxes. My mom still has it somewhere! So I was writing a story from the time I could hold a pencil. It was just part of who I was and how I saw the world.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be?
Read read read GOOD books, as many as you can, in the genres you are interested in. Almost without exception, all good writers are avid readers. Also, read books about the craft of writing and then practice. You need to have the talent to succeed as a writer, but a lot of writing a good book is in technique, and the craft of writing can be learned. You need a good story.
Then you need to be able to tell it really well. Even bestselling authors who have written dozens of books are always trying to grow in their craft. Also, get to know other authors so you have a supportive community around you. Writing is an amazing career, but it can be hard and lonely too. You need a good author community to support you! Okay, that was way more than one piece of advice. Here it is in a sentence. Read a lot, practice your craft a lot, and connect with other authors.
Before I let you go, tell readers where they can find you on social media.
I love to connect with readers! They can find me on Instagram at @rachellinden_writer, on Facebook at www.facebook/authorrachellinden and at my website at www.rachellinden.com. On my website, you can sign up for my quarterly newsletter, and you’ll receive a free gift – a collection of my favorite recipes from my childhood and travels around the world!
Comment any questions you have for Rachel! Thank you, Rachel for joining us!