Frequently Asked Questions

Appearances and Review Copies

I'm a reviewer and I'd like to have an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of your new book. How do I get one?
Contact St. Martin's Press publicity. See my Contact page.

How do I schedule you for a book signing, appearance, interview or speaking engagement?
All requests must go through St. Martin's Press publicity, please. Requests sent to me personally, especially via Facebook or my guestbook often mistakenly get overlooked.

When are your next appearances? Will you be coming to my city?
I try to keep an updated list of signings and appearances on my News page. If you'd like me to come to your city, let your local bookstores know!

I can’t hold or don’t like to read hardcover books, but your latest book is only out in hardcover. Can you send me a softcover?
Unfortunately, if you want the softcover version of the latest book, you’ll have to wait until the paperback release, which typically happens anywhere from nine to eleven months after the initial hardcover release.

 

Book Clubs

Will you come to my book club meeting or speak to my book club by phone?
Because of my crazy writing schedule, I'm not currently doing any club meetings or phone chats. But I LOVE book clubs, so I’ve created some special printable extras to share with your groups. Check out the Book Clubs page for the links, plus a way to request bookplates.

Lost Lake

Why was there a big publication gap between The Peach Keeper and Lost Lake?
Shortly before The Peach Keeper was released, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I took some time off from writing anything new while I went through treatment.  You can read here about my diagnosis, chemo, and radiation treatment.

Where can I find all the postcard images produced for Lost Lake?
There were a total of seven postcards created for Lost Lake. Three postcards are in the book. Four extra postcards were created for promotion.  All of them reference places and logos mentioned in the book.  You can see all of them here. Designed by Helene Saucedo.

The Peach Keeper

Why did the cover of The Peach Keeper change?
This book was hard to get a handle on! It took a while to come up with the perfect visuals. I'm lucky to have a publisher willing to keep at it until everything is just right.

What's next for you?
I'm now working on my fifth book, pub date TBA.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Will there be a sequel to The Girl Who Chased the Moon, with Maddie’s story?
I don’t have any plans for a sequel at this time, but I’ll never say never!

Why was the release date of The Girl Who Chased the Moon changed and the book released almost a year later?
My publisher and I needed some time to put more kapow behind the book. It happens a lot in publishing, and I know it's frustrating. Believe me, I know.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon was once listed as Festival of the Naked Lady, and I still see that title around. Why is that?
When I first started writing the book, I called it Festival of the Naked Lady. That title began to appear in pre-pub news before the change.

The Sugar Queen

Why are the covers different for The Sugar Queen in hardcover and paperback?
Good question. I don’t have a definitive answer, just that it happens sometimes to create fresh interest for the paperback release.

I've never heard of some of the candy mentioned in The Sugar Queen. How do I find out more?
Click on the Candy page. There's an image of every sweet in the book.

Where can I buy some of the lesser-known candies?
I’ve had luck with www.oldtimecandy.com and the gift shops in Cracker Barrel restaurants!

Garden Spells

Will you ever write a Garden Spells sequel?
I love that readers ask this question. I had no idea people would care so much about these characters, enough to want to see their stories continued. There is a possibility of a Garden Spells sequel (or maybe a prequel) in the future. It might take a while.

Will there ever be a Garden Spells movie?
There’s been a lot of interest in Garden Spells as a movie, but as of now, there’s no new news.

Are the dishes Claire creates in Garden Spells real? If so, where can I find them?
I've compiled some recipes of real dishes made with edible flowers mentioned in Garden Spells here: Recipes.

Where can I find more about edible flowers and their properties?
My research began with medicinal and folkloric uses of edible flowers...of course, I ended up on a crazy, fictional tangent and I took great liberties with the magical flowers in Garden Spells... but a wonderful starting point is Botanical.com, which gives histories and medicinal uses for plants, herbs and flowers. There's even a link for recipes.

 

Writing and Publishing

How long did it take for you to get published? Can you give me advice on writing a book?

I’ve always loved writing, but I didn’t start writing seriously, with the goal of being published, until I graduated from college. It took twelve years writing as close to full-time as I could manage to finally make a living from it. Twelve long years, folks. This is what I know: There's no shortcut. There's no secret handshake. You sit down, you write. YOU FINISH IT. You revise and make it the best you can make it. You do your research on where to submit and you submit it. Then you start writing something new. It's all about the rinse and repeat. I wrote over a dozen completed manuscripts before Garden Spells.

Will you read my manuscript/partial/pages?
For legal reasons, I only read work that comes through an official channel. If you have an upcoming book you'd like me to read for a possible quote, please have your agent or editor contact my agent or editor.

When are your books going to be translated/published in my country?
Unfortunately, I don't have any control over which countries buy rights to my work. And if a foreign publisher buys rights to Garden Spells, but not The Sugar Queen, there's nothing I can do to make them! That's where the reader comes in. Tell your bookstores. Tell the publisher. If you click on the Tidbits link on The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Sugar Queen and Garden Spells pages, you'll find which countries have bought rights/published my books so far.

What else have you written?
My first published work was a 2003 paperback romance, titled Tried and True, written under the pen name Katie Gallagher, which is now out of print. I also have a novella of short stories in an anthology called Firefly Dance from BelleBridge Books (these are the same stories previously released only in audio under the title In My Dreams). These are all early works, no magic involved and not as polished as my recent work, so bear that in mind!

 

Other

Who designed your website?
Keith Bowman of Firefly Design Studio designs and maintains my website. The masthead for the current site was done by Helene Saucedo.

Who is your agent?
Andrea Cirillo of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Who is your editor?
Jennifer Enderlin is my editor at St. Martin's Press.

My first four books were edited by Shauna Summers at Random House.

Who took your website book photos?
Melissa Markis: It's a series called "Where We Read." Under a tree, in a cafe, in the bathtub...where do you read?

I heard about the limited-edition Yankee Candles with your book covers on them. How do I find them?
Between October 2010 and October 2o11, the promotional Yankee Candles with my book covers were available only through contests and giveaways. They are no longer available, but the Yankee Candle scents that complement my books still are: Garden Spells -- Macintosh. The Sugar Queen -- Buttercream. The Girl Who Chased the Moon -- Evening Air. The Peach Keeper -- Mango Peach Salsa.

Why don't you have a way to e-mail you on your website?
I tried for years to keep up with my website e-mail, but I kept falling more and more behind with it. I'm now trying a guestbook on my website so readers can share their thoughts and comments. I appreciate them all. To all my readers, my heart is yours.

What books can you recommend? What should I read to hold me over until your next book? Here are some books I've read over the past few years that stand out:

  • The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace -- a little jewel of a book, exquisitely written.
  • The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal -- Sensual and delicious.
  • The School For Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister -- More food. Exquisitely written.
  • Women Food and God by Geneen Roth -- Those of you who've read my books probably know I'm a little obsessed with food. This book sheds a lot of light on compulsive eating.
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows -- A phenomenon.
  • The River King by Alice Hoffman -- Released a few years ago, but a Hoffman masterpiece.
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Purse by Alan Bradley -- Part Agatha Christie, part Nancy Drew, sweet, set in post-war England.
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith -- a wonderful story that manages to make genteel poverty seem so incredibly...romantic. It made me want to turn down the heat, wrap myself in a threadbare blanket, eat cold boiled rice and Brussels sprouts, and scribble away in a journal late into the night like Cassandra, the heroine in the book.

My favorite books of magical realism are:

  • The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
  • I Am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  • A History of the World in 10 1/2 chapters by Julian Barnes
I also love anything by Harlan Coben and Susan Elizabeth Phillips; and Beth Saulnier's Alex Bernier mysteries and Kathleen Taylor's Tory Bauer mysteries.