Thursday, February 24, 2022

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Alyssa Schwartz

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Alyssa Schwartz

LM: Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your recent release Dear Beth. What was your inspiration behind the story, and why did you decide to issue it as a prequel? 

Alyssa: Hi, Linda! And thank you for hosting me! Last October, I released my debut book, The Glass Cottage, and I knew I wanted to continue the story of the Prescott cousins in a series. I actually alluded to Tye’s and Beth’s story briefly in that book, so when I got around to finally writing it, I knew it had to be a prequel since their love story pre-dated the one in The Glass Cottage

I’ve always loved participating in Loveland, Colorado’s Valentine re-mailing program, and I think centering a story around the town’s quirky traditions just evolved from there. This 76-year-old tradition started when Elmer Ivers, the Postmaster of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, received a few dozen letters with a note to stamp them with Loveland’s postmark. Thinking it a great idea himself, he rounded up the Loveland stamp club and began the letter re-mailing program, complete with its own cancellation stamp. Now all these years later, the Sweetheart City’s re-mailing program has gone international, receiving mail from over 110 countries spanning from Denmark, to China, to Japan! 
LM: What is your favorite aspect of writing? 

Alyssa: I love that I get to do something creative. My background is in geological engineering, which oddly enough involves a fair bit of storytelling in itself, but it’s so much more fun getting to dream up stories all day. 

LM: What sort of research did you conduct for the book? Was there a particular tidbit you felt must be included? 

Photo: Pixabay/Jill Wellington
Alyssa: Since the story revolves around Valentine’s Day in Loveland, I wanted to include as many real-life events as possible aside from the re-mailing program. I went through a ton of old newspaper articles, read a few history books, and pulled some from my own family history. I think my favorite thing I stumbled upon was the “Catch Me If You Can” race. The women are given a 3-minute head start and the men have to try and “catch” their running partners by the end of the 5K run. I’d never heard of such a thing, but I knew as soon as I read about it that I’d have to find a way to include that in the story. 

LM: How do you prepare yourself for writing? (e.g. set up in a particular location, turn on music, etc.) 

Alyssa: I’m still figuring out what works best, but any good writing session requires a cup of good tea and some chocolate. I also try to put together a playlist for each story before I start writing, and I find listening to it while I write helps get me into the story. 
LM: In addition to writing, you are a hydrogeologist as well as an artist who recently created your own business. How do you juggle all your responsibilities? 

Alyssa: I’m not currently doing any hydrogeology work at the moment, but it is definitely a juggling act to balance everything some weeks. I try as best I can to block off specific days for certain projects, and that seems to work at the moment. 
LM: You are very accomplished. What is one thing you wish you knew how to do? 

Alyssa: I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the ukulele. 

LM: What is your next project? 
Alyssa: I’m currently halfway through the next book in the Prescott Family Romance series, and I’m fleshing out ideas for the final book as well. 

LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 

Alyssa: You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram, or check out my website and newsletter for more story-related news:

Dear Beth

After finishing his veterinarian training, Tye Prescott is back in Colorado and ready to give his relationship with Beth another chance, only she's made it very clear she wants nothing to do with him. 

Beth Walsh is a hopeless romantic, except when it comes to her own love life. In her opinion, love is best left to the storybooks. But when a few nosy octogenarians decide to play matchmaker, she grasps for the only excuse she can think of to avoid another setup. 
Set against the backdrop of Loveland's historic Valentine's Day letter re-mailing program, Tye and Beth must work together to convince the town of their rekindled romance. But Tye has his own plans of winning back the woman who got away. Might it finally be time for Beth to risk her heart again?

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