Why Coconut Cake?
Writers make a lot of decisions when creating their worlds. Where to set the story, when to set the story, eye color, hair color, car color. We invent facial tics and favorite curse words. We create elaborate back stories for secondary characters that may never make it into the book.
Point is, it’s all there for a reason, even if it’s because the actor we based the character off of has a lopsided grin.
So, dear reader, how did coconut cake make it into the book? Let’s look at my rambling thought process.
- I needed a reason for Lou to surprise her fiancé and catch him with another woman.
- Baking him a birthday cake and delivering it at an unexpected time helped set up that moment.Baking a cake is a systematic and precise process. Baking, in general, is more science than anything else, but because it’s food it sparks scent and taste memories—a perfect touchstone to Lou’s past.
- I could have chosen any kind of cake, but I love coconut. I love it the way some people love chocolate. As a child, I used to sneak bowls of shredded coconut into my closet and eat it. It would get dry and crunchy after a few days, but I ate it anyway (don’t judge me). This affinity came from my grandma who used to make a wonderful coconut cream pie. So when I needed to chose a cake, coconut seemed the right fit.
- I’m a nerd for alliteration. When we settled on The Coincidence of Coconut Cake for the title, I was down-right giddy because I could call it C3 (sometimes it’s the little things).
- One of my favorite techniques in books is when the author takes a common object and weaves it into the heart of the story, like Harry Potter’s scar or the green light in Gatsby. While I’m not delusional enough that my cake is as important or as meaningful as Harry’s scar, it does play an important role in bringing the story together.
There you have it – a peek into my squirrely brain. Next time you’re reading, pay attention to all those details. They’re there for reason.
THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE released today! Here’s all the information about it …
YOU’VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.
In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.
Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.
The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?
Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.
About Amy …
Amy Reichert earned her MA in Literature from Marquette University, and honed her writing and editing skills as a technical writer (which is exactly as exciting as it sounds). As a newly minted member of the local library board, she loves helping readers find new books to love. She’s a life-long Wisconsin resident with (allegedly) a very noticeable accent, a patient husband, and two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. When time allows, she loves to read, collect more cookbooks than she could possibly use, and test the limits of her DVR.
Amy is represented by Rachel Ekstrom at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.