Friday, November 30, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Research is creating new knowledge.
- Neil Armstrong
Research is creating new knowledge. Neil Armstrong
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Research is creating new knowledge. Neil Armstrong
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Thursday, November 29, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Holiday Romance with Nan Reinhardt

The Write Way Café welcomes Nan Reinhardt, an author who imbues her romance novels with her joy in living. 

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? 
I wrote my first romance when I was 10 years old, so it’s always been a dream. My first real book was published in 2012, so there were a lot of years between thinking I wanted to be a writer and actually getting published.

What was your path to getting A Small Town Christmas written and published? What type of research did you do? 
I had sent my indie series, Women of Willow Bay, out to several publishers in the hopes one of them might want to pick it up. Tule Publishing responded pretty quickly, telling me they loved the series, but didn’t want to take on books that had already been out there, however would I be interested in doing a new series for them? As it happened, I had a new series about four brothers who owned a winery together brewing in the back of my mind. Tule loved the idea and the Four Irish Brothers Winery series was born. I did have to do a lot of research on how wine is made and my writer pal, Liz and I, made a trip to southern Indiana to scope out wineries and the area along the Ohio River. I also have a friend who owns a winery in Indiana and she’s been a peach to talk to me about what that’s like. I had to research Indiana law about prenups and contesting wills, which was pretty interesting.

Where did the idea for A Small Town Christmas come from? 
My kids lived in northern California until just last year and that’s where Husband and I learned to love and learn about wine. Wineries are always happy places and we love visiting them wherever we go. There are over 100 wineries in Indiana and the industry is booming here in the Midwest. Setting a story in a winery felt very right.

Why did you pick the setting you did? 
I picked Indiana because it’s where I live, what I know, plus I wanted to get away from the expected setting of a California winery. I thought it would be fun for readers to know that some good wine is being made other places in the country besides California. Although I have to confess that I do love a good CA zin or cab and a lot of wineries in Indiana who are making good dry reds are doing it with grapes imported from California. ;-)

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself? 
Oh, I think every writer, if they’re honest, has to admit there’s a little bit of themselves in every character they write. How could there not be? And I’m guessing my friends and family may see some of themselves in my characters as well, but I don’t consciously base my characters on people I know.

Did you face any blocks while writing A Small Town Christmas and if so, how did you handle them? 
Figuring out what would bring a big-city attorney to a small-town winery was a little tough and I did a lot of brainstorming with my writing buddies about that. Also deciding how much of Conor and Emmy’s life needed to be revealed for readers to get the depth of his grief without making the book a total downer was harder than I expected. I’ve had reviews mention how precocious Ali, his daughter, is and I have to say she was the easiest character to write because I just pulled from conversations with my own grandson, who is 6 going on 36.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing A Small Town Christmas and after? 
How much I’ve learned to love holiday romances. I’ve never really deliberately picked a book because of its holiday theme, but since Tule asked me to make Conor and Sam’s story a holiday romance, I started reading books about love at Christmastime and man, what fun! Also, discovering how much I didn’t know about wine, in spite of all the visits to wineries we made when we were with the kids in California and how many Indiana wineries I’ve been to—it’s been fascinating.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about single fathers, wineries, and lawsuits? 
Man, this could take all day. I found out quite a bit about winemaking and the business of wine, and I read copiously about Indiana prenuptial agreements and contesting wills. That was all new to me. I don’t know any single dads, so Conor’s reactions came from my own imagination and conversations with Son and Husband that invariably started with, “Hey, if you were a single dad…” As far as writing and my process goes, I figured out that I have to write in the mornings before Husband wakes up, before that first cup of coffee or that first peek at the internet. It’s been good for me to be disciplined about waking up early and going straight to my story, particularly since I have three more to write in this series. Writing to a deadline is new to me, so that’s been good discipline as well. And I’ve been delighted to learn just how much help my publisher is willing to give me—all I have to do is ask. That’s very nice!

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you. 
I have a wonderful little garret upstairs at the back of our home in the city that is all mine. It’s pretty and girly and Frenchy and I hate it when anyone comes into it and makes a mess. As an editor, I’ve always needed my space to be tidy…okay, pristine, so I get real resentful when people bring cups and food and papers and other stuff into my office. However, I also write when we are at our lake cottage in the summertime and my “office” there is a card table and a slipper chair set up by the bedroom window. Pretty much, I can write wherever I can set up my laptop, but I do love my garret at home best of all.

What are some of your favorite books and why? 
Another topic I could talk for days about. My mom read to us constantly when we were kids, so I’m crazy about all the books she shared with us—L.M. Montgomery’s Anne series, Alcott’s books, all the novels by Indiana author Gene Stratton-Porter. Her book The Harvester introduced me to the gentle, kind beta heroes that I write myself. I love anything at all by Liz Flaherty, Kristin Higgins, and other contemporary romance authors too numerous to name here. I love good political suspense and cozy mysteries. I’ve read and re-read All This and Heaven, Too by Rachael Field and Gone with the Wind. I’m addicted to the Outlander series. Pretty much whatever I’m currently reading is my favorite book. I’m a hopeless bibliophile.

What are you working on now? 
The next book in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series—Sean’s story. Brendan and Aidan’s stories are brewing...

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why? 
I’ve thought about trying a cozy mystery sometime. There’s a little mystery in The Summer of Second Chances, book 3 of the Women of Willow Bay series, and that was fun to create. But I need my HEA, so I’m thinking I’m pretty much a romance author.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be? 
Don’t laugh. I’d be a translator at the Bourse, the French Stock Exchange in Paris. French was my major in college and I’d move to Paris in a heartbeat if I knew I could survive there and I could take my life now there with me. Somehow, though, I’m guessing I couldn’t convince Husband, Son and his family, and all my friends to come along. So, I’ll stay here and be a writer.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble? 
The discipline of actually doing the writing. Starting a book is always an adventure, but sometimes in the middle, I start drifting to the next one. I’m also not a great promoter—it’s hard for me to say, “Look at me!” When you’re an author, you have to do that, but it still makes me uncomfortable.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine, either in your own books or in those you have read? my own books, I really love Sophie Russo, the freelance editor in The Summer of Second Chances, probably because I relate to her on so many levels and my favorite hero of mine is Henry Dugan, Sophie’s friend-turned-lover in the same book. He was so successful and yet so unsure of himself. It’s a wonderful combination. My all-time favorite book hero from other people’s work has to be David Langston from Gene Stratton-Porter’s The Harvester. If you haven’t read it, it’s a free ebook classic on Amazon. He’s so gentle and loving, yet all man.

by Nan Reinhardt

A Small Town Christmas
(Four Irish Brothers Winery #1)

Winemaker and single father Conor Flaherty is determined to make this Christmas holiday special for his daughter even though his family’s winery, Four Irish Brothers, is facing some challenges.

High-octane Chicago attorney Samantha Hayes is looking forward to some delicious food, fine wine, small town charm, and a break from her hectic big city life when she agrees to do a favor for her boss and help his younger brother with a lawsuit that’s been slapped on his family’s historic winery in River’s Edge. She’s not expecting that her sexy new client will have a smile that will melt her heart and remind her that there’s more to life than work.

Sam falls hard for Conor, his daughter and the small, friendly town, but can she trust her instincts and risk her heart? Sam hasn’t seen a lot of happy-ever-afters in her life, but Conor and the magic of Christmas make her want to believe.

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, Tule Publishing, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!), and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! Her latest novel, A Small Town Christmas, which is the first book in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series from Tule Publishing, releases on October 29, 2018. 

Visit Nan’s website at, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every sixth Wednesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors and is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.