Meet author Alyssa Schwartz

Alyssa Schwarz is a Colorado native who attended the Colorado School of Mines, got her masters in Geological Engineering, and promptly became a watercolor artist and author (as one does). She loves writing heartfelt romances with happy endings, a bit of mystery, faith, humor, and second chances.

Tell us about your newest book.

A Midsummer Romance is part of a multi-author series set in the fictional town of Wild Rose Ridge, Washington. A series for each season, the summer series has everything from summer camps on Monster Island, to goat yoga, a town play, and a full host of quirky characters and town traditions. My book follows two childhood friends who get thrown together as the lead couple in the town’s production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, much to the delight of the town’s meddling mothers. No one is safe from their matchmaking attempts, even more so when their communications get crossed and a third party rolls unexpectedly into town. This book has: friends to love, small town charm, matchmaking, theatrics on and off the stage, a cozy bed and breakfast, and even a skunk mishap to keep things interesting!

What inspired you to write A Midsummer Romance?

I was so excited to be invited to this group series! As the other authors had already published both a Spring and Christmas series last year, I first read through the books to familiarize myself with the town and cast of characters. I had so much fun getting to know this quirky world and knew a modern play off of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream would fit right in.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Two friends. One play. And a town of meddling mothers…

When wedding planner Jess Daniels’s personal and professional life implodes on the shores of Nantucket, Wild Rose Ridge is a perfect escape. But a flood in her aunt and uncle’s basement lands her unexpectedly at the Yellow Rose B&B— a few doors down from her childhood friend’s extremely attractive brother. She’s sworn off love and all entanglements. Her heart just needs to listen. Professor Caleb Weaver thought leaving the big city university for a teaching position in his hometown would be easy. But between helping his parents with the B&B and getting roped into the town’s community play, he has no time to himself. But when Jess is also pulled in, the late nights and weekend rehearsals don’t sound so bad. Real life begins to mirror Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream a little too much when they are strategically cast as the main couple. Worse, when a last-minute actor is invited to the stage. Can Caleb convince Jess to take a chance on him, or will the course of true love end in tragedy? With a touch of summer magic, anything can happen.

What genre do you focus on?

I’ve written mostly contemporary sweet Christian romance set in either Colorado or Washington. I love the lighthearted aspect of contemporary, how it can encourage and make a reader laugh at the same time since it’s so easy to slip right into a setting that’s familiar.

Why do you write?

God has opened so many doors for me to pursue this dream, and every day is a step in faith.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

My main characters are Caleb Weaver, an astronomy professor on sabbatical, and Jessica Daniels, an East Coast wedding planner. The Weaver family is one of the original families of Wild Rose Ridge, so I wanted to give my hero a name that was equally as timeless and stable. As the two characters are such close friends, and I knew there would be more than a couple awkward incidents in this story, Jess’s name and character were inspired by Jess from the TV show New Girl.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I try to keep to a schedule and separate writing time from other business items, but I often end up bounding between projects on any given day.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

As an indie author, I often feel the struggle of having to wear so many hats: author, marketer, publisher, editor, graphic designer… It can be a lot, but I try and give myself time and space to focus on each one when need be.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

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.

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

I only like stories with happy endings, which means I will always ensure my characters get theirs in the end.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I have learned so much about storytelling over the past few years. Even so, I am always learning new things about writing craft, marketing, editing, social media… Writing is a humbling endeavor, one that reminds me every day to lean into God and His strength.

What is your favorite pastime?

This past year, I’ve taken up quilting! I’ve never been much of a sewer, but then I saw some amazing quilt designs on Instagram by a booksta-grammer I follow and jumped right in. I’ve now finished my first quilt top and am currently working on two more.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes! Last year, I released the fourth and last book in the Prescott Family Romance series, and in addition to A Midsummer Romance, I have at least two more Wild Rose Ridge books in the works. I’m also working on another series that should hopefully be released next year.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on the rough draft of my Autumn in Wild Rose Ridge book which should come out this October.


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