Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is very happy to shine our Friday spotlight on contemporary romance author RaeAnne Thayne. When asked how she wanted to be introduced for this blog, and to tell us a little bit about herself and her writing, this was her response:
I’m RaeAnne Thayne and I write heartwarming small-town stories about real people struggling through life’s inevitable challenges to find their happy-ever-afters.
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
My books are generally available anywhere and readers can see what’s new and upcoming at my website, http://www.raeannethayne.com
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
I have a newsletter which can be found at my website (www.raeannethayne.com/news) and I’m active on social media. I’m most present on Facebook @Author RaeAnne Thayne and can also be found on Instagram and Twitter at @RaeAnneThayne .
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from Summer at Lake Haven?
I write heartwarming, emotional small-town contemporary romance about real people going through difficult things. My latest book, SUMMER AT LAKE HAVEN, offers gorgeous scenery, puppies, a heroine who sews wedding dresses and a sexy single dad British hero who tries hard to do the right thing. This is the final planned book in my Haven Point series and features a heroine who has appeared as a secondary character in most of the previous books. I was thrilled to finally have the chance to tell Samantha Fremont’s book!
What kind of research went into writing this book? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?
As Ian Summerhill, my hero, is a fisheries biologist, I researched many obscure facts about Kokanee salmon in this book. If you ever need to know the difference between anadromous and non-anadromous salmon, I can help you out! I loved learning about migration patterns of these amazing fish. I also studied a lot about being a puppy mom, which was so fun. Our family got an adorable new dog during the writing of this book but she was almost a year at the time of adoption and was past most of the problem behavior in puppies, fortunately. It was still fun to read about puppy behavior and watch YouTube videos.
What was the inspiration for Summer at Lake Haven? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
I knew from the first book in the series that I wanted to eventually write Samantha’s story. It took me all other ten books in the series before I could come up with a hero for her and I loved Ian Summerhill from the moment I thought of him. I actually plotted this book more than two years ago with friends at our annual beachhouse plot group (with Jill Shalvis, Marina Adair and Skye Jordan) and had to write three other books first before I could get to Sam’s story. By the time I started to write it, the characters felt like old friends.
What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out Summer at Lake Haven? How did you overcome that challenge?
This was the final book in the series and it’s always hard to say goodbye to a series I have loved as much as Haven Point. In the last book, I knew I had to revisit all the previous people whose stories I have told. This book was more than just Samantha Fremont’s story. It also had to be a farewell of sorts to the couples in ten other stories. It was tough to manage all those people in the relatively small space of one novel. Also, while I was writing a story about a heroine who was a dressmaker sewing a wedding gown, I realized I had never written the story of the bride-to-be. I knew my readers would be asking about Gemma Summerhill, the hero’s sister who is marrying her hero, Josh Bailey. At the last minute, I decided to write a novella for Josh and Gemma to satisfy those inevitable questions from my readers. The novella is included in both the digital and print versions of the book.
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
The world sometimes feels ugly and mean, especially for those who spend time on social media. While we might have dozens (or hundreds) of “friends” in our virtual network, sometimes it feels as if we are hungry for true human connection. I think small town books remind people that community still matters, that neighbors can still help neighbors and that kindness and compassion are desperately needed in our world.
RaeAnne, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions!