Interview with Erin Ritch, Author of Witchy Coffee

25 Aug 2021

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Witchy Coffee?

I started writing Witchy Coffee in December 2020, when the pandemic felt especially dark and bleak. I had been watching a lot of Hallmark movies (as I usually do around the holidays…well, at any time, really) and loved the escapism they offered. That got me inspired to write my own “Hallmark style” story. I started compiling a list of all things that made me feel cozy – coffee, the Oregon coast, the holidays, and finding magic in everyday life. And from there, a story was born!

I based the fictional town of Windia on the actual town of Astoria, Oregon, which most people recognize as the place where The Goonies was filmed. It truly is a magical community where you feel on top of the world. As I was writing, Witchy Coffee became my safe place to escape to, filled with all things magical and welcoming, and where everything works out in the end – just like in those Hallmark movies. I hope everyone that reads the story will feel the same.

If you woke up in the world of Witchy Coffee, what is the first thing you would do?

I would go straight to The Yurt and order the coffee special of the day! (Hopefully the Salted Sea Mussel Macchiato with sand sprinkles.) “The Yurt” is the name of the coffee shop that is at the heart of Witchy Coffee. I’d want to explore every nook and cranny and enjoy my coffee at the table with the very best view of the Pacific. I’d love the chance to share funny conversations with all my characters, ideally over more coffee and Pearl’s baked treats!  

If you had to write a blurb for the last book you read, what would it say?

When the Ton’s most eligible bachelor Anthony Bridgerton announces he will marry, it’s no surprise the lucky lady is Edwina Sheffield, this year’s “diamond of the season.” But fate has its own ideas, and when Anthony suddenly marries Edwina’s sister Kate Sheffield instead, has this reformed rake finally found love? You can trust that Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers will keep everyone informed of all the scandalous details.

Where did you write Witchy Coffee?

Most of Witchy Coffee was handwritten in the morning at my dining room table – with a cup of coffee, of course! Between my kids eating breakfast and playing dolls upstairs, I had about an hour to myself to write before my kids needed me again. And that’s okay, it was just the right amount of time to finish my coffee and explore Windia before returning to “real life.”

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of your book, what would they be?

Because of her witchy family background and connection to the ocean and forest, I would pick Samain Night by Loreena McKennitt as Florence Mackenzie’s theme song. (I can absolutely envision her taking a walk down the beach on an autumn day listening to this!) And I would pick Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac for Samson Richards’ theme song. That song makes me think how Samson is trying to step out of his father’s shadow and, well, “go his own way.”  

Pretend you qualified for the Olympics this year. What sport would you compete in?

I would compete in artistic swimming! I love to swim (I learned to swim in the lakes of Oregon) and I also love to dance (I took ballet lessons as a teen.) The athletes that compete in artistic swimming are so elegant and fierce, I love to watch their routines. And their makeup is always on point!  

Erin Ritch is the author of the new book Witchy Coffee

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