Interview with Katie Blanchard, author of Pressing Flowers
12 Mar 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, Pressing Flowers?
Pressing Flowers is the first book I have ever published. It is a women’s fiction story with themes of romance, sisterhood, family, and grief. The story means a lot to me because it dives into the human spirit and its will to survive through adversity. Our main character, Miriam, lost her husband in a horrific car accident, and she is still struggling to cope with it three years later. Her mother decides a fire under her, in the form of a to-do list, is the way to get Miriam back to the living. She takes it a step further and threatens to take custody of Penelope, Miriam’s daughter, if Miriam doesn’t complete the list. The book follows her progress tackling the list, which are all the things her mother feels she needs to do to finally start getting over the death of her husband. Miriam meets Oliver, a kind stranger, in the grocery store and forms a unique friendship with him. It soon buds into the possibility of more, and Miriam has to decide if dating is something she can do again. The story has a lot of heart. It’s a tearjerker, but it fills you with hope and inspiration.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (first and foremost and forever)
Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher
The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon
Bright Side by Kim Holden
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Who is your favorite couple from literature?
Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe
What’s on your writing desk?
Currently? A mess. Usually? Pieces of inspiration for whatever I’m working on at that time.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
There are only 26 letters in the alphabet, and you can make millions upon millions of stories with them. I love that, and the endless possibilities it holds. I also love how no two people walk away from a story gaining the same thing, everyone takes away what they need from each book.
Where is your happy place? Why does it bring you joy?
My happy place has always been in the car driving aimlessly. I have never found a fixed spot that brings me as much joy as discovering new backroads while listening to music. I enjoy not knowing where I’ll end up or what I’ll see on the way.
What scene in Pressing Flowers was your favorite to write?
Two scenes are competing in my mind for the favorite title, so to do justice, I’ll have to tell you both. I loved writing the scene where Oliver and Miriam meet. First meetings are my favorite, and these two have great banter together. The moment is funny and lighthearted, but the undertones of their instant deeper connection shine through. My other favorite scene to write may sound a bit sadistic because it was such a hard piece to write emotionally, and that would be the support group meeting where Miriam finally shares the truth about the night of the accident. I cried while writing it and debating taking it out, but it still stands as the moment of defining Miriam’s character.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. I’m not into a competition with everyone else, only myself. I constantly push to better myself.
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