Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julie Hammerle | 40 is the new 16
Author Guest / November 12, 2018

Before KNOCKED-UP CINDERELLA, I published four YA novels, three of them rom-coms. I’d always seen myself as a young adult writer, because I’d always idealized teen romance, with the heady, all-encompassing first loves and epic mistakes. Teenagers are blessed with time–time to obsess over minutiae, whether that means longing looks from a hot guy in calc class, perceived slights from a best friend, or every lyric from their favorite band’s new album. For most of my twenties and thirties, I continued to romanticize teen love, probably because, for me personally, those decades were not about looking for romance and dating, but marriage and parenthood. And most of my circle of friends were in the same place. But now that I’m approaching forty (in a little over a month *cough*), I’ve started to focus more on mature romances. I have friends who’ve found love after thirty-five–after they’ve settled into careers and their single lifestyles. They’re learning how to let a new person–with their own careers and baggage–into their already established existences. I know people who have divorced and found themselves single for the first time in two decades. They have to figure out the dating game in a whole new millennium….

Julie Hammerle | The Book That Inspired Artificial Sweethearts
Author Guest / July 25, 2017

My favorite books of all time are the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. They follow three young girls, who become friends at about six-years-old, through high school and into adulthood. They’re set in a small town in Minnesota—hi, just like ARTIFICIAL SWEETHEARTS!—and take place at the turn of the twentieth century—not like ARTIFICIAL SWEETHEARTS. There are ten main Betsy-Tacy books, in which Betsy Ray is the central character, but then there are three satellite books, one-off stories that follow some of the more peripheral characters in the world of Deep Valley. One of these books is Carney’s House Party. Now, I didn’t read Carney’s House Party back when I was a kid. I read the book probably about fifteen years ago, and I LOVED it. Most of all, I loved Sam, the guy who falls for Carney. I fell for Sam. Hard. He was smart, funny, and easy-going, the perfect foil for rigid Carney, who was dead-set on staying with her high school boyfriend. Oh, honey. My kernel of inspiration for ARTIFICIAL SWEETHEARTS came from that book, hence Sam and hence Tinka, whose nickname comes from her family, just like Carney’s. The spark of an idea went like this:…