Students eat up visit from popular novelist

Last Thursday, Oct. 27, popular novelist Amy Reichert visited Loras College to discuss her writing, publishing, and most recently published books.

Hosted by the Loras College Literary Society, Reichert’s discussion was well-attended by English majors and professors alike and provided an opportunity for everyone to ask her about her writing process, her journey to becoming a published author, and the connections she has to her novels.

Reichert’s two most well-known works, “The Coincidence of Coconut Cake” and “Luck, Love, and Lemon Pie,” revolve around the use of food to tell a story. She explained to the audience how major holidays and family traditions often include food, and how she uses those scenarios, characters, and ideas to start her writing; the result is a book that is intriguing for all ages to read.

“Food will always be a major part of my books,” Reichert said.

Even though writing books about food may seem easy on the surface, the path to a published writer is not as smooth as one might think. During her talk, Reichert explained how she never thought she was going to be a writer. Once she decided to take on the task, she had to learn the art of writing, find an agent and a publisher, and revise her books before getting to where she is today.

“The biggest thing I had to learn was how to write a book. I had to learn how to tell stories, so I studied ways different authors do that,” Reichert said.

While starting to write can be time-consuming for any author who wishes to be published, Reichert made sure to emphasize that the writing and editing process is something that should be enjoyed. Her two main books are set in Wisconsin, specifically Milwaukee, which is a town special to her.

“The first draft of my stories are for me. When I write my first draft, that’s the story I want to tell my readers,” Reichert added.

“There’s a craft to writing in genres too, so I’m still learning how to write that.”

The discussion covered anything from favorite foods to authors and books. The ultimate takeaway from the discussion, however, was Reichert’s a message for those who look to hopefully become published authors or work with an English degree.

“If you are going to write, you need to read books that relate to what you’re writing- that helps you become a better reader and writer as a whole. But regardless what genre you write, you should write what you enjoy- that will bring you success in the long run.”

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