Blog Tour: Guest Post with Kate O'Keefe

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today as part of the Two Last First Dates Blog Tour and with a guest post from Kate O' Keefe. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome to the blog.


What inspired the Cozy Cottage Café series? Guest Blog Post

Let me preface this with saying I have LOVED writing the Cozy Cottage Café series and will be so sad when it’s finished! The characters, the café, the men, it’s all been a wonderful ride for me as a writer.
So, what inspired me to write the Cozy Cottage Café series? Well, I wanted a series that did a few things:
1.                       Made people laugh
2.                       Made people feel good
3.                       Gave people somewhere to escape the often harsh realities of life
That last point was particularly important to me. We are surrounded by bad news stories every day of our lives. This is why I love rom coms and chick lit – they are an escape into a world where the good guys live, where people can achieve their goals, where they can find their happily ever afters.
On the face of it, this series is about women deciding to find The One, about not accepting anything but the right guy. But it’s also about friendship. Friendship has always been a big part of my life, so writing about a group of good friends came naturally to me. Having them decide to make a pact to marry the next guy they dated came to me one day when I was out walking my dogs. I wondered what it would be like to make such a decision, and I instantly felt nervous for the characters I had yet to create!
I think many of us have been in the position of being tired of dating and wanting to meet The One, like yesterday, thank you very much! Although I’ve never met anyone who has agreed to a pact, like the characters do in this series, I’ve certainly known people who have declared their intention to find a person to spend the rest of their lives with. The pact really just takes that decision one step further.
For me, romantic comedies and chick lit are the literary equivalent of comfort food. They’re warm, familiar, sometimes indulgent, usually with a happy ending and a large dollop of “Aw!” moments thrown in for good measure. That’s why I decided to center the action in the books around a warm and welcoming café, a place “where everyone knows your name,” to borrow a famous line. I wanted it to be a place where my characters could indulge in comfort food and catch up on one another’s news over a tasty morsel or two. I thought up the kind of café I would like to go to myself, a place devoid of pretension—just good food, great coffee, and happy, friendly people. And hey presto, the Cozy Cottage Café was born.
And as for the cake? Who doesn’t love cake? I gave each lead character their own variety: flourless raspberry chocolate cake for Cassie, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for Paige, and orange and almond syrup cake for Marissa. Bailey will be getting her favorite cake in Four Last First Dates, but I haven’t written it yet, so I may have to sample a bunch to find the perfect one for her. All in the name of research, you understand.
Finally, I wanted to write stories about women as multi-faceted beings. After all, we have jobs, friends, families, interests. I wanted to write women who had all of those things in their lives, pulling them in different directions, giving them joy, as well as pain. So yes, the Cozy Cottage Café series is about a group of friends making a pact to marry the next guy they date, but it’s so much more than that—and I hope readers love each and every one of the stories as much as I did writing them.

Thanks Kate for stopping by and Karan for the tour! Happy Reading!

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