Title: The Repeat Year
Author: Andrea Lochen
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Page Count: 400
Everyone has days, weeks, even months they wish they could do over—but what about an entire year? After living through the worst twelve months of her life, intensive care nurse Olive Watson is given a second chance to relive her past and attempt to discover where she went wrong…
After a year of hardships, including a messy breakup with her longtime boyfriend Phil, the prospect of her mother’s remarriage, and heartbreaking patient losses at the hospital, Olive is ready to start fresh. But when she wakes up in her ex-boyfriend’s bed on New Year’s Day 2011—a day she has already lived—Olive’s world is turned upside down.
Shouldering a year of memories that no one else can recall, even Olive begins to question herself—until she discovers that she is not alone. Upon crossing paths with Sherry Witan, an experienced “repeater,” Olive learns that she has the chance to rewrite her future. Given the opportunity of a lifetime, Olive has to decide what she really wants. Should she make different choices, or accept her life as she knows it, flaws and all?
Hi Andrea! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview :)
How did the idea for The Repeat Year come about?
The idea came to me when I was thinking about how vinyl records have an A side (usually the hits) and a B side (the lesser known songs, or the “duds”). I wondered what it would be like to have two sides of the same year, an A year and a B year. This possibility of an alternate year intrigued me, and I thought about it for a long time before I found the right character for the premise. I wanted an everyday heroine, someone readers could relate to, who had made numerous mistakes in her year, but was brave enough to try to make things right the second time around. And so Olive Watson, the protagonist in The Repeat Year, came to be!
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
There are definitely qualities of people I know (including myself) in all of my characters. (Truthfully, there’s probably a little piece of me in every character I write.) But it’s not a perfect one to one ratio, where someone could say, “Oh, clearly that character is based on So-and-So.” The traits get redistributed and blended with behaviors and quirks I’ve also invented.
What is your writing process? (Do you write outlines? Do you know how a story is going to end when you start it? Is it harder to write with someone or alone?)
My writing process has changed somewhat from my first book to my second one. Writing The Repeat Year, I just dove in with only the premise and a hazy idea of what would happen. (Although I always knew how the novel would end.) With my second novel in progress, I’ve done a lot more planning. Though I didn’t have an organized outline before I started the draft, I definitely had a jumbled-up file of character notes and events that would happen over the course of the novel. In general, I think my process is half premeditated (me telling the characters what to do) and half organic (the characters telling me what they want to do)!
What is your favorite genre to read?
It’s hard for me to pick just one because I’m a true omnivore when it comes to reading. I love women’s fiction, literary fiction, the classics, short stories, young adult fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, thrillers, sci-fi, and almost everything in between!
What are you reading right now?
Erika Robuck’s novel, Hemingway’s Girl, which I’m enjoying quite a bit!
What can we be excited about that is coming from you in the future?
I’m working on my second novel which is about a single mother who discovers she can see her young son’s imagination. It’s been so much fun to write!
Wow, that sound amazing I hope it goes very well. Thanks so much again for stopping by today.
Andrea Lochen earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. While there, she won a Hopwood Novel Award for a draft of THE REPEAT YEAR. She currently lives in suburban Milwaukee with her husband and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.
1 copy of The Repeat Year
Sorry y’all this is for US residents only.a Rafflecopter giveaway