2013 Club: Andrea Lochen and The Repeat Year

Repeat_YearOur guest today: Andrea Lochen

Why she rocks:  You'll be hooked on this debut novel from page one.

Her debut: The Repeat Year (Out today!)

The scoop on it: 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 2011a day she has already livedOlive’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?

Our thoughts: We loved this story of what you do when you actually get a second chance.

Giveaway:TWO copies! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners after 12pm PST on Sunday, May 12th.

Fun fact: Read an excerpt of The Repeat Year here.

Where you can read more about Andrea: Her website and Facebook .



Andrea_Lochen1. DO'S: 3 things every aspiring novelist should do

1) Learn how to take constructive criticism

2) Find a writing community

3) Say yes to new and interesting opportunities—the more you live, the more you’ll have to write about!


2. DON'TS: 3 things every aspiring novelist shouldn't do

1) Fall so in love with your first draft that you’re unwilling to make any changes

2) Take rejection personally (especially from the people who clearly don’t “get” your book)

3) Make all your characters aspiring writers


3. MUST HAVES: On your desk? A yummy scented candle from Anthropologie, several to-do lists, and a drawerful of my favorite candy (Chewy Spree are my guilty pleasure while writing).

On your Facebook feed?  Grammar jokes, pictures of ridiculously cute animals and babies, updates from my favorite authors.

App on your phone?  I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m probably the last person in the country without a smart phone, except perhaps, my grandfather.  We’ll see how much longer I can hold out on this trend!


4. LASTS: Song you listened to on repeat? Taylor Swift’s “Holy Ground”

Book you read? John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, which is even better than all its hype!

Time you laughed? I teach creative writing at a university, and my friend recently shared a Tumblr blog with me called “My Life as a College Professor.”  It cracked me up because it’s so true in a totally irreverent way!  It points out professors’ pet peeves, embarrassing moments, little victories, and major failures using hilarious animated GIFs.


5. HOW MANY: Agents did you query before you found "the one?"  More than I care to admit, but Stephany Evans was worth the wait!

Hours do you write per day?  I don’t write every day, but when I do, it’s for a solid chunk of six or seven hours.

Hours do you waste online when you should be writing?  My ratio of hours spent writing versus online dallying is probably 3:1 on a good day and 1:3 on a bad day.


6. BESTS: Way to celebrate a book deal? With my first book deal, I danced around the living room and called everyone I knew.  Then my husband suggested we go out for dinner anywhere I wanted.  I chose Pizza Hut.  True story!  (What can I say?  I love their pizza!)

Trick to overcome writer's block? Taking a long walk, preferably along Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, but anywhere scenic and solitary will do.

Way to think of a book idea?  I tend to come up with the novel premise first and initially have no idea what it means or who the characters will be.  Therefore, I play the “what if?” game a lot.  In the case of The Repeat Year, my question was, what if a person was given a chance to do-over a year of her life?


7. NEXTS: Show you'll DVR? Downton Abbey; I can’t believe I have to wait until January 2014 for Season 4.  Maybe I’ll have to move to England before then, so I can watch it sooner!

Book you'll read? This is Paradise, a collection of short stories about Hawai'i that debuts this July.  It’s written by my dear friend, Kristiana Kahakauwila, who’s extraordinarily talented.

Book you'll write?  My second novel doesn’t have an official title yet, but it’s about a young single mother who discovers one summer that she can see her four-year-old son’s imaginary friends.

Thanks, Andrea!