Friday, November 29

Interview with Nan Reinhardt by Jana Richards

I had the great good fortune to interview our own Nan Reinhardt about her life and writing. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!

1. When did you start writing? Did you always want to be a writer?
I’ve been writing as long as I can remember—it’s always been my passion. I wrote my first romance novel when I was 10 years old.

2. Did you have a short or a long journey to publication?
Well, if you consider I’ve wanted to be published since I was 10, it was long, however, I didn’t’ really pursue publication until 2009, when I sent my first Women of Willow Bay novel to an agent, who accepted it and started shopping it. Editors loved the story and the writing, but didn’t think they could sell my over-40 characters, so I finally went indie with that series and it’s done pretty well. Tule loved them and asked me to write a series for them, so here I am, ten years later, a hybrid author.

3. Where did you get the idea for your Four Irish Brothers Winery series?
From all the wineries we’ve visited, both in the Midwest, where we live and in California, where our kids used to live. We’ve tasted a lot of wine and learned a lot about wine over the years. Wineries are such happy places and most of the ones we’ve visited are family ventures, so it seemed like a good place to set a story about the four Irish brothers who’ve been in my head clamoring for a story.

4. What was the most difficult thing about writing this series?
I think it’s keeping track of all the characters and all the places in the little town and the timeline from book to book. Lots secondary characters appear in each book and I have to check back to see what color Noah Barker’s hair is or if his hardware store is next door to the Tea Shop or across the street—that kind of thing. An excel spread sheet is mandatory!

Aiden's story, Book 3, Four Irish Brothers Winery series. It released Nov.21.

5. How does being an editor of other people’s work influence/affect your own writing? What have you learned about writing from being an editor?
Being an editor has certainly made me very aware of the common mistakes that writers make—grammar stuff and punctuation and word choices, so I try not to make them in my own writing, although when I’m in rough draft, I do the same goofy stuff as every other writer in the world. I’ve learned a lot about author voice from being an editor and story flow, passive versus active and info dumping. It’s an education with every new project I edit and I love it! 

6. What comes first for you, plot or character? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Characters always. The people in my head knock at my imagination, demanding a story. Then setting and the “what if this happened to this person or these people?” part comes next. I’m a pantser by nature, but writing a series forces you to be a plotter to some degree.

7. With all you have going on with your editing gig and the tight deadlines on this series, can you share with us some of your best time management tricks and tips?
Um, time management? For the past year, that has not been my strong suit. However, when I am in the zone, I get up early to write for a couple of hours before Husband wakes up, before coffee or a shower or breakfast. Then after breakfast, I work for six to eight hours on my editing gigs. After that, I’m done and it’s time to enjoy some wine and Husband time. I really think the best tip is to simply stick to a schedule as best you can. Knowing what each day will bring and staying consistent is probably the best way to get books written.

Sean's story, book 2 Four Irish Brothers Winery series.

8. If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
Well, writing is my second passion. Husband and family is my first. But after that, I’d have to say reading and then swimming. I love the water and the feeling of complete peace and weightlessness that comes when I’m in the pool or the lake.

9. Is there any other genre, aside from romance, that you’d love to take a crack at?
I’ve thought about cozy mysteries, but my publisher really loves my brother stories and I’ve already got a new family of brothers clamoring for their stories, so that’s where I’ll stick for now.

10. We Wranglers have been following your house-buying odyssey this past year. Tell us about that journey. I’ve got to believe the stress was significant, yet you finished at least one book during that time. How did you manage not to let the stress affect your writing?
Well, now that we’ve finally bought a new house, I can say we’re in the fun part. The rest was arduous—truly arduous. I think the adventure of selling your home and buying a new one may be meant for younger people. Husband and I have been cockeyed with stress since we first started this journey a year ago. Even though my focus has been all over the place,  writing and work were the two constants that kept me grounded and sane. I did finish two books, which I think was pretty amazing given the second one was mostly written on the laptop in snatched moments at the lake or down in Son’s basement.

11. Is the house hunting journey finally over?
Yes! We found our dream house and will be moving in as soon as the contractor is done with the few things that needed work. We are so excited to have our own home again. Best part is that this new place already feels as much like home as the one we spent the last 35 years in, so yay!

Conor's story, book 1, Four Irish Brothers Winery series.

12. What’s next for you writing-wise after the Four Irish Brothers Winery series is complete?
I’ll be charging right into a new brother series for Tule Publishing as soon as Book 4, which is Brendan’s story, is done.

Thanks so much for answering my questions, Nan!

Author Bio:

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. Her latest novel, Meant to Be, Book 2 in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series from Tule Publishing releases on July 18, 2019. A Small Town Christmas, which is the first book in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series from Tule Publishing, is available now, and she is currently hard at work on Book 3.

Visit Nan’s website at, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every sixth Wednesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors and is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.


  1. Thanks for the fun interview, Jana!

  2. Thank you, Nan. It was great getting to know you better. And thanks for the sage advice about time management. You may have not thought you've got time management skills, but trust me, you really do!

  3. Love this! And so glad you got your new home.

    1. Thanks Margie. I'm happy Nan is finally home, too!