Sunday, February 2, 2014

Why the Beatles? And other things you need to know about the Abbotts of Vermont!

I’m so excited that it’s finally February and the the release week for ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE! I thought it would be fun to help prepare for release week by telling you some more about my new family as well as what inspired the titles for the series. What I didn’t know when I picked Beatles song titles for my new Green Mountain Series is that the week the first book came out would also mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arriving in the U.S. for the first time. What a happy little coincidence! 

Long after I sold the first two books to Berkley Publishing, I struggled to come up with great titles for the books. When writing a series, titles that “speak to each other” is a critical aspect of the branding challenge, so I needed something that satisfied a number of needs. The title of the first book had to reflect the story AND it needed to work in concert with the titles for the upcoming books. I was truly stumped and under the gun to produce my titles. I turned to music, as I often do when looking for inspiration. A Google search of the most popular love songs of all times included several Beatles titles, including ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, which was a PERFECT fit for book 1. I kept coming back to that title and then found myself on a site that listed all the Beatles songs and it sort of took off from there. Once I decided to use Beatles song titles, I wanted to give the titles a connection to the series, which is how dad Lincoln Abbott became a crazy, over-the-top Beatles fan. Ironically, at least to my children who are Beatles fans, I am not. I like the Beatles. I love a few of their songs, especially “Let it Be,” which I hope to use in the series, and the "Long and Winding Road." Otherwise, I’m not obsessed the way a lot of my friends are. I even made a Beatles mistake in the first book that wasn’t caught before the print books were finished. I’ll let you see if you can find it.

Another funny aside on the titles is that in the U.S. titles can’t be copyrighted. However, we found out that the United Kingdom recently tightened its copyright laws so if a title is “reasonably recognizable” it can’t be used for something else. As my editor in the UK said, “I think you’ll agree that Beatles song titles are ‘reasonably recognizable’ in the UK. LOL! Thus, the slight variation on the titles in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE is YOUR LOVE IS ALL I NEED. Book 2, I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND is LET ME HOLD YOUR HAND and Book 3, I SAW HER STANDING THERE is I SAW HER STANDING THERE. Works for me! Luckily, the Beatles boo-boo was caught before the UK version went to print. Phew!

Now we’ve mentioned Lincoln, the Beatles fan, and his wife Molly Stillman Abbott. Her grandparents founded the Green Mountain Country Store during World War II, and it’s run today by Lincoln and five of their ten children. The ten kids are: twins Hunter and Hannah, 35; Will, 33; Ella, 32; Charlotte, 30; Wade, 29; Colton, 28; identical twins Lucas and Landon, 25; and Max, 22.  Molly’s dad Elmer is very much a part of their lives and is known for his free advice and his loving yet meddlesome involvement in his grandchildren’s business. My plan is to write a book for each of the Abbott kids, so there’s lots of fun and excitement to come from the Green Mountains!

Hunter is a CPA who oversees the finances for the store as well as the variety of other family business interests, such as the sugaring facility run by Colton, the Christmas tree farm run by Lucas, Landon’s woodworking business and Hannah’s handmade jewelry.  Max is still in college at the University of Vermont, but he helps Colton at the sugaring facility, which produces more than 25,000 gallons of maple syrup each year that is sold in the store under the family label.  Hunter, Will, Ella, Charlotte and Wade help their dad run the store and often engage in a bit of a push-pull with him over his big ideas to modernize their small-town business.  Lincoln’s determination to enter the modern age with a website for the store brings Cameron Murphy to the fictional town of Butler, Vermont, located in the state’s Northeast Kingdom. The series opens with Cameron’s auspicious arrival during mud season when she runs her Mini Cooper into Fred, the town moose, and finds out that wearing $500 suede boots to Vermont in mud season isn’t the best idea a “flatlander” could ever have in the mountains. Second son Will comes to her rescue, and the rest… well, read about what happens next this week in ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!

And get the book here on Tuesday:

Preorder the ebook here:
Kindle US: 
Kindle CA:
iBooks CA: 

Those of you looking for it in PRINT, start checking your favorite retailers this weekend and remember the great SELFIE contest:
Barnes & Noble:

The print version will also be available in Target stores, and you can preorder a print copy from Amazon:

The audio book is available for preorder at Amazon and coming soon to other retailers!