by Hank Phillippi Ryan

What happens when you create a man out of dough? If you are saying: awww, adorable, cannot wait to read that, then you know about magical realism.

If you are saying–huh? A what out of what? Then this post is also for you.

According to Wiki, In The Art of Fiction, British novelist and critic David Lodge defined magic realism: “when marvellous and impossible events occur in what otherwise purports to be a realistic narrative.”  Like…  Gabriel García Marquez  Günter GrassSalman Rushdie and Milan Kundera. Like…Matthew Haig, Heather Webber, Sarah Addison Allen, Isabel Allende, Mark Helprin. Like…Jennifer Moorman. Who now takes us Behind the Pages of her newest novel.

 1.  What’s the title of your book—and was that always the title? The Baker’s Man, and yes, this has always been the title.

 2.  Who’s the main character of your book—and was that always their name? Anna O’Brien is the heroine, and I always knew that would be her name. Fun fact: Years ago, in college, we played a game where everyone had to choose what their name would be in they went into the Witness Protection Program, and Anna O’Brien is the name I chose.

 3.  At the start of the book, what’s the character’s goal? Anna tells everyone she wants to marry Baron (one day), start a family, buy a nice house, and run the bakery in Mystic Water. This is what she feels is the “right” thing to do and what is expected of her. This goal makes sense to her and to those around her. The pros of sticking with the goal means she keeps her family happy, especially her mama, and she keeps the town fed with great treats. This goal also allows her to stay close to her childhood friends, but the con is that this goal means she’s living someone else’s idea of what her life should be.

 4,  What was the core idea for this novel—a plot point? a theme?—and where did it come from? I had just finished rereading Mary Shelley’sFrankenstein. I was struck again by how significantly your life would change, for better or worse, by creating a living being. At the same time I was discovering I had a love for baking. Because of this new skill, I wondered what would happen if a baker made a man out of dough, and the recipe for The Baker’s Man came to life.

This novel is an endearing story of family, love, and following your heart, along with touches of humor and heartache. If you don’t already believe in magic, you will when you settle into Mystic Water, meet the town’s quirky, lovable residents, and learn how choosing your dreams isn’t always easy when other hearts and lives are involved. But being true to yourself and following your heart is always the right path.

 5.  At what point did you come up with the final version of the first line? What is it? I came up with the first line fairly early in the rough draft—probably at the very start—because it was important to me to introduce readers to the whimsy and the small town right away. First line: The older generation of townspeople in Mystic Water, Georgia, still talked about that night in late July when the southbound train carrying sugar cane and cotton was late because the on-duty conductor had eloped instead of going into work.

 6.  Did you know the ending of the book when you started? I thought I did, ha! But it evolved during the writing process, and I’m so thankful I didn’t stick with the original ending.

 7.  What’s something in this book that you’ve never done before? I’ve never owned a bakery (although I used to dream about it), and I’ve never created a man out of dough (yet!).

 8.  What part of your tour (or launch week) are you most excited about? At this point, as I’m sure there will be many exciting events, I’m most excited about my book launch party. I love bringing people together to celebrate the joy, happiness, and love of creativity!

 9. Who in your #writingcommunity deserves a special shout-out for supporting you in writing this story? Why? Jeanne Arnold is a long-time dear friend of mine who has supported my writing journey for years. She reads all of my rough drafts, offers me encouragement and honest feedback, and makes the solo writing experience feel more like a group activity. She’s also a fabulous author of the young adult Stubborn series, so it’s fun to share our writing journeys together.

 10. How do you want readers to feel when they close the book? I hope readers feel uplifted, hopeful, and surrounded by the magic of the everyday. I hope they see that anything is possible, and love is the most powerful force in the universe.

 11.  What did you learn from this book? About writing, or life, or the writing life? I learned a lot of recipes! I learned how to persevere through failures, both baking and life, and that I can always try again and start over. Everything is temporary, even mishaps or detours. Writing fills my heart with so much joy, so writing this book helped me realize that, which then helped me better understand myself. When I wasn’t writing, I didn’t feel like me. So, “not writing” isn’t a thing for me anymore. I’m always writing or crafting something! Writing this novel set me on a path toward my happiness and wholeness, and I am continuously grateful.

Are you in the midst of writing magical realism? DO you have questions?  Jennifer will check in with you on the Career Authors Facebook page!



Born and raised in southern Georgia, where honeysuckle grows wild and the whippoorwills sing, Jennifer Moorman is the bestselling author of the magical realism Mystic Water series. Jennifer started writing in elementary school, crafting epic tales of adventure and love and magic. She wrote stories in Mead notebooks, on printer paper, on napkins, on the soles of her shoes. Her blog is full of dishes inspired by fiction, and she hosts baking classes showcasing these recipes. Jennifer considers herself a traveler, a baker, and a dreamer. She can always be won over with chocolate, unicorns, or rainbows. She believes in love—everlasting and forever.


Instagram: @jenniferrmoorman Facebook: @jennifermoormanbooks BookBub: @JenniferMoorman