Author Features

MEET: Anne Marie Ryan

October 29, 2021

Anne Marie Ryan is a book editor at Hachette Children’s in the UK. Christmas by the Book is her first adult novel.

What was the last book that you read that you’d now recommend?

I read The Paper Palace by Miranda C Heller on my summer vacation and have recommended it several times since I got back.

Have you read any classics lately that you were reading for the first time? 

I recently read Anna Karenina, which had been on my to-read pile for years. 

Do you re-read books? And if yes, what was your last re-read?

Very rarely – there are too many books that I haven’t read. 

What are your go-to genres? 

I love literary page-turners and psychological thrillers.

What is your favorite childhood book?

The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which I did re-read many times.

What books are on your bedside table right now?

Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz and This Much is True, Miriam Margolyes’ autobiography.

Do you bookmark or dogear your page in a book? 

Team dogear all the way! (Apologies to anyone I’ve ever borrowed a book from.)

What is your ideal reading setting? 

The hammock in my back yard, with a cold Diet Coke by my side. 

Tell us about your favorite indie bookstore?

The Andover Bookstore in Massachusetts – the oldest continually operating bookshop in the USA – happens to be in the next town to where I grew up.

Christmas by the Book by Anne Marie Ryan

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I remember writing a funny story when I was in seventh grade, imagining everyone in my class as grown-ups. I loved the feeling of making everyone laugh and people begged me to write another. 

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I visited the Russian Hill neighborhood in San Francisco because it is where the Tales of the City books by Armistead Maupin are set. And I’ve been on an Anne Rice tour in New Orleans, and of course a Harry Potter tour of London.

Where do you get most of your writing and editing done?

In my little office at the back of my house. 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both – in equal measures. 

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I wrote a YA novel that sadly didn’t find a publisher. 

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes, because I’m still at the stage in my writing career where I feel grateful that anyone is reading my work.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t let fear of failure stop you from writing.

When you’re not reading or writing, what are you doing?

Hanging out with my family, playing tennis, or doing improv comedy. 

What are your three favorite things right now? 

1) Going to see live theatre

2) Baking with my daughter

3) Good coffee

Your favorite travel destination and why? 

Cape Cod, because the beaches are beautiful and it’s where I spent my childhood vacations.

What’s your favorite meal and go-to drink order?

Cheeseburger and fries and a Diet Coke (Yes, I appreciate the irony).

Christmas by the Book by Anne Marie Ryan

What six people, living or dead, would you invite to dinner a party? 

Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Kate McKinnon, Catherine O’Hara, and Melissa McCarthy. It is going to be the funniest dinner party ever.

If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, who would play you?

It would be on the Hallmark Channel and I’d be played by Jennifer Garner.

What’s the last TV show or movie you watched that was really good?

The White Lotus.

You have to sing karaoke; what song do you pick?

I would NEVER do karaoke. I have such a terrible voice my husband calls me Ringo Ryan.

If you were being taken to a deserted island and could only bring one book, what would it be?
Maybe I could finally get around to reading Moby Dick . . .

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