Thrilled to welcome Kelly Ohlert to The Spotlight to discuss her romcom, To Get To the Other Side

Author Name: Kelly Ohlert

Book Title: To Get To the Other Side

Book Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance (RomCom)

Release Date: 12/6/22

Publisher: Alcove Press

Welcome, Kelly! What sparked the idea for this book?

A friend of mine actually found an injured chicken crossing the road in Chicago and took her in, despite living in a small flat. The story was so absurd, I knew immediately it belonged in a book. So, I started with that scene, and the story grew from there. Bear’s family in particular really jumped off the page and told their own story.

How long did it take for you to write the book? Did you do any research?

It took me about 2.5 months to write the first draft. The research on this project wasn’t a big undertaking, but there are always things here and there to research.  In this book, it was things like care for and time to heal an ankle injury, and chicken care and behaviors.

What drew you to romantic comedies?

My mom recommended a Sophie Kinsella book to me. I can’t remember which one it was, because I loved it so much, I proceeded to immediately read her entire backlist. I knew I needed more, and my next forays into the genre were The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, and Roomies by Christina Lauren. Like that, I was hooked! I’d written bits and pieces of things before, but never managed to get more than a few chapters down. I think romcoms have a distinct playful voice that really works well for me. I decided to give writing one a try, and it flew out of me! I love the safety of a guaranteed happy ever after, and the escapism that is nice anytime, but especially with the challenges of the world lately. We could all use some love and laughter.

Any words of wisdom you give your pre-published writer self (or to a new writer)?

I agree with the common advice to write every day, but I don’t mean it literally. Give yourself the grace to take a break when you need to, but I do think it’s important to form a habit of writing most days. Even if you give yourself the simplest goal of getting one paragraph down, you’ll often find that once you get started it’s easy to keep going.

Where can readers find you?

I can be found at kellyohlert.com and I’m @kellyohlert on tiktok, twitter, and instagram. I’ve also got a facebook reader group. Come say hi!

Thank you, Kelly! To Get To the Other Side is available for preorder.

In the vein of Lyssa Kay Adams and Abby Jimenez, Kelly Ohlert’s charming debut is a one-of-a-kind rom-com that explores the power of overcoming the past and fighting for the things you love.

Trixie isn’t exactly sure what she was thinking when she stopped her car in the middle of downtown Chicago, scooped up a chicken struggling to cross the road, and drove off… but she does know that she has to find a new home for herself and her new feathered friend. The landlord at her apartment doesn’t allow pets and has caught Trixie in one too many pet-smuggling attempts in the past.

Bear likes his quiet life with his close-knit family, who own a flower business, but he’s in for a rude awakening when his meddlesome sisters post an ad to rent the spare room in his simple home, without asking his permission. Still, when Trixie responds to the ad, he agrees to let her move in, despite immediate worries about keeping things platonic.

Determined to keep her new room, become friends with Bear, and give Chick-chick, the rescue chicken, the care she deserves, Trixie fights to keep her walls up and not give in to her romantic feelings for Bear. However, it’s not long before the pair’s proximity and chicken parenting ignite flames that have Trixie and Bear testing the boundaries of their platonic ground rules. They have to figure out how to save a family business, pay for mounting vet bills, and navigate their own emotional baggage if they want to find the love that they all deserve.

Perfect for readers of The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, and fans of The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez, readers will find themselves rooting for every one of the relatable, but tenderly flawed, characters in this book and brushing away tears as they follow the heartwarming antics of a rescue chicken and her human companions.