Behind The Book With Aimie K. Runyan

New Information about Upcoming Book Related News

Behind The Book With Aimie K. Runyan 

Earlier this year I did a Q&A with Aimie K. Runyan and today I finished reading her recent release A Bakery in Paris.  I have the honor of doing this current Behind The Book with Aimie discussing this book. 

Q: Aimie I know the idea for A Bakery in Paris came to you during the beginning of the Covid outbreak. At the time you were dating a historian who is now your husband and he was your cheerleader for writing this book. Did he help you in any way getting the research for A Bakery In Paris? 

A: He did! He suggested a great secondary source book, Massacre by John Merriman, which was a great overview of the events leading up to the Commune, the realities of life in the Commune, and the tragic aftermath. I read it aloud to him on our honeymoon road trip and data-mined the whole thing for primary sources and anecdotes to bring to life in fiction. My copy is in tatters, and I think it’s a marvelous work. 

Q: Since you mentioned that the idea came to you in the beginning of the covid outbreak, how long did it take for you to write A Bakery In Paris?

A: I ended up writing The School for German Brides first (long story about why we pitched what first) but when I finally got rolling in 2021, it was actually quite speedy. I think I had the book in decent shape in about six months, which is rather fast for me. This one was the book that flowed freely and was a joy to write. There were some slog moments, of course, but fewer than in some of my other books.

Q: You mentioned that Lisette, Micheline and the majority of the characters in A Bakery In Paris were creations of yours but that there were references to real historical characters. Which real historical figures made brief cameos in the novel? Where did the inspiration for both female characters come from? 

A: General Thiers, a tertiary character but definitely a villain, was pulled from history. The rest are really fictional archetypes: the clueless wealthy family who isn’t aware of the suffering of others, the revolutionary firebrand, the conflicted priest. And in the 1940s timeline, there were so many people living in dreadfully precarious situations like poor Micheline, that details were easy to invent. Tragedy was as common as table salt, and it was often women like Micheline (and her mother) who were forced to bear the brunt of it. 

Q: I like that you chose to put recipes that Lisette & Micheline would have made in their time periods that are still popular in France today. Which recipes were your favorites to bake and why? 

A: Chocolate cheesecake is my signature bake, to be sure, and I have a weakness for a good shortbread. One of the newer recipes I made for the launch day of A Bakery in Paris was a cherry Clafoutis and I thought it was lovely. 

Q: What lessons do you hope readers take away from reading A Bakery In Paris? 


A: I wanted to show the aftermath of war, and how the war doesn’t end with the ceasefire. Healing is a long, arduous process and I wanted to show the pain that innocent people had to endure as a result of the actions of their governments and overzealous leaders. So often, World War II books in particular, just fade to black with a “and they lived happily ever after” as soon as the last bullet is fired, and that simply wasn’t the reality for those living in war-torn areas.