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Wishing Upon Words: An Interview with Karin Gertsch, author of Five Wishes

Karin Gertsch

Karin Gertsch lives with her husband on a Christmas tree farm in a small Massachusetts town. Her travel book, Cape Ann & Vicinity: A Guide for Residents and Visitors, was the first guidebook for this historic area.

In 2019, her first children’s book, Flora Has an Adventure, was released. It is appropriate for children ages three to eight. The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library included her short story, Dependence Day, in their 50th-anniversary issue of So It Goes, and Hawai’i Pacific Review published her short story, After World War II.

Five Wishes, the author’s first novel, was released by Atmosphere Press on June 13, 2023.

The author is currently working on stories for children as part of the series for Flora Has an Adventure, as well as a work of creative non-fiction, Monika’s Journey. When not writing or reading, Karin loves to work in her garden and cook and bake.

You can buy Five Wishes here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.


Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The working title was Take Five. There is a scene in the book where one of the characters is at a jazz club in Boston and someone requests the song “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck, but since the main character has a list of five wishes, this was the best title.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I was excited to see how the book turned out. I knew the cover had to have a Scottish castle on it and was happy to see the beautiful image. Ronaldo Alves designed the perfect cover!

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Clark, encouraged me to read and write. I always loved reading, and when I was a child, I wished I could write a book someday.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I was an adult education teacher and later director of education. Our programs helped students with GED, ESOL, ABE, literacy, citizenship, and workplace education. Each student had an individual lesson plan. It was challenging but highly rewarding to help students learn. A demographic report I produced indicated our adult students came from twenty-three different countries! As an immigrant myself I have always had a “soft spot” for immigrants.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

The most meaningful part of publishing Five Wishes was knowing that it was professionally produced! I’ve read books (by top U.S. publishers) that have errors, sometimes even in the first ten pages, and questioned if Atmosphere Press could produce a top-notch publication. THEY DID!

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope readers, especially those who have put off wish fulfillment for a “rainy” day, will consider how they can make their wishes come true. I hope the book is a catalyst to help them act.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m working on a creative non-fiction adult book. Three hundred and twenty-four pages written and not happy with the outcome. I am picking it apart, discarding portions, and researching other ways to begin the story. At present I’m researching German history before World War II, which is proving to be very interesting (Prussia Empire).

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

Working with Atmosphere Press was enjoyable, professional, stress-less, and friendly! Atmosphere Press is a trustworthy and honest publisher.


You can buy Five Wishes here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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