Books Q&A with Deborah Kalb

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Tea by the Sea, and your characters Plum and Lenworth?

A: I think of the origin of the book in three stages, or three acts.
First, I had an idea for a story set in a church with a random group of people who refused to leave. But I didn’t yet know what drew them to that specific church.

The second piece was totally unrelated at first. I started writing about a mother getting her daughters ready for school, and running through a litany of things—from combing hair to packing lunch to wiping up a spill on the floor.