Thursday, July 9, 2015

Interview with Irene Hannon and giveaway!!!!!

Leave a comment (include contact information) to be entered to win a copy of Hope's Harbor! USA only. 

Welcome, Irene. I love your books. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

My wedding day! I married the man of my dreams 26 years ago, and every day since has been an adventure filled with sharing, caring, love and laughter.

 How has being published changed your life?

Selling my first book (48 books ago!) was a validating, uplifting and encouraging experience that gave me confidence to continue pursuing my dream to be a full-time writer. That dream came true in 2003, when I left my executive career in corporate communications with a Fortune 500 company to make fiction my day job. One of the most wonderful things about this career is the flexibility it offers. I still work very long hours, but now those hours are of my choosing. If I want to steal away with my husband for a mid-week picnic or take my nieces on an outing, I can do that without asking permission from a hierarchy of bosses, then make up the time at night or on weekends. That’s a luxury I really appreciate after years in the corporate world!

How do you choose your settings for each book?

It all depends on how important setting is to the story. Most of my suspense books could be set anywhere, because the story isn’t dependent on the setting. The only exception was my first suspense novel, Against All Odds. The rest of my books in that genre tale place in and around St. Louis, which is a location I’m very familiar with—meaning the setting doesn’t add to my research burden. Hope Harbor is a different story. The coastal Oregon setting was essential to the story and to the charming fictional town I created. So that required a research trip…a tough job, but someone had to do it! J

What three things about you would surprise readers?

I love to sing, and perform whenever I get a chance—especially in musical theater productions. I enjoy hiking, and no vacation is complete without a good stretch of the legs…or two…or three. And when traveling for fun, I always opt for out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-path locations.

 What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Take advantage of every opportunity to learn. Go to workshops, conferences, and read award-winning books in your genre. Be open to constructive criticism. Learn the craft—but also learn the business. Even if you have an agent, you are the only one who will make YOU the top priority. Network with other authors. And write, write, write.

Tell us about Hope Harbor – a brief blurb:

Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life—and love—altered her plans. Now she’s home again—with a floundering farm to run…a tragic secret…and a wounded heart. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter’s. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets and devastating regrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help with a project that is close to her heart, winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives—including their own.

And I love the tagline: Come home to Hope Harbor—where hearts heal…and love blooms.


Tell us about your research process.

I’m a stickler for  research, whether writing suspense or contemporary romance/women’s fiction. In Hope Harbor, the heroine owns a cranberry farm, so I connected with a cranberry farmer from the Oregon coast who was most gracious about answering all my questions. I learned a lot about cranberry farming while doing research, including this fun fact: ripe cranberries bounce!

While you were writing Hope Harbor, do you think it mattered where the book was set?


Yes! For many years, I’ve wanted to set a book…or two…or three…or more…in this beautiful part of the country. I was convinced the scenic Oregon coast would provide the perfect locale for the town I’d already named Hope Harbor.

I’m happy to report that the trip exceeded all my expectations. In Florence, I found charming storefronts and to-die-for cinnamon rolls. In Bandon, I learned about seagull romance. In Cape Perpetua, I got up close and personal with amazing starfish. In Brookings, I watched the sun set in a secluded cove with a silver-white harbor seal for company. And everywhere I went, I savored the endless, sandy beaches and sea stacks.

When I got home, I took all those bits and pieces of real-life coastal Oregon and created Hope Harbor. I hope readers enjoy visiting this delightful town as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

Will we know what happens to your character after the end of the book?

Yes. I don’t like to read books that leave readers hanging, so I don’t write those kinds of stories. I wrap everything up at the end. Characters may still face challenges, but as the title for Hope Harbor suggests, the book ends on a hopeful note for all the main characters, leaving readers confident that things will work out fine.

Where do you like to write?

I have a home office where I do almost all of my writing. If the weather’s nice, I might take my laptop out to the screen porch and write there for a few hours. I’m sitting in the porch now, as a matter of act, surrounded by flowers and singing birds. It’s wonderful!

If someone else were sitting at your desk right now, what would they see?

A photo of my nieces. A Waterford Celtic cross, given to me by my coworkers in the corporate world. My work-in-progress folder. A calendar, with all deadlines duly noted. My author copy of Hope Harbor. My RITA Award finalist pin for Deceived, which just arrived in the mail. A Family Circus comic that says, “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” Also close at hand is my collection of sea treasures—shells, sand dollars, driftwood, agates, coral. Every time I look at them, I’m reminded of happy times at the beach with the people I love.

When you’re working on a project, how do you keep the immensity of it from getting you down?

That can be a challenge! Right now, I’m in the middle of a book, and the end seems a long way off. But when I get overwhelmed, I remember some advice I got from a ski instructor many years ago when I was a terrified novice, standing at the top of the hill, trying to figure out how I was going to get to the bottom without breaking my neck. She said, “Just take it one turn at a time. You can always make it to the next turn.” I try to remember that when I’m writing and not look too far ahead. It’s also excellent advice for other challenges in life.

Both of your lead characters have “baggage” that keeps them from wanting to pursue a new relationship. Do you think sometimes we let our past get in the way of what God has planned for our futures?

Yes. Bad experiences often lead to fear, which can stymie us—and keep us from following the path God has set before us. Learning to let go of that fear and to take a leap into the unknown requires trust. One of the things I loved most about writing this book was watching how all of the characters, both lead and secondary, learned and grew throughout the story until they were able to free themselves from the past and take that leap of faith.

What’s on the horizon for you?  What will you be writing next?

I’m putting the finishing touches on my next Hope Harbor book, which will be out summer 2016, then jumping into final edits on Thin Ice, the second book in my Men of Valor suspense series, which features three brothers who have special forces backgrounds.  

Where can readers find you online?

My website is www.irenehannon.com, and I’m active on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Irene-Hannon/426433004084567) and Twitter.


Irene Hannon, who writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense, is the bestselling author of more than 45 novels. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA awards (the “Oscar” of romantic fiction), a Carol award, a Daphne du Maurier award, a National Readers’ Choice award, three HOLT Medallions, a Booksellers’ Best award, a Retailers Choice award and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. She is also a two-time Christy award finalist. A former corporate communications executive with a Fortune 500 company, Irene now writes full time.


23 comments:

Sharon Timmer said...

The cover on this one drew me in right away - thanks for the giveaway - I would love to win a copy of Irene's book!

stimmer@familylife.com

Donna Reimel Robinson said...

I've always enjoyed reading your books, Irene. Good plots with believable conflict and all tied up with a satisfying ending! This one sounds really interesting.

Donna
Donna (at) DonnaRobinsonBooks.com

deana dick said...

I would love to win your book. In the interview I liked about your comment on research fir your books. That is what make a great story, when the author writes very realistic stories and is able to describe wit accuracy and clarity a specific time period or subject.

Deana
Jhdwayne(at)peoplepc(com)

Brandy Heineman said...

Wonderful interview! I've read about four or five of Irene Hannon's books and they've all been outstanding. Looking forward to this one.

brandy(dot)heineman(at)gmail(dot)com

karenk said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jackie said...

I've loved every book by Irene Hannon I've ever read. Thanks for updating us on her newest release. I'd love to be entered in the drawing.

Thanks! I hope you all have a blessed week!

Jackie
joyfuljelatgmaildotcom

Deanna Stevens said...

I enjoyed meeting Irene & her book sounds like a winner.. Hope I'm a winner & get to read this book!! thanks for the giveaway :)
Deanna
dkstevensneAT outlookD OtCoM

Neecykay said...

I can't wait to read this book! Winning a copy would be wonderful. I also like the fact that you do not leave us hanging at the end of a book. Looking forward to learning about cranberry farms, sounds interesting.
Denise
neecykay@gmail.com

Jackie McNutt said...

I really enjoyed the interview. I don't think i have read any of Irene's books, but would like to soon.
Your book has a beautiful cover , Thank you
mmcnuttjem0(at)gmail9dot)com

Jackie McNutt said...

Thank you for the interesting interview, I don't think I have read any of Irene's books, but definitely have to soon. I love the cover for Hope Harbor, it looks like a wonderful story.
mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

Heidi Kortman said...

That sounds like an interesting series.

Heidi Kortman
2450 36th St.SW
Apt 137
Wyoming, MI 49519

Kathleen Friesen said...

Great interview! I have read several of Irene's suspense novels and loved them. I would love to win a copy of Hope Harbour. The Oregon coast is a special place to me, and Hope Habour sounds as delightful as the towns I remember (like Seaaside). My email is kf1928@telus.net.

Elma brooks said...

Would love to win a copy of this book, my type of reading. Thank you
ELMAMC56@YAHOO.COM DOT COM

Elma brooks said...

Would love to win a copy Elmamc56atyahoodotcom

CatMom said...

Ooohhh! Just now realized this interview was posted so I'm glad I found it. Irene is one of my favorite authors, and even though I've not had the pleasure of meeting her in person, we both share a love of Jekyll Island (on "my" Georgia coast!). :)
Great interview - - thank you for posting this, Laura.
Blessings, Patti Jo Moore

pattijomoore(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jennifer Hibdon said...

Thanx for the giveaway. I really enjoyed the interview. I am looking forward to reading Hope Harbor.

Jennifer Hibdon said...

J4hibdon@yahoo.com. thanx

Cindi A said...

I love the advice given regarding taking one turn at a time. I hope to remember this when I face struggles in the future.

I'm really looking forward to reading this new book. I love Irene's writing style. Thanks for the opportunity to enter the drawing.

~Cindi
cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Stuck said...

So glad that I was looking for new book info today online and found this blog. I help in our church library and order the books. We do have Irene's Vanished, Trapped and Deceived already. Also have That Certain Summer and One Perfect Spring, so whether I am lucky enough to win a copy or not (which will go to our church library) this book WILL be added to our circulation. Thank you for the interview and will be following the blog.

misslinda4wv@gmail dot com

Anne Rightler said...

Would love to win. Enjoyed the interview. Thx for sharing the book and your talent.
Anne at Rightler dot com

grams said...

Thanks for a chance to win a copy of your book. I haven't read any of yours yet but am looking forward to it.

lollipops said...

Congratulations to Linda!

Stella Potts said...

I love your books. Your writing is so realistic. Great interview. I would love to win a copy of your book.