Recently, I was able to interview best-selling novelist and RITA award winner, Irene Hannon. I have been a fan of her's since I started reading everything I could get my hands on within my genre, and I am beyond thrilled for you to be a part of learning from one of the best. Here's what this sweet and talented lady had to say...
Me: Does your inspiration for your books come from real life people and places? Or
are they purely fictional?
IH: The inspiration usually comes from real life—an article I read, a conversation I hear, a situation I observe. Any of those can plant the seed of inspiration. Sometimes a place can inspire story ideas. For example, the Oregon coast was a great inspiration for my Hope Harbor books (Sea Rose Lane is up next), which are set in a fictional small town there. My characters are all totally made-up, but I do sometimes incorporate a characteristic of someone I know into a character.
Me: As an established author, I'm sure you've been able to travel to some beautiful locations. What is your favorite place to visit?
IH: I’ve been very lucky to travel to beautiful places all over the world. Paris, Italy’s Amalfi Coast, the Swiss Alps, the backroads of Ireland, to name a few. But in general I gravitate toward seaside locations. That’s why many of my contemporary romances/women’s fiction books have beach or coastal settings.
Me: For our young authors who are just starting out, what kind of advice would you give them?
IH: Learn the nuances of writing through classes, workshops and reading, then write, write, write. There’s no substitute for practice. It gets you as close to perfect as is possible. Enter writing contests and take constructive criticism and feedback to heart. Never stop learning. After 50 books, I still learn something new with every novel…and I think I also improve with each one. Also, study the business side of writing. Even if you have an agent, read—and understand—your contracts before signing, and stay informed about the industry. No one will ever care as much about your career as you do.
Me: Of all the books you've written, which was your favorite and why?
IH: That’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite child! Each is unique and special for different reasons. If I had to single a couple out, though, I’d pick Against All Odds, because it was my first published suspense novel; Deceived, because that book gave me my third RITA award from Romance Writers of America, which led to my induction into the organization’s Hall of Fame; and Second Chance Summer, because the book was set in a place that holds special memories for me—and it also won the Carol award last year for best short novel from American Christian Fiction Writers.
Me: Who is your favorite author that you like to read from?
IH: I don’t have a single favorite author, but I do have favorite books—The Guardian by Dee Henderson, The Memory House by Linda Goodnight, Dandelion Summer by Kathryn Springer and One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury are just a few of them.
This amazing lady has inspired so many of us to become better writers! We can all learn from her example by just keeping those fingers moving. Whether we write with pen or computer, let's do our part to make our world better!
To find out more about this talented lady, follow the link below.