1–What is the title of your latest release?
2–What is it about?
Here’s the back cover blurb: Katherine Parker is on the cusp of having everything she ever wanted—fame, money, and acclaim. So why isn’t she happy? In search of answers, she comes incognito to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast for some R&R. Maybe in her secluded rental house overlooking the serene Pacific she’ll be able to calm the storm inside. Coffee shop opener Zach Garrett has found his niche after a traumatic loss—and he has no plans to change the life he’s created. Nor does he want to get involved with his reticent new neighbor, whose past is shrouded in mystery. He’s had enough drama to last a lifetime. But when Katherine and Zach are recruited to help rehab a home for foster children, sparks fly. And as their lives begin to intersect, might they find a future together in this small town where hearts heal…and love blooms?
3–What do you love about the setting of your book?
Hope Harbor, my fictional small town, is located on the spectacular Oregon coast. It’s the kind of place all of us would love to call home, filled with memorable characters and the opportunity for new beginnings. Residents care about each other, and romance is in the air. What’s not to love? 🙂
4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?
I can’t say that either the hero or heroine surprised me. Before I begin a book, I do a deep character dive and get to know my leading players very well. I’ve only written one book where a character took me totally by surprise when he revealed a shocking piece of backstory a third of the way into the book. There are always a few minor surprises—or revelations—with characters as a story progresses, but usually nothing super dramatic. For example, in this book, I didn’t realize in the beginning that Zach was an excellent chef!
5–Why will readers relate to your characters?
The hard choices they face. Katherine has to decide whether to change direction after pouring blood, sweat and tears into a dream that’s lost its allure, and Zach has to decide whether to take the risk of reaching out to try and repair a damaged relationship with a family member. The secondary characters face similar difficult choices. Do they want to disrupt the plans they’ve made and strike out in a new direction—or play it safe? Those kinds of dilemmas, I think, will resonate with readers—because we’ve all had to deal with hard choices in our lives.
6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?
This one didn’t present any out-of-the-ordinary challenges. With every book, I strive to create well-rounded, dimensional characters and a realistic, compelling plot. That’s challenge enough!
7–Do you look forward to or do you dread the revision process?
With my current publisher there is no revision process—at least not in the sense most people use that term. I turn in clean, complete manuscripts, so in general I only get a few consistency or motivation questions. This works well for me, because the thought of tearing apart a finished manuscript that I’ve labored over for months twists my stomach into a knot. I’m always open to suggestions, and I’d certainly want to know if I missed something important or some aspect of the characterization or plot didn’t make sense, but I think everything through so thoroughly that this hasn’t happened with any of the 25 books I’ve written for my current publisher.
8–What’s your favorite snack to have on hand while writing?
I never snack while I write. I didn’t grow up in a snacking family, so I didn’t get into the habit of eating between meals—thank heaven, given the sedentary nature of this job!
9–Where would you go for an ideal writer’s retreat?
Somewhere in the country, alone, with no internet access, where I could write from morning to night with no interruptions and no obligations. I’ve done this three times in the past five years for a handful of days, and it’s been an amazing experience.
10–What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
Learn the business side of writing—even if you have an agent—and read every word of your contracts…because no one will ever care as much about your career as you do.
11–Who is the fictional character you want to hang out with the most? (anyone in literature!)
Charley Lopez from Hope Harbor. I’ve gotten to know him very well after seven books, and I love his gentle spirit, kindness, empathy, and ability to always offer a few words of wisdom when someone needs them the most. He’s the kind of friend we all wish we had, who knows us well, listens without judging, and can be counted on to come through in a pinch. Maybe that’s why Charley has generated more reader comments than all of the other characters in my 60+ books combined!
12–What’s one of your earliest book memories?
Sitting in the yard at my grandfather’s house (where we lived for a time) and devouring Nancy Drew books the summer I discovered them.
13–If you had to write in a different genre, what would it be and why?
Women’s fiction. My contemporary romances contain many elements from this genre, but I think it would be interesting to write a book where another type of relationship, or a character’s individual journey, takes center stage.
14–What song will automatically put you in a good mood?
“Our Love Is Here to Stay.” That’s the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding—for a very special reason. While we were dating, I was in a Gershwin musical revue, and this song was one of my solos. I sang it right to him the night he was in the audience—and it became “our” song. “In the Mood” also brings a smile to my face. It’s my favorite swing song to dance to!
15–What is your favorite way to practice self-care?
Vacations! Sadly, they’re few and far between. On an everyday basis, I love to walk through my gardens or take a day trip to the wine country for lunch with my husband at our favorite restaurant. I’m also trying to cut back on weekend work—but it’s Saturday afternoon as I work on this interview…so I don’t always manage to shut my office door on Friday at 5 p.m.
16–What can you eat and never get sick of?
The bacon/cheese cornbread that’s been my breakfast for decades. I found the recipe years ago and always have it on hand. It gets my day off to a delicious start.
17–Will you share a favorite, recent-ish book you recommend?
WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS by Erin Bartels. It’s a beautifully written story.
18–Do you have any hobbies?
I love to garden and bake and hike, but my very favorite hobby is singing and participating in community musical theater. I’ve been blessed to play the leading role in many classic musicals, including “The King and I,” “Brigadoon,” and “South Pacific.” I think I was born with greasepaint in my blood! Interestingly enough, when I’m not on stage I’m more on the quiet, introverted end of the spectrum. But give me a script, put me in a costume, aim a spotlight at me, and a whole different person emerges! 🙂
19–Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I’m definitely not a night owl. I’d much rather get up early than stay up late!
20–What can readers expect from you next?
Book 2 in my Triple Threat series, Labyrinth of Lies, will be out in October. It features a police detective who goes undercover at an exclusive girls boarding school to investigate a missing person case—and discovers much, much more. Then, in April 2022, I’ll take readers back to Hope Harbor in Book 8.
Katherine Parker is on the cusp of having everything she ever wanted–fame, money, and acclaim. So why isn’t she happy? In search of answers, she comes incognito to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast for some R&R. Maybe in her secluded rental house overlooking the serene Pacific she’ll be able to calm the storm inside.
Coffee shop owner Zach Garrett has found his niche after a traumatic loss–and he has no plans to change the life he’s created. Nor does he want to get involved with his reticent new neighbor, whose past is shrouded in mystery. He’s had enough drama to last a lifetime. But when Katherine and Zach are recruited to help rehab a home for foster children, sparks fly. And as their lives begin to intersect, might they find more common ground than they expected . . . and discover that, with love, all things are possible?
Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites you to come home to Hope Harbor–where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.
About Irene Hannon
Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring and Hope Harbor, as well as the Private Justice and Men of Valor series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers’ Choice Award, two Booksellers’ Best Awards, and a National Readers’ Choice Award.