I have loved stories--particularly the romantic kind--since I was very young. I spent a decade working in an office, but I've since dedicated myself to writing. I've traveled to many wonderful places around the world, including the haunted Scottish castle in which I got married. Though I live outside Chicago with my family, my heart will always belong to Australia.
The books listed here on my Goodreads page are ones that have influenced my writing, that have spoken to me in some deep and wonderful way, and that I enthusiastically recommend.
Find Hanna at:
First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
Sure! I’m a mom of an amazing 6-year-old girl. When I got pregnant I was unhappy with the course of my office job, so I decided to leave and see where mommyhood took me. But then I realized that playgroups weren’t entirely my thing either, so instead of napping when my baby napped, I went back to writing fiction. Now I have the best of both worlds.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, since I was in grade school. It’s the only thing that has ever spoken to me. In 2000 I decided to write my first true book. In 2004 I got up the courage to join a critique group. In 2009 I found the Romance Writers of America and the genre of my heart. I signed my first book deal with Berkley Sensation in 2011, fulfilling my life’s dream. And it’s still going on…
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
Since strict deadlines came into play, I am very much a plotter. I write so much quicker (and better) when I know where I have go for that day’s writing session. I always know my main characters and the general outline of the whole story before I write a word. That said, I haven’t written a book yet that hasn’t changed midway through. I always manage to pants a few plot points here and there. It’s a good marriage.
Where do your ideas come from?
The strangest places, I tell ya… Recently, while I was painting our guest bedroom, I was mainlining podcast episodes of “How to Do Everything” on NPR. They do the most random stories and I’m riveted. Anyway, they did a thing on one of the worst one-stands ever, and BOOM, story idea. If I write and publish that book, I’m totally going to write into the show to give thanks for the inspiration.
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
She’s the country’s foremost expert on whiskey. He’s big-money Wall Street during the week and a rugby bruiser on the weekend. They like each other!
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I loooove epic fantasy. I got started with Dragonlance, moved on to David Eddings, then Robert Jordan and George R. R. Martin (of course). I read Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay last year and was utterly blown away. I still think about what a perfect novel it is.
As far as romance, I love unique variations of paranormal and super smart contemporaries.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
Oh man, that’s the toughest question to answer. My knee-jerk response is The Time Traveler’s Wife, but also up there is Kushiel’s Dart, Lover Awakened, and Megan Hart’s Broken.
What are the types scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Does it depend on the book or do you know you’ll always get emotional when a couple hits a rough patch?
I struggle mightily with writing action. Fight scenes, battle scenes, running scenes…tension is just ridiculously difficult to get right without sounding forced or melodramatic.
For every book, the ends are extremely hard to write. I am very good with beginnings, very good with setting things up, but I always doubt that I am wrapping things up in a satisfying way. It never fails to stall me. Ends take twice as long to write.
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Meljean Brook, Jacqueline Carey, and Nalini Singh. Because I want to give them wine and hear them babble about their careers.
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
New proposals for entirely new projects, both paranormal and contemporary! It’s very exciting to me.
What has been your most favorite vacation?
For me, last year’s family trip to the Big Island of Hawaii was a vacation of a lifetime. I’ve been to many places all around the world, but that one was perfect nearly every day.
The second in the Highland Games series, following Long Shot
Gleann, New Hampshire’s annual highland games always deliver the best of Scottish culture—rowdiness, rugby, whiskey, and unexpected romance…
Even though Shea Montgomery’s swanky bar and distinguished palate have made her a highly regarded whiskey connoisseur, she’s happiest bringing her favorite spirit to various highland games around New England. Her demanding ex made her wary of men obsessed with money and status, and she’s now more comfortable in the country than in the city. Still, when a gorgeous rugby player straight from Wall Street barrels into her whiskey tent, she’s tempted to change her mind…
J.P. Byrne went from poor beginnings to international high roller by using his charisma and wit, and holding fast to his dreams. A strong, independent woman like Shea is exactly what he’s looking for, only he has no idea how to prove he’s more than his three-piece suits—especially when he’s spent years doing just the opposite.
But as Shea and Byrne battle old demons, they discover together that the best remedy for past pain is a good, stiff shot of present pleasure…
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- 1 copy of The Good Chase
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