Congratulations to the winner of last week’s Author Spotlight giveaway of All Summer Long by Melody Carlson, SUSAN FLETCHER. Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com to claim your prize.

Welcome Irene Hannon, author of Sea Rose Lane, to Author Spotlight! Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win a copy.

Irene Hannon 1 hi-res Introduce us to you as an author: When did you get bit with the writing bug? How would you describe your writing style?

I’ve been a writer all my life. I don’t remember ever not writing. I was born with the writing bug! As for style… my suspense books are similar to Nora Roberts’ suspense novels (without the sex and four-letter words), and my contemporary romance/women’s fiction books have elements found in novels by Karen Kingsbury, Susan May Warren, Becky Wade, Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr and Susan Wiggs.

Tell us about your new release:

Sea Rose Lane is the second book set in my charming Oregon seaside village of Hope Harbor—where hearts heal… and love blooms. All of these books can be read as stand-alone novels, however. Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to the town where he grew up—only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed and breakfast. Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he’s constantly distracted by noise, chaos—and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect and construction chief who’s invaded the house with her motley crew. As for BJ, her client’s son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn’t high on her agenda. Yet when they join forces to help Hope Harbor’s older residents, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?

How can readers connect with you online?

I’m very active on Facebook… and I dabble on Twitter. My website is www.irenehannon.com.

Anything new for you on the book horizon?

In the fall, the final book in my Men of Valor series—Tangled Webs—will release. This suspense series features the three McGregor brothers, all of whom have special forces backgrounds. Looking ahead to 2017, another Hope Harbor book, Sandpiper Cove, will release in the spring and I’ll introduce a new suspense series in the fall.

Why do you write?

Because I can’t not write. It’s in my DNA. I love to play with language! It’s incredibly satisfying to take a lot of random words and arrange them in a way that touches hearts and instills hope.

After more than 50 published novels, what have you learned about yourself?

That it’s important to believe in myself, persevere and cultivate discipline. I’ve also learned that being a novelist is not a career for the faint-hearted. This is a tough, competitive business. I’ve learned that I have the ability to work under pressure and survive setbacks. Finally, I’ve learned to trust the creative process; that even if the ideas aren’t gelling when I start a new book, in time everything will come together.

If you could choose to meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be, and why?

Mother Teresa. I would love to hear her talk about what led to her choice to lead such a selfless life, and how she managed to persevere day after day in work that would overwhelm the average person.

Sea Rose Lane-Book CoverWhat are you best known for … writing or otherwise?

I love to sing, and have participated in community musical theater for years. My friends are well aware of my avocation, and most have seen me perform. I’ve been blessed to play the leading role in many classic musical theater shows, including The King and I, Brigadoon, Oklahoma, South Pacific and Anything Goes, to name a few.

What book have you reread the most?

I don’t typically reread books. There are too many out there I haven’t yet read once!

Best author moment? Worst author moment?

Getting the call when I sold my first book and being inducted into Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame last year after winning my third RITA award are career highlights. I haven’t had a lot of bad moments, though certainly the stacks of rejection letters when I first began submitting aren’t a favorite memory!

What book is on the top of your TBR pile?

The Rain Sparrow by Linda Goodnight.

What’s one thing you learned about the publishing industry in last five years? Last year? Last six months?

That nothing stays the same. The changes in this industry have been immense, with ebooks and self-publishing reshaping the landscape. You have to learn to adapt. But the most important thing hasn’t change: Always write the very best book you can. Never give it less than your all. Quality matters.

[Tweet “Always write the very best book you can. Never give it less than your all. Quality matters. @IreneHannon #amwriting”]

Can a person make a living as a writer?

Like show business, this is a very competitive career and it’s difficult to be a full-time writer and put food on the table. I’m able to do that—and I give thanks for that every day because I know it’s the exception rather than the rule.

What are your biggest distractions?

Right now… my garden! This time of year, I’d much rather be out with my flowers than typing on my keyboard. Family commitments also take me away from writing. I have older parents who need a lot of my attention, so many days I end up finishing my word count as the clock ticks toward midnight.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?

Deadlines are on my least-like list. I’ve never liked them in any area of my life. There are many things on my like list—but flexibility is near the top. After spending many years in an executive position with a Fortune 500 company, where I had little time to call my own, it’s nice to be able to shuffle my commitments around to accommodate the other responsibilities in my life—and take off for an occasional spontaneous picnic in the country with my husband without asking anyone’s permission!

Describe yourself in one word:

I’m going to cheat and use three, all related to my writing career: Passionate, disciplined and a perfectionist.

Are you an introvert? Extrovert? In-between?

In between. Give me a microphone, put me on stage, shine a spotlight on me, and the greasepaint in my blood starts to flow. In large gathering and at parties, social events or conferences, different story. I tend to stay in the background and melt into the crowd.

Best indulgence:

Dessert! (Especially if it’s chocolate!)


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