I'm super excited to have Irene Hannon here! She's the author of 'Deadly Pursuit' (which I loved) and many other books! Have you read any of her books? If not, why not?
Here's the interview I had with Irene
Hmm…where to begin? I could tell you some of the fun stuff I’ve done—like attending the monkey dance in the moonlit jungle on Bali, or gliding over the Alaskan glaciers in a float plane at sunset, or winging down to the Caribbean for lunch on a cruise ship with the CEO and chairman of the board of a Fortune 500 company—but I’ll stick to the basics. I have a B.A. in psychology and a master’s in journalism. I worked for the aforementioned Fortune 500 company for 20+ years in corporate communications, writing fiction on the side. After rising to the executive ranks…and finding myself on call 24/7…I left the corporate world a few years ago to write full time—and never looked back!. I’m also married to my very own romantic hero!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember ever not writing. I really believe people are born writers. It’s a gift, just like any other talent. I did toy with the idea of becoming a psychologist, but in the end, writing won out. However, my psychology degree is a great background for writing about relationships—a key ingredient in romantic fiction!
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Okay…deep dark secret here, because this is going to sound compulsive. But a few years ago, one of my editors alerted me to the fact that I was using a particular word too often. Once I was aware of that, I found other words that were being overused, too, so I started a list. Now I search every chapter for every word on that list before I move it into my master document. It’s time consuming (because the list keeps getting longer!), but I do think it’s made me a better writer.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I find new ways to improve with every book. That’s why I sometimes cringe when readers pick up my older romance titles. I still love those stories, but I do such a better job with them technically now. I always hope readers check copyrights when they read my older books and cut me some slack! But based on the heartwarming letters I still get about my vintage titles, I’m much more critical of my work than my readers are!
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
My most recent book, Deadly Pursuit, is my 37th published novel. As for which is my favorite—that’s like asking a mother to name her favorite child! There’s something about every book I’ve written that endears it to me in a different way—though I must admit that In Harm’s Way, my recent RITA winner, is special. But I’m also LOVING my current Guardians of Justice series!
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to sing, and I enjoy performing in community musical theater productions. I’ve been lucky enough to be cast in many fabulous roles; some of my favorites include Fiona in Brigadoon, Nellie in South Pacific, Anna in The King and I, and Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. I also like to steal away whenever possible for an hour or two with my husband to our favorite coffee shop. We enjoy traveling, too—like Provence last summer, just as the lavender fields were beginning to turn purple in the south of France. But even quick three-day camping trips are fun. Spending time with family is near the top of my list, and I also like to garden, take long walks and cook (I especially like to bake fattening desserts!).
Do you read books, if so, what is your favorite genre to read?
I love to read, and I read a lot—but not as often for pleasure anymore. More and more I’m being asked to read books pre-publication for endorsement, and I also judge at least one contest a year. When I do read for pleasure, my taste is pretty eclectic…but I do tend to gravitate toward books that have at least a touch of romance—and a happy ending!
Do you have any pets?
No pets, but we had a wonderful dog when I was growing up. She showed up one Christmas eve as a puppy, abandoned by her mom at our garbage can, and she never left.
Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven't yet?
I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel widely, and I have to admit I’ve seen my top-ten wish-list places. But I’m always open to a new adventure!
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Matthew 6:21—“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” This verse always helps me keep my priorities straight.
Are you currently working on any new novels?
Of course! The final book in my Guardians of Justice series, Lethal Legacy, has been turned in to my publisher and is in production. I just posted the cover and a blurb in the News section of my website. I’m now at work on a new suspense series that features three college buddies, all former law enforcement operatives, who join forces to open a private investigation agency. I also have a new series (Starfish Bay) beginning in January with my other publisher, Harlequin Love Inspired. These are contemporary romances set on the northern California coast. Seaside Reunion is the first book—with two more to follow.
Where can we find you on the web?
My website is www.irenehannon.com. I update the News section regularly, so please visit often! I’m also on Twitter. And speaking of news…I’d like to share a breaking story! Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, has just named my latest book, Deadly Pursuit, one of the top 10 inspirational fiction titles for 2011! I’m absolutely thrilled!