Welcome to week seven of the eight week blog series: Women Who Write. I hope you find this author showcase entertaining and enlightening as we dive into the world of female Christian authors. This series focuses on women who write Christian fiction, their books, and their perspective of the industry.
Gone are the days when women had to hide behind the veil of a male pen name. Though many authors still use pen names today, I think we can all agree we are thankful that women have the freedom to express their art…as women! Being a writer myself, I have to say I am overjoyed at the opportunity to talk with these authors and share their stories with you. So, let’s celebrate the women in fiction who followed their predecessors and continue to pave the way for the rest of us!
Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of the post!
Author Irene Hannon
Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America (the “Oscar” of romance fiction). She is also a member of that organization’s elite Hall of Fame. In 2016, she received a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews magazine for her entire body of work.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
It wasn’t a question of wanting to be a writer. I was born a writer. I think writing, like any other talent, is a gift. I could take art lessons until I was 100, and every person I tried to draw would still look like a stick figure. Writing is the same. That doesn’t mean you can’t constantly hone and improve your skills, but the basic talent is a gift. So I’ve written for as long as I can remember. But I like to tell people I made my official debut at the age of 10, when I was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest published by a national children’s magazine.
What are your goals with your writing? What do you hope to accomplish?
My first goal is to entertain—beginning on page one. If a book doesn’t grab a reader fast, you lose them. So the rest of the goals won’t matter. I also want my books to uplift and encourage. To convey the message that despite the setbacks we might encounter, there’s always hope of a happy ending. And finally, I want readers to close the last page of with a better appreciation for the power of love (and not just romantic love) to change lives.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a female Christian author?
No special challenges because of my gender. But it’s difficult to broaden my audience because many readers who would love a compelling book that didn’t contain explicit sex, profanity or gratuitous violence will never notice—or pick up—a novel in the Christian fiction section. The stereotype that all such books are preachy and heavy-handed is alive and well. Yet I believe there is a much wider market for this genre, if only general market readers would give it a try. As I tell people, if you like Debbie Macomber or Robyn Carr, you’ll like my contemporary romances. If you like Nora Roberts’ romantic suspense books except for the sex and profanity, you’ll like mine. But figuring out how to send that message is a challenge.
Can you tell us a bit about one of your books?
I’ll have two books out this year—a contemporary romance and a romantic suspense.
Hope Harbor police chief and single mom Lexie Graham has zero time for extracurricular activities—including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn’t looking for love either—but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? When Lexie enlists Adam’s help to keep a troubled young man from heading down the wrong path, sparks begin to fly. Could it be that God may have a different—and better—future planned for them than either could imagine?
Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death—and puts Trish under police scrutiny—her world is once again thrown into turmoil. Detective Colin Flynn isn’t certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge—and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn’t just dangerous . . . it’s deadly.
What can readers look forward to seeing from you in the future?
As noted above, I’ll have a new romantic suspense book out in October. Dangerous Illusions is Book 1 in my Code of Honor series, which features three childhood friends whose bond has been strengthened by time—and danger. After Sandpiper Cove (my third book set in the charming Oregon seaside town of Hope Harbor, releasing in April), I’ll return to the coast again in spring 2018 with Pelican Point. One important note—even though all of my books are classified as part of a series, each can be read as a standalone novel. No plot points carry over from book to book.
To learn more, follow Irene on Facebook!
Click here to visit last week’s showcase with Erin Healy!
Enter every week for your chance to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift card!
The winner will be announced and notified via email at the end of the 8 week Women Who Write series, don’t forget to come back next Wednesday for another Christian Author showcase!