Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fabulous Feature-Irene Hannon-Desiring Clear Direction

Today we welcome author:
Irene Hannon

A commenter will win a copy of
Irene's book:

Sea Rose Lane

Scroll down to see how.

Mary here. I'm so happy to welcome Irene to Let's Talk. I  have been wanting to have Irene as our guest for quite some time. She is one awesome writer. FOR EXAMPLE, the day I flew across the country to a writer's conference I noticed the person across the aisle reading a book. When she closed the cover I saw it was one of Irene's books! I asked the person why she chose that book. She said, "Because I had heard she writes great stories. And now I see those people were right!" 

So, friends here at Let's Talk we are in for an awesome weekend. Feel free to ask her questions, this is a chance to talk with her. I asked Irene: how has God led you on your writing journey? Here is what she said: 

Writing in the Sky

Often, when I speak or give interviews, I’m asked when I decided to become a writer. That always make me smile, because I didn’t decide to become a writer. I was born a writer. I’ve always believed that writing and storytelling, like any other talent, is a gift. And God blessed me with that gift at birth.

However…while I’ve been writing all my life, I was always too practical to think about fiction writing as a career. I grew up in a family rich in love but far from wealthy in a material sense. At one point, my dad worked three jobs to support the family. So I knew I had to choose a career that would put food on the table.

I did end up in a writing field, though—I got a master’s degree in journalism—and spent many years in corporate communications with a Fortune 500 company.

But on the side I began to write fiction.

For 18 years and 16 books, I juggled both careers. But as I rose in the corporate ranks, that job became more and more demanding, leaving me no time or energy for fiction writing.

Eventually I found myself at a crossroads. I either had to put my fiction writing aside until I retired (many years down the road) or leave behind a fabulous job to write fulltime.

So I prayed for guidance. As we all know, it’s often hard to discern God’s will. Even though I was listening hard, I wanted more than Elijah’s still, small voice. I wanted clear direction.

And God came through. Three things happened back-to-back to give me the direction I needed. I was offered a three-book contract, I won my first RITA award (the “Oscar” of romance fiction) from Romance Writers of America, and management at work changed, ushering in a new and unpalatable philosophy of work/life balance.

The direction I got wasn’t exactly writing in the sky—but it was the closest I’ve ever experienced in answer to a prayer.

Of course I still had a few qualms about leaving a fantastic job with great benefits and a regular paycheck. But in hindsight, it was the best decision I ever made. Being able to write fulltime allowed me to expand into romantic suspense—and those are the books that vaulted me to the bestseller list. I would never have written them if I was still in my corporate job, struggling to eke out a few hours at night and on weekends to write.

So while not all parts of the direction God gave me were pleasant—the new management piece added tremendous tension to my life—I know that I’m now in exactly the place he wanted me to be. And I’ve never looked back.

Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than fifty contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. A seven-time finalist and three-time winner of the RITA award—the “Oscar” of romance fiction—from Romance Writers of America, she is also a member of that organization’s elite Hall of Fame. Her books have been honored with a National Readers’ Choice award, three HOLT medallions, a Daphne du Maurier award, a Retailers’ Choice award, two Booksellers’ Best awards, two Carol awards, and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. In 2016, that magazine also honored her with a Career Achievement award for her entire body of work. In addition, she is a two-time Christy award finalist.    

Irene loves to connect with readers.
You can find her at her:


Sea Rose Lane

After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to Hope Harbor—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 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 a new beginning themselves?

Enter the contest to win Irene's book:
Sea Rose Lane
US readers invited to enter!!

Here is how:

1. Leave a comment (and email address)

2. AND sign up to receive my newsletter -in the right column

    (subscribers to Mary Vee's newsletter will receive a special gift)

    AND/OR sign up to receive posts by email if you aren't already

Thank you, Irene, for joining us this weekend!

We enjoy chatting with you, Reader, and look forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!


Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Love this! And I love Irene! Such a great lady and a fabulous writer! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Totally agree, Ames. She excels at the genre we love most.

Irene Hannon said...

Thank you both for the kind words!

Anonymous said...

Hope Harbor sounds like a great summer read and I love the name of the location. I have read one of Irene's books, Deceived and it was a real page turner! So suspenseful! This sounds like a different genre of her writing that I would love to read.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey, Maryann!
I am convinced Irene could spin a fantastic story in any genre. I hope you get to read Sea Rose Lane soon. Sure looks like an awesome summer read, eh? Yeah. I think so, too.

Caryl Kane said...

Hey Mary! I LOVE Irene's stories! I enjoyed visiting Hope Harbor and I'm looking forward to returning in Sea Rose Lane. ;)
psalm103and138 at gmail dot com