BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

IRENE HANNON TALKS ABOUT HER PASSION AND NEW BOOK PLUS GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY





ABOUT AUTHOR: Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of over forty books, including That Certain Summer and more than two dozen other contemporary romance novels. Her romance fiction has won a coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, a HOLT Medallion, and an RT Reviewers' Choice Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. Her popular Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice suspense series have also won their share of awards, including the RITA, National Readers' Choice, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers' Choice, and RT's Reviewers' Choice. In addition, she is a Christy Award finalist, and Booklist included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Missouri. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com

ABOUT BOOK: Claire Summers is a determined, independent single mother who is doing her best to make lemonade out of the lemons life has handed her. Keith Watson is a results-oriented workaholic with no time for a social life. As the executive assistant to a local philanthropic businessman, he's used to fielding requests for donations. But when a letter from Claire's eleven-year-old daughter reaches his desk, everything changes. The girl isn't asking for money, but for help finding the long-lost son of an elderly neighbor.

As Keith digs reluctantly into this complicated assignment, he has no idea how intertwined his life and Claire's will become--nor how one little girl's kindhearted request will touch so many lives and reap so many blessings.

Through compelling characters and surprising plot twists, Irene Hannon offers readers this tenderhearted story of family connections that demonstrates how life is like lilacs--the biggest blooms often come only after the harshest winters.


First we’ll talk about your new book “One Perfect Spring”, how did you come up with the idea for this novel? I love the cover of this book!

I wanted to write a heartwarming story that illustrated how one simple gesture of kindness can have a ripple effect that brings hope and love to multiple lives. I started the book with a letter from an eleven-year-old girl who is trying to do a kind deed for her neighbor—and it grew from there. I generally build my books one character at a time.  So once I had the little girl, I next focused on creating her mother’s back-story. From there I had to figure out what sort of hero would provide the most interesting opportunities for interaction. The plot pieces fell into place as I delved into the lives of these main characters. That’s true for all my books,  because no matter the genre, people are at the heart of my stories. Most of my books begin with a tiny seed of an idea that takes root and begins to grow as I learn about the characters.

Which is easier to write for you a suspense or a contemporary fiction story?

They each have their own challenges. The research for my suspense books tends to be more intense and often very technical, as I typically feature law-enforcement or military characters. I don’t have any personal experience with either of those fields, so I have to do lots of research and cultivate sources who can give me the hands-on information I need to make the stories as authentic as possible. Those includes a retired FBI agent, a U.S. Marshal, police detectives, PIs…the list goes on. So in that sense, the suspense books are more difficult to write.

What do you hope readers take away from your new novel One Perfect Spring?

That every caring gesture, no matter how unimportant it seems, has the potential to have a significant and widespread impact. I also wanted to illustrate how the choices we make, both good and bad, can have far-reaching and lasting implications in our lives. Another message in the book is that we often have to deal with baggage from our past before we can build a future.

What are you working on now? When does it come out?

Book 3 in my Private Justice series, Deceived, will be out in October. I’ve also signed a contract for a new suspense series and more contemporary romance/women’s fiction. After Deceived, readers can look for Book 1 in my Men of Valor series, Buried Secrets, which will be out in April, and a contemporary romance set on the Oregon coast that will release in late summer or fall 2015.

Irene: Several recent interviewers have been interested in my musical theater work. “Yes, I’m Still Singing and Dancing! —when my writing schedule permits.
A number of readers have also asked if I’m still active in theater.  
South Pacific
As a matter of fact, I just performed in a musical revue last weekend called Some Enchanted Evening, which show cased the wonderful songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein. I was thrilled to be featured in several numbers, including a couple of solos. It was a lot of hard work and the cast put in long hours, but proceeds benefitted a faith-based youth sports program, so it was time well spent!”

Nora: Great to hear it Irene - Now for Questions about your passion for theater! Inquiring minds want to know! Grin! (Me!)

When did you catch the theater bug?

I was born with it! Seriously, I think I have greasepaint in my blood. Both my maternal grandparents were wonderful singers and in their younger days did a lot of performing in amateur productions. I can still remember my grandfather when he was in his 70s, sitting at the piano and accompanying himself as he sang. Even as a child I could recognize he had talent. 

What was your first play you auditioned for? Which part? Did you get it?
Anything Goes

In the beginning, I didn't audition—I just put on backyard plays where I was the writer, set designer, director and star! I don’t actually recall the first real play I auditioned for, but I do remember the first musical. It was “Music Man,” and I was such a rookie I just hoped they’d let me be in the chorus. I was thrilled when they did!

When did you start to sing? Dance?

I took dancing lessons beginning in about third grade. Singing came much later because it intimidated me. However, I was determined to get past that, so when I was in college I marched over to the music department and told them I wanted to take voice lessons. I had to wait a semester until they had an opening, but I did it. My friends and family were shocked, as none of them knew I ever had that ambition. I studied voice in college and in graduate school while I was working on my psychology and journalism degrees. That’s when I mustered up the courage to go to the “Music Man” audition I mentioned.

Some people find it hard to do just one of these (sing and dance) yet you can do both? Which is easiest for you to do? Easiest to learn? Why?
King and I

Even though I was a latecomer to singing, I actually find that easier. I love to dance (especially tap), and I can learn just about any combination, but I don’t have as much natural ability with my feet. It takes me a while to get the moves in my head, whereas I can pick up vocals very quickly.



What are some of the favorite shows you’ve been in? What made it your favorite?
Anything Goes

I’ve been very fortunate to play the leading role in many classic musicals, including “Oklahoma,” “The King and I,” “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon” and “Anything Goes,” to name a few. Among those, “The King and I” and “Brigadoon” are particular favorites. Anna is such a strong, independent, principled woman—I loved playing her. And when it comes to heart-melting romance, it’s hard to beat “Brigadoon,” with its great closing line—“When you love someone deeply enough, anything is possible.” No surprise that show would appeal to a romance writer, I guess! :o)

Brigadoon




My husband Fred and I worked in theater for years, crazy things happen doing a “live” show night after night and two shows daily on weekends. Can you tell us any funny stories or about events you’ll never forget during the run of a show you were in?

There are so many, it’s hard to know where to start! You definitely learn to improvise in live theater. Lots of my glitches seem to involve costume mishaps—specifically zippers. I recall during “Brigadoon” that when I went to put on my dress one night for the closing scene of Act 1 (when everyone was on stage and there was no other cast members around to assist me), I discovered one of the wardrobe people had sewn the zipper shut while making a costume repair. It was a fast change, so I ended up ripping the thing open, throwing on the dress and dashing onto stage trying to hold the back together with one hand. Fortunately, another cast member saw my plight and managed to wedge herself behind me. During a performance of “Anything Goes,” in the midst of another quick change, the zipper literally pulled out of a dress with a red-sequined form-fitting bodice. There was no salvaging that one. So I yanked on a plain pair of slacks and a top from a different scene. The costume didn't fit the number—but it was the closest thing at hand and I only had about thirty seconds! It’s easy to see why Velcro has become a staple in the world of theater!

Nora: Fun Irene. I know you have more stories to tell thanks for sharing this one. Doing live theater sets itself up for you to have to deal with the unexpected for example my husband Fred was the stage manager for a show they did outdoors in an amphitheater. They had a scene that included a real donkey; during intermission the donkey ran off and got hit by a car, unable to appear on stage with the cast.  Needless to say everyone was upset and crying. My husband said they had to work around the donkey and tell of his tragic death off stage in the context of the show. They improvised. (The show was a period piece and no cars excited back then).

THANKS for stopping by Irene, it’s always a pleasure. I’m excited about the contest and give away at the Book Club Network going on right now and ends the last day of May. Thanks for including these fun pictures.

Participants need to be a member of TBCN (go to www.bookfun.org ). It’s Free and Easy. Jump in when you can! Scroll down the front page and click on the link that leads to the discussion.

See you There!
Nora  :o)
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! 




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