Message From The Author

Author's Message

Timing can be everything.

That Certain Summer my first single-title contemporary romance/women’s fiction novel, will be released June 1st. But the journey from conception to publication took quite a while.

A few years back, after writing many short contemporary series romances, my series editor suggested I consider writing a long book for a single-title line in which she was involved. That Certain Summer was the result, written entirely on spec.

By the time it was finished, however, the longer line for which it had been targeted was discontinued. And trying to interest other publishers in a single-title book by a series author was difficult.

So That Certain Summer became a shelf-sitter.

In the years that followed, I successfully branched into single-title romantic suspense, with book after book hitting major bestseller lists and winning awards, including a RITA, a Daphne du Maurier and an RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice.

Armed with those credentials, I dusted off That Certain Summer, did a major polish, and tested the waters again. This time around, there was a lot interest. Same story…same author…different timing.

Though readers have yet to weigh in, reviewer response has been gratifying. Publishers Weekly called it “an uplifting story of love and redemption.” The New York Journal of Books praised it as a story “about the courage to face one’s darkest fears and the wonder of the human spirit.” And RT Book Reviews termed it “a gem of a read.”

It’s a funny thing about this business. Success really does breed success. And perseverance pays.

So now I write in three difference genres: single-title romantic suspense, single title romance/women’s fiction, and short contemporary series romance. But one of the things every book features is a strong focus on characters. No matter the genre, my main interest when I write a book is always the people on the pages. I want to know everything about them. Why do they do what they do? What forces shaped them? How do their relationships—past and present—influence the choices they make and their outlook on life? Why do some people feel victimized versus empowered? Lovable versus unworthy? Hopeful and happy versus angry and bitter?

With every book, I work hard to pull readers into the lives of my characters. To help them understand the choices they make, even when they don’t agree with those choices. To entertain — but also to enlighten and enrich...and to offer some insights into human nature.

Because in the end, it’s the people — not the setting or the plot or the action, exciting as all those things may be — that make a story sing. If readers don’t care about the characters, the story falls flat.

So come with me in That Certain Summer to a small river town in Missouri and meet Karen and Val, two estranged sisters who are reluctantly reunited after their mother has a stroke. And be prepared to laugh and to cry as you journey with them through a grace-filled summer of healing, hope and love.

- Irene Hannon

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