By Charlotte Lynn
Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of 20 novels, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, True Colors and Winter Garden Born in Southern California and raised in Western Washington, where most of her novels are set, Kristin spent her early career working in advertising and as an attorney in Seattle.
It was Kristin’s mother who was convinced that she would someday become a writer, though Kristin had never before considered it a viable career path. However, when her mother became sick with cancer, the two spent months in the hospital writing a novel together (as Kristin would describe it, “the worst, most
clichéd historical romance ever written”), a practice that Kristin would revisit years later when she was placed on five months bed rest while pregnant with her son.
Thus began a writing obsession that, in 1990, and after many rejections, finally led to the publication of Kristin’s first novel. Since then, she has gone on to pen numerous New York Times bestsellers, while also being recognized with several awards throughout her career. Kristin now divides her time between Washington State and Hawaii, when not traveling with her husband.
You can find out more about Kristin Hannah at Website or on Facebook.
1. Why did you decide to write FLY AWAY?
I discovered that I just really am drawn to women’s life experiences. What I
ended up creating was a friendship between two women that lasted their whole
lives and suggested that your girlfriends could be your soul mates as much as
your husband. It turned out to be a novel that spoke to a lot of women. Firefly
Lane was such a special novel to so many people. I wanted to write a story that
lived up to their expectations and still surprised them.
2. Who should read FLY AWAY?
Obviously, anyone who read and loved Firefly Lane should give Fly Away a try.
They'll love catching up with the characters they remember. But I really wrote
Fly Away to stand on its own as a novel. I don't believe you have to read Firefly
Lane to appreciate and enjoy Fly Away, so I guess every woman who wants to
read an emotional, compelling story about women should read the first page and
see what she thinks.
3. Which character do you relate to the most in Firefly Lane/ Fly Away? Why?
Kate was always that character that came most easily to me, and that I related
to the most. Perhaps this is why the "sequel" proved so difficult. I always loved
Tully, but she remains one of the most difficult characters I've ever written
because while I adored her, I often had trouble relating to her.
4. Was it difficult to continue your characters stories from Firefly Lane into Fly Away?
I always knew that there would be a sequel to Firefly Lane. That is to say, I
knew the story wasn’t over. But I’ve written nineteen novels, and until last year, I
had never attempted a sequel. I think that’s because I really love a fresh canvas.
Over the years, I considered attempting the sequel, but it never felt right. I was
never absolutely sure how their story ended. It wasn’t until I finished writing
Home Front that I turned seriously to the characters who meant so much to my
It turned out that it was a lot more difficult than I’d imagined. A book that
should have taken me a year to write ended up requiring a lot more time and
thought. More re-writes, more editing. It was daunting to take on these beloved
characters—I didn’t want to disappoint my readers, but neither did I want to
disappoint myself by writing a story that was somehow “less than.” I wanted
to write a sequel that completely stood alone, that didn’t require the reader
to read Firefly Lane first. And I didn’t want it to be a traditional novel. All of
these decisions made the road of discovery on this novel a bit tougher than I
5. Congratulations on Fly Away debuting at #3 on the New York Times list! Is there more pressure on you to continue to write books that reach the NYT list?
There's always pressure in this business, that's just part of the game. The
good news is that the only pressure that really hits home comes from me. I'm
constantly striving to write a better book, to tell a bigger story and to do it in a
more compelling way. That's the pressure that matters to me. Lists and awards
and reviews are not something I can control, so I find it easier and healthier not
to care too much about them.
6. Have you started writing your next book yet? If so, any hints?
I am about one hundred and fifty pages into my next novel, after months of
research. All I can say so far is that I love the characters and the setting and
the story. But I always love them in the beginning. I haven’t yet come to that
terrifying, depressing, wonderful moment where I think: Oh, no, this isn’t going to
work. That’s when the really hard work begins.
7. Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?
Just that I love talking to them on facebook and meeting them at book signings. I