Meet the Author Monday: Annette Hannah

Annette Hannah

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Annette Hannah, author of Poppy’s Christmas Wishes.

About Annette Hannah:

Annette Hannah is a Liver Bird who relocated to leafy Hertfordshire in the 80’s and now lives near a river with her husband, two of their three grown up children and a crazy black cocker spaniel. She writes Romantic comedies in settings inspired by the beautiful countryside around her and always with a nod to her hometown.

She worked in Marketing for many years as a qualified Marketeer which she loved as it tapped into her creative side.

As an avid reader, she began to review the books she read, became a book blogger and eventually plucked up the courage to fulfill her life long dream of writing a book.

For four years she was a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s new writers’ scheme, during which time she wrote a book a year.

After signing a two book deal with Orion Dash in 2020 she graduated to full member of the organisation and is also their Press Officer.

She loves long walks along the river, travelling to far flung places and spending time with her friends and family.

About Poppy’s Christmas Wishes

What would you wish for if you were granted three wishes?

For the first time she can remember, Poppy is dreading Christmas. Unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend after moving across the country for him, there’s nothing cheery about the festive season this year.

Dragged to a Christmas ball by best friend Layla, Poppy meets gorgeous actor Gabe, who stars as a genie in a play. When he asks her what three wishes she would make, she realises it’s quite simple: love, a job she’s happy in and, just once in her life, to do something extraordinary.

Gabe and Poppy make a pact to help each other make their dreams come true. As they tick off their wishes, their friendship blossoms… But, as they discover, sometimes, what you want for Christmas isn’t necessarily what you need…

A delicious romance to snuggle up with this festive season from the author of Wedding Bells at the Signal Box Café and The Cosy Little Cupcake Van.

Author Interview with Annette Hannah:

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  1. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Not so much a pilgrimage but I’ve been to a few of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s conferences and they are brilliant.

  1. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

The first four books I’ve written are all set in the same fictional town of Bramblewood but they could be read as standalones. I like focusing on different characters and introducing new characters who have a connection with the original characters. When I read books I love it if a character from a previous book pops up in a cameo.

  1. How many hours a day do you write?

This all depends on how well the story is flowing, sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day as the story comes faster than I can type and others it’s like getting blood out of a stone. When that happens, I usually try writing a blog post or something to get me in the mood again.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

Sometimes the names come to me as soon as the character pops into my head. Sometimes I use a baby book I bought when I was pregnant with my first child and many times I’ve named them after people I know.

  1. What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

I would say read a lot in the genre that you want to write in and then just write as often as you can for as long as you can. Don’t expect perfection the first time just get the bare bones of the story written down. There’s plenty of time afterwards to flesh it out during the editing process. Also make notes along the way for example if you need to research something so it doesn’t disturb the writing flow.

  1. How do you come up with the titles to your books?

Sometimes they just pop into my head and I write them down in my notebook. I have so many titles written down. Sometimes I have a working title and then change it once it’s written if it doesn’t feel quite right. This book was originally called Three Wishes then Silver Charms and Poppy’s Wishes then Poppy’s Christmas Wishes.

  1. Tell us about your first published book? What was the journey like?

Although Poppy’s Christmas Wishes was the first book I’d written, the first published book was Wedding Bells at the Signal Box Café. I’d had a few rejections and a couple of almost there from an agent and a couple of publishers but then when I was on holiday in Singapore I received an email asking if the book was still available as the editor was reading it with interest. I said that it was and didn’t really hear anything until a couple of months later when I received the email from Orion Dash to say they were offering me a two book deal. I just burst out crying when I read it and my poor daughter thought someone had died because I couldn’t speak. This was at the beginning of lockdown when everything was looking bleak so it was a real tonic. The book was then published in July 2020 and it’s been a whirlwind since then.

  1. Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover.

My publisher does that, they choose elements from the story and show me some mock ups then together we tweak them until they’re perfect. I’ve been delighted with my covers from Orion Dash and can’t wait to see the new one.

  1. If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Jodie Comer would play Layla and Rege-Jean Page would play gorgeous Gabe. Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars could be Poppy but she’d have to work on her Liverpool accent.

  1. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I’m the Press Officer for the Romantic Novelists’ Association which keeps me extremely busy and I like to go out with friends, read, travel and spend time with my lovely family.  Oh and walk my crazy cocker spaniel before we snuggle up together on the couch.

To learn more about Annette Hannah, here’s where you can find her:

Twitter: @annettehannah
Instagram: Annette.hannah

Meet the Author Book Promotion

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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