Exclusive Interview with

Jennifer Hanning

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When did you start writing?

My earliest memory of writing was a story I wrote when I was about eight years old. I can't remember the details but I do remember that both of the girl's parents died, leaving her an orphan. My teacher seemed a little perturbed about what came out of my mind, but I was secretly pleased I could write a somewhat shocking story. I was comforted by the fact that my mother totally understood, in fact she admitted to having daydreams of being an orphan as a child herself after reading Little Orphan Annie.

Jennifer Hanning
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What makes writing your passion?

Jennifer Hanning
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How long have you been writing?

Jennifer Hanning
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

The first book I had published by a publishing house was Moongolly. I was on Cloud Nine, thinking it would be a raging success. However, the sales figures were rather disheartening. I wrote another book, What Happened to Polly, and self-published it via Amazon. It sold tens of thousands of copies within the first few months, so once my contract with the publisher had expired, I self-published Moongolly as well. The feeling of publishing a new book is always exciting and optimistic.

Jennifer Hanning
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

I'm the boss of them to start with; I choose the characters and I plot their paths and interactions. Sometimes they stick with my plan but at other times they'll go off in their own direction... falling in love with the wrong person, displaying a hidden side of their personality, etc. At first I used to try to pull them back into line, however I've learned to follow them. As it turns out, the character is usually right.

Jennifer Hanning
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Sometimes I feel like my books are in a quagmire, sinking and suffocating under an ever-increasing slush pile of manuscripts. I love writing but I am not good at promoting my own work.

Jennifer Hanning
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

A candle-lit bubble bath with fragrant essential oils. Relaxing into liquid warmth clears my mind and allows for inspiration to flow.

Jennifer Hanning
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

Jennifer Hanning
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Jennifer Hanning
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

In the early days, I got one negative review and spent the rest of the day obsessing over it, forgetting about the lovely positive reviews written by others. These days I am simply grateful to the kind and considerate people who take the time to show appreciation for my work.

Jennifer Hanning
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

The first one was definitely the best. The fact that someone I had never met had taken the time to write such admirable words about my writing was truly exhilarating. These days a good review gives me a peaceful and happy feeling of deep gratitude.

Jennifer Hanning
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Many times, although heavily disguised as fiction.

Jennifer Hanning
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

I've heard that a new writer's first book is somewhat autobiographical whether by plan or by accident. With me it was my second book, What Happened to Polly. The main character became more and more like me, so I gave her free rein to use some of my deeply buried issues and emotions.

Jennifer Hanning
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

Not as important, but it is definitely important to have an impressive and professional looking cover.

Jennifer Hanning
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I answer the occasional emails I receive from readers but that's about it.

Jennifer Hanning
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Grateful and happy.

Jennifer Hanning
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Who is your favorite author? Why?

Liane Moriarty. She's inspiring and successful, and she tells a great story.

Jennifer Hanning
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What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

Jennifer Hanning
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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?