I’m pleased to welcome Irish author Sally Hanan to the blog today. I’ll be reviewing her book My Heart Went Walking next week but today she’d taking part in my Author Spotlight.
Hello Sally. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I’m an Irish native currently living in warm, dry Texas with the hubby and a terrier mix, who is spoiled rotten now the kids are out and living their own lives.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved writing. I think for some of us, we don’t feel complete unless we’re putting words down somewhere. I faithfully kept a diary through most of my childhood, and my teachers encouraged my writing.
Tell me about your journey to publication
Oh gosh. I wrote this book during NaNoWriMo in 2016 and started thinking it was worthy of publishing – a thought that hadn’t really crossed my mind with the four novels I’d written before it (and rightly so). I entered it in PitchWars, a yearly competition whereby if you win, you get an editor or author to help you fine-tune the novel, and two of the authors told me it was lovely even though I wasn’t a winner. So I kept going with it and queried a lot of agents, but got no bites.
It’s since been through beta readers and developmental editors many times, and eventually I got it to the point where none of them could find anything else wrong with it. I’d queried about 150 agents with no interest, with many of them saying the story line was too common, and that’s when I decided to go indie.
And here we are now with a pub date of February 5, 2022.
In a nutshell, what is your book about?
It’s about a runaway girl who discovers the love of her life is going out with her sister while she was away. But then her sister needs her terribly, and she has to deal with all her decisions and go back, knowing it will hurt them all. I set it in the ‘80s in Ireland.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I’m not entirely sure. Let’s call it a flash of inspiration.
How do you plan to celebrate publication day?
I have a book signing planned at my favourite coffee shop in this small country town I live in. They’re very good to their local authors here, so it’ll be a lovely morning.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I have two. One is a retelling of Tale of Two Cities. I’ve set it in Ireland in the ‘80s again, because it’s my favourite decade and I can. The other is set in Detroit, Michigan, and is about the priest who charmed the nation in the ‘30s with his radio hour talks but then went off the rails a bit.
What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?
Probably Outlander because the writing is so gorgeous.
What are you reading just now?
I just finished Lessons in Chemistry, which is a very funny, brilliant book set in the ‘60s. I’m sure it’ll be a best seller.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a film?
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. It’s a very short read but very evocative, and it could turn out gorgeous with the right script and director.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I’m on Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, and Instagram. My last name is fairly unique, so I should be easy to find.
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
Every book with a love story. Every woman who is falling for someone and the love is reciprocated. It’s a magical time, and the feelings in those months are unparalleled.
Thank you Sally. My Heart Went Walking Will be published on 5th February
You can pre-order your copy here: My Heart Went Walking