Hi everyone! I’m happy to be back today to chat with another fantastic author!!
In case you missed it, “A Talk With” is a brand new feature here on Drizzle & Hurricane Books, where I will invite young adult book authors to chat with me about their upcoming books, share their writing tips and tricks and more!
I’m very happy today to welcome Erin Hahn, an author debuting this year with You’d Be Mine, a fantastic, adorable, heartbreaking and beautiful contemporary that I personally loved. We’re chatting today about debuting, musical inspirations, writing routine and, of course, adorable contemporaries!
1. Can you share with us a little bit of your writing journey to publication? Did you dream of being a writer from very early on, and did you expect You’d Be Mine to be the book that would ‘make it’?
Oh. That’s loaded. Well, firstly publishing a book was never on my radar early on. I enjoyed writing, particularly songwriting and poetry, but I never saw it as something I could actually “get to do”. When I was a teen, YA was almost exclusively horror books or Judy Bloom. There wasn’t much in way of YA contemporary! Certainly not like there is today. When I got to college, “chick lit” was just coming on the scene and I fell head-over-heels for those voicy romances. I thought, “Hey, I could write like THAT!” So I would write stories about my roomates and I during my lectures. After graduating, I got a fulltime job in sales and I would write with the door closed in my office during work hours. I ended up marrying my college sweetheart soon after that and writing took a back seat to kids and awful career choices. I didn’t start novel-writing seriously until we relocated to Michigan about 4 years ago. I finished the first of an ill-fated and problematic YA science fiction trilogy and googled “I finished writing a book, now what?”.
It didn’t go great, as you can imagine, but out of that time, I met my dearest writing friend and critique partner, Karen McManus. We swapped terrible books until the books we swapped were no longer terrible. About two years ago, after the book of my heart was rejected something like 185 times by agents, I decided “What the hell, Erin, write what you want this time.”
So I did. I never, EVER thought my first book would be a country music romance, but I AM SO GLAD IT IS. I have such affection for country music and the rural areas of the country. Country music isn’t just about the south. Country music is about country living. That’s northwoods, that’s mountain tops, that’s farm fields, that’s itty bitty single stoplight towns where kids still meet in Dollar General parking lots after dark. It speaks to everyone on a deep down level and I’m thrilled with this opportunity to share it with the YA world.
My agent offered representation in May of 2017, we sold it to Wednesday Books in July of 2017 and in April, I finally, finally get to share it with all of you! I’m ecstatic.
2. In your debut novel, You’d Be Mine, music and especially country music is a very important part: what is your relationship to this kind of music? When did you get into it and why did you decide to make it part of your book?
Well, as I said, I have an enormous affection for country music. My parents split when I was young and my mom used to draw strength from female country artists! It’s all she listened to! Ever since then, strength, to me, is synonymous with the Judds, Reba and Martina McBride. In high school, I was a full-on grunge girl, but I still made space in my life for Trisha Yearwood (who got me through my first heartbreak) and the Dixie Chicks (my first rebound kiss). There’s a lot of snubbing that happens towards Country Music these days (even in my own house) but you can’t deny the genre has been doing the Lord’s Work for a century. I gave myself the mission to revive the classics (a la Annie Mathers) and I think it’s working! I may not start a line dancing trend anytime soon, but if one person starts listening to Cash or Miranda Lambert after reading this book, it will have been worth it. 🙂
3. Writing while working full-time is complicated: how do you manage to fit writing into your schedule? Do you have a particular routine, a ‘don’t come in, I’m writing’ sign on your door one day of the week?
Ha. My kids would plead ignorance of any signs! It depends if I am on deadline. When a deadline is looming, or if I’m drafting, every minute I’m not working (I’m a TA in a kindergarten classroom), I’m writing. Nights, weekends, vacation, whatever. I have headphones in and laptop on my knees. My husband is incredibly supportive and we have an agreement to treat my author-ing work as my Other Job. In our family, Mom has two jobs. Thankfully, I’m a fast drafter. I binge write until it’s all out so that means periods of craziness while I am drafting and then longer periods of refilling my creative well with family, books, music, movies… that sort of thing. I also try to tell myself (and my family) that this is temporary. One day, I hope to consistently write full time from home, but I’m not quite there yet!
4. Are there any other of your adorable contemporaries (or maybe books in other genres?) that we can look forward to reading soon?
YES! My second standalone YA contemporary romance is called MORE THAN MAYBE and comes out in 2020. It’s about the son of a former british punk rocker who falls for a music blogger. A song he writes about her accidentally goes viral and they have to navigate their fledgling feelings amidst a national audience. Also, save a dive bar. It’s very much inspired by EMPIRE RECORDS and maybe SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE? This is the book where you’ll see my grunge heart on display. 🙂
📖 Friends, you can already add More Than Maybe on Goodreads! Also hello Marie again I NEED THIS BOOK.
1. Can you share with us one of your latest favorite books?
2. Since we are talking about music…are there particular lyrics that you adore with all of your heart?
SO MANY. But my all-time favorite lyrics of any song ever is from the Counting Crows song “Anna Begins” and it goes “Every time she sneezes, I believe it’s love and oh lord, I’m not ready for this sort of thing.”
🎶 If you’re curious, listen to the song right here!
3. Can you share one line of your work (You’d Be Mine, or another upcoming book!) you’re particularly proud of?
Well okay, this is from YOU’D BE MINE and makes me giggle every time. It’s spoken by Annie Mathers’ best friend and drummer (and ex) Jason Diaz upon watching Annie take in Clay’s first soundcheck in person. 🙂
“And that, boys and girls, is the story of how stone-cold Annie Mathers found her lady parts.”
Thank you so, so much Erin, for taking the time to chat with me about your amazing debut, You’d Be Mine! Friends, keep on reading to find out more about this book!
📖 More about You’d Be Mine
Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.
But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.
Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.
📖 More about the author, Erin Hahn
Erin Hahn spent the first half of her life daydreaming in a small town in northern Illinois. She fell in love with words in college when she wrote for the campus paper, covering everything from drag shows to ice fishing and took way too much liberty with a history essay on the bubonic plague.
She started writing her own books when her little sister gave her shade about a country music-themed Twilight fanfic. By day, Erin gets to share her favorite stories with her elementary students. By night, she writes swoons. She married her own YA love interest whom she met on her first day of college and has two kids who are much, much cooler than she ever was at their age. She lives in Michigan, aka the greenest place on earth and has a cat, Gus, who plays fetch.
Find Erin Hahn on :
Do you want to read You’d Be Mine? Did you read it already? (You really really should!)
Are you a fan of country music, or contemporaries with musical themes in them? Let me know your thoughts in comments!