Q&A: Hannah Alexander
Hannah Alexander writes romantic suspense novels with a unique perspective - with the input of her doctor husband, she writes with an extremely accurate medical twist. Her latest novel, Eye Of The Storm, follows Dr. Megan Bradley as she flees to her hometown in the wake of the terrible murder of one of her patients.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION DRIVING THE STORY IN EYE OF THE STORM?
I was inspired to write Eye of the Storm as a follow-up of our Christmas novella, Silent Night, Deadly Night, which showed the dark side of life at a rescue mission. Our main character, Gerard Vance, has decided to do something about helping the homeless get back on their feet and learn to work for a living again instead of living on handouts. Our setting, Jolly Mill, is far from the mean streets where his rescue mission refugees live.
OVER THE COURSE OF WRITING IT, WHAT SURPRISED YOU MOST DURING THE JOURNEY?
I was surprised to find how much fun it was to include more romance in the story. I've always written romantic suspense/women's fiction, but writing a shorter work like this one required that I focus on fewer plot lines. One of the plot lines I developed more fully this time was the romance between the two main characters, and I enjoyed doing it. I think Mel liked it, too.
WHAT PARTS WERE INSPIRED BY REAL-LIFE RESEARCH OR EXPERIENCE?
A great deal of Eye of the Storm was inspired by real life experience. Like our Hideaway series in the past, Jolly Mill is based on a real place, only developed into a town instead of the beautiful, privately owned historical park and mill. By the way, those who own the park invite anyone traveling along 60 Highway in Missouri between Granby and Pierce City to search for the little piece of paradise out in the countryside. It's worth the side trip. There is a sign on the south side of the highway.
The plight of the homeless is also, unfortunately, based on reality, and I wanted to come up with some ideas about how one might help those who have lost jobs, homes, everything, because of the economy. Complaining about the current situation doesn't correct the problem. Voting and reaching out to those in need is what helps.
WHY DO YOU THINK STORY IS SUCH A POWERFUL WAY TO COMMUNICATE TRUTH?
Readers don't typically care as much about nameless, faceless people as they do about characters created with enough depth to get inside their heads and hearts. That's when they begin to realize the truths of certain situations, such as the struggles of the homeless. We attempt to make readers care.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
We are presently working on an historical novel also set in and near Jolly Mill, only in 1855, when it really was a town with a working mill, a popular place for wagon trains to stop on their way west.