Prolific best-selling author Irene Hannon is the author of dozens of novels, including contemporary romances and also romantic suspense titles. She concludes her west coast beach-based Hope Harbor series with Starfish Pier (Revell). As two seemingly incompatible souls search for common ground, might they discover a deeper connection—and find that love can banish darkness and light the way to a future filled with promise? In this interview, Irene touches on her research for the series, hints at one of her lead character’s challenges, and shares her hopes for readers of the novel.
How is Starfish Pier different from your other books set in Hope Harbor?
One of the things that makes this story unique is that the heroine has some physical challenges. I’ve often heard complaints that all heroes and heroines in romance novels are physically perfect. Not so—and this book illustrates that.
This is your sixth book set in Hope Harbor. Why did you choose this location?
I like small-town settings, and I love the ocean. Everything I’d read about Oregon suggested it would be the perfect place to set this series. After a research trip there, during which I traveled the coast from top to bottom, my hunch was confirmed—and Hope Harbor was born.
In each of your Hope Harbor novels, you feature characters that have very different career fields. In Starfish Pier, one of your main characters is an ex–Delta Force operator who is now running fishing charters. What type of research was required to accurately depict this type of career?
I invest a great deal of time and energy researching all of my books. For example, in the first novel, the heroine was a cranberry farmer, so I connected with a cranberry farmer in Oregon, who provided invaluable help. With Starfish Pier, my hero is a former Delta Force operator, so there isn’t a great deal of discussion about his past. I could find what I needed online. I actually had to do more research for his current career as a charter fisherman, which is front and center.
What do you hope readers will gain from reading Starfish Pier?
I hope it encourages readers to think about the value of life in all its stages, from conception through natural death. And I hope it leaves them uplifted and with a better appreciation for the tremendous power of love to transform lives.
In addition to writing contemporary romance novels, you’re also a master at writing romantic suspense novels. What are the pros and cons of writing both genres?
For me, there are no cons. Alternating between the two is a perfect balance. After an intense suspense novel, where I delve into dark minds, I love visiting Hope Harbor. While there’s plenty of drama in my contemporary romances, it’s typically not of the life-and-death variety!
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Hope Harbor #6
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