Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Hannah.
Is there a story behind your book Dear Kate?
Hannah: I love working with kids! I’m a nanny and a dance teacher. My class of little ballerinas inspired the heart of this story. They are so sweet and inquisitive. I wanted to create a character that personified that innocence and child-like faith. The character of Emily Blake was a culmination of their unique personalities. As a teacher you start out thinking you’re purpose is to teach children something valuable, but I find again and again that I learn so much from these wonderful little girls. In that sense I wanted to create a story in which Kate believes she is saving Emily, but realizes more and more that Emily is saving her from her own fear and doubt.
Question: Which character in Dear Kate most interested you while you wrote?
Hannah: The character that interested me most in this novel is probably my hero Jack. I loved developing a character who was at war with himself. Jack’s life and many of his decisions are guided by the fact that he is trying to please two mentors who are opposed to one another. This central conflict of his life intrigued me and caused me to invest time and development into his character. I also enjoyed the chance to poke fun at my heroine through his sarcasm and humor. I so appreciate the people in my own life who cause me to laugh when I’m prone to take myself too seriously. I knew Kate needed someone like that even if she didn’t appreciate it at times.
Sounds like a fun read!
Question: What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hannah: Last week I donned knee socks, took a whack at my phony British accent, and put the Andrews sisters on repeat for a few hours. I then collected rubbish for the Allied War effort, served Befordshire Clangor (Pot Pie) to a dozen teenage girls, and held a mock air raid drill. Before you think I’ve lost my mind I should probably mention it was all part of girls’ retreat I helped to develop and teach. The theme of the retreat was “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” and we wanted to immerse the girls into what it was like to live in the 1940s. It was a blast!
How fun. My parents were married in the 1940s.
Question: What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
Hannah: I could write a book about the perks of living on the Big Island of Hawaii. (Someday I probably will!) My favorite part however, would have to be the pace. Honoka’a, the small town in which I’ve grown up is a heritage town. It’s like stepping back into the 1950’s. Little storefronts, locally owned restaurants, and a movie theatre that was built in 1930 give the lovely little town its character. I loved growing up here because it was always easy to disconnect. Trends and fashions always ran a few years behind the rest of the world, so there was less pressure to look and be a certain way. The lack of winter and added bonus of the beach never hurt either!
Well visiting Hawaii is on my bucket list!
Question: Can you share a favorite memory from your childhood?
Hannah: A favorite childhood memory of mine is when we moved to Hawaii from Southern Oregon. The events that took place to get us here were so clearly orchestrated by the hand of God that I remember sensing His presence even as a seven-year-old. I remember a specific evening when I was sitting on the front porch watching the sunset with my dad right after we’d settled into our new home. I remember telling him that my Sunday school teachers had always said God was with us wherever we went, but now I really believed it. I still think of that moment whenever I feel that God is calling me into a new area in my walk of faith. It was the first time I can distinctly remember seeing God’s faithfulness in my life.
Hannah that makes me shiver. God is there, isn't He?
Question: Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Hannah: I love to write about stepping up. My generation is so prone to miss out on God’s plan for us because of our complacency. That’s why I enjoy writing adventures. I love to pull my characters out of their shells and out of their comfort zones in order to display what they’re capable of.
Another spiritual theme that I’ve seen consistently in my writing is God’s all-knowing love. I always try to incorporate a character somewhere in my book that knows everything about my heroine, and loves her anyway. I find it one of our Lord’s most intriguing and unfathomable traits, and it also makes for a great plot twist!
Question: Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
“Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
This is one of my favorite verses because it reminds me that God gave me the desire to write. As a kid I hated writing and English assignments. The fact that writing is now my passion and my career is in itself an act of God. It causes me to delve deeper into who He is in order to find out what other desires He will place in this stubborn little heart of mine.
Question: On a more personal level...what's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Hannah: My family has all sorts of amazing meals! Thanksgiving is a huge deal at our house, birthday dinners are always special, and then there’s plenty of “just because” dinners. My favorite family meal, however was Christmas Eve, and not for the reason you would think. As a pastor’s family Christmas is the busiest time of our year. We always put on an extensive Christmas Eve service. For us it’s an insane rush of microphones, technical glitches, Christmas carols, and glitter. Lots of glitter. We usually have to grab something small for dinner right between rehearsal and the service, but we don’t mind. We’re so wound up and excited we never feel much like eating anyway. Last year when we all got home from the service it was the middle of the night. We were wired from the performance, moved by the things the Lord had done, and starving. We all crowded into the living room around the Christmas tree and scarfed down sandwiches, passing around a bag of chips. It wasn’t fancy. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but it was one of the sweetest moments all year.
Question: When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Hannah: I’m so glad you asked!
My next book Time T.H.I.E.F. will be released in early 2016. I’m so excited about this novel because it’s a new genre for me. Science fiction might just be my new love. Here’s a peak into my latest creation!
“I can’t keep lying to you.”
With those words Lacey Ryan’s world shatters. Since the accident two years ago Lacey has struggled to live her life again in spite of her injuries and complete memory loss, but the life she’s been living is a lie. With her father’s confession Lacey soon discovers that her fabricated life has been nothing more than a cover-up for a failed time-travel experiment.
In order to find the home she can’t remember Lacey must defy her own instincts, the government’s top minds, and time itself.
Thanks for sharing. Time travel, eh? The new book sounds fascinating.
Readers, Hannah Duggan is giving away a copy of her NOVEL Dear Kate. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)
You may also purchase Hannah's book on Amazon: