The Write Way Café welcomes Lisa Hahn, author of Sweet. Her writing makes a beautiful pointe.
When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was young. For a while, I wrote short stories and submitted them to literary magazines with no luck. During this time, I read a popular romance and thought I’d try writing one. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the genre.
What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I used to be a ballet dancer, so I knew a fair amount about the discipline going into the book. I did a little bit of research into the different roles people play in larger companies since my experience was with small performing groups.
Where did the idea for your story come from?
There are a lot of fairytale re-tellings out right now, and I liked the idea of rooting your plot in a pre-existing story. I’d wanted to write a ballet book for a while and eventually came up with the idea of basing a series on different ballets.
Why did you pick the setting you did?
I love upstate New York. My family has a vacation cabin on Lake Champlain, so the region has always been special to me. I thought it would be the perfect place to for a small ballet company.
Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I write in my family room. I leave the NFL Network on for background noise. My dogs also hang out with me all day. I think it works because it’s comfortable in a familiar sort of way.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, and The Great Gatsby are all favorites of mine. When I was a high school English teacher, these were the ones I always looked forward to reading with my students. I’m a sucker for heartbreakingly sympathetic characters, and all these stories have at least one. I also love Slaughterhouse-Five and Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. He’s funny and prophetic, both of which are attributes I’m jealous of as a writer. The Hunger Games, The Raven Cycle, and the Fifth Wave series are my favorite YA books. In terms of romance, I like any historical romance by Lisa Kleypas. I can’t even pick my favorite series she’s written, let alone my favorite book. Courtney Milan is a close second.
What are you working on now?
A couple of things. I’m working on Cinders, the next installment in the Bretton Falls Ballet series. This book is loosely based off the Cinderella ballet and it features the heroine’s best friend from Sweet. Also, I’m almost done with my first historical romance, a western set in 1970s Montana.
Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why?
I want to write a YA book my nephew can read someday. I have an idea, but I’m so busy with romance right now to develop it. He’s still just two, so I have time.
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
Being a writer is my dream job. For a few years now, I’ve wanted to start a vegan recipe blog. I haven’t done it yet, but I have a bunch recipes written up. I hope to get around to it someday.
What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
I have an uncanny ability to say something simple in the most words possible.
Dmitri, once known for his theatrical performances and womanizing proclivities, disappears into seclusion after a horrific car accident shatters his knee and renders him unable to dance. Looking to escape the constant reminders of how far he’s fallen, Dmitri escapes to Bretton Falls in hopes of elevating the small ballet company there to international prestige. The task proves to be more challenging than Dmitri had bargained for when his surprising interest in Cat Brown becomes fodder for gossip among the company.
Cat and Dmitri both have a lot riding on their upcoming production of The Nutcracker, knowing that their careers depend upon the outcome. However, the biggest challenge they face will be staying away from one another.
About Lisa: Lisa Hahn writes romance novels across multiple sub-genres. She’s interested in stories that take place in either small towns or strange worlds, and she strives to create honest, passionate characters her readers can relate to.
Lisa didn’t start writing romance novels until her late twenties. As a child, she often penned plays for her friends to perform and progressed to writing short stories by middle school. Armed with her love of literature and her dream of one day being a writer, Lisa graduated from a small liberal arts school with a BA in English. A year later, she graduated again with an MAT in English. Lisa taught for several years, sneaking away to her desk to jot down ideas for new stories every chance she got. After receiving more rejections from literary magazines than she could count, Lisa decided to give a romance novel a try. Now she can’t imagine herself writing anything else.
Currently, Lisa and her husband live in northern New Jersey with their two dogs (Jonas and Cassie) and their cat (Blueberry). When she’s not writing, Lisa can be found reading, practicing yoga, working out, watching professional wrestling, stitching a piece of embroidery, making/eating vegan food, and rooting for the Seattle Seahawks.
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