Monday, February 9, 2009

Kristin Hannah author of True Colors

Guest post by Kristin Hannah author of True Colors

All it takes is a quick look at the last ten books I've written, and it's easy to see that I'm a Pacific Northwest kind of gal. Washington state is more than simply where I live; in a way, this blue and green corner of the world defines me. One of my first queries when I begin working on a book is the setting. Where does this story take place? What I'm looking for is a place that can become almost a character in the book. An area that can be pure platinum to the jewel of the story. As a I reader, I find that there's a lot of fiction set in the Northeast and the South, but we in the west are woefully underrepresented. That's a loss I try to quietly combat.

In Firefly Lane, I chose a particularly personal setting, which made sense because Firefly was a deeply personal book. Like the characters in the novel, I grew in rural western Washington and went to the University of Washington. The book, which follows two women and their thirty year friendship, allowed me to pull back the curtain on a Washington state that doesn't exist anymore. On my fictional tour, you'll be taken to the old roller rink where I first learned that women could rock out (the group turned out to be Heart), to the town's first coffeehouse, where you got a cup of drip coffee and talked about the politics of the day. Remember that? When you used to sit down for coffee and only had one cup a day???

Honestly, after all the soul baring I did in Firefly Lane, I was ready to pull back a little, to take my own life out of the mix. That was my intent when I began True Colors, anyway. It wasn't until the question of setting that I found my own life creeping back into the story. First, I chose a wild, wonderful, secret part of the state, where I LOVE the beach, and secondly, I added in horses. As a girl, I was one of those horsey chicks. I grew up on acreage, with my horses in the pasture beside the house. From the time I was thirteen on, my horse was one of my very best friends. And best of all, my mom and I were together for horse shows. Many of my favorite mother-daughter memories take place in a dusty old barn somewhere, or sitting side by side in the front of our true.

In True Colors, I'll give you a glimpse into a world you might not know--a world filled with men and women who are connected to one another through their love of horses. Of course, the book is about more than horses--it's about a shocking crime, a stranger who comes to town and may or may not be dangerous, sisters who find themselves on opposite sides of the law, and a town that is changed forever by murder.

I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. This past year I have been fortunate enough to speak to many, many book clubs about Firefly Lane, and I look forward to talking to even more about True Colors.

Aloha for now--



Kaye said...

Hi, I haven't read True Colors but I just finished and reviewed a short while ago, Firefly Lane. What a wonderful book, I just loved it. You got right to the heart of the characters and never let go. Thank you for such a fabulous story.

Anonymous said...

Super post! I have "True Colors" in my TBR pile and can't wait to get to it. :)