I currently have three novels that fall in the genre of women’s fiction: The Guestbook, Tea & Comfort, and Always with You. I have always been drawn to women’s fiction since it emphasizes women and their day-to-day struggles, wins and losses. For me, the appeal of this genre is that it focuses on women finding their passion and gaining confidence in their abilities. It’s an empowering subject that I enjoy reading in as well. My books also have strong romantic elements and with the case of Always with You, it is a true love story. I try to write compelling stories that make readers think and feel and look to their own lives. What is it that makes someone fall in love with someone else? Why do some marriages work and others don’t? Can a woman find herself, live her passion and have the love of a man too? These are themes that run through my books.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
My process has been different for each book, but there is always one main event that inspires the story and everything moves from there. I focus first on getting the first draft out of my mind and onto the page and worry about the details and editing later.
Time to write and maintaining focus on what I am writing amidst a busy life are the biggest challenges I face. Sometimes I just hit a wall and can’t write for weeks. One way I’m finding to get over this issue is writing by hand at times and scheduling my writing time. Every Wednesday I go to a coffee shop on the pier here on the island and write with a group of friends. Being surrounded by other writer’s and a wonderful view of the cove helps me to immerse myself in the story and get back to my core inspiration for writing.
When and where do you do your writing?
I find that by evening I am too tired to really sit down and get any writing done, so most of my writing happens in the late morning when my mind is awake. Along with my Wednesday writing at the pier, I also write with friends on many Sunday afternoons. I find setting aside time to work on my book and surrounding myself with other writers is often when I will get some of my best and most extensive work done. When it comes to editing, that is something I do pretty intensely all hours of the day.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
One of the best ways to promote my books is through running free and discounted promotions, especially with BookBub, the largest book advertising site. These free promotions have helped me to gain over 1,150 reviews on The Guestbook. I engage with fans on Facebook, runs ads and do blog tours, speak at conferences and do giveaways on Goodreads. The best investment has been targeted advertising to reach E-book readers and continuing to build a fan base.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I love being able to artistically express the things that are most important to me in life and share them with others. In an Amazon review for Always With You, one woman posted a review that talked about how the book made her really think and reexamine her own position on right and wrong. She mentioned how she saw life in black and white before reading the book, but afterwards she saw and was more aware of the subtle gray areas in life. This review was one of my most rewarding moments as an author, because it showed me that people really understood and were touched by what I was trying to do with Always With You. It also showed me that my writing could have a real impact on the lives of others.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Jane Austen. I would love to hear about her life, career and the challenges she faced.
When not visiting local farmer's markets or indulging her love for chocolate, Andrea Hurst is an author and literary agent. Her passion for books drives her to find and write stories that take readers on a journey to another place and leave them with an unforgettable impression. She is a developmental editor for publishers and authors, an instructor in creative writing at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and a webinar presenter for Writers Digest. She lives with her dachshund in the Pacific Northwest, on an island much like the fictional Madrona, with all of its natural beauty and small town charm.
Her published books include The Guestbook, Tea & Comfort, and Always With You, The Lazy Dog's Guide to Enlightenment and Everybody's Natural Food Cookbook, and she co-authored A Book of Miracles. To learn more about Andrea and her books, visit www.AndreaHurst-author.com or www.andreahurst.com.
Join her on Facebook for book giveaways and more delicious recipes and scenic photos from Madrona Island at www.facebook.com/andreahurstauthor
I have attached the author photo and book cover below. I have also attached the excerpt and the pdf of Always With You.
We would like the start date for the blog tour to be February 8th or 9th if possible. We would also be happy to do any of those four options, whichever the blogs would prefer.
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreaHurst_
On Amazon: amzn.to/1PL98Sv