Interview with Hannah Warren, author of The Cottage on the Border

Christy: Greetings and salutations, Hannah! Welcome to Green Dragon’s Cave!

· Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
I live on my own – with my old cat – in the South-west of the Netherlands, close to the Belgian border, where I’ve raised my 3 kids and work at a university of applied sciences. Many, many years ago I was born in Paris (Fr.) of an English mum and a Dutch dad. I now have 8 years of paid job before me until my retirement and then may settle in the green hills of England to write full-time and enjoy the uprooted roots I feel strongest.

· Tell us about the setting of your book. Why did that place speak to you?
I tend to fall for strange, often derelict cottages, which I come across on my hikes. I prefer them to be abandoned so I can listen to the stories they whisper in my ears when they draw me closer. I don’t think I’m really mediumistic but houses/buildings speak to me and I instantly feel at home or abhor a place. Or it’s neutral to me.

The story of The Cottage on The Border (first book in The Jenna Kroon Series) was born of such a place, half dream, half imagination, with all kinds of sub-conscious threads that go back to the history of my own ancestors. I believe strongly in the energy of buildings. The second book in this trilogy is called The Farm on Nieuw Land Road and two farms are central in this sequel: one on the Belgian border and one in South Venezuela. The third book is called The House on Broadway, which is actually a theatre and will reveal the inner life of a group of competitive dancers. Old theme, new housing. Yes, a dwelling always come first in my book and then the characters arrive to occupy them and either get destroyed or survive their strange lodgings.

· How would you generally categorize the books/stories you write?
I write suspenseful family sagas, usually about strong women who have to face difficult situations and have to make impossible choices, sometimes paying for it with their own life. I love writing about generations of families.

· Is there a character you identify with most in your book? Who and why?
Vincent van Son, who is Jenna’s foster brother and her psychiatrist. He’s always loving and kind, never loses his temper and believes ardently that love and family bonds will win in the end. He goes way out of his own comfort zone to ‘heal’ his rebellious, difficult sister. But whether he is successful?

· Do you listen to music when you write?
No, I need absolute silence. Sadly enough. Even if the neighbour’s baby has her crying hour and our windows are open in the summertime, I’m already vastly distracted. No phone, no doorbell.

· What do you like least about writing?
Starting. I’m terrible at it.

· What advice would you give an aspiring author?
I actually wrote a very well-read blog about this theme in April so I suggest – if you’re interested – to read it here. My Advice To A Novice Writer

· Fantastic advice! Name a few of your favorite non-writing activities.
Eating, sleeping, being in touch with writing friends on FB, hiking, Yoga, gardening, watching films, reading, jogging, cycling, drinking gin-tonic, laughing, spending time with my children, watching nature, spying on my weird neighbour across the road (a lesser quality, I admit, but very funny!), cooking, sun-bathing (in moderation), my paid job, listening to music

And now, a blurb from The Cottage on The Border (First Book in the Jenna Kroon Series)

Jenna’s earliest memory is of her mother’s feet dangling in dust motes, as a three year old left orphaned while her mother’s corpse hung from a beam. Her mother committed suicide, that’s how she escaped and freed herself. When her own life falls apart Jenna’s earliest memory becomes her anchor, she too wants to be free.

Vincent Van Son is Jenna’s adopted brother, her psychiatrist, perhaps her only friend. He takes her to the Cottage for recovery, determined to rescue his sister from herself after her failed suicide attempt. The cottage on the border is at Oud Land, and is the location of many dark secrets.

Jenna’s close call with death leaves her open to the psychic world, and in this cottage in the onset of a misty winter, Jenna hears them, the voices of the past, memories of what happened on the border. It becomes a journey to herself. She has to listen, to witness, she has no choice. Their stories are her story, and it is a long heritage of murder, deceit, ethnic discourse and betrayal.

Perspective returns to the introspective prima ballerina, she has learned the truth of her family, of this cottage of psychic confessions. She alone emerges from the rubble of six decades of troubled family history, a lone phoenix.

The Cottage on The Border is a tale of murder, mystery, intrigue, familial despair, heartbreak, and spiritual resurrection.

Bio:
Hannah Warren was born in Paris (Fr.) in 1956 as a second child to a Dutch father and an English mother. She has lived in The Netherlands almost all her life but maintains strong ties with her own favourite triangle: France, UK and Holland.

Hannah studied Dutch literature and Mass Communication at the University of Amsterdam and later obtained a B.A. in English Literature and Language and a B.A. in Translation from Rotterdam University. After having been a lecturer and a translator for many years, she now works as a staff member at the International Office of HZ University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen.
Her free-time is taken up by writing fiction and doing Yoga. She also likes going on long hikes while listening to audiobooks. After having been a single mum for nearly two decades, her three children have flown the nest. The great sadness that befell Hannah in March 2014 was the loss of her eldest child, daughter Joy, who died after an intense two-year struggle against bile duct cancer. Currently her second child, son Ivor, is fighting a brain tumour. Her whole life and the future of her children (-in-law) is totally upside down. Writing fiction is Hannah’s main outlet in her grief.

From the age of 8, Ms Warren has written poetry, novels and short stories but it took her over 50 years to become a published author. In the past four years she signed with two small Indie publishing houses, who released Hannah’s first two novels, a literary romance and a suspenseful family saga. She is currently writing the sequel to the second book and also a five-book series about five generations of daughters between 1876 and 2015. Hannah found her niche in writing fictional stories about strong women who lead challenging lives.

Hannah is very happy to have been accepted by the Irish publishing house Tirgearr Publishing in March 2015. On 22 May Tirgearr published Hannah’s two earlier published books Casablanca, My Heart and The Cottage on The Border, first book in The Jenna Kroon Series.

Links:
Website and blog: www.hannahwarrenauthor.com
Tirgearr author site with links to books: Tirgearr Publishing – Hannah Warren
FB author page: Hannah Warren Books
Twitter: Hannah WarrenAuthor
Goodreads: Hannah Warren

Originally posted on my old blog:

http://greendragon.quora.com/Interview-with-Hannah-Warren-author-of-The-Cottage-on-the-Border

Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.

– Stunning, Strange and Secret: A Guide to Hidden Scotland
– Mythical, Magical, Mystical: A Guide to Hidden Ireland
More info at Green Dragon Artist :: Home,
Christy Jackson Nicholas, Author, and
Tirgearr Publishing – Christy Nicholas

Green Dragon Artist Blog

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I am an artist, accountant and author living in western New York, transplanted from Denmark, Michigan, Florida, West Virginia, Pennsylvania (in that order!) I love the beauty of the world and sharing it with others through jewelry, photography, digital painting and writing.

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