Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Interview with Andrea Hurst, Author of Always With You

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 dachshunds 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 Always With You, The Guestbook, the soon to be released Tea & Comfort, 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

Join her on Facebook for book giveaways, delicious recipes and scenic photos from Madrona Island at www.facebook.com/andreahurstauthor

When did you begin writing?

I began writing when I was in college, where I was an Expressive Arts major. For my thesis, I wrote a cookbook called Everybody’s Natural Food Cookbook. While it would be years later till I started writing novels, this was my first experience with writing a book and getting it published.

What is this book about?

Always With You is reminiscent of the exploration of conscience found in Bridges of Madison County, and the passionate and often tear-jerking love stories of Nicholas Sparks. New York Times bestselling author of On the Island , Tracey Garvis Graves, said, “Always With You is the bittersweet and poignant love story of a woman trapped between temptation and the ties that bind.”

In Always With You, Cathy has buried herself in her work and kept men at arm’s length since the devastating failure of her short-lived marriage. But when an old high school friend, Pam, brings her family for a short stay, Cathy’s stone walls begin to crumble when she meets Jamie. Jamie, whose compassion and warmth slowly break down her defenses. Jamie, whose devotion to his four-year-old daughter melts Cathy's heart and makes her desperate for a family of her own. Jamie… who is married to Pam.

A profound love that transcends time and place is impossible to resist. But is love more important than friendship? Are loyalty and fidelity an anchor or a chain? In the end, it’s all about choices – tough ones that can break hearts. Now Cathy must delve into the deepest places of her heart and ultimately decide the future for them all. “Only dangling threads of Cathy’s pride remained. Love took prisoners no matter what the circumstances; it broke open the heart with no regard for consequences.” 

What inspired you to write it?

The idea came to me in a dream—a very powerful dream. It must have resonated with me deeply because I had to write that story. The story flowed out of me in just a matter of months. I sat down and started writing in first person, present tense, which I’ve never done before, even though, the story ends up in third person. I could basically hear Cathy’s voice telling me the story. And I really reacted to it as if I was hearing it, because I found myself very sad in parts of the book. Just thinking about the book today, it’s still a very emotional experience. In the end, it is a book about love and the choices we make from our heart.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Cathy is my favorite character from the book. She was a character I felt extremely connected to right away. As I said, the first draft of this book was in first person present tense in Cathy’s point of view. I have always had a vivid connection to Cathy.

Cathy, owns a health food café in Always With You and I actually owned a health food café, myself in 1977 called Over the Rainbow in Petaluma, CA, so, in that way, I had some experience with it. In 1977, health food was a big part of the culture and it was easy to connect to this character.

Cathy also had a difficult childhood that she managed to overcome and find love. I admire Cathy and understand how devastating her situation with Jamie was.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

One of the best investments I ever made in my book was hiring 2Market Books to help me create free promotions on The Guestbook and Always With You, especially when I bought a BookBub ad to promote it. These free promotions have helped me to build my audience and gain over 950 reviews on The Guestbook. This investment in having free promotions with big advertising really helped me find my audience and build a fan base.

What is up next for you?

My next project is book two in the Madrona Island Trilogy, Tea & Comfort. This book features Kyla, who owns a tea and herb shop called Tea & Comfort. Kyla was once engaged to a man, Luke, who just moved to Madrona Island. Now she must fight the attraction still simmering between them, even as Luke pushes her to tell him why she broke their engagement. Look for this beautiful romance, which should come out in March.

1 comment:

Kathleen Higgins-Anderson said...

Thank you for hosting the virtual book tour. - Kathleen Anderson, PUYB Tour Coord.