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5 Things Liz & Lisa didn't know about... Kristin Hannah

How lucky are we?  First we kicked off February with our new look (woo hoo!).  And now, we're excited to discover 5 Things we didn't know about NYT bestselling author Kristin Hannah! Although lawyer turned writer Hannah has written a staggering EIGHTEEN novels, we just happened upon her work last year when Liz picked up a copy of FIREFLY LANE.  Blown away by the story of the journey of two lifelong friends, (sound like anyone you know?)  she broke her long standing rule to not read books that make her cry. FIREFLY LANE was so engaging that she couldn't help herself-she was bawling like a baby by page 150. (Damn you Kristin Hannah!)

Hannah's latest novel, WINTER GARDEN, focuses on Meredith and Nina Whitson, two adult sisters who were denied any real affection from their icy European mother while growing up. After their beloved father's death and mother's illness, they attempt to discover the truth about their mother's past through the Russian fairy tales she told them as children. (Click here for a sneak peek!) WINTER GARDEN is in bookstores TODAY and you can buy your copy here.

We LOVED learning more about the lovely Kristin.  Like us, she's addicted to The Biggest Loser and loves The Food Network.  But we were surprised to discover that she, well, how do we say this? SHE WRITES HER NOVELS ON A LEGAL PAD. WITH A PEN. You'll  have to read on to discover why...

Five things Liz & Lisa didn’t know about Kristin Hannah...

1. I'm a Food Network junkie.  I’ll admit it: I love everything about food.  I spend hours watching programs on the food network, as well as pouring over the recipes on their website.  Several times a week, I quit work early and make a recipe that challenges me.  Sometimes they work out beautifully, and sometimes, not so much, but I always enjoy the process.  While I was writing Winter Garden, I focused on Russian food for the first time, and I have to say it was delicious.  I wouldn’t be surprised if readers found that the book made them hungry!

2. The Biggest Loser inspired me to take up spinning.  I know I’m not alone in watching the Biggest Loser.  Honestly, I find the show inspiring, week after week.  Well, after years of watching the contestants sweat on their spinning bikes, I finally decided to give it a try myself.  I was really nervous about it.  The first time I walked into the gym’s “spinning room,” I moved pretty slowly.  I was afraid I’d fall off the bike or sweat so hard, I wouldn’t be able see.  And it was hard; I won’t lie to you.  But when the speakers blared out with Heartbreaker, I was in heaven.  I love it!

3. I write my novels longhand.  I know it seems impossible in these computer-driven days, but I’m an old school girl.  Years ago, I used a computer, but I simply found that my body couldn’t handle sitting in a chair for the hours required to write an entire novel.  Now, I write on yellow legal pads, and I can write anywhere.  On the beach, on my deck, on a boat.  Anywhere.  How great is that?

4. If I wasn't a writer, I'd want to be a Supreme Court Justice. Why not dream big, I say?  Obviously, there’s nothing I’d rather be than a writer.  I absolutely adore my chosen profession.  In fact, it’s almost an obsession.  But if, for some reason, I had to do something else, I’d love to sit on the Big Bench.  I adore the entire idea of searching for justice, untangling facts, and determining how our laws should be written to best protect us and preserve our rights.  Although I’m an attorney, I have rarely gone there in my fiction.  True Colors is the one real exception.  I was spurred to write that novel by a perceived injustice in the current legal system.

5. I'm funny.  Really. I’m still not entirely sure how I became known as a writer of tearjerkers.  I never  set out to write “sad” novels.  Rather, I intend to write emotional fiction with real-to-life characters who face intensely difficult situations; that goal often takes me into dark and complex landscapes, and thus…the sadness.  But I also try to have uplifting, life affirming endings.  Occasionally that kind of ending doesn’t fit the novel, but I try to end my books in a way that makes the reader smile.  Even if she's blinking back tears at the same time.

To read more about the fabulous and talented Kristin Hannah, head on over to her website.

xoxo, Liz & Lisa