Today, I’m delighted to welcome author and literary agent, Andrea Hurst, for a visit from an island on the scenic west coast of the USA.
When not visiting local farmer’s markets or indulging her love for chocolate, Andrea is an Amazon bestselling author and president of Andrea Hurst Literary Management. 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.
PS ~ You live in a beautiful part of the United States. Have you always called the northwest ‘home’? If not, where else have you lived?
AH ~ I love living on an island in the Pacific Northwest. I used to live in Northern California, which is also beautiful, but the whole time I was writing The Guestbook, I longed to move to Whidbey Island. When the book came out, I was living here and it felt a bit blurry between fiction and reality for a while.
PS ~ Your history shows how involved you are with teaching and mentoring others, when did you first have a desire to become a published author yourself?
AH ~ I have wanted to write since I was a teenager. I started with poetry, and then writing children’s books. My first book to get published was Everybody’s Natural Foods Cookbook in the early 80s and after that, I was hooked on book publishing. I worked as a developmental editor and consultant with authors for several years before the idea came to me for the Madrona Island Trilogy.
PS ~ As well as being a writer, you are also an agent. Which came first and how do you cope with the demands of both careers?
AH ~ I became an agent in 2003 after meeting Dr. Bernie Siegel and finding out he was looking for an agent for his children’s book. He was a writer I’d always admired and I jumped at the chance to work with him. We went on to do several adult, self-help books together and he endorsed my book, The Lazy Dog’s Guide to Enlightenment. The agency grew quickly and I began to represent fiction as well, but the longing to write my own novels never left me. I still am not sure how I juggle agenting, editing, teaching, and being an author, but passion and drive keep me going.
PS ~ Your novels have such strong messages about the positive aspects of life. Do you have a particular story of yours that you would say is your favorite? And why?
AH ~ My Madrona series books are “feel good” love stories that are designed to help the reader escape daily life and come away feeling uplifted. Often, they do the same for me as I am writing them. My stand-alone book, Always with You, is very different. The idea came to me for this book in a dream. It was so clear and the voice of the protagonist, Cathy, spoke to me on a deep level. The book practically wrote itself. However, I was hesitant to put it out because the subject matter tackled adultery. It was never a subject I set out to write about. The basic theme addresses: What if your soulmate, the love of your life appeared, but he was married to somebody else? The book probes hard questions such as, is love that transcends time and place impossible to resist? Is love more important than friendship? Are loyalty and fidelity an anchor or a chain?
PS ~ Your love of animals is obvious in your writing. What pets do you have at the moment?
AH ~ Right now I have one, black and tan dachshund named, Ferdie. He is a rescue dog that came with multiple health issues including an enlarged heart. But every minute with him is filled with love and laughter. I hope someday to have many more dogs, a few cats, and a large farm to keep them all!
PS ~ What a wonderful plan! I can’t wait to see that unfold and wish you the best with your dream. When you have time to take a break, what do you like to do to relax? Do you have any particular hobbies, interests or sports that you enjoy?
AH ~ I love traveling to new places, wonderful restaurants with farm-to-table dining, and watching a few guilty pleasure TV shows like The Voice, Fixer Upper and The Food Network. We have beautiful parks to take long walks here, and the San Juan Islands nearby for escapes or a trip to Seattle for literary events.
PS ~ Can you give us a sneak peek as to what we might expect next from you?
AH ~ The third book in the Madrona Island trilogy, Island Thyme Café, will be out late fall this year. I will be releasing a preview of the first few chapters soon as well. This book brings the series to touching and final happy ending. After completing this book, I have several more ideas I am working on, but I am not sure which will come first. I might have to do some research in Italy to complete one!
Andrea, you obviously have no shortage of great plans. I love your idea of researching a new work in Italy. No surprise there! Thanks so much for spending time with us here today.
Andrea is also a developmental editor for publishers and authors, 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.