Interview with Jenny Hale, Author of The Memory Keeper

23 Feb 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, The Memory Keeper?

The Memory Keeper is a story about finding lost loves, chasing dreams, and the people who show up when they’re needed the most. This book is very close to my heart, as it’s the first book published by my new romantic fiction imprint Harpeth Road Press, although it’s the 16th published novel over my career.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Other authors inspired me to write my first story. Two notable authors that I was reading when I thought, “I can do this, too,” were Jill Mansell and Harriet Evans.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Oh wow–that’s hard! I can’t pick just books because there are so many! Anything by the ladies above, Debbie Macomber, Sophie Kinsella, and out of genre, but wonderful is the great Bill Bryson.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest?

What would you want to ask? I think I’d like to have a panel of guests with my favorite writers: Emily Giffin, Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner, Richard Paul Evans, Jill Mansell, Harriet Evans, and tons of others. Instead of asking a question, I’d sit us all in a circle and ask them to start throwing out story ideas.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Editing! The first draft always kills me. It’s literally me just throwing down the story so I have something to play with. Editing is when I go back in and add layers to the characters and setting, funny moments, sometimes I’ll even write the ending at this stage so that it can be really impactful once I have all the little sparkly things in place.

What is a typical day like for you?

Long. Ha. I get up at 6 a.m. and sit at my desk. I usually work seven days a week and spend all day at my desk, only getting up to do things with the kids or exercise. The rest of the time I’m working, usually with headphones on and coffee shop sounds playing to drown out the rest of the house’s noise. When we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic, I will often go to coffee shops to work. I get my best writing out of the house.

What scene from The Memory Keeper was your favorite to write?

I loved writing all the scenes with Hannah’s best friend Ethan. Hannah was his person–the only other creative he knew. They had a bond that was unbreakable, and their best friend chemistry was so fun to write.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

The time will pass whether you do it or not, so do it. 

Jenny Hale is the author of the new book The Memory Keeper

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