Hazel Gaynor’s best-selling historical novels take famous events and look at how they affected the lives of the “little people.” Her most recent work – her eighth – Meet Me in Monaco – does just that with the events surrounding Grace Kelly’s Monaco marriage to Princess Rainier.
Hi there I’m your host Jenny Wheeler and today Hazel talks about what it takes to build a successful author career and the Titanic love story that got her launched.
And as a special treat we’ve got three paperback copies of her latest book Meet Me in Monaco to giveaway in a draw to three lucky readers. Enter through the website or our Joys of Binge Reading Facebook page. Entries close March 27 check. Enter link here.
Six things you’ll learn from this Joys of Binge Reading episode:
- How did Hazel break into writing
- The magic of Monaco
- The Titanic’s Irish connection
- Writing with a collaborative partner
- The writers she admires most
- What she’d do differently second time around
Where to find Hazel Gaynor:
What follows is a “near as” transcript of our conversation, not word for word but pretty close to it, with links to important mentions.
Jenny Wheeler: But now here is Hazel. Hello there, Hazel, and welcome to the show. It’s great to have you with us.
Hazel Gaynor: Hi, it’s so great to be here. Thanks so much for inviting me.
Jenny Wheeler: Your first novel won a historical novel of the year contest from the Romance Novelist Association. You’ve gone on to write seven other historical novels. Most of them have been best sellers in more than one country, and the most recent of them is Meet Me in Monaco, which details Grace Kelly’s transition to Princess Grace. So how did you get started?
Getting down to being an author
Hazel Gaynor: Gosh. Well, it’s interesting because actually my first finished novel was never published. That’s in a drawer, never to see the light of day, which I think is the experience of most published authors. And it’s just that process of believing in yourself, finding time in your day. I was writing at the start of my career when I had very young children, so there was no time to actually sit down and write.
But it’s funny how you find time. And so that was my learning book, and I think most authors have one of those. But I think the process of writing that gave me the confidence so when I started to write The Girl Who Came Home, which is inspired by the story of the Titanic and a group of Irish passengers on the Titanic specifically, I think because I had sat down at the kitchen table at five o’clock in the morning before anyone was awake, I knew I could do it.
Beginning with a ‘Mum’s column’
So that was really where I started. Although I had two years prior to writing a novel, I had written a blog about my life as an ex corporate business woman who then became a stay at home mom and all of the sort of huge changes that brought to my life. So I’ve been writing about my personal experience, writing about being a mum.
And again, I think it just, it’s like an apprenticeship. It let me find my voice, my style, and just the confidence to stop doubting myself and to sit down and write and see what happened.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. Now that first unpublished novel, was that also historical?
Hazel Gaynor: No, it wasn’t actually. It was very contemporary. I suppose it would be called contemporary women’s fiction, and it’s interesting because that’s probably why it didn’t become the book I was meant to get published with because it wasn’t really where my passion, where my heart was. My heart has always been, if you look at my bookshelf, they’re littered with historical novels.
An ardent fan of history
I studied history to A level at school, but I thought I should write a women’s contemporary novel because lots of people I knew were writing women’s contemporary novels. It’s one piece of advice I would give to authors now, as you know. Don’t write what you think you should write because you won’t do a good job with it if it’s not in your heart, if you’re really not passionate about it.
Jenny Wheeler: And what is it, do think that draws you to historical fiction?
Hazel Gaynor: I think for me, it just provides an incredibly rich source of story. And I think it was coincidental that we’re living through this period of time now where we’re hitting lots of sort of historical milestones.
You know, we’re living through centenary events, or commemorative events of both the First World War and the Second World War. The liberation of Auschwitz was just commemorated, the 75th anniversary of that just the other week. In 2012, we had the hundred year commemoration of the sinking of Titanic, and it’s possibly that I think that we’re talking so much about these fun, fascinating, horrific, world-changing events that happened in the distant past.
The Titanic as a living story
And yet technology has shrunk the world so much – we’re now more able, I think, to reach out to people who were potentially involved in history, to me seems not so much this black and white sepia tinted thing that we might have thought it was.
It feels very dynamic to me. And I find myself really drawn to those human stories. So, you know, an ordinary young woman with children. Very similar to me now, but what would that have been like if your children suddenly had to go to war or if one of them was caught up in this incredible disaster?
So it’s that really human, the ordinary person caught up in these extraordinary events. That’s what really interests me.
Working in a writing partnership
Jenny Wheeler: Meet Me In Monaco was co-authored with Heather Webb, and that’s the second co-authoring work that you’ve done. How did you get together to decide write? And how does the collaboration work?
Hazel Gaynor: Yes, it’s fantastic. We both say it’s a really been an unexpected addition to our careers. We have the same literary agent, and when we were both debut authors back in 2013, she connected us and said, I think you two will get on. Heather was writing historical novels as well. We really just cheered each other on through that experience of publishing our debut novels.
And over the few years we started to talk, we’d collaborated on an anthology that had been curated, which involved nine authors writing about the end of the Great War. And after that, we decided to work together on what was our first co-written novel Last Christmas in Paris, which tells the story from a male and female perspective of the four years of the First World War.
Monaco – summery and hopeful
And we had such an incredible time. We loved doing it. it really complements our individual writing. We bounce ideas off each other, and it’s really lovely to have that person in your corner. So we decided to do it again, and we wrote Meet Me In Monaco, which having written a very dark in one way, but it’s also is a very hopeful one – our book Last Christmas in Paris, but it is about war.
I think having written that, we felt we wanted to do something very different, very summery, very romantic and pinned around the story of Grace Kelly who married the Prince of Monaco. And how, again, very ordinary people, we have a young parfumier in France and a young British press photographer who get caught up in that whirlwind romance and wedding and how that effects their lives as well.
A change of mood and setting
It was a fantastic book to research together and write together, and we loved it. We love the collaboration.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s probably the most recent -in quotes, “historical” because it starts in the mid 50s and reaches into the 70s. I’ve actually heard it said that Hollywood books perhaps don’t sell as well as other books, which surprises me a bit because I would have expected the opposite. What made you set your sights on this particular story?
Hazel Gaynor: I think it was partly a coming out of writing about The Great War. We both felt we had really researched that and had written it. We were so proud of Last Christmas in Paris and so fond of our characters. It was really creatively a challenge to each other, to ourselves as to where will we go next?
And quite deliberately, it really started with location. So, whereas Last Christmas in Paris, obviously by the title itself, it’s quite a seasonal book. We wanted to do the polar opposite. So summer sunshine, the Mediterranean sea. And that took us to the Riviera, to Cannes film festival.
Royal weddings – history repeats
And obviously we’re history girls so we’re looking at the past and all of those, you know, the golden age of Hollywood, those iconic stars.
And Grace Kelly was one that kept coming up. When we thought about it and talked about it, we had both been interested in her story independently to this and wanted to find out more. There’s all sorts of speculation and gossip, that surrounded that relationship. And we wanted to dig into it, and to understand a little bit more about her and what was going on around that relationship.
And actually that happened just at the same time as Meghan Markle, was being engaged to Prince Harry. So it was almost like, here we are, history repeating itself and another American princess.
Loving what you do important
So again the dynamism of history, it really appealed to us, but that’s what’s lovely with writing historicals. Neither of us have become entrenched too much in a very narrow period of history. I mean, it’s very much 20th century history, but it gives you a nice scope to find stories that really ignite something.
If you’re living with a story, researching, writing, promoting for over a two, three year period, you really need to love it. It’s really fabulous when you find that person or event that really gets you and you want to, you want to really dig in.
Jenny Wheeler: You quote Grace Kelly as saying, “I avoid looking back. I prefer good memories to regrets.” Now you almost tantalizingly leaves you to wonder if she was hinting at the fact that she had regrets, but she was ignoring them, or is that more the overall theme of the story?
Princess Grace as ‘fairy godmother’
Hazel Gaynor: So, yeah, a little bit of both really. I mean, Grace really acts, we’ve talked about this and said she really acts as sort of a fairy godmother in the book, and it’s how her romance and all of the media circus that surrounded that wedding, how that impacted on other people who would otherwise not have been in any way associated with the Royal family or a princess to be.
And as I said, you know, this was one of the first global media celebrity couples. As we see exactly the same today, the newspapers could not get enough of them. And of course, where there’s love, there will always follow gossip, speculation. Are they really happy, is she really giving up her fabulous acting career to marry this curious man who nobody knew much about. It was really interesting.
Digging for the truth
She was a very quotable woman. She was a very complex woman, you know, much more than perhaps she’s been given credit for in terms of the charitable work she did and, and how important her role as a princess was to her.
It really opened up that whole avenue of missed opportunities, those sliding doors, moments in life that mean we’re in just the right place at just the right time or not. Um, and do we live with regret or are we content with the decisions that we’ve made? We did an awful lot of research.
There are certainly some schools of thought that would say she had a very unhappy marriage. And there are others. We read books, for example, written by one of her bridesmaids, a very dear friend who said she was very much in love. And of course, all marriages have problems and challenges, and she was very aware of that.
Humanizing a disaster
She was a really fascinating woman to inspire a book around.
Jenny Wheeler: It almost sounds like there’s more there that you could use in another book, sometime. You’ve referred to your first book, the one that is based around the Titanic, and it was also predicated on that anniversary that you’ve mentioned the 100th anniversary of its loss in 2012. How did all those factors come together?
Hazel Gaynor: Well, purely by chance, to be honest, because as I mentioned. I had been writing another book entirely, but I had always been interested in the Titanic.
I was about 14 or 15 years old when the wreck was found and suddenly this footage of this iconic ship and a child’s toy and a boot and a plate and a saucer, – it suddenly humanized the whole thing. I was very, very interested in it. And I suppose my novelist gaze started to wonder.
The Irish passengers in steerage
I thought to myself one day, do you know, I could write about the Titanic, but then I thought, no, you can’t. That’s ridiculous. That’s terrifying. It’s enormous and too tragic. And how would I even do that? But anyway, I think sometimes an idea finds you, rather than you finding the idea and living in Ireland, I understood, obviously the boat was built in Belfast and it’s last port of call before it’s set off across the Atlantic was in County Cork.
I started to look into who were the Irish passengers, and obviously they were the least wealthy, most of them. And so they would’ve been in steerage, which had the greatest loss of life. I started to research the Irish passengers on the Titanic, and that was what again, led me to this, this nugget of what I felt was a relatively untold story of the Titanic.
We associate it with the very wealthy, with the Astors and the Strauses and the finery of first-class accommodation. And I found a story of a group of 14 friends and family from County Mayo who traveled together and it was their story.
Making history real and immediate
Although I didn’t use real names, I fictionalized and amalgamated some of those people into my version of their experience of sailing together on the Titanic and what happened to them. When I’d started to research and write, I hadn’t actually realized that 2012 would be the centenary. So it was a very fortunate everything coming together, the stars aligning, if you like, and it really did give me the extra impetus to write that book and put it out there.
I originally self-published it, and that subsequently led to it being noticed by the person who is now my agent and represents me. And that then led to my publishing deal with Harper Collins, who I’ve been with ever since it.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s a great story. A wonderful story. You’ve mentioned that you are attracted to ordinary people’s stories. But the other thing I’ve noticed is that a number of your books have dual timelines.
A famous lighthouse heroine
Like with the Grace Darling story, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, you deal with two generations, spread a hundred years apart, and the Titanic one is the same. You treat the generation that went on the boat, but then you treat the impact on the family in the 1980s, 60 years later.
Hazel Gaynor: Yes. I’ve done that several times now, and again, say for example, with The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter, which again was inspired by a real young woman who rescued survivors of a shipwreck off the coast of Northumberland in England in 1838 and she became a local and national heroine, which she found that very difficult to handle.
What I find interesting is if you take, for example, her as a young woman in 1838, and what interests me is his legacy and how people like Grace, or how these incredible events, the ripple effect they have through time and through generations in a family.
Uncovering family secrets
And I’m sure we have all got examples of the typical skeletons in the closet or a family event that people are vaguely aware of, but nobody really talks about. And I think that’s very true of people who survived the Wars. Any of those events historically, people would not be encouraged to dwell on or talk about.
It was very much, you just get over it, get on with it. And it’s only now when those people are often coming to the end of their lives and they have this compulsion to suddenly to talk about it, to share their story before it’s too late. My grandma turned 100 just last November, and I think still having her around is maybe part of that as well, because she does every now and again she wants to tell you something that she’s never spoken about before.
And that’s where this sort of dual timeline generational component comes into my stories, because I think it’s often only through looking back, that we can really understand why are we the way we are, what happens in our family’s past, and that incredible sense of legacy that written documents, letters or an old locket, at a treasured piece of family jewelry and heirloom.
It’s the story of what happens to the people who owned it before we did. What I often do and have done, for example, in The Lighthouse Keeper’ Daughter, and as you mentioned in The Girl Who Came Home and in A Memory Of Violets as well, my second novel. It’s a lovely way to tell the arc of a story and have those generational touchstones.
Enjoying her second career
Jenny Wheeler: Now you’ve been translated into 10 languages. You sell in 17 countries. I think they must have been some talk of TV or movie options on one of these wonderful best selling books. Is there anything like that happening at the moment? Do you sometimes just pinch yourself and think how lucky am I?
Hazel Gaynor: I always pinch myself and think how lucky I am because as I said this is very much a second career that I came to just when I hit my forties.
And I am very blessed to have been able to to keep writing. You know, we often talk about it. It’s difficult to get published, but it’s equally difficult to stay published. I’m delighted to be still doing it and, you know, always pinching myself. Always want more, always looking for that TV or movie deal.
I haven’t had any of my books optioned. I think it’s most authors, it’s on that bucket list of wishes, and dreams. We live in hope. Maybe one day, hopefully not too far in the future.
Getting on the moving screen
Jenny Wheeler: Well now that Netflix is gobbling up so much content, I think that there’s a good chance.
Hazel Gaynor: It’s interesting. And even if you look at the the Golden Globes, the Oscar award season, so many of what currently is popular has come from an novel. There’s an awful lot of, you’re right, Netflix and other streaming services, they all need content, so we just have to keep writing our books.
Jenny Wheeler: Moving away from talking about specific books to your wider career, you just alluded to the fact that this is like a second career. Tell us a little bit about your life before you became a full time writer. And how did that experience influence your writing?
Hazel Gaynor: I was in a very different sort of career altogether. So I worked for professional services, big five corporate law firms, accountancy firms, in the city, in London.
Bad luck brings good fortune
I spent a year in Australia, worked in Sydney, in the similar sort of industries. I did a business studies degree, so it very much came out of my university degree into the career that followed. And I was happily doing that. And then unfortunately my position was made redundant, when the economy here in Ireland crushed in 2009.
And I found myself at home with two young children, which is something I had never planned to do. But it’s funny, isn’t it? How sometimes life throws these things and it really turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It has given me this creative career that I think was possibly always in me, but I had no contacts in the publishing industry.
I didn’t know any authors. I was a voracious reader, always have been since I was a child, but never in a million years thought somebody like me who didn’t know anyone in that business would ever have been able to write books or get them published. I knew nothing about it.
The Inspiration Project
So it really has been a blessing and it has allowed me to be around my children more as well because I was dashing off and commuting ridiculous hours to get to my corporate job.
And it’s allowed me to blend a career I love with being there for my children a bit more. So I feel very, very, very lucky, from that point of view as well. So life changed, but for the better, I think it’s quite lovely.
Jenny Wheeler: I see on your website that you perhaps have translated that experience of not really knowing where to start into something called The Inspiration Project, a writing school you’ve launched with two other Irish writers, Catherine Ryan Howard, and Carmel Harrington.
Tell us a little bit about The Inspiration Project and what’s happening with it at the moment.
Hazel Gaynor: Yeah, so that is exactly as you said, this is where it came from because the experience I’ve just mentioned, this is very, very similar with Catherine and Carmel and we, unbeknown to each other at the time, were all trying to find, and fathom our way through this publishing industry we knew nothing about.
Giving back to Irish writers
And then Ireland is quite a small community of writers and we’re very supportive. And we met and over the years our friendship formed, and we started to think, you know, how can we, what would we do if we were starting out all over again?
What would we want to know? And so we designed The Inspiration Project, which started out as a a two day writing event and is now a one day writing event, hopefully soon to become a podcast where we talk very honestly, very openly about what, what worked for us. Not so much do’s and don’ts, but real practical examples of how to improve your chances of being published. Just information that it’s really hard to come by if you’re not in the industry. How does a publishing deal work? What is an advance? What does that mean? What are royalties? You know, really honest, open. Hopefully amusing, fun advice, where we get lots of likeminded people together.
Covering all possibilities honestly
Because it’s often that almost holding your hand up saying, I want it to be a writer. And just admitting it in front of a group of people is quite cathartic. We’ve absolutely loved doing the courses. We’re very proud of it and it’s something we’ll do for as long as we’re enjoying doing it.
Hopefully there’s a lot more to come.
Jenny Wheeler: Great. And do you also cover the possibility of being an indie published writer as well?
Hazel Gaynor: Yes, absolutely. All three of us. initially were published as indies. We each self-published to start our career and then have subsequently transitioned over into a traditional publishing route.
We have the full experience, if you’d like to talk about and share with writers, whether they’re coming to it from preferring an indie route or wanting a hybrid or a purely traditional. We cover all bases. I write historical, Catherine writes crime, and Carmel writes really compelling uplit fiction.
We have a really nice breadth of experience and interests as well.
Secret of the successful first draft
Jenny Wheeler: One of the pieces of advice you give on your website, which I thought might’ve been a tongue in cheek reference to your Irish heritage. You say, “Write drunk, edit sober.” I had to laugh at that.
Hazel Gaynor: I can’t take credit for that. I think that was Hemingway, but yeah, I love that. It just to me sums up how to tackle the writing process. It’s this whole idea of you’re not expected to write the perfect book the first time you sit at your desk and try to get the idea out of your head onto paper.
This idea of first drafts, allowing yourself to make mistakes, allowing your writing to be far from perfect because you’re trying to find the story. You’re developing your characters, your narrative. This idea of freeing yourself, so the crazy drunken, you know, go crazy when you’re writing, but when you edit, when you rewrite, when you’re polishing, then you need to be really on it and completely sober.
Beating self-doubt a key
And it captures that sense of don’t be too hard on yourself when you’re first drafting. Once you’ve got the story down. Then you can go through a more serious sober cup of tea rather than a gin and tonic.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s right. I think with the first draft, it’s very noticeable when you start writing is that critic editor voice is very much there. You have to switch that off, don’t you?
Hazel Gaynor: You really do. And it’s not easy. I think that’s why a lot of books are abandoned. It’s not that the book isn’t good or that the writing isn’t good. It’s that self-doubt. And also it’s really hard. It’s really difficult to continue writing, and keep control of a story and your characters and all the threads for a hundred thousand words.
It’s really, really difficult. You just have to allow yourself, give yourself the permission for that to be a bit messy when you first try, you know, it’s like having a piece of clay as a sculptor.
Hazel as reader – books she loves
You’re not going to perfect that beautiful thing the first time you put your hands on it. You’ve got to shape it and work with it. And it’s exactly the same with a story. So I don’t encourage people to get drunk when they’re writing, but that was Hemingway’s way of putting it.
Jenny Wheeler: I must admit I hadn’t realized it was Hemingway, so that’s my bad. You mentioned you were very keen reader, and this is The Joys of Binge Reading. Turning to Hazel as reader, what do you like to read and, and who have been passionate about in the past?
Hazel Gaynor: Well, it won’t surprise you that I love historical fiction. I came to historical novels as a reader first through Philippa Gregory’s amazing Tudor court series. The Other Boleyn Girl was really the book that for me. I read it and I went, “Oh my gosh, she makes it feel like it’s happening now.” And it was a really different dramatic, dynamic way to tell those historical events that we think we know all about. And who’s Mary Boleyn?
Rose Tremain – writing hero
You know, this was incredible to me, and I got to meet and interview Philippa once I was an established author and it was just the most incredible connection back to hearing how she researched that book. And, so she had a really big influence on me as a reader, and a writer, and also Rose Tremain.
I absolutely adore her writing. There’s The Colour, about prospectors in New Zealand. I do believe. An amazing book. And Music & Silence. She writes historicals so beautifully. They would be two who I would go back to. Merivel again, one of hers, just incredible, and Restoration (short listed for the Booker Prize) )
I am fortunate now that I am asked often to read books ahead of publication, so I get to read a lot more widely than I possibly would have. As I’ve mentioned, my friend Catherine writes thrillers. So she terrifies the life out of me every now and again. And Catherine Carmel writes these uplifting real contemporary stories that have full of heart.
JoJo Moyes a favorite
I’m lucky. I have a million books on my bedside locker at the same time and several piles on the floor, and I never have time to read them all. But it’s a lovely problem to have.
Jenny Wheeler: Who would you recommend if people were looking for a read right now?
Hazel Gaynor: Well actually I’m about, or third of the way into Jojo Moyes latest The Giver Of Stars. She went back to historicals, because she originally used to write historicals -gorgeous books. I think one of hers has been made into a movie, The Last Letter From Your Lover, which again was a book I read and was just blown away by, and then The Me Before You, that incredible phenomenon came. The Giver Of Stars is her first return to historical about horseback librarians in Kentucky in the Great Depression of the 1930s.
It’s lovely and real escapism and I’m really enjoying it. I’d recommend that to people. And another one I read recently as well, Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which I’d highly recommend, especially if anybody out there listening loves Fleetwood Mac. It’s a sort of a retelling of the band’s history and of the lead singer, Stevie Nicks. But it’s fictional and it’s fabulous.
Doing it all over again?
Jenny Wheeler: Well, that sounds great. That sounds wonderful. We are starting to come to the end of our time together, so looking from where we’re standing now back over the years, not that it’s that many years, in your case, at the stage in your career, if you were doing it all over again, what would you change, if anything?
Hazel Gaynor: I honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m very lucky. I suppose in a way to be able to say that it’s not always been perfect. Believe me, there have been serious moments of doubt. Obviously. I went through several years of rejection to get the yes. You only need one ‘yes.’ But I think every rejection, every difficult moment of self doubt, every struggle, every bad review has just helped me become a better writer.
New book a change in direction
I wouldn’t change any of it because it’s all been part of the path and the path I’m still on and there are still things I want to achieve. There are many, many more books I want to write. There’s lots of things on my bucket list as an author still to tick. I’m eight books in, and I kind of in a way filled that I’m only just getting going.
My new book releasing later this year, which will be called The Bird In The Bamboo Cage, and we’ll be releasing in New Zealand in August, has taken me to a new location. It’s set in China, in World War II and tells the story of a group of school children and their teachers who were caught up in a Japanese internment camp. So again, a new era, a new location, and I can’t wait for people to read that book and hopefully many more that I’ll go onto right beyond that.
The secret of success
Jenny Wheeler: Wow. That sounds like a very different step in another direction.
Hazel Gaynor: Yes. And I think it’s a personal challenge. I think naturally with each book you write, you find another layer of confidence in your storytelling, in your ability to overcome those hurdles and get the story down.
It’s an ever evolving process, so it’s lovely to have had the success and to be finding new readers all the time. And long may it last.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. For those who are looking at you and thinking, Oh, I’d love to have that life. Is there one thing you’ve done, perhaps more than any other, that you would create it as the secret of your success?
Hazel Gaynor: Honestly hard work. There are no shortcuts, and it’s something I talk about a lot. There is no secret formula. It is messy. I mean, if you could see my desk where I’m sitting right now, you would want to send in somebody to help me. I’m surrounded by chaos. I’m obviously, I’m a busy mom as well.
Combining writing and family life
I have to stop writing at certain times of the day to do the school run, to help with homework, to go to football and rugby. It’s chaos really, but you have to make it work and hard work is the only thing that will ever get your book written, Hard work and tenacity. You’ve got to keep going.
You’ve got to hang in there when the rejections are flying in, or if you have a bad day, a bad review, you’ve just got to arm yourself with your self belief, and ride out those tough days. It is often perceived as a very glamorous lifestyle. And certainly there are, there are days when it’s wonderful.
As I said, I feel very blessed to do the job I do now. But as with any job, there are days when it’s a grind. There are days when it doesn’t go well, and you’ve just got to ride that out and work hard. Get your bum in your writing chair and get the words down because that’s the only way a story will ever be written.
What’s next on the calendar
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. And what is next for Hazel, the writer, looking ahead into 2020, what projects do you have on your desk?
Hazel Gaynor: I have, as I mentioned, The Bird In The Bamboo Cage is coming out in late summer, so that’s very exciting. That’s releasing in North America. Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and Ireland, all at same time.
And then at the same time, I’m currently working on the next Hazel Gaynor- Heather Webb collaboration. So that book is scheduled for release sometime in 2021. Which sounds like the future at this, at this moment in time. And then in the next month I’ll be starting, I’ve sort of starting to tentatively feel around for the next idea for the next Hazel Gaynor book.
So that’ll be a possibly late 2021, early 2022 release. Lots to keep me busy. Hopefully some Inspiration Project along the way. Lots of events, festivals. I love getting out and talking to readers and meeting people. It’s just wonderful to do that as well.
Where to find Hazel online
Jenny Wheeler: That’s great. Now, if, if people can’t actually see you in person, of course, because people around the world can’t all come to see you, where can readers find you online?
Hazel Gaynor: So they can find me procrastinating on Twitter. I’m quite straightforward on my social media. It’s at Hazel Gaynor G , A, Y, N, O, R, and that’s Twitter, Instagram, and my Facebook is HazelGaynor books. And I’m Hazel gaynor.com.
Jenny Wheeler: So our Joys of Binge Reading website will have all of those links in the show notes for this episode so that people will be able to click through quite easily. Do you enjoy interacting with readers?
Hazel Gaynor: I do. I find it fascinating and I often think when you finish a book and it’s published it doesn’t belong to you anymore. It really doesn’t. It’s up to the readers then and people will always find something or see something you don’t. They have really interesting views on the world that you’ve built, the characters, the dilemmas you put them in.
Books are evergreen
All of my books have reading group questions at the back. And I love meeting readers. It’s fascinating. And often a reader will only just read, for example, The Girl Who Came Home, or one of my backlist. So it’s always really fabulous to meet someone who’s just read a book that you maybe wrote six, seven years ago, and that’s so fabulous about books.
You know, they’re evergreen. They’re always there, just waiting for the reader to find them. I have great fun. I love meeting readers. I’m a reader myself, so I love just having chats about books.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s wonderful. Hey, so well look, thank you so much. We have run out of time, but it’s been wonderful talking and we’ll get all these links up on the, on the show notes so that people will be able to find you and your books without any problems at all.
Hazel Gaynor: Thank you. It’s been a real pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me.
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