Last night I was lucky enough to hear Kristin Hannah speak about The Great Alone at my local Barnes and Noble. She was very down to earth and open in talking about her writing process and her life. A few things about this new novel; the character, Leni, is the central one and she reads the same books that KH did at her age; KH’s family has ties to Alaska where they run a lodge and she has spent significant time there. In this novel, KH wanted to address issues that she felt her child’s generation did not know around domestic violence and PTSD which were not acknowledged in the 70s. She scrapped an earlier book about Alaska that she wrote after The Nightingale, feeling that it was not good enough. When asked,” what is the worst advice you could give a writer” she replied “to stop writing.” KH moved a lot as a child and books were important to her. She was a practicing lawyer when she was placed on bedrest during a pregnancy and began to write. She loved writing and never went back to the law.
Hope this gets you to thinking about reading some of her novels. By the way, KH said she will not write any more sequels; she is happy to leave her characters at the end of each book and to pursue new ones.