I’m so excited to be back with another author interview! This time I was able to interview Erin Hahn, the author of You’d Be Mine and More Than Maybe. You’d Be Mine was released in 2019 and quickly became one of my favorite contemporaries. More Than Maybe definitely became one that I was excited about even before I knew what it was going to be about.
Congratulations on the publication of your second book! How has your publication journey been? How has this past year been in relation to your debut year?
Thank you! My journey to publication has been wild. It was three years of writing book after book and getting something like 300 rejections from agents before hitting home with my debut, “You’d Be Mine” and publishing it in 2019 with Wednesday Books. Writing sophomore books is always tricky… so many more expectations and opinions rattling around in your creative brain, but I’m so pleased with how “More Thank Maybe” turned out. It’s the music nerd book of my heart. Publishing amidst a pandemic has been something else! I think on every level of publication, from author to agent to editor to marketing… we’re all trying to figure out how this new normal looks. So much has been moved online and done remotely.
What inspiration did you have for More Than Maybe?
I’ve always wanted to write a YA about working teens. Obviously, the story is so much more than that. It’s a romance and it’s got gobs and gobs of music in it, but also, at its heart, this is a book about two kids who are trying to save their workplace (a beloved dive bar) and figure out their futures after high school. Additionally, I’ve always been an enormous fan of the 90’s cult classic “Empire Records” and have dreamed about writing a book that had its own soundtrack throughout.
How was your experience writing More Than Maybe? Did it differ any from that of your time writing You’d Be Mine?
Hahahaha. YES. So different! “You’d Be Mine” was such a joy to write and it just flew out of me. It was really the story I wanted to read, myself. I had zero expectations or concerns (maybe foolishly) while I drafted that book.
I was far more hesitant about “More Than Maybe”. I wrote and sold it before “You’d Be Mine” released, so I wasn’t yet sure how my stories would be received by readers. I had all this built up-pressure to please my new readers and was just getting accustomed to strangers reviewing and commenting on my words and characters. I expected people to critique my writing, I was less prepared for them to critique my characters! I’ve come a long way since then, but that journey of writing “More Than Maybe” was a LOT. ☺
I personally feel that your stories deal with some tougher topics in the midst of amazing romances. How do you balance it all while writing your books?
I work at being as true as possible. The fact of the matter is real life is especially messy. No one who falls in love is perfect or unblemished by their past. We all have scars and sharp edges and I’ve always been committed to reflecting that in my stories. I’ve joked with my editor that my stories aren’t so much rom-coms as rom-mads. Just like in real life, my characters have their own self-growth to face on their way to being ready to love someone else in a healthy way.
Music is such a huge part of both You’d Be Mine and More Than Maybe. Can you share about your relationship with music and why you chose to have it heavily be a part of your books?
Music nurtured me. The honest truth is that I didn’t need to look up a single song or lyric for this story because I’ve been collecting them in my brain for decades. I’ve just always been obsessed with music. As a teen, I spent hours in my bedroom, making mix CDs (because I’m old) and writing lyrics in notebooks. I worked multiple jobs in high school and college and spent all my money on CDs and concerts. I wanted to write a love story for the teens who are like I was.
The playlist for You’d Be Mine is amazing in my opinion! Is there one for More Than Maybe as well?
Sure is! It’s up on Spotify for anyone to listen along as they read. If an artist or song is mentioned in the book, I put them in the playlist. Look up “More Than Maybe” a novel by Erin Hahn!
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I always know the ending AND the characters have to figure out how they’ll get there. ☺
With your books being dual perspective, did one give you more trouble over the other?
Vada was a little quiet early on. It took me a few drafts to get her to completely come out of her shell. Actually, once I got to know her best friend, Meg, Vada really started talking.
Without any spoilers, can you share a favorite scene from More Than Maybe?
My very favorite scene is the end, but since that is a total spoiler, I will say I love, love, LOVE the silent disco “not-date”. It’s the first time Luke and Vada really have a chance to recognize their attraction for each other and it’s super adorable and awkward.
I personally think your characters are some of the most relatable ones that I’ve ever read. Do you think you’ll ever revisit characters from your stories in future books?
That’s very kind! Thank you! You will definitely get to know Meg Hennessey more in my third book “Never Saw You Coming”. She gets her own spin off and love story and I can’t wait for you to read it!
What 2020 releases are you excited for and think we should have on our radar?
Oh jeez. So many. I’ll just focus on my favorite coming of age romances I’ve been reading…
“Date Me, Bryson Keller” by Kevin Van Whye
“More Than Just a Pretty Face” by Syed Masood
“My Eyes Are Up Here” by Laura Zimmermann
“A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow” by Laura T. Namey
What’s next for you? Can you spill anything about your next book?
Like I mentioned a few questions ago, my next book is Meg’s story. Meg finds out that her entire ultra conservative childhood has been based on an epic lie. Rather than taking a gap year to find herself, she decides to travel north to meet the family she never knew existed. While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former Pastor’s kid who has his own conflicted feelings about the Church, as his dad is in prison for swindling his congregation. The two battle their fuzzy and complicated pasts while trying to forge a solid future together. With kissing. Lots of kissing. ☺
Thank you so much to Erin Hahn for allowing me to interview her! Her book, More Than Maybe, is out on July 21, 2021 and I can’t recommend it enough.