Author Kristin Hannah was born in 1960 in Southern California and grew up at the beach, making sand castles and playing in the surf. When she was eight years old, her father drove the family to Western Washington, which they called home.
After working in a trendy advertising agency, Ms. Hannah decided to go to law school. “But you’re going to be a writer” are the prophetic words she would never forget from her mother. Ms. Hannah was in her third—and final—year of law school and her mom was in the hospital, facing the end of her long battle with cancer. Ms. Hannah was shocked to discover that her mother still believed she would become a writer. For the next few months, they collaborated on the worst, most clichéd historical romance ever written.
After her mom’s death, she packed up all those bits and pieces of paper they’d collected and put them in a box in the back of her closet. Ms. Hannah got married and continued practicing law.
Then Ms. Hannah found out she was pregnant and was on bedrest for five months. By the time she’d read every book in the house and started asking her husband for cereal boxes to read, she knew she was a goner. That’s when her husband reminded her of the book she’d started with her mom. Ms. Hannah pulled out the boxes of research material, dusted them off, and began writing. By the time their son was born, she’d finished a first draft and found an obsession.
The rejections came, of course, and they stung for a while, but each one really just spurred her to try harder, work more. In 1990, Ms. Hannah got “the call,” and in that moment, she went from a young mother with a cooler-than-average hobby to a professional writer—and has never looked back.