Romance Maven Colleen Hoover Has No Regrets

Posted by Cybil on December 1, 2019
Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover, the bold and beloved author of New Adult bestsellers, including Hopeless, Ugly Love, and It Ends With Us, delves into a thorny mother/daughter relationship in her new contemporary romance novel, Regretting You.

Morgan Grant and her 16-year-old daughter Clara clash constantly. But when their already fragile coexistence is rocked by grief, betrayal, and secret new loves, the divide threatens to become irreversible.

Hoover, who was living in a trailer with her family when her self-published debut, Slammed, hit The New York Times' bestseller list in 2012, has stayed close to her fans, becoming friends with many while producing a host of poignant and compelling books that readers liken to being ripped apart and put back together again. She’s also detoured to the dark side with 2018’s romantic thriller Verity.
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In a Q&A with Goodreads, Hoover describes the challenges of getting inside the heads of Morgan and Clara in Regretting You, what she’s planning to write next—think paranormal romance and a new young adult book—and the special connection she shares with her fans.

Goodreads: Your novels often tackle serious issues, such as It Ends With Us. Regretting You deals with grief, betrayal, and an intensely fraught relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter. What was the most challenging aspect of this book to write?

Colleen Hoover: The most challenging aspect for me was the tension between the mother and daughter. I had an unusually great relationship with my mother as a teenager, so I couldn’t personally relate to what Clara and her mother were going through.

GR: Regretting You is told from two points of view, that of Morgan Grant and her daughter Clara, 16. Was it hard switching between two such distinct voices? Did you write one first and then the other or switch between the two?

CH: With the exception of Ugly Love, I’ve always written my books in order by chapter. With Regretting You, I alternated point of views, so there was a lot of going back and forth between the minds of the two characters.

I always find it challenging to be inside any character’s head. I find it a challenge not to transfer my own thoughts onto each character, so there were times I found myself wanting to scold Clara or shake some sense into Morgan. But I feel like this book was especially challenging because the characters are a lot alike, being mother and daughter, so I had to show similarities while also highlighting their age differences and how their maturity levels differed in response to what was happening to them.

GR: How much of your own experience, either as a mother or as a teenager, did you draw on for this book?

CH: I mostly drew from my mother’s experience with my sister. They butted heads more than my mother and I did, so I drew inspiration from imagining them in these characters’ shoes.

GR: You’ve said you don’t like to be confined to one genre. When you embark on a new novel, do you know what genre it’s going to be or do you just go with the story and then see?

CH: I absolutely don’t like to be confined to one genre, and I never start a book knowing exactly what genre it will fit into. Sometimes I finish books and still don’t know what genre it fits into. I try to focus on telling the story I want to tell and then leave it up to the publisher or my publicist to figure out which audience to market it to.

GR: Do you think you will write more romantic thrillers like Verity? And are there any genres you’ve never written that you’d like to try?

CH: I had so much fun writing Verity. I’d love to write more thrillers. I’m currently working on a paranormal romance novel that has a similar feel to Verity. I never thought I’d write paranormal, but here I am doing it and having a great time.

GR: Your journey to becoming an author has been unusual and groundbreaking, self-publishing novels that became bestsellers and uploading new stories to Wattpad for your fans. Do you feel you have a special connection to your readers, given how direct your interaction with them has been?

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CH: Absolutely. I feel lucky that I became a writer in the days of social media. When I started out, I felt like my early readers were just friends, encouraging me to follow my hobby. That hasn’t changed. I’ve made some great memories with my readers and have become close friends with a lot of them. I’m positive I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the online book community.

GR: How has your life changed from the time you self-published Slammed and today as a “professional make-believer”?

CH: My life hasn’t changed at all, yet it’s transformed completely. Obviously, it’s been great not having to dig in the couch cushions for grocery money, but other than the financial aspect, I’d say my life is pretty much the same.

I’ve always had a wonderful, supportive family, and I live in a great community where I’ve lived since I was born. I love that nothing has really changed other than the fact I get to do what I love for a living and help others while doing it.

GR: What are you working on at the moment or planning to write?

CH: I’m working on a paranormal romance that I plan to submit to Montlake soon. After that, I have a young adult book I’d like to release. But I’ve been known to scrap things in the middle of a project, so I’ve learned not to reveal too much until it’s a done deal.

GR: You’re a big believer in love and have said about your husband, “All of the fictional boyfriends in the world couldn’t hold a candle to this man.” How will you celebrate your 20th wedding anniversary next year?

CH: I’m hoping we can finally take a trip to Hawaii. It’s on both of our bucket lists, but we’re terrible planners. Maybe someone will plan the trip for us so it’ll actually happen (hint, hint, Stephanie).

GR: What books have you read recently and loved or can’t wait to read?

CH: I’m super excited about Tarryn Fisher’s upcoming release, The Wives. I was lucky to get an early copy, and I fall in love with every sentence she writes. I’m also excited for Tiffanie DeBartolo’s next release. I’m not sure she’s announced a release date yet, but I was lucky enough to get an early copy, and readers are going to love it. She’s one of my favorite authors.

Colleen Hoover's novel Regretting You will be available in the U.S. on December 10. Don't forget to add it to your Want to Read shelf. Be sure to also read more of our exclusive author interviews and get more great book recommendations.

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