Q&A with Harlequin Romance Author Hana Sheik

We’re thrilled to welcome back Harlequin Romance author Hana Sheik to Write for Harlequin! Hana’s second title Temptation in Istanbul is coming out in May 2022 and we cannot wait to hear all about it.

Q) Can you describe your writing process? Our readers would love to hear about it!

A) I love hearing other authors talk about their writing process all the time, mostly because I don’t have a solid writing process of my own. I used to think writing in the mornings worked best for me, and I’d wake early, have a cup of tea or coffee and breakfast, and then sit down and get to work until the afternoon. Then I started writing later, beginning in mid-noon and writing through to early evening before I called it a day. Nowadays I write around school; so I get through my daily word count for the day, squeeze in homework, and then exercise and make dinner, and prep mentally to rinse and repeat the whole process the next day. I love the routine though—keeps me focused on my goals.

Q) Your latest Harlequin Romance Temptation in Istanbul is out next month! Can you tell us a bit about this book and what inspired you to write it?

A) The first draft of Temptation in Istanbul was written in December 2018. I had this idea grip me of a nanny who bursts into the life and world of a billionaire single dad who needs to learn the ropes of parenting full-time and fast. Although it has gone through significant changes from first to final draft, the heart of the story remains the same: it’s about family, second chances, instalust, and the power of love changing lives. I hope readers like it as much as I adored writing Maryan and Faisal’s story.

Q) This story centers around a second chance for a billionaire, single dad hero. What are your favorite romance tropes and why?

A) Well, I love love love second chance romances. We’re all human, and making mistakes is part of the game, so getting a chance to repent and learn and grow from those mistakes makes for an extremely hopeful story.

Another favourite trope of mine is forced proximity. It adds so much tension to a book when the characters can’t just walk away from one another. They’re stuck together, and they have to stick through it, and somewhere along the way they fall in love. Single parents and billionaires/millionaires are also very high on my list of fav hooks. There’s a good reason I used both in Temptation in Istanbul! 😉

Q) What have you read or watched recently that you enjoyed?

A)  I just finished watching The Cook of Castamar and Valeria on Netflix, and now I’m nearly finished with An Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts. I’ve been enjoying a lot of European romance dramas. They’re written so well, the locations are just gorgeous and stunning and so very European, and I swear I’ll watch anything actor Maxi Iglesias is in. 😍 As for books, I just read Nina Singh’s Around the World with the Millionaire and Ruby Basu’s debut, Baby Surprise for the Millionaire. They’re both amazing titles, with gorgeous descriptions, romantic scenes, and lush storytelling that whisked me away. Highly recommend them for any bookish armchair travelers!

Q) What are you working on next for Harlequin? A) I’m currently revising a snowy holiday romance set in Canada, and I’m working with two other favorite tropes: workplace romance and boss/employee. Fingers crossed that it’ll be out to readers by the end of the year.

Q) What advice do you have for romance writers?

A) I try to take my own advice, and I’m always reminding myself that good, publishable writing comes down to strong reading practice. Every writer is a reader, and you must read what you write, but you don’t have to write every genre or subgenre you read (if genre fiction is your thing). This is especially true if you want to be a Harlequin author. Read the category romance lines you’re most interested in, read widely, and then narrow it down to the line that fits your voice and heart the most. And when you get your first contract, keep reading. Always read and refill your creative well so that your stories remain fresh and true to your spirit.

Also, don’t give up! Rejection remains a part of the journey, whether you’re an aspiring romance writer, or a well-established author. Sometimes—who am I kidding? most times really—those rejections make the success that much sweeter!

Connect with Hana on Twitter @HanaSoChic

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Editor associated with this post

Emma Marnell
Assistant Editor

Emma Marnell is an assistant editor for Harlequin Medical Romance and Harlequin Romance. She joined the company after finishing her MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University, following a brief stint in New York City (her one true love) and a BA in English Literature and Geography from the National University of Ireland Galway. Originally from Galway, Ireland, Emma’s love for romance came from curling up with a blanket and a good romance on the windy beaches of the west coast of Ireland, where she would be transported to different worlds with luscious heroes. She still can’t quite believe she’s lucky enough to read happy endings for a living and working for Harlequin is a dream come true. Always dreaming of her next escape, Emma is passionate about finding fresh voices and exciting settings.