A Character Interview with Hannah from HANNAH: BRIDE OF IOWA plus a conversation with author P.A. Estelle!

Today we're bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview.  These character interviews, now and in the future, should prove to be very enlightening for all of us. 
We have the pleasure of meeting Hannah Brown, a character from Hannah: Bride of Iowa. 

We'll get a chance to talk to the author, P.A. Estelle, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Hannah! 


Marie Lavender:  Hello, Hannah.  Please have a seat.

Character Hannah Brown:  Hello, Marie. Thank you.  It's a pleasure to be here.  

Marie:  We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay? 

Hannah:  All right.

Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Hannah:  I never worked outside the home.  I did work in the fields on my parent’s farm.

Marie:  I see.

So, tell us...what is your family like?

Hannah:  My parents were the most wonderful people in the world.  My father, though, worked his fields from sun up to sun down, and sometimes, when hard times hit, he worked for other farmers.  But in the evenings he talked and laughed and played his guitar and sang some songs.  My mother was a loving and compassionate woman…..until my father died.  She seemed to die with him.  

Marie:  So sorry to hear that. :(  

Let's try a different question. What did your childhood home look like?

Hannah:  We had a small farm in Little Valley, New York.  It consisted of twenty acres and we grew corn.  

Marie:  All right. 

Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing? 

Hannah:  I didn’t have any hobbies.  My pa taught me to play the guitar and I enjoy that very much.

Marie: Nice! So, what is your greatest dream, Hannah?


Hannah: I went to Iowa to be a mail order bride to Samuel Morrison.  He has a three-year old daughter, Lizzie.  My dream is to be a wonderful wife and mother to them.




Marie:  I have no doubt that will happen. :) 


Let's try another question.  


What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?


Hannah: A secret that I carry is what stops me.  If found out, I could lose everything I have come to love.


Marie:  Well, I have to admit I'm intrigued, but I see this causes you a lot of pain and I respect your privacy. 


Let's move to a different question.


Who was your first love? 


Hannah:  Samuel Morrison. 


Marie: Ooh, I love a good romance! ;) 


So, tell us. What's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Hannah?


Hannah:  Jed Sleuter.  He is the man my ma married after pa died.


Marie:  I sense there's a story there... 




Let's try something else, shall we?




What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved that dream, why not?


Hannah: All of my dreams died when my pa died.  It is amazing what happens to innocence when something like that happens.  


Marie: Again, I am so sorry for your loss. :( 


(Pats her guest's hand.)


Who is your role model, Hannah?


Hannah:  My ma.  Even in her state of near death, she saved my life! 


Marie: Okay. Let's try a different question.


Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?


Hannah:  There was a man in Iowa that I met when Samuel and I were going home.  I tried to be polite, but he scared me.  I would find out just what kind of horrible man he is when he kidnaps me.


Marie:  How horrible! I'm sorry that happened to you. :( 


So, what is your deepest desire, Hannah? 


Hannah: That Samuel never finds out about my deception. 


Marie: All right. What is your greatest fear?


Hannah:  That he does!  


Marie:  I'm sure everything will work out.


Well, it looks like we're running out of time, Hannah. Thank you for visiting us today.


It was so interesting getting to know you.  (Waves at her guest as he heads off the stage.) Now, let's shift over and get the author's perspective.  We have P.A. Estelle on the stage today! Can I just call you Penny?


Hi, Penny! 

Author Penny Estelle:  Hello! It's so nice to be here!

(Smiles.) Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!

So, we just got to talk the female main character from your story...Hannah.  Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her? 

Penny:  She is a girl that at a young age was dealt a bad hand.  She did what she had to do. 

Marie:  All right. 

Let's try a different question. 

What are your character's greatest strengths?

Penny:  She has great strength of character, is loving, and will all she has to give to the right person.

Marie:  Certainly admirable! 

So, what are her greatest weaknesses?

Penny:  I’m trying to think of a weakness she possesses and am coming up with nothing.

Marie:  Well, she is keeping a big secret... ;)

So, what's a positive quality that your character is unaware he or she has?

Penny:   Her self-worth and honesty.

Marie:  All right. Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Penny:   Readers will fall in love with her.  She is everything good in a person.  Something we all strive to be!

Marie:  Certainly!

Well, now that we have a real taste of Hannah Brown, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Hannah: Bride of Iowa?

A group of authors came to me and asked if I would be interested in a project that would have a mail order bride for every state.  These brides will all be connected some way to a prequel that happens in Massachusetts.  A textile fire makes these women unemployed so a matchmaker steps in and offers them a chance to become mail order brides.  I jumped at the chance and since I was born in Iowa, that’s the state I grabbed.

Wow, that's great!

So, what is your writing style like, Penny? Are you a pantster or a plotter

Both.  I start a story with very little plotting – I just need characters, but when I’m into it about 4 or 5 chapters, I go into plotting mode. 

Nice! Isn't it wonderful how the muse works?

All right. I'm throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. 

Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Hannah: Bride of Iowa, or getting it published? What would you do differently next time?

Penny:  Choosing Iowa was an easy choice as I have a million cousins that live there.  I could go to aunts and uncles and my own mom for research.

Challenges - Ugh!  The story had to be 35,000 – 45,000 words.  I’m not used to that.  I had to keep checking to see if I was under or over.  Working with this many authors was also different.  Truth be told, these authors have more of a following than I do and I was worried my story wouldn’t hold up….BUT, I’m happy to say I kept right up with the big dogs!  We all self-pubbed our stories and put them on KU for starters. All were priced the same.  It was a wonderful project and I would do it again in a second!

Marie: I see. Yes, word count can be a problem sometimes. 

But, I'm so glad it worked out for you! This sounds like a great series!

It was such a pleasure having you on Writing in the Modern Age again, Penny. We hope you can come back sometime soon!

Penny:  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  Of course! :)

Readers, here is a blurb for Hannah: Bride of Iowa.


Hannah, Bride of Iowa is book twenty-nine in the unprecedented 50-book American Mail-Order Brides series. 

Samuel Morrison, a farmer from Iowa, is in need of a wife and a mother for Lizzie, his three-year old daughter. He reads an article from Massachusetts advertising mail order brides. He writes to the agency stating he’s looking for a partner who will work by his side and, hopefully, come to care for him and be a loving mother to Lizzie. Hannah Brown responds to his letter. Though she doesn’t say too much about herself, Samuel decides to take a chance and asks her to come to Iowa. This woman is everything he wants in a wife and more -- or so he thinks. Hannah has a secret that, if revealed, could devastate their future. If Hannah tells Samuel, will he send her away? She could lose all she’s come to cherish. Is Hannah willing to take that chance? 

Rated PG/Sweet (some language, kissing, all intimacy behind closed doors)  

Here is an excerpt from the book. 

The man who greeted her was fairly short in stature with gray sideburns and an upper lip and chin covered with stubble. He wore a dirty floppy-brimmed hat and his body was lean and muscular for an older man. His arms and face were dark and leathery from the sun. His clothes looked clean, though they were ripped in a few areas, but the distasteful smell that so many men had, was absent from this man. 

“Howdy. What can I do for you, ma’am?’ 

Maddie jumped down from the wagon and approached the man. “Mr.?” 


“Mr. Slim, I…” 

“No Mr., just Slim.” 

"Slim, I need to get a train ticket to Pennsylvania. The ticket was more than I had anticipated. I find I must sell my mule and wagon.” 

The man stepped to one side looking passed her at the rickety wagon and old white mule. “Can’t use ‘em.” He turned to walk back into the livery, dismissing her. 

“Sir, please!” She ran in front of him, blocking his way. “I have no family left and no place to turn. I’m supposed to go stay with cousins I’ve never met and I can’t even get there.” Tears welled up in her eyes and her lower lip quivered. Maddie swallowed a lump of emotion so she could speak. “Sal is all I have left in this world. I can’t just leave her uncared for.” 

Surprise, or maybe fear, registered on the old man’s face. He held up his hands and took a step backwards. “Now, little lady, there ain’t no need to take on so. You need to calm yourself right down. Thing is I just ain’t got no money for that old bag of bones.” 

Tears slipped from her eyes, making dirty paths down her cheeks from the dust of the night’s ride to Jamestown. She didn’t care. “Mr. ...I mean, Slim, you don’t have to pay me. Sal doesn’t have much time left on this earth and she doesn’t eat much. She wouldn’t be any bother at all.” The last few words were muttered as a fresh wave of tears fell.

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B017HLRB5Q

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5905593

Readers, don't forget to pick up a copy of P.A. Estelle's awesome book!


About Penny Estelle:

I write for all ages, from the early reader to adults.  My books range from pictures books for the little ones, to fantasy, time-travel adventures for ages 9 to 13. I also write adult stories, including a family drama and contemporary, paranormal and historical westerns romances, under P. A. Estelle. 

I was a school secretary for 21 years.  My husband and I moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ, on very rural 54 acres, living on solar and wind only. 

Author Links:

Penny's Books:

























  1. You seriously go above and beyond, Marie! Thank you so much for having Hannah and me on your blog! You ROCK!

    1. Aww! Thanks, hon! As always, it's a total pleasure! :)

  2. Enjoyed this thank you so much


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