When best-selling author
Irene Hannon was a little
girl, she discovered a
series of books that
changed her life: Amateur
sleuth Nancy Drew was
the perfect role model for
the budding writer.

“I couldn’t read the books fast enough,”
Irene says. “The concept of a capable,
intelligent heroine, along with a touch of
romance, was—and still is!—a perfect
combination as far as I’m concerned.”

Perhaps Nancy Drew inspired Hannon
more than she realized. At the tender age
of 10, right around the same time she
began reading the series, she received her
first publishing credit when she was an
honoree in a complete-the-story contest
put on by Jack and Jill magazine. “I still
have the very faded certificate in a
cabinet in my office.”

Romantic suspense has always been
Irene’s first love, thanks in part to
Ms. Drew and later Emilie Loring, but
without the law enforcement background
to add depth to her stories, she felt she
couldn’t do justice to that type of novel.
Instead she became successful writing
contemporary romance, winning the
RITA (the most prestigious award for
romance writers).

However, after reading Dee Henderson’s
The Guardian Irene knew she had to
give romantic suspense another try.
She wrote all three books in her Heroes
of Quantico series on spec, eventually
drawing a glowing endorsement from
Henderson herself.

Now Irene is set to hit the publishing
world by storm once again with her
new series, Guardians of Justice.
Starting with Fatal Judgment, the
series is about three siblings—all in
justice-related professions. “There’s a
family dynamic going on in these books
that wasn’t in my first series,” Irene
says. “One brother is a U.S. marshal,
the other a police detective, and their
sister is a children’s service worker with
Social Services.”

Writing isn’t Irene’s only creative outlet,
however. A veteran of the stage, she’s
played the leading roles in many musical
theater productions, including Oklahoma,
Brigadoon, South Pacific
and The King
and I.
“I think I was born with greasepaint
in my blood,” she says. “My maternal
grandparents were both
wonderful singers and performed in
many local musical productions. As far
back as I can remember, I’ve loved stage
work. As a kid, I used to write, produce
and direct neighborhood shows. I studied
ballet and tap for many years. In college I
began taking voice lessons and trying out
for community theater musicals. I put in
my time in the chorus.”

It’s challenging to make time for both,
but Irene feels her work onstage
complements her writing by helping her
pace her stories, create realistic dialogue,
and get into the mindset of a variety of
characters. She’ll never turn down a
great part, but writing comes first.

“This is my job, not a hobby,” Irene says.
“I hit my page count goal every day—
even if that means I’m at my computer
until midnight because I played hooky
during the day.”

But Hannon’s top
priority is creating
stories of hope.
“Every book I write
is infused with
hope,” she says. “I
always want to
leave people with a
belief that no
matter how tough
life gets, a happy
ending is always
possible. And I also
want people to close
the last page with a
better appreciation
for the tremendous power of love to
transform lives.”
—C.J. Darlington

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About The Author

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels, including Dangerous Illusions, as well as the Men of Valor, Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA's elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. Each of her suspense novels have been ECPA/CBA bestsellers.