Making up stories has been my passion since before I learned the alphabet. I grew up in a world of fiction—an only child with working parents living in a valley not far from Hollywood, which served as a setting for many a western movie or television show. The settings and the fictitious feel of the place where I lived were great inspirations to me. My parents rented a small, 25 acre farm connected to a huge cattle ranch owned by James Arness, of Gunsmoke fame. No, I was never acquainted with Jim, although his father, who lived on the ranch, became a wonderful friend who would race his old red Jeep against my big red horse, and even occasionally allow me to win. Though I never got to see a show being filmed, I was allowed access to sets, to wander the wild land that looks very much like the old westerns those of a “certain age” loved to watch in movies and on television.
To the chagrin of my parents, my imagination didn’t always remain “on the set,” and I was horrible about making up the wildest stories to see if I could convince the adults to believe me. They often did. That became a test for me to see if I could convince others to suspend disbelief in order to join me in my imagination for a time. The habit stuck, though now it’s done honestly, in novel form; and though I might still tell wild stories about my life, this time they’re true. Tiny bits of my life are buried deep in the heart of every novel I write, but it’s up to the reader to figure out the secrets—because I’ll never tell.
Hannah Alexander is a pen name I chose because, when I first began to be published 15 years ago, I wrote some very intensive ER-type medical novels with a lot of help from my husband, an ER physician, and I wanted it to reflect our joint efforts. For myself, I chose Hannah, since I can identify with pre-Samuel Hannah of the Bible, who was bereft because she had no children. My husband chose Alexander because the name means servant of mankind, and as a physician, he likes to feel he does serve mankind. We recently built our own family clinic here in our tiny town, I’ve taken a new direction with my writing, and my husband is so busy with his renewed love of medicine that he has very little time to help me write, except for information about medicine, editing and the best of encouragement. I now love to write dramatic, romantic, women’s fiction, always with medical elements, and even some medical suspense, such as what I included in Hallowed Halls, our novel with 1Source. Of course, animals, children and humor have always been patterns of interest I’ve attempted to slip in with every one of our novels.