Indie Support Sunday: Andrea Hopkins
Andrea Hopkins isn’t a new author and she’s already published seven novels, so you have a lot of catching up to do. I discovered Andrea thanks to the crazy love and support from one of my dearest friends. The more she spoke about Andrea’s books, the more I knew I had to pick them up. It took me a while, but I read the The King Brothers series (including the novella which sets up what I know will be my favourite of the series) and fell in love with Andrea’s writing. Her heroines are strong and powerful, they’re badass women with dreams and aspirations and nothing in the world can hold them back. Her heroes are dreamy and swoony, but also damaged and struggling to find their place in the world. And when you combine the two, you get angsty, funny and sexy stories.
Andrea posts teasers and snippets of her books quite often, so if you’re not convinced by my pleas, then you might be inclined when you see those. Plus, she also does something called #ThirstyThursday that I am 100% invested in. While Andrea is a full-time author, she’s also a full-time mom to four kids and I’m constantly in awe of what she’s capable of while juggling all of her roles.
All of her books are available in Kindle Unlimited and I insist that you add them to your 2023 TBR right this minute!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
Brittainy C. Cherry and Colleen Hoover are HUGE inspirations to me. I was reading constantly during one of my husband’s deployments to help pass the time. I had just read Hopeless and The Space In Between and their writing just cut me like a knife. It was all I could think about. I’ve always been a storyteller. But I pushed it aside to be a mom and a wife and I don’t know what happened but I woke up one morning and there was this gut-wrenching story in my head and I just had to get it out. A year later, my debut, Falling In was born.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
Honestly, I just love it. I love everything about romance. The rollercoaster of emotions. The tension. The butterflies. The SPICE. It makes me feel alive and all ooey-gooey inside.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
At first, I self-published because I wasn’t sure it would even turn into anything. I was just writing for fun. I didn’t have any real expectations. I just wanted to share my stories. But I’m so happy I went this route. It’s a lot of hard work but I think it’s worth it.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
The best part is having full control over everything. You can write what you want. Publish when you want. Do your own covers. But in having full control it is a lot of work. You’re doing everything by yourself. Thankfully my husband does my covers, and formats all of my e-book and paperbacks for me but other than that, it’s me and it can be overwhelming. Which is why I think it’s incredibly important to surround yourself with other authors. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my core group of author friends.
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
I am lucky enough to write full-time. And by full-time, I mean a few hours a day. I have four kids who take up a lot of my time.
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
Dancing. I love to dance. It brings me so much joy.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
Does YA count? And Fantasy. Those would be the only other genres I could see myself dip into. But there would be an element of romance no matter what. I couldn’t help myself.
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
Alma Underwood is NOT a Kleptomaniac by Lacey Dailey. Honestly, every book by Lacey Dailey is magical and leaves you with a smile on your face. I feel like I talk about Lacey all the time but I just need everyone to read her books. She should be up there with the top YA authors. I’m such a fangirl. The whole Elements Series by Brittainy C. Cherry. Gutwrenching and a huge inspiration for me. I loooooove Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I read that book back to back TO BACK. All the butterflies. But Act Your Age, Eve Brown is hands down my favorite book of all time. I saw myself in Eve in so many ways. I laughed. I cried. I swooned. I was inspired. That book makes me feel all the things and I will never tire of it.
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Reach out to other authors.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Which is something I’m still working on but it’s so important. The indie author community is so dang lovely and supportive.
We’ve all made mistakes and we’ve learned from them and we are more than willing to share and help a fellow author.
Find your author tribe. B
Build relationships with bookstagrammers, booktokers, and bloggers. I don’t know what I would do without the BRILLIANT women that I am so lucky to have in my life.
Can you briefly tell me about the books you've published so far?
I have an interconnected standalone series called Falling In. It’s four books. Falling In, Falling Out, Falling into Forever, and Falling Over. The angst and heartbreak is real with this one. Super messy. Spicy af. Trigger warnings galore. There is an incident that happens in book one that tears apart two families. But don’t worry, by the end, I managed to stitch them all back together again better than they were before.
The King Brothers series is a little lighter. Another interconnected standalone series set in the same world as the Falling In series. The books are Back to Delaware, Fade to Blue, Queen to King, and my current unnamed WIP. Each book centers around one brother. BTD is a second-chance IR romance that is like a 7.5 on the angst scale. But has some seriously funny moments courtesy of a wacky neighbor. It’s about a recovering addict pop star, Delaware, who comes back to his hometown to make amends to his childhood sweetheart. Fade to Blue is a straight up romcom. Single-parent IR romance. Super sweet but NOT CLEAN AT ALL. Broken hearted basketball player falls for his single-mom publicist. Queen to King is a multiple POV novella. You get chapters from all the main characters and a little taste of the WIP which will center on the final and oldest brother, Clay. That book is an age-gap interracial daddy-dom romance that I am really excited about. Holy hotness, Batman.
Of your books, who is your favourite character?
For those who’ve read my King Brothers series, y’all know I gotta say Babs. She’s a 70-something ex-pinup model who truly steals all the scenes in the series. If she ain’t high, she ain’t livin’. She doesn’t have a single filter. She’s wild and the complete opposite of who I am. I don’t know where she comes from but she’s the easiest character to write for. She’s so much fun. Blue and Cait (Fade to Blue) are a close second. I wrote them during the pandemic/deployment and they gave me such comfort during the hardest time in my life. Those two mean the world to me.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
I get inspired by so many things. A song. A dream. Sometimes a story just pops in my head out of nowhere. Especially in the shower. That’s honestly how most of my book ideas were born. I used to keep notebooks around me all the time. Now I just type the ideas in my phone. As for plotting, post-it notes are my besties. I have a million post-its with scenes and dialogue written on them. I put them in order and tack them on my cork board. Move them around when need be. But I also love to free-write. I’ll get into a groove and just let it flow.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
I think a lot. I feel like every FMC is a little bit like me. Zoey from Back to Delaware is as close to me as you’re gonna get. I think it’s hard not to put yourself into your characters. They’re such a huge part of you and you go through so much together during every writing journey. It’s a codependent relationship lol
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
Everything. I want all the feels. I want you to cry, laugh, swoon, get turned the fuck on and be words away from throwing your Kindle across the room. I’m a greedy bitch.
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
As a mixed bish, I just want to tell stories about women of color finding love. Stories about strong, joyous, vulnerable, and beautifully complicated black women. Interracial romance. Black romance. LGBTQIA+ romance. We out here. I just want more of it. I hope to deliver.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I’m currently working on the final (?) book in my King Brothers series. Clay and Avery. Angsty age-gap, daddy dom, grump + bratty sunshine, IR romance with some LOL moments because I like to give it all.
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
Love a single parent romance. Especially single dad. Enemies to lovers. Second-chance. And the love triangle. ALL. THE. ANGST. Least favorite? I guess maybe secret baby. But honestly, I’m not really a trope hater. I’m a mood reader so I just read whatever the eff I want.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I have an adorable single-dad small-town second-chance IR romance in my head that I NEEEEED to get out. It’s been bumpin’ up there for two years. If only I wrote faster. lol
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
I would just like to see more diversity. I would love to see more people read and promote books written by and about women of color outside of [insert here] history months. These books can be read all year.
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
I love the way it makes me feel. It’s such a comfort to me. Romance novels have gotten me through so much over the years. It’s so much more than people give it credit for. It’s more than sex. I mean, the sex part is great and I’m always here for the spice. All the spice. But ugh, it’s so much more. There’s a romance novel for every mood. You get to fall in love, and relive that first kiss, and have all the butterflies, and cry when the heartbreak comes because it will come. It’s romance. Romance allows you to just feel all the feels and it just makes me smile. You also learn a few things about yourself and your desires. Who knew I had a praise kink? Certainly not me. Until I read romance. Lol TMI?
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks or audiobooks
Historical romance or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones or series
Music or silence while writing (Both. Depends on my mood.)
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Tea or coffee
Cold or warm weather (fuck winter)
Morning person or night owl
Illustrated cover or photo cover (here for both)