A little bit about me

IMG_4919

How did a country girl from rural Devon in England spend twenty years in Los Angeles and ultimately end up in Portland, Oregon with a husband and two Vizsla dogs? Here is the short version …

Back in the late seventies at the tender age of 19, Hannah realized that after six whole weeks at boot camp, life as one of the twelve female officers admitted annually into the Women’s Royal Naval Service was not for her after all. It was tough to get out—she had to pretend to be insane—but it was even tougher for her proud parents who were devastated. All the good luck gifts—including the three travel alarm clocks and countless biographies about Admiral Lord Nelson—were sent back to dozens of relatives along with groveling apologies. She was A Disappointment.

Having been told she was a good letter writer (thanks to those letters of apology), Hannah thought she would “have a go” at journalism. She called all the local newspapers and struck lucky with the Tiveton Gazette who was looking for a cub reporter. Within nine months Hannah was bored to tears. She primarily wrote the obituaries, attending each funeral to take down the names of the mourners at the church door (paying particular attention to spelling), and then attending the post-service receptions. Despite being given the odd amateur dramatic performance to review, (Uffculme Village Hall’s version of Jack in the Beanstalk was particularly spectacular), Hannah decided to disappoint her parents again. She craved adventure! There was never going to be a murder in Tiverton and besides, she had always wanted to travel which was why she’d jointed the Navy in the first place. And so began her ten-year stint as a flight attendant, beginning with British Caledonian, then British Airways and finally transitioning into flying all over the world on corporate jets for heads of state, African despots and Hollywood superstars.

After an inspiring conversation with Steven Spielberg during a flight to the Middle East, (if you buy her a large glass of wine she’ll give you the details), Hannah decided to take his advice. Once in Hollywood, she worked as a story analyst for several motion picture studios, while producing a hefty stack of her own (sadly unproduced … but many times “almost” produced) screenplays. After enrolling in the UCLA Writers’ Program, Hannah decided to focus exclusively on writing fiction. Currently, she writes three series—The Vicky Hill Mysteries (Little, Brown), based on her spell as an obituary reporter, The Honeychurch Hall Mysteries (Minotaur), described as Midsomer Murders meets Gosford Park, and her new series—the as yet untitled Isles of Scilly Mysteries chronicling the adventures of two sisters who inherit a rundown Art Deco hotel on an islet off the Cornish coast. All her series are set in the West Country of England.

In 2013 Hannah’s husband was offered a new job in Portland, Oregon. To her astonishment, she discovered that the seasonal weather was just like England! Hannah still pops down to Los Angeles twice a month for her part-time day job. For the past eighteen years she has been a Miss Moneypenny to the chairman of a west coast advertising company, a position she hopes she’ll hang onto for many more years. After all, she gets a dose of Californian sunshine and a steady salary— and besides, she knows where all those bodies are buried.

Hannah Dennison

Hannah DennisonAbout