Hey Frolic Babes! I am so excited for today’s Author Q&A. Author Andrea Hopkins was gracious enough to take some time out of her day to answer a few of my questions and I’m so excited to put her and her work on your radar.
Bree: Thank you, Andrea, for chatting with me! I remember following you on Instagram and instantly going to Amazon to begin one clicking away. The excitement when you discover a new to you author is real and I am so happy I’ve found you and your work! I want everyone to know you and your work! Can you please give Frolic readers an elevator pitch on who you are?
Andrea: Oh goodness, this means everything. Thank you, Bree, for wanting to chat with me. I’m beyond thrilled you not only read my little book but liked it. I was happy twerking around the house all week. So hey y’all!. I’m Andrea Hopkins. I’m an Army wife, a stay-at-home mom of four boys, and I write about the hot mess that love can be. All the stupid mistakes we make and how we learn and grow from them. I embrace the flaws and imperfections. I love me some drama and angst and super-hot sex scenes that make you blush and squirm in your seat.
Bree: I am always fascinated by romance readers, romance origin story. How did you begin reading romance and do you remember any of the first titles you read?
Andrea: As a teen, I read a lot of YA romance. Sarah Dessen was and still is everything to me. This Lullaby. The Truth about Forever. I read Nicholas Sparks. A Walk to Remember and The Notebook. I jumped on the Twilight train which led me to Fifty Shades. After that, I needed more, and I found authors like Abbli Glines and Jessica Sorensen and H.M Ward. But it was Colleen Hoover who truly changed the game for me. Reading Hopeless made me want to write. The raw emotion and sexual tension was everything.
Bree: How did your journey into writing begin?
Andrea: Growing up, I was always writing something. I wrote for my middle school yearbook and my high school magazine. I wrote little short stories in my journals. But then life happened. I got married and had two kids back to back. Writing kind of stopped. But my reading tripled. I fell in love with romance. Co-Ho rocked my world. My kids started school. My husband was deployed. For the first time in years, I could focus a little more on myself. And this story came to me in a dream. It was like I was watching a movie. I woke up and jotted down whatever I could remember. I didn’t think it would amount to anything. Never in my life did I think I could write a dang book. But while my kids were in school and I was pregnant with kiddo number three, I wrote my first book, Falling In.
Bree: Okay, I recently read and loved Back to Delaware which is book 1 in your King Brothers series. It was intense from the first chapter and had me hooked from the very beginning. Did the story come to you first, or one of the characters?
Andrea: A basic idea of the story came first. A musician who seemingly has it all—great family, an amazing girlfriend, fame and fortune—a bright star who falls hard and has to fight his way to get back up. And then Del was born and I worked from there. I’m not even sure how it came to me. I just remember sitting on the couch and writing down little notes about it. I tucked it away in my idea folder. I knew I wanted to write another series loosely connected to my Falling In series, and boom!
Bree: Back to Delaware is the second chance romance between Delaware King and his childhood sweetheart, Zoey. Addiction was a very important part of this story that I didn’t expect to read but you did an amazing job at showing how Delaware’s past addictions affected everyone in his life. Did you do any specific research to capture that so well with Delaware?
Andrea: I mostly drew from personal experience with family members struggling with addiction. I’ve been eye-witness to the consequences of addiction and the pain it can cause to everyone involved. It’s truly a struggle. A fight that is so hard to win but it is possible if you put in the work. And I wanted to write that story.
Bree: I love that Zoey and Delaware’s story is a second chance romance; in my mind I imagine writing a second chance romance to be really hard to pull off, but it’s become one of my favorite tropes. With Zoey and Delaware, they’d been apart for six years and while life carried on during that time, once they were back in the same space, the chemistry was absolutely there. I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted Zoey to give Delaware another chance. You captured my whole heart with Del because he is absolutely crazy for Zoey but this is where you have life having carried on, while he was away, come into play. As an author, what do you think are the essentials for really nailing a second chance romance?
Andrea: It truly depends on the circumstance. I think if a character is truly remorseful, I don’t want him or her to be punished for half the book. I hate when it’s dragged out for so long. They’re usually already punishing themselves. But we need to see that work, that growth in order to forgive. I feel like they need to show some redeeming qualities. It’s a delicate balance. I love a second chance romance. They feel authentic to me. We all make mistakes—some small and some very large in Delaware’s case—but we owe it to ourselves and to the people in our lives to right those wrongs. And a little humility goes a long way.
Bree: There are no bad characters in this book. There was a lot going on and I was bracing myself to not like someone within the story but that never happened. What inspired you to make the choice of having all of the characters be likeable?
Andrea: I try to see the best in people. Love them despite their flaws and maybe even because of their flaws. We all have our shit, make mistakes and have unlikeable traits but that doesn’t mean we aren’t worthy of being liked and loved. I tried to convey that. Each character has something that maybe is a little off but they’re still likeable despite it. I was also writing about some pretty deep and dark themes, so I really tried to lighten it up a bit with some comic relief.
Bree: Delaware has two brothers, Blue and Clay. Can you tell us which brother’s book is next and is there anything about the book you can tell us?
Andrea: Blue’s book is next. I’m slowly writing it. Quarantining with four boys during a deployment definitely messed with my timeline, but I’m working on it. Blue is heartbroken and finds himself in a new city. He gets in a little trouble and hires Delaware’s publicist Caitlyn. Instant spark! It’s a little enemies-to-lovers’ish. There is a cute kid involved. You truly get to meet Blue King and I think you’re going to fall hard. Who doesn’t love a behemoth basketball player who listens to “How Far I’ll Go” from the Moana soundtrack to get pumped for a game? That’s Blue. It’s honestly my favorite book so far.
Bree: What is one essential you need within arm’s reach while you’re writing?
Andrea: My phone to play music. I make playlists for every book. So, Blue’s playlist is in heavy rotation right now.
Bree: What’s the last song you couldn’t get out of your head?
Andrea: I’m obsessed with John Legend’s new album. A few of his new songs are on Blue’s playlist. “U Move, I Move” has been on repeat in my head all week.
Bree: What’s one movie that you will never get tired of watching?
Andrea: Honestly, it’s a Netflix movie called Set it Up. I’ve watched it far too many times. I’m just obsessed with it. It’s been my go-to for the last couple years. I love it. Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell have the best chemistry. They’re so dang adorable. If you haven’t watched, get to it! So good.
Bree: Lastly, to aspiring romance authors out there, what’s something you know now, that you wish you’d known in the beginning of your writing career?
Andrea: Find your writing/bookish tribe. I started this thing completely on my own. I had no friends in the writing/bookstagram community. It was very lonely. I had no idea what I was doing. I was too afraid to reach out. But once I did, I met some of the most amazing people. I couldn’t do this without the brilliant, kind, and supportive women in this community. Women like you, sis. I’ve learned so much from them. Always growing. We empower each other. Fix each other’s crowns. It honestly makes me tear up just thinking about the real love and support. So, my advice is to get yourself out there. Meet other people in the community. Being an indie author, we can’t do this alone. It truly takes a village. So, find yours.
Go keep up with Andrea, Babes. Her Instagram is @authorandreahopkins and it makes me so happy! Both her Falling series and Back to Delaware are available on Kindle Unlimited, so go get your one click on and we will chat again soon.