Lisa Hobman talks about her new book, A Year of Finding Happiness.
I was recently asked why I chose to write a story with happiness at the centre. It gave me pause for thought and I felt a post would be a nice way to introduce the new book.
If you’ve read A Seaside Escape you’ll already be familiar with the central character of A Year of Finding Happiness. Scotsman Greg has had a rough deal where romance and happiness are concerned and when readers met him in the first book, many loved him and wanted to know more about him. I received messages from people asking for his back story, so this book came about simply as a result of these requests for a deeper look at Greg. I was delighted to oblige as he is a character I’ve become very fond of.
Although, when I set out to tell Greg’s story, I didn’t want to write a simple retelling of Mallory’s story from his point of view, so A Year of Finding Happiness has been written in such a way that it can be read as a standalone novel.
Greg has been betrayed by those people he thought loved him the most and he has suffered through great loss. He has a lot of trust issues and fears as a result of his heartbreak and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He often comes across as brusque and rather tactless but really the heart beneath the tough exterior just wants to love and be loved. I’m hoping that in delving into his past, readers will gain a greater understanding of what makes him the way he is. After all, we are all affected by our past experiences whether we like it or not. But just like everyone else, Greg wants acceptance and to be happy.
On meeting Mallory Greg sees something kindred that speaks to him in a way he never anticipated and admittedly he doesn’t handle things well. He comes across as someone with very terrible interaction skills but I hope his clumsy manner makes him more relatable and realistic. None of us are perfect but sometimes our imperfections are what make us more vulnerable and attractive to others.
Throughout the book Greg shares his love of those constants in his life; the things that give him peace and happiness. Music is one of his great loves, so much so that his guitar has a name! He has a way of expressing himself through the music of others where his own words fail, although this doesn’t always go as he hopes! The other love of his life is his dog Angus. A companion for many years, the Labrador Alsatian cross breed has been by his side through thick and thin caring for him with the unconditional love that a canine friend gives so well.
Even though Greg’s live isn’t completely devoid of happiness to begin with I think deep down, regardless of the ways he has suffered he still wants someone to share his life with. I suppose all anyone wants is to be happy; it’s just that each of us has a different journey to make in order for us to achieve this much desired state and I suppose you could say that Greg has travelled the year or so in this book by the scenic route!
When it comes to my own situation, I feel my happiness is found with my family. To have people beside me who are rooting for me and who support me and love me is the best feeling ever. Writing also brings me a great deal of happiness and I’m always overwhelmed when I hear from readers who have read and loved my stories. Making others happy is a wonderful thing. And I think both Greg and I strive for this.
A Year of Finding Happiness shows you that the little things in life can make you smile, even when you think you might never laugh again…
Happiness doesn’t factor on the deliciously rugged but utterly heartbroken Greg’s radar much these days. Only his beloved Labrador Angus seems to understand his search for a way to make sense of tragedy, until he meets new neighbour Mallory Westerman…
Instantly they know that the other understands how they feel, and over time, as romance blossoms, they dare to wonder if they might, one day, be truly happy again…
There are two sides to every story, and A Year of Finding Happiness is Greg’s journey back from the darkest depths to happiness…
Lisa Hobman is a happily married Mum of one with two crazy dogs and especially enjoys being creative. Her past jobs have included working as a singer and running a craft business but writing is her full time occupation!