A.R. Hadley is an impeccable author and storyteller who has published numerous books in the past. This week, I had the opportunity to interview her about her upcoming love story and the role music plays in her writings.
Interviewer: For those readers who don’t know you, can you tell them a little bit about yourself?
A.R.Hadley: I publish under my initials A.R. Hadley but am known to friends and family as Amber. I’m a writer of soul connections. I’m truly fascinated with how the universe brings people together, how we react to each other’s energy, and how this affects the course of our journey! I’m a mom, a lover of Papa, and classic film. I like Cary Grant and chocolate and the ocean. Nice to meet you! Thanks for having me!
Interviewer: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A.R.Hadley: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I won first place in my fourth-grade English class after creating a mystery-themed fictional story, penned poetry as an angst-filled teen, and wrote for a local paper in the early 2000s. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that I once again tried my hand at fiction. The writing was therapeutic in ways I hadn’t dreamed of, and I haven’t stopped since!
It wasn’t a realization as much as it was a necessity.
Interviewer: How long does it take you to write a book?
A.R.Hadley: The first draft usually takes around two weeks, then come the rewrites and edits — which also typically take around two weeks per round. This is what I like to call “the love affair” stage of the process.
Interviewer: Where do you draw inspiration from for your books and writings?
A.R.Hadley: BIG question. Great question. I could answer it in several different ways.
Inspiration comes into our awareness, whether we realize it or not, from everyone and everything around us. Each time we watch a film or a television program, we’re absorbing dialogue, tension, plot.
Well, at least I am. One of my favorite shows of all time is Moonlighting from the 80s, starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shephard. I also love classic films, movies from the 1930s and 40s — they just don’t make dialogue like that anymore. And I’m a huge fan of Ernest Hemingway. The way he writes men. The way he uses a subtle tempo throughout the pages, leading the reader to a beautiful climax. Many things influence me. These are just a few.
My latest release, Moonlight Drive, is partly a product of having watched the Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt and the Oliver Stone film The Doors. The former wasn’t a movie I expected to enjoy and did — Nikki Sixx made quite an impression on me (I never knew he was an accomplished songwriter!), leading me to eventually create my character, Nick. And the latter … well, you’ll have to read the book to see how Jim Morrison impacted my story.
Interviewer: Can you tell us a little bit about your past projects?
A.R.Hadley: Sure! I’ve published seven books — all written in a literary style my readers have come to know and love!
The first three novels are part of a trilogy, The South Beach Connection: Landslide, Wanderlust, and Continuum. A contemporary age-gap love story, featuring a character dealing with mental illness and grief, and another struggling to care for himself and his mother. A journey of self-discovery, letting go of perceptions, learning what it means to give up defining yourself.
Bodhi. BDSM meets Women’s Fiction. This story follows a divorced mom on a wild adventure, a night at a dungeon that turns into much more than she could’ve imagined! Pain and pleasure, religion, healing, and polyamory. This book is not a romance.
The Flyways is a beautiful little novella about a girl named Holly, her brooding Professor, Kelley Nicolo, and the forbidden games they play when they fall in love … despite his marriage and their vast differences. PS- I stole part of this summary right from the book’s description!
The Truth in the Lie. What can I tell you about this book? Bree will make you uncomfortable. Her journey is raw and real and disturbing. A woman: divorced, childless, cynical, nearing forty, connected to two different men for very different reasons. I started writing this one in 2014, finally published it in 2020 — it features a story within a story. It’s graphic, literary, both beautiful and ugly.
Moonlight Drive is my latest release, published in May of 2021! It’s a rock and roll love story set in the decadent music scene of the 80s and 90s.
Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe was my muse! I had a blast doing research for it! I hope, after discovering this novel, more people will pick up Nikki’s book The Heroin Diaries, seek help for addiction, and follow their dreams! Moonlight Drive is a heartbreaking but inspiring story of lost love and redemption — about shining our light even in the darkest of places.
Interviewer: Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming projects and anything you’re working on that you’d like us to know?
A.R.Hadley: Yes! I’m currently working on a story called, The Ocean in His Veins — a beautiful yet tragic look at a man on his way to rock bottom. The main character is Cal from The South Beach Connection Trilogy. We follow him from age sixteen to forty-five. Through chasing money, finding success, realizing failures, and navigating relationships. He’s flawed, gorgeous, and won’t give up searching for the silver lining. I plan to release this book later this year!
Interviewer: What role does music play in your writings?
A.R.Hadley: Music played a huge role in The South Beach Connection and Moonlight Drive.
In the South Beach trilogy, the two characters shared songs when they couldn’t share feelings — or sharing songs was a way for them to express their feelings. Music also stirs their memories, helps them heal, allows them to feel safe. Cal owns an antique record player, has an eclectic collection of vinyl, and a vast knowledge of music that he shares with Annie.
Moonlight Drive is the story of two musicians: Nick makes it in the 80s, becoming the bassist for one of the biggest rock bands in the world. And Dani, a girl determined to make it in a boys’ world, cuts her first record in the 90s. Both have been influenced by a variety of artists from the 1960s and 70s: Queen, Aerosmith, Bobbie Gentry, Heart, to name a few. Nick also plays the piano. Dani sings. And both are songwriters — their heart-wrenching lyrics are featured throughout the pages of Moonlight Drive.
All four books have playlists. Links are at the back of each novel. And provided here for your listening pleasure!
Moonlight Drive: https://tinyurl.com/4ucztndu
Interviewer: Interviewer: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
A.R.Hadley: Yes! I love hearing from readers! Reading can be a solitary experience, yet words connect us in ways we sometimes don’t always fully comprehend. Not in the moment anyway. All art, including music, touches our souls, opens our hearts, and reminds us why we’re here! To connect with each other. We never know how one simple message, email, or phone call will affect someone. I appreciate this exchange as both a writer and reader, as an artist, as a human. Reach out. Share yourself with others.
What readers say varies but it all comes back to connection. People want to be heard. We all want to be heard and seen and valued.
Interviewer: What message do you like to give to your audience through your writings?
A.R.Hadley: I hope readers feel a comfortable sense of uncomfortableness when reading one of my novels. May my words spark questions, the ability to see things from a different perspective, irritation, joy, a wonder about why and how we’re all connected.
I recently watched the Ken Burns’ Hemingway documentary on PBS. This excellent program reminded me why I love Ernest. Papa had the ability to convey in very simple sentences what it meant to be alive, to know depression and loneliness, to both fear and accept death. That’s what I want people to feel through my writings: Our humanity. Oneness. Our innocence and desires. Our layers. Flaws. The beautiful and ugly sides. All of it. Thank you for asking this question!
Interviewer: What advice would you give to aspiring novelists and authors?
A.R.Hadley: Be authentic. Break rules. Read books. Release fears — and realize that even after letting go of some others will appear. Don’t let fear stop you!
Interviewer: If you could meet your younger self right now, what advice would you like to give her?
A.R.Hadley: I wouldn’t like to give her advice. We do things when we’re ready. Things come when we’re ready. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my books, writing, music, and connection!
PURCHASE MOONLIGHT DRIVE: https://books2read.com/u/bQJXOe
MOONLIGHT DRIVE BOOK TRAILER: https://youtu.be/Kp14sZKF33Y
HADLEY WEBSITE: https://www.arhadley.com