Book Review & Interview | Sex, Life and Hannah

Sex, Life, and Hannah, the juicy woman-on-top book series authored by Dorota Skrzypek, chronicles the exploits of Hannah, a female professional trying desperately to make sense of the L.A. single life. Through broken hearts, broken dreams, and nearly-broken bed frames (yes—there is a lot of sex), Hannah grapples with the modern late-twenty-something’s conundrum: Does the fairytale life exist, and is it worth having?

The third installment of Sex, Life and Hannah (“The Summer Season”) was recently released this June, so I was very excited when the author contacted me to review the books and participate in her virtual book tour.

Dorota Skrzypek was born in Poland, grew-up in Canada, and moved to Southern California in 1997. After many years of flying airplanes, designing airports, exploring the world, and dating a swarm of eligible bachelors, she created the adventures of hannah
to focus on writing fiction. Dorota resides in Los Angeles with her husband, writer and producer, Scott Frazelle. The adventures of hannah is a boutique publishing an production company dedicated to re-imagining content and engaging the public in new
ways.

The author, Dorota Skrzypek

I immediately identified with the author because like Skrzypek, I am also Canadian with a Polish background and a passion for storytelling. I am all about women writing, creating & producing things on their own terms (plus, I love a good, saucy beach read!) so I’m glad I got a chance to read the Adventures of Hannah series. In Hannah, Skrzypek has created a protagonist that many of us can probably relate to. Hannah is in her late-20’s, has recently gone through a painful break-up and is trying to find her footing in the newly single life while exploring her sexuality. FYI, Hannah is kind of living my dream life:  She inhabits a charming guest house in Santa Monica with ample shoe storage and is BFF’s with her cool gay neighbors. Color me jealous.

The first book started off a bit slow for me, but the writing and the plot definitely picked up in the 2nd and third novellas. Given the current popularity of romance and erotica books like 50 Shades of Grey, I think the timing for Adventures of Hannah is perfect.

As part of the virtual book tour I was able to catch up with the author to ask her a bit about what inspires her, the books and the process of writing & self-publishing.

To check out my interview with Dorota Skrzypek, please see after the jump!

1. You have a Bachelor of Science degree, what made you decide to start writing fiction? Is writing something you’ve always been interested in? 

I realized one day, five years into my aviation career, that I was not truly fulfilled; that I wanted more out of my life than just a great paycheck. I wanted to feel inspired and excited. I had never written formally, only in my journals, but I had a duffle bag full of them because I have always written in my journals as a form of therapy. Thinking about what I could do with all those journals was the starting point.

2. What inspired you to write the Sex, Life and Hannah series? 

There were a number of things: the romance novels I read, the soap operas I watched, Sex and The City, reading a biography about Anais Nin where she discussed publishing her journals. If I had known of blogging earlier, perhaps I would have been the first Secret Diary of a Call Girl. I had written about experiences and emotions in my journals that I knew were very relatable, because my friends and I had discussed all of them, so I knew there was an audience.

3. Reading the series feels a bit voyeuristic, like you’re reading someone’s personal diary. How much of “you” is part of the character “Hannah” (if at all) and are there elements of the stories that are based on real life experiences? 

The first book in the series was almost entirely created from my journal entries that my editors helped me craft. I took more artistic license in the second book, and even more with this third. As satisfying as it was to take my experiences and turn them into a book, I have to say the artistic exploring has turned out to be the most rewarding.

4. At the beginning of the first volume, Hannah finally breaks up with “The Ex”. What advice would you give readers who are looking to move on from a painful break-up? 

There is ALWAYS someone else. Believing in that is the hardest part of a break up because you’ve invested so much time, and sometimes you think you’re out of time, so the thought of finding more time to invest in someone new is daunting. But I always hear these amazing stories about people being stuck in a relationship for two, five, ten years, finally breaking up, and finding someone even more amazing, or just the right type of different—within months. You have to show the Universe you’re ready for more, really believe it, and express that belief through your actions. That’s when you get what you want.

5. As a character, how do you feel Hannah grows and changes throughout the course of the series? 

These first three books are more a chronicling of Hannah’s downward spiral. She continues to be very idealistic and obsessed with finding The One, and there’s a lot of change thrown her way that doesn’t really lead to much personal growth. But that’s OK. Sometimes we need to endure a nine month storm before we can reach any conclusions. I have always envisioned the fourth book in the series to really break out Hannah’s character. She will definitely find a peace within herself that has nothing to do with a man, and that is ultimately the moral of the series.

6. Lastly, do you have any advice for readers who are looking to write and self-publish their work? 

Definitely invest in a good editor and designer because they will keep you sane and on track. And use a service like Amazon’s CreateSpace to make your book available to the public. If I had used CreateSpace from the beginning it would have saved me a lot of headaches.

Thanks for sharing Dorota!

If you’d like to WIN all three Adventures of Hannah books, we have a little treasure hunt planned for you! It’s super easy to win! All you have to do is visit the other blogs on the virtual book tour listed below and enter their favorite quote from the book into the contest form on the Sex, Life and Hannah website:

July 10: Chick Lit Central http://chicklitcentraltheblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/dorota-skrzypeks-sizzling-tunes-for-hot.html

July 11: The Romance Reviews http://theromancereviews.blogspot.com/2012/07/sex-life-and-hannah-blog-tour.html

July 12: Skinny Dip https://www.skinnydip.ca/

July 13: All Women Stalk http://allwomenstalk.com/

July 14: Ms Cheevious http://mscheevious.com

July 15: Langdon Nation http://langdonnation.com/

July 16: Why Girls Are Weird http://www.why-girls-are-weird.com/

July 17: Reviews by Molly http://reviewsbymolly.com/

July 18: Bad Online Dates http://badonlinedates.com/

My favorite quote from the book is:

“He unzips the small zipper of my black leather shorts and gradually pulls them down. I don’t protest to that, or him sliding my panties to one side”

(Heyoooo!)

There are THREE sets of books to be won, and forms must be submitted by July 26th. Winners will receive an email July 27th. You must be a resident of the United States or Canada to participate. Good luck!

Have any of you read the Adventures of Hannah series? What did you think?

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