Who Is Hannah Grace? And Why Won’t She Show Her Face? – US 247 News

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Hannah Grace doesn’t have an author photo. She doesn’t do events. Neighbors in Manchester, England, don’t know that she’s written two best sellers, “Icebreaker” and “Wildfire,” nor do they know that the unassuming 30-year-old traded her corporate job to become a full-time novelist last year. That’s because Hannah Grace isn’t her real name; it’s a nom de plume.

I decided straightaway that I wasn’t going to put myself out there,” Grace (but really not Grace) said in a video interview from Orlando, Fla., where she was on vacation with her husband, mother, siblings and their children. The trip was her treat, “a Christmas present for the next million years,” to make up for all the events she’s missed while rushing to meet deadlines. Grace went on, “I’m not a person who likes attention. It’s a bit of a morbid running joke with my husband. If I ever go missing, he won’t have a picture of me to give to the police.”

She didn’t intend to become an author: “That was never in the cards for me.” Desperate for distraction during the pandemic, she started writing a racy romance about a figure skater and a hockey player. In August 2022, Grace self-published “Icebreaker” under an imprint named for her dogs, Pig and Bear, and it quickly attracted a massive audience through the Kindle Unlimited Program (with a boost from TikTok). Last November, the book was acquired by Atria, which published Grace’s second paperback, “Wildfire,” in October. It debuted at No. 2 on the combined print and e-book list.

“If I had a dollar for every time I said the word ‘overwhelmed’ in the past 12 months, I’d never need to write another book,” Grace said.

Still, grateful as she is for the enthusiastic reception — especially from her mother-in-law, who read “Icebreaker,” much to Grace’s mortification — she hasn’t wavered in her commitment to anonymity: “I have sensory issues; I don’t like being touched. If I said at an event, ‘You can come meet me but you can’t hug me and you can’t take a picture of me,’ I think it would really be a not very nice experience for people.”

Last month, Grace crossed paths with Jonathan Karp, the C.E.O. of Simon & Schuster. “I wasn’t expecting to meet him,” she said. “I was wearing a T-shirt with a raccoon on it that said, Live Fast, Eat Trash.” When Karp asked if he was allowed to know her real name, she laughed: “Has nobody told you my name is Hannah?”

It really is. To the rest of the world, what comes next is off the record.

Elisabeth Egan is an editor at the Book Review and the author of “A Window Opens.”