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Author Hannah D. State

Posted: February 23, 2024

Please meet author Hannah D. State who wrote 'Journey to the Hopewell Star', her debut novel and a magical, original and complex young adult novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Hannah D. StateWhat was your inspiration for Journey to the Hopewell Star?

Hannah: It was a culmination of different factors. My husband and I moved from Ontario to the East Coast in 2016, and that’s when the idea developed. Without the long commute, I’d found I had more time in the evenings to explore creative pursuits. I enjoyed the new setting, friendly community, good quality of life, and beautiful landscape, and I felt inspired to start something new.

The idea began as a short story, but after sharing it with my husband and a couple of close relatives, they encouraged me to develop it further. I signed up for a novel writing course through the University of New Brunswick, along with a marketing and self-publishing course with the same professor. The professor had achieved success as an independent science fiction author, and I found his courses helpful and inspiring. The workshop format was effective, and I made some wonderful connections in the writing community through his courses. I’m especially grateful that the initial readers found promise in my writing and supported me throughout its development.

How long did it take you to write Journey to the Hopewell Star?

Hannah: It took about three and a half years from start to finish. Writing is not an easy or quick process, especially when you have a full-time job. I plugged away at it in the evenings and on weekends, taking courses on the side and learning to strengthen my writing. I enjoyed workshopping the story in the novel writing course at the University of New Brunswick and gaining feedback and constructive criticism from other readers and writers in the community.

Question from a Red Dragon Insider Reader:
What is your writing routine like?

Hannah: I have no routine when it comes to creative writing. It changes every week. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., I write technical documents as part of my job as a senior administrator with the federal government. But in terms of creative writing, I’ll spend maybe an hour or two in the evenings and a few hours on the weekends. It’s very sporadic. There are days when I’ll write more, and then sometimes a week goes by when I haven’t touched the manuscript. I think it’s partly why it takes me so long to finish a story—I don’t carve out a regular block of time for it, and there are competing priorities. My day job is what keeps the lights on and food on the table. I hope that changes one day so I can write creatively full-time.

Question from a Red Dragon Insider Reader:
What do you find the most challenging when writing a story?

Hannah: I think the most challenging part of writing a story is the revision stage. For me, it takes more time than getting the first draft down. The revision process involves lots of rewriting: adding and cutting scenes, dialogue, description, characters, and more. Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture, or even the end, especially if the story takes a different path. Having a trusted reader and/or writing group can provide encouragement and insightful feedback, which makes the process less intimidating. I’ve learned that it’s important to be patient with yourself and not rush the process. Allowing yourself time to do other things (like going for walks in a natural setting, playing a game, visiting a museum, or listening to music) lets your mind rest and rejuvenate. It’s important to take breaks and give your subconscious a chance to relax and digest information—at least, this is what I’ve found helps me become inspired and come back to my writing project with a fresh take on the words and the story.

Tell us about your favorite book.

Hannah: There are many, but one of my all-time favorites is Binti, the sci-fi novella by Nnedi Okorafor. If you enjoy sci-fi, thrillers, and a strong female lead, you’ll probably love it too. It’s imaginative, gripping, and contains so many sensory details you’ll be immersed and captivated. Every time I read Binti, it moves me so much that I get teary-eyed. I would love to see the story be adapted for the screen. Nnedi Okorafor is such a talented writer. Her story covers a fascinating and epic journey, and every word matters.

Tell us about your upcoming book.

Hannah: I’m currently working on a sci-fi dystopian novella where gender plays a major theme. But in recent news, I just released Journey to the Dark Galaxy, a sci-fi military technothriller and the sequel to Journey to the Hopewell Star. It follows Sam on another journey with her friends, but it’s more mature and darker in tone. There’s more diversity, interweaving storylines, and many layers of complexity.

The antagonist is an AI cyborg developed in a lab on Earth. She’s sent on a solo mission to explore habitable planets, but during the mission, she re-writes her coding and creates a rogue army of cyborgs.

I was interested in exploring advancements in artificial intelligence and how it’s being used, including the ethics and risks. The book also explores themes of personal and collective identity, the fragility of memories and their manipulation, and the risks associated with cloning, isolation, and mental health. It also raises philosophical questions about what it means to be human.

Journey to the Hopewell Star by Hannah D. StateAbout Journey to the Hopewell Star


A mysterious star could bring stability to her world…or lead her to a blistering end.

Quiet and introverted twelve-year-old Sam Sanderson is comfortable living a simple life on her family’s peaceful farm. That is, until a mysterious visitor arrives one night, thrusting her on a formidable and dangerous journey across galaxies.

With little direction and no training manual, her mission is to find the elusive Hopewell Star to save a dying planet. But with time running out, a destructive business mogul tracking her every move, and deadly disasters threatening her community, she’ll have to rely on her wits, courage, and friends to make things right and restore peace to both worlds…all while surviving seventh grade.

From discovering the secret of the Hopewell Star to locating a lost civilization, this book has it all: exhilarating adventures, mystery and intrigue, and fascinating characters—you won’t be able to put it down!

Get Journey to the Hopewell Star


About Hannah D. State

Hannah D. State Hannah D. State is an award-winning Canadian author and science fiction/fantasy writer. Her debut novel, Journey to the Hopewell Star, was named “A Must-Have New Brunswick Book of 2020” by Atlantic Books Today and was a Gold Medal Winner in the Young Adult Sci-Fi category in the 2021 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.

Hannah is bothered by inequality, violence, greed, complacency, snakes, entering a dark room, and not getting enough sleep. She enjoys writing about strong-willed characters who don’t fit the norm and who overcome great obstacles with perseverance, self-discovery, and help from others. Sometimes Hannah can’t keep up with her characters’ ideas and plans, so she takes breaks, drinks coffee, does yoga, and takes nature walks to calm her mind and really listen. Born in London, Ontario, Hannah and her husband moved to the East Coast in 2016.

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Keywords:  Authors , Fantasy , Science-Fiction , The Treasure Trove


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