Local Mom Influencer Audrey McClelland Releases Four Romance Novels in a Year
The Barrington resident's books are like Hallmark movies in literary form: Pick up her novels Hometown Boy, At Last, Happily Ever After and One and Only.
Just when we thought local mom of five and national lifestyle influencer Audrey McClelland couldn’t be any more amazing than she already is, she goes ahead and writes four romance novels and releases them all in a year. She started writing nearly every day since October of 2019, and her books became like Hallmark movies between pages. The genre makes sense since the mom blogger from Barrington is a self-proclaimed Hallmark movie addict. We hear she even watches the holiday Hallmark movies year-round for an anytime pick-me-up.
Rhode Island Monthly profiled McClelland in a 2015 feature (“Hey Everyone, It’s Audrey Here!” E
I read two of McClelland’s books, Hometown Boy and At Last, and let’s just say I can totally relate to the first novel when it comes to that high school beau that got away. I think it will also bring back nostalgic feelings like many women I know who had high school romances that fizzled out when they were young. The second novel’s storyline revolves around a plot to make an ex-boyfriend jealous when the ex sees the woman he scorned with an even better catch, which is actually a friend, and nothing more, so they think. It highlights the idea that a potential love interest just might be under your nose the whole time, and you just don’t know it until it hits you over the head. I look forward to reading her two other books, Happily Ever After and One and Only.
Here’s a q-and-a I did with the author:
1. When did you first know you wanted to write books?
I’ve always loved creative writing. I actually have notebooks in my office that my mom gave me filled with stories that I wrote as a teenager. They were all young adult romances based in high school, so I guess that romance piece has always been in me. But, it became real for me about two years ago, after hearing my dear friend and fellow author, Cecelia Mecca, talk about her love for seeing her stories come alive. I decided that very next month, back in October of 2019, that I finally wanted to get a story that I had brewing in my head for years onto paper. That story is Hometown Boy, my very first book.
2. What is your romantic inspiration for the series, and why did you focus on four sisters, each with their own book in the series?
My inspiration has always been that I love the idea of love. I love seeing people happy. I love hearing about how people met. I love happily ever afters. I actually used to LOVE reading the wedding stories in the New York Times when I was in college because it would tell the stories of how couples met! And it’s never lost on me that love stories always make people happy. Ask anyone how they met their love, and they glow.
My romantic inspiration for this particular series, and all of them to come, is my own love story. My husband is one of the most romantic guys in the world, so I love adding in pieces here and there from our own lives. I decided to base my series around four sisters because I have four sons, so I just swapped it around. I just thought it would be fun to write a series based around a family because I wanted my readers to get invested and truly wonder how each sister found their own happily ever after.
3. I know you had a career in fashion similar to the character Samantha before becoming a social media queen. Did you base any of the novels off of real-life experiences or people?
Great question! It was fun to go back to my fashion roots a bit while writing about Samantha. My life path wasn’t meant to stay in NYC and work in that industry, but it was fun pretending and creating a scenario of what ifs for my character. What I ended up doing was taking personality traits from people I know and love and using them as inspiration to build out some of my characters. For example, Mrs. McKay is based on my own mother. That was easy for me to do, and I loved seeing her come alive on the pages. All of my leading men are loosely based off my own husband and his personality, too.
4. I recognize restaurant names and landmarks that are familiar. How much of Rhode Island is in the books?
I love Rhode Island and I’m so proud of our state, so I wanted Rhode Island to be another character of sorts. Barrington is the setting for my first series and I did that because it was easy for me to write about it. I plan to make all my books Rhode Island-based truly because of my love for Rhody!
5. How are you able to write with five kids and a career? How did you make it happen?
This is the million dollar question! You know, I feel like where there’s a will, there’s a way. And I also felt that it was the time to finally just do it, so I held myself accountable. What I ended up doing was setting aside time every single day to write. I didn’t care what time it was or where I was, my goal was just to write every single day. With COVID last year, my daughter wasn’t eligible for a bus, so I would have to pick her up every day. I would have to get to the school an hour before dismissal just so I wouldn’t be in a long line down the street. I took advantage of that hour all last year and (literally) wrote two of my books in that pickup line! Right now what I try to do is write a minimum of 2,000 words a day, just to keep myself flowing with my writing.
6. After you publish all four books, what’s next?
I have a holiday romance coming out and I’m in the beginning stages of writing a young adult romance novel.
And… the biggest goal of all, trying to get one of these books on Hallmark!