Chris Harrison may already be familiar to you as the host of the long running “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” franchises. But does standing by watching strangers date and helping singles count down to the final rose give someone the expertise necessary to write a romantic novel? Now’s your chance to find out–we’re giving away a copy to one lucky commenter! Answer the question at the end of this post to be entered in our sweepstakes.
Chris’s novel, The Perfect Letter, follows Leigh Merrill, an eager young book editor on the fast track at a major New York City publishing house, as she returns to her childhood home of Austin, Texas for the first time in ten years. Faced with a marriage proposal she isn’t ready to accept, Leigh sees the Austin Writer’s Conference as the perfect escape—just a few days away to catch up with old friends and clear her mind. But for Leigh, going home also means facing the dark secret–and former lover–that has haunted her since she was a girl. With her past and present crashing in around her, Leigh must decide just how much she’s willing to risk for love.
We asked Chris some questions about his new book, and here’s what he had to say:
XOXO: So, Chris Harrison, as the consummate host of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette—do you believe in love at first sight?
CH: Yes, but… This is a tricky question because I’ve seen firsthand, several times, bachelors or bachelorettes end up with the man or woman who made the most impressive first impression. I guess you could call that love at first sight. The reason I throw the “but” in there is, while first impressions are big, in my opinion it definitely takes more than that to reach the level we call love.
Did you always want to write a book? What made you take the plunge?
Writing a book is something I’ve been tossing around and wrestling with for the better part of ten years. There were a few things that came together that made me “take the plunge.” The most motivating factor was a chance meeting I had with romance novelist Nicholas Sparks. The evening I spent chatting with him definitely got the wheels spinning in the direction of writing a fictional romance.
What led you to set THE PERFECT LETTER in Austin, Texas—is that a particularly romantic city? (As someone who loves Tex-Mex, I say yes!)
I was born and raised in Texas, so obviously the Lone Star State holds a very special place in my heart. If you know anybody from Texas you know that no matter where we live or for how long, we always consider ourselves Texans. While I grew up in Dallas, I’ve spent a lot of time in Austin and consider it an incredibly romantic town. From the music and bar scene downtown to the lakes and ranches out in the hill country, I try to get back to Austin as often as I can. As soon as I made the decision to write a romance novel, I knew it would have to be set in the heart of Texas.
You’ve just been named the new host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Do people have a better chance of finding true love or winning a million dollars on your show?
I’ve loved hosting the “Bachelor” franchise and will continue to treat that as my baby, but I’m so excited to take over an iconic game show like “Millionaire.” We’ve gotten so good at what we do on The Bachelor, I think it’s actually easier for us to help somebody find true love than it will be to have the skill, luck and guts to win a million dollars. But I’ll tell you this–I can’t wait for the moment I help guide someone to winning a million dollars! Can you imagine the feeling of giving away a million dollars? I truly hope I will.
Thanks for talking to us, Chris! The Perfect Letter is on sale now, but you can enter to win a copy just by answering this question in the comments: Which would you rather have, a million dollars or true love–and why?
(Sorry, this giveaway is open only to U.S. residents. Complete sweepstakes rules can be found here.)