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Bestselling Author Ali Hazelwood Talks New Book ‘Not in Love’ + What Led Her to Writing

We caught up with the BookTok sensation to discuss Not In Love, what inspires her and more!

Ali Hazelwood is a doctor of neuroscience, so when her debut romance novel The Love Hypothesis went viral on TikTok — with more than 80 million posts — then became a New York Times bestseller, she was ecstatic so many people connected with a story about two scientists. In her debut, readers follow scientists Olive and Adam, who concoct a fake dating charade and find unexpected chemistry along the way. “The Love Hypothesis came out in the middle of the pandemic when people needed a distraction,” she says. “A lot of romance novels received so much love from social media during 2020 and 2021 and I think this was one of them. The book just came out at the right time and had the right type of feel-good, happily-ever-after content people were craving.”

Hazelwood is known in the book community as a “romance powerhouse,” and there are many reasons romance lovers are drawn to Hazelwood’s books. One of them: their unique science-themed premises. Her compelling, steamy romances often feature strong characters who work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). When asked how her own experience in academia has shaped her writing, she states that it’s simply what she knows best. “At the time when I wrote my debut, I was working in STEM so I was drawn to exploring that specific setting.”

Her new novel Not In Love, out today, centers on two coworkers set on, well, not falling in love.

What is Ali Hazelwood’s new book about?

Rue Siebert has a small but steady group of friends, a great career as a biotech engineer at Kline (a start-up in the field of food science) and a stable daily routine. That is, until there’s a company takeover led by a devastatingly handsome man named Eli. To make matters worse, Rue and Eli met on a dating app and hit it off before the takeover. Now, Rue tries to ignore Eli and team up with her colleagues to somehow beat this new company at their own game. But when Rue and Eli start a secret no-strings-attached affair, the fiery feelings between them prove that sometimes love is found in the most unexpected places.

Woman’s World caught up with Hazelwood to have a quick-fire chat about Not In Love, what drew her to writing romance and why she loves the dynamic between her latest on-page couple, Rue and Eli. Keep reading to find out the answers!

The new ali hazelwood book cover
Berkley

Woman’s World: Did you always know you wanted to be an author? What drew you or inspired you to write romance?

Ali Hazelwood: I actually didn’t really see myself as a fiction writer until I started consuming fanfiction. That’s what made me start writing — and once I began, romance was a natural progression for me, mostly because it’s what I enjoy reading the most. At the time I was working in STEM, so I was drawn to exploring that specific setting.

WW: Was there one singular romance that sold you on the genre?

Hazelwood: Yes! Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh or The Luckiest Lady In London by Sherry Thomas.

Related: 10 Books to Read If You Love ‘Bridgerton’: These Romances Will Make You Swoon!

WW: Once you move past the book research phase, do you jump right into writing? Do you have any routines surrounding writing a novel?

Hazelwood: My process is very messy — I research, then write, then outline, then research some more and it’s all jumbled together. In terms of rituals, I’m trying to become more structured and give myself specific intervals to write. Unfortunately, at the moment I just procrastinate until a deadline approaches!

WW: Without too many plot reveals for those who haven’t read yet, what would you like readers to take away from Not In Love?

Hazelwood: Whenever I write a book, all I ever hope is that it will help people to pass a couple of hours without thinking of whatever it is that bothers them in real life!

WW: If you had to give an elevator pitch for this book, what would you say?

Hazelwood: Man in finance, 6’5’’, blue eyes, falls for emotionally constipated girl. He wants to make a connection with her, but she’s avoidant and unavailable, and all she accepts from him is sex. Then she can’t lie to herself anymore, oops!

Related: 11 Romance Books to Make You Swoon

WW: Is there one thing about Not In Love you think romance readers will enjoy the most?

Ali Hazelwood signing tip-ins for her new book
Ali Hazelwood signing copies of her new novel Not In LoveAli Hazelwood/ Instagram

Hazelwood: It’s always difficult to know what people will enjoy about a story (and if they’ll enjoy anything at all) but I really loved writing the way Eli truly sees Rue for who she is and unconditionally accepts her.

WW: Why do you think the romance genre so important to readers?

Hazelwood: I think different people enjoy romance for different reasons — in my case, I really enjoy witnessing the journey of two people falling in love. Also, I love smut!

Check out Ali Hazelwood’s latest novel, Not In Love, available everywhere now.


For more author interviews, click through the links below!

Bestselling Author Tessa Bailey Talks About Her New Book ‘Fangirl Down’ + Why People *Really* Read Romance

Kristin Hannah Talks About Her New Novel ‘The Women’ + How She Went From Attorney to Bestselling Author

Bestselling Author Lisa Scottoline Talks About Her New Book ‘The Truth About The Devlins’ + How She Preps for a New Novel

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