Beauty & Fashion

Hannah Brown’s Next Chapter? Romance Novelist

In 2019 Hannah Brown was in the middle of her very own fairy tale. At just 24, she had been chosen to embark on a journey to find her soulmate—full of fancy dates, exotic locales, and lots of romance—as the star of ABC’s The Bachelorette.

But five years later, the almost 30-year-old says that her idea of a fairy-tale romance is one in which both people have gone to therapy—and, she says, are willing to put in the work to grow together into the people they are meant to be.

“All the beautiful dates and the passion and the excitement—that only lasts for so long,” she tells me. “You have to put in the work to figure out how to be able to have the true happily ever after.”

These are just some of the things that Brown has learned since she first graced our TV screens as a contestant on Colton Underwood’s Bachelor season. Her bubbly, Southern-girl charm made her an instant fan favorite, leading to her own Bachelorette season and then a winning turn on Dancing With the Stars, not to mention nearly 3 million followers on Instagram and a New York Times best-selling memoir, God Bless This Mess.

Now Brown is charting a new path. She’s happily engaged to fiancé Adam Woolard, who works in sales, and is reflecting on her time on the show and in the public eye, which encompassed a large part of her 20s.

“When I look back, I have a lot of grace for myself,” she says. “I’ve gone on a journey of being able to heal limiting beliefs about myself and knowing that I’m actually worth it…. I’m really proud of the journey that I’ve gone on, but it has reminded me just how young I was, having to learn so much about love and life at a rapid pace in front of millions of people.”

She’s also working toward building a new career: as a romance writer. Her first novel, Mistakes We Never Made, is a story about a somewhat uptight young woman named Emma who embarks on a road trip with her ex-flame Finn to track down their mutual friend Sybil, who has pulled a runaway bride just a few days before her wedding. Along the way, Emma confronts some of the bad patterns she has fallen into because of her past and learns new things about herself. There are high jinks and romance too, of course. It’s the Crossroads-meets-Bridesmaids-meets–The Hangover story you never knew you needed, and Brown says it was important to her that Emma didn’t find just love but self-acceptance.

“Maybe it comes from my experience, but the only way to really be open to love is to love yourself first and to be able to have grace for yourself and the things that you’ve been through,” she says.

Ahead of the release, Brown chatted with Glamour about her inspiration for the book, what she’s learned about love, and whether she’d go back on The Bachelor today.

“Mistakes We Never Made” by Hannah Brown

Glamour: When you appeared on The Bachelor in the late 2010s you were right in the middle of this “star maker” period for the franchise. So many contestants from that era got huge followings and launched careers in content creation. What was it like to be suddenly so well known?

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