Hannah Brown's New Novel Has 'Easter Eggs' From Her Own Life: 'All Based in my Own Experiences' (Exclusive)

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The reality TV star's lifelong dream of becoming a writer is finally coming true with 'Mistakes We Never Made'

<p>Courtesy of Raul Romo; Courtesy of Kaitlin Kall</p>

Courtesy of Raul Romo; Courtesy of Kaitlin Kall

'Mistakes We Never Made' by Hannah Brown

Hannah Brown has a new book coming out and readers will have to squint to notice the similarities between her life and her characters' journeys — but the parallels are there.

"This is obviously a book of fiction but I think, with anything, people crave authenticity," Brown, 29, told PEOPLE, about her new novel. "And so, even though these aren't real people, they are based off and inspired by my own feeling situations, thoughts, questions about love and life and working through why we are the way that we are. That is all really based in my my own experiences."

And Brown has had a whole lot of experience to draw from.

Getty Images Hannah Brown on The Bachelorette
Getty Images Hannah Brown on The Bachelorette

The reality TV star first came on the scene when she represented Alabama in the 2018 Miss USA pageant and was later cast on Colton Underwood's season of ABC's The Bachelor. She earned the title on The Bachelorette in 2019 and won ABC'S Dancing with the Stars that same year.

Since then, she's competed on FOX’s Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, ending the show as one of two women who completed the course. Her 2021 memoir God Bless This Mess was a New York Times bestseller, and in 2022, she launched a podcast with SiriusXM, Better Tomorrow with Hannah Brown.

Her first novel, Mistakes We Never Made, is out May 7 from Forever, an imprint of Hachette Books. It has everything readers could want for beachside reading: love, friendship, a burrito flying toward someone's head and the kind of drama that we all love to watch from afar.

<p>Courtesy of Kaitlin Kall</p> 'Mistakes We Never Made' by Hannah Brown

Courtesy of Kaitlin Kall

'Mistakes We Never Made' by Hannah Brown

Brown calls the book, "quick and nice and and an enjoyable read to have on your summer vacations by the pool at the beach."

Emma Townsend has been just missing Finn Hughes for basically their whole lives: They almost dated in high school, almost hooked up after college and now almost can't be in the same room together. Except now, they have to spend a weekend in Vegas pretending not to hate each other while one of their mutuals gets married. Emma's killing it, until the bride goes missing and she and Finn have to save the day — without losing their cool.

Related: Hannah Brown and Adam Woolard's Relationship Timeline

"Emma is not fully me, but she is a part of me," Brown explains, noting that the book has a lot of "Easter eggs" that longtime followers will recognize from her own background. "There's a core group of best friends in this book, and that's really where it all started for me. I think I think some of the best love stories in our life can be those that we have with our friends. And that's a real big foundation in this book that I hope that people really can see."

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Having one book under her belt already, Brown says putting out a novel has been a different kind of challenge. "When I wrote my first book, God Bless This Mess, that was really therapeutic, but also really emotional, and I felt super vulnerable, like sharing everything in my life and from my perspective, but also just like some some hard things that I've gone through," the author explains. "Where with this one, I didn't realize just how much planning it takes. To create a really beautiful, cohesive, funny, fast-paced love story actually is a really slow process that takes a lot of management."

<p>Courtesy of Raul Romo</p> Hannah Brown

Courtesy of Raul Romo

Hannah Brown

She credits her co-author, Emily Larrabbee, for being able to "encourage me and help me really get everything, all my thoughts, all my hopes for these characters in this story and how I want it to really show up on the page in a in a really attainable enjoyable way for the reader."

And there's a second book coming after this one, so when readers fall as deeply in love with Emma and her friends as the author did, they won't have to leave them behind forever. "I've become really close to Emma and her life, even if it is a fictional life," she confesses.

Brown, who is engaged to Adam Woolard, says Mistakes We Never Made has eaten up a lot of her time lately, but that she's excited to dive into wedding planning once the book is out in the world.

"I'm really looking forward to, in the next month or so, going to be all in wedding-planning mode like I'm so excited for that," she gushes. "But for now, I'm really excited for people to get their hands on this book and hopefully really enjoy it while they're their toes are in the sand by some type of water. I'm wishing that for everyone."

Mistakes We Never Made is out May 7, and is available for preorder now, wherever books are sold.

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