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Author Angie Hockman shares love for '90s rom-coms and Cleveland with new book 'Dream On'

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Don Adam
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Angie Hockman is the author of "Dream On," a romantic comedy set in Cleveland.

Whether it’s books or movies, Angie Hockman is a sucker for romantic comedies, and she writes the kind of stories she likes to read.

“I grew up in the time of the ‘90s and the classic rom-com film,” Hockman said.

The Strongsville writer’s latest novel, “Dream On,” includes classic rom-com delights, from chance encounters at a quaint, local floral shop to characters who follow their hearts with extraordinary gestures.

“I just think romantic comedies are pure joy … especially during tough times like we've all had the last couple of years with the pandemic,” she said.

Released in July by Simon & Shuster’s Gallery Books, “Dream On” follows a young law professional finding her way in life after a major injury. Upon waking from a coma, the main character, Cass, has memories of dating someone she never met — until she actually does meet him a year later.

“She walks into a flower shop one day, and, boom, there he is. The man of her dreams is, in fact, real, except he has no idea who she is,” Hockman said. “They get together to try to solve the mystery of why she dreamed of him in this coma and embark on a little romance, although perhaps fate has other plans in store.”

Set in Cleveland, the book contains many Northeast Ohio references from sports teams to nearby suburbs. While Hockman grew up in Gahanna, just outside of Columbus, she said she considers Cleveland her “adopted hometown,” and she lived on Cleveland’s West Side while studying law at Case Western Reserve University.

“I wanted to set it in a place that would mirror my main character, Cass’ journey,” she said. “You cannot keep her down. She's very, very driven, whether it's in her career or going after what she wants. And I feel like that's sort of like the city of Cleveland.”

“Dream On” follows Hockman’s first published novel, “Shipped,” another romantic comedy set in the Galapagos and a nod to her part-time job in ecotourism managing conservation and education programs for cruise company Lindblad Expeditions.

While she has a law degree, Hockman said she quickly realized a legal career wasn’t the right fit. It was while teaching English to eighth graders in Virginia that she began writing. A few years later, the birth of her son inspired her to complete her first book.

“About two years after he was born, I finished my first complete manuscript, which did not end up getting published," she said. "But then the next book I wrote after that was 'Shipped,' and that did end up getting published.”

Now with two published books, Hockman said she will continue to write romantic comedies and is kicking around ideas for her next novel.

“You can expect my brand of humor … romance, strong, driven women, cinnamon roll heroes, so sort of the Angie Hockman flair, whatever that book ends up being about,” she said.

Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.