Interview with author, Melanie Hooyenga!
I hope you’re all doing well and having a good week! We have a special guest today. My friend Melanie Hooyenga! Melanie and I met online years ago. In fact, her blog was one of the first I ever followed! And now we know we’re real life friends. She’s awesome as is her book, FLICKER. So, instead of me rambling on about it and her, I’m going to let her tell you ;o)
Here we go!!!
Welcome to the mosh pit. Tell me about yourself in 140 characters ;o) A variation of my Twitter bio is: YA-writing, graphic-designing, home-renovating, Schnauzer-owning, sarcastic liberal who designs book covers and is getting married in April.
What is FLICKER about? Do you have plans for a series?
FLICKER is the first in a trilogy, and I’m currently working on Book 2, FRACTURE. The series follows Biz, a seventeen-year old who uses sunlight to flicker—or jump backwards—to yesterday. At first she uses her ability the way any teenager would: she cheats on tests, relives memorable dates, and fixes fights with her friends, but little girls start disappearing in her town and she realizes she can help people besides herself. And there’s a hot guy.
Me: Oh, well. A hot guy? I’m in. Ha. Trust me, there’s more than just a hot guy!
What was it that first appealed to you about writing?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved telling stories and there’s something about watching another person’s face while they read something from your head that’s addicting. Now if only I could figure out a way to SEE all my readers…
Where’s your favorite place to write?
Preferably someplace quiet with minimal distractions. Like a lot of writers I know, I suffer from the “ooh shiny” syndrome and a productive writing session can quickly turn into Facebook chats or good old people watching if I’m not careful.
Me: What? Pssh. Come on, no writer does that? Ha. Okay. I’m guilty.
What is our favorite part of the writing process?
Ha! I’m kidding. Discovering the story that my characters want to tell. As you (Erica) know, I’m unable to write a story unless I have an idea where it will end, but while I may have an outline, I rarely know the details in the middle. That’s the fun for me.
Me: I know. I have no idea how you do that. But it’s kind of awesome.
What’s more important to you – a good voice or a good plot?
A good voice. I know everyone’s different but if I can get lost in a character, then I’m sold on pretty much any plot. My goal in writing is to make people believe my characters, and I think that comes with a strong voice.
What do you wish you knew before publishing/querying that you know now? Any tips to our aspiring authors?
I queried FLICKER for a year and a half (with a few breaks during that time) before ultimately deciding to self-publish. Three years ago I swore up and down that I would never go this route, but I realized that my main goal is for people to read my stories, and now that’s happening.
My advice to aspiring authors is to make sure you’re in this because you love writing. I know everyone says that, but publishing is an excruciatingly slow business and if you don’t enjoy all that time spent alone — I mean writing — this may not be the right thing for you.
What’s your favorite thing to do that no one knows you do. (Guilty Pleasure?)
I spend way too much time playing Bejeweled Blitz on my phone. I have a lot of things going on (this year alone I bought a house, got engaged, and published a book, plus I design book covers on the side of my full-time job) and it’s a great way to block out all the thoughts buzzing around in my head. We recently got an alarm clock that has a dock for my phone so now I can bring the little jewels to bed with me. Which may not be a good thing.
Favorite book and movie and why.
I have a really hard time picking a favorite book because I never reread them and I read a lot of different genres. I recently read DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth and admire the way she created a dystopian world that’s different from all the other books out there. It’s a full market and I think Roth really set herself apart from the others. Stephanie Perkins’ ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR are other favorites of mine.
Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite movies. I love the story, the actors, the directing, and especially the singing. I’m incapable of watching it without singing along at the top of my lungs. (That might be another guilty pleasure.)
AND Ewan McGregor is in it ;o)
Thanks for stopping by Mel! This was fun ;o)
Have a great weekend, everyone!!