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Melanie is AWESOME

Blog Hoppity Hop!

It’s blog hop time! My good friend and author of an AWESOME YA novel FLICKERMelanie Hooyenga asked me to participate in this fun blog hop. Don’t know what one is? She explains it better than I could ;o) 
“For the uninitiated, a blog hop is when a group of writers (or otherwise connected bloggers) answer the same series of questions then tag both the people who tagged them as well additional people. You know, to keep you hopping from blog to blog.” 
As you may know, I am a rule breaker when it comes to these things so… I’m just going to say anyone who reads this can join in the fun!
HERE WE GOOOO!
1. What are you working on right now?
I am revising my YA Thriller and making sure I don’t offend half the nation with it… LOL. It has some dark religious elements, but it’s fun to write something that’s dark in a thriller type way instead of a tragic/emotional way.
2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
The story I wrote before that one was an “issues” book so it’s a lot different. I need to concentrate more on the plot with this one and you know, I have my KILLERS back. So I’m a happy girl. No one really killed anyone in my last one which makes me a sad panda. 
3. Why do you write what you do?
I love exploring emotion and tragic, dark things. I’m a pretty happy person most of the time, but when I stick my headphones in and just GO THERE, I can tap into some seriously messed up shit. I can’t build worlds well and I loathe writing long descriptions (Although, some of my favorite books I read have a lot). There’s something about that dark side of people that just fascinates me.
4. How does your writing process work?
I’m a pantser so no outlines. I have a general idea of where everything is going. I’ve learned a lot about structure by editing at Entangled. I have an idea of what needs to be in an MS and now it just comes naturally. I  tend to fast draft my first draft then revise like crazy.

That was fun! How would you answer these 4 questions? Leave your blog in the comment below and I’ll add you to the post! Don’t forget to check out Melanie’s YA book FLICKER

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Interview with author, Melanie Hooyenga!

Hey Everyone!!
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? 



Editing. 

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.

Me: Word.

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)

FLICKER is available ebook only at Barnes & Noble, or both print and ebook on Amazon! I’ve read it and it’s awesome!!

Anything to add?

I’m really excited to hear from readers and hear what they think of FLICKER. People can email me at melaniehooyenga@gmail.com, find me on Twitter (@MelanieHoo), my website (melaniehoo.com), and of course on Facebook (facebook.com/MelanieHooyenga). 


Thanks for stopping by Mel! This was fun ;o)

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

~Er

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