Oh. My. Gosh! I was so excited to sign up to be a part of this, and then even more excited to get chosen for my first choice, Amanda Hocking. I am not going to lie. I had major, complete and total fangirl moments many days since receiving the email. It happens that I received a copy of Lullaby in the mail the same day as I got this email, and my copy of Lullaby came signed from The Book Depository. Ask my husband, I was dorked out for the whole day.
For anyone who has not read this author’s work and doesn’t understand, I point you to the facts as to why I think Amanda Hocking is a total rockstar. Let’s see. Amazing storytelling abilities. Once of the first Young Adult novels I read as an adult was the Trylle series, and I was so completely sucked in that I bought copies for like 5 different people, including a woman in her 70s who loves fantasy and has become enthralled with the series as well.
The other thing is that Amanda Hocking has sort of the Cinderella story in publishing. She started out self publishing her books, an then along the way got picked up by a major publisher and has quickly become a widely popular an well known author. Amanda’s books transcend age lines because everyone finds something that they can relate to and enjoy in them. In talking about the upcoming event, I only had one friend who didn’t know who she was, and that friend basically lives under a rock in regards to the literary world.
As a writer myself, I am inspired by this young woman every day because it tells me that my dreams are reachable, even if the path I take to get there is not the one I had originally planned and that anything is possible.
So that, there is why I absolutely adore Amanda Hocking and why I think she very deservedly is a rockstar author!
And now, I got the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing her, so that we could all get a glimpse inside her head and see what makes her tick! I sent off a list of many questions and asked that she answer at least 5 of them. She did way better than that, so here we
Let’s Start with a few fun ones:JARR Asks: Which version of vampires do you like better : True Blood (Based on Charlaine Harris’ novels) or Twilight?
AH: True Blood. I like my vampire stories with a bit more blood.
JARR says: Me too! I was enthralled with Twilight, but when I found True Blood, I was like, “This is what vampires are supposed to be
JARR Asks: I noticed you mention Red Bull on your Blog. Regular or Sugar Free?
AH: I actually really like the Red Bull Zero.
JARR Says: I am a Red Bull purist, although I have found I do like the cranberry flavored one that is out now.
JARR Asks: White, Dark, or Regular chocolate?
Okay, and now that we are all warmed up, let’s get into the meat of thngs!
JARR Asks: What do you do when you are not writing?
AH: I am a fairly boring person, and I always think that I should come up with more exciting hobbies so I can answer questions like these. I read, watch a lot of movies, play video games, and hang out with friends. I also have a dog and three cats that keep me pretty busy.
JARR Says: Oh, nothing wrong with those hobbies. They are pretty much all I do. I work, I write, I read. I play on Steam. That is about the extent of it.
JARR Asks: Is there anyone who has influenced/encouraged you to write? Who and how/why?
AH: My family was always very supportive of my writing, and I think that I’m constantly influenced by everyone and everything. That sounds like a glib answer, but it’s true. My inspirations come from everywhere.
JARR ASKS: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
AH: I started writing as soon as I could write. It was something that I literally always did and always wanted to do. I finished my first novel when I was seventeen (which would be in 2002), and it wasn’t very good.
JARR Asks: How did you choose the genre you write in?
AH: It was a genre that I’d always enjoyed. I especially loved horror and fantasy when I was growing up, but the YA market wasn’t quite what it is today. It’s really exploded in the last decade. I also think I’m still basically a kid, and that’s what draws me to the YA genre. It’s fun to read and it’s fun to write.
JARR says: I feel the same way. I feel like sometimes the story just takes over and the characters and the genre choose me.
JARR Asks: Where do you get your ideas?
AH: Everywhere. That sounds overly simplistic, but it’s true. I also draw heavily on various mythology. I was really into the different myths and monsters of different cultures when I was a kid, and I think that I still incorporate that into my stories.
JARR Asks: Do you work with an outline, or just write?
AH: I always outline. It makes it so much easier and faster to write.
JARR Says: I really, really need to learn to
JARR Asks: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
AH: When I was kid, the authors that I read the most were Judy Blume and Stephen King, and considering I write young adult romance infused with monsters and horror, I can definitely see their influence.
JARR says: Omigosh! I love both of those authors. I read my first King work when I was about 10 years old. Totally creepy and I just could not get enough!
JARR Asks: If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
AH: Not at all. Everything needed to happen the way it did for things to work out this way, and I couldn’t be happier about where things are now.
JARR Asks: Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
AH: No. I had the advantage of starting out self-publishing, so I could literally publish anything I wanted. There were some books that I thought I wanted to publish, but then I went back and re-read them and realized they were terrible. But I always figure that if I write something, and it’s good, it’ll find a place.
JARR says: This is precisely why I will self publish my work. I prefer to be able to have that kind of control and if it feels like it is good enough to go out, I get to decide that. Of course, then people can just not read it and I shall feel the sting of the epic fail. <sigh>
JARR ASKS: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
AH: There are definitely things that draw from my real life, but nothing in my books is really biographical. It’s usually little things or nods to pop culture that I enjoy. (For instance, I mention the movie Jaws in almost every one of my series, because it’s one of my favorite movies).
JARR Asks: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
AH: With Elegy, there were a lot of favorite parts. But I think especially the last quarter of the book was fun. It’s the end of the series, so everything has been building up to this big finale, and it was fun putting it all together.
JARR says: I am so looking forward to reading this. I have a shiny copy in hardcover sitting on my shelf just waiting for me!
JARR asks: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
AH: Oh, yeah, definitely. In the Watersong series, there were a couple characters that I fell in love with, and I’d love to see them in appear in other books. I’m not sure if they will, but they were so much fun to write, it’s sad to let them go.
JARR says: Part of me wants to ask which ones, but really, I know better.
JARR Asks: Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
AH: I would just like to thank everyone for sticking with me for so long, and I hope that fans of the Watersong series enjoy the conclusion in Elegy.
On behalf of readers everywhere, let me just say an emphatic thank you for writing such amazing novels for us to immerse ourselves in and get lost in.
Well there you have it my friends! Amanda Hocking. I am still shocked that she took the time to answer my questions and I am trying not to get tooo excited about it.
But wait, there is more. Didn’t you see the surprise in the title? Yep! I have a lovely giveaway to offer. And there will be 2 winners. And you have until the end of the month to get entered into this one, and 2 people will get to pick a print version of any book in The Watersong series. And, and, and, it is INTERNATIONAL!!!!!!!!