This interview was conducted by Jeannie Jones, our newest and youngest reviewer. She enjoys all types of fiction and is a member of our new NSCG middle grade branch. See her review of PJ Hoover's The Emerald Tablet here. For those who have already read The Emerald Tablet, look for it's sequel, The Navel of the World.
1. When you were a kid, did you enjoy writing as much as you do now?
No way! I never wanted to write as a kid. I didn't think I was very good, and all I wanted to write were
2. Which do you enjoy more- writing or reading?
Writing when the words are flowing, and reading when they aren't. Actually, I think it's important to have a great mix of the two. Reading makes my writing better, and writing makes my reading more interesting.
3. What are the books you’ve published since The Emerald Tablet about?
THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD is the second book in the trilogy that started with THE EMERALD TABLET. It just came out in October 2009. That's the only one published so far, but here's to keeping fingers crossed! And the most fun part about THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD is time travel :)
4. Does your real life ever inspire your books and writing? If so, how?
I love finding inspiration everywhere I can. I use books, TV, music, and hobbies, just to name a handful or inspirational sources. I love Rubik's Cubes, and so I created the Kinetic Orb in my books. I loved the song ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK, and so I set a scene in THE EMERALD TABLET in Bangkok. Finding inspiration everywhere is one of the most fun parts of being a writer.
5. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I only realized I REALLY wanted to be a writer after the birth of my second kid. I was an electrical engineer for fifteen years, but had a hard time balancing the demands of engineering and giving my kids all the attention I wanted to give them. I started writing to see how it would go, and I found I loved it. It suited my personality super well, and I enjoy the heck out of it.
6. How did you get your first book published?
I met an editor at the New York one year who offered to read my manuscript. She gave me amazing feedback, and once I revised, I asked her if she'd read it again. She did, and after a couple more rounds, she bought the entire trilogy.
7. What are your favorite books to read?
In middle grade, I loved the PERCY JACKSON series and am enjoying the GREGOR series immensely. In YA, I loved THE HUNGER GAMES and THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH. These are books I would have loved to have written!
8. How did you pick the names of the characters in The Emerald Tablet?
There were various ways. For some of the more common names, I looked to my yearbooks. For the more unusual ones, I had fun using a random name generator. For example, Proteus Ajax came up via a random name generator. Pretty cool, huh?
9. Are there any special locations where you like to write best?
I have an office in my house, so at home, that's the only place I write. When I need to escape from the house, I head to the library. I find getting away from distractions like laundry and the dishwasher help me get more done.
Thank you so much for having me!