Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Interview with Author PJ Hoover and a book giveaway!!!

I'm excited to have PJ Hoover give us some of the low-down on her debut YA Novel, The Emerald Tablet. This is a fun read ya'll! So creative, filled with cool gadgets and hidden worlds and a fun twist on mythology and legends. I can tell that PJ had fun writing this. Her creativity got my own imagination-a-spinnin'

Leave a comment below to have your name entered for a free copy of The Emerald Tablet. Let me know in the comments section of you refer your readers over here. If you do, I'll put your name in the mighty tupper-ware-bowl-of-free-book-drawings twice.

Getting started:
1) Tell us a little about how you decided to write the Emerald Tablet?
It was pretty soon after the birth of my second child. She (unlike my first) was a great sleeper, even early on. So I went from a chaotic existence to both kids in bed by eight o-clock. (Which is wonderful; I fully realize that) And on top of that I'd sworn off TV. So all of a sudden I had a bunch of extra time on my hands.
I'd always loved reading science-fiction and fantasy, so while trying to figure out what I could do productively with my new-found time, I decided to give writing a shot of my own.

2) How did The Emerald Tablet come into being? (slush pile? Agent? Contest? Etc)
I'd gone to the National SCBWI conference in New York, and there met an editor who for some odd reason offered to read my manuscript and give me feedback. Her feedback was phenomenal, so I revised and asked if she'd read it again. Which she did and then gave me more feedback. This went on a couple more times until she offered to buy the trilogy.

3) How long did it take to write The Emerald Tablet?
The first draft took about three months. After that I revised for nearly a year until I let someone read it (even my husband). At that point I started writing book two in the series, and continued revising based on critiques I received on book one. Combine that with time and learning more about writing, and I just kept on revising. Spark to publication was about four years.

1) Do you have a writing schedule?
Definitely! Before I quit my full-time job, I only had the evenings to write. So I'd write from 9-11pm EVERY NIGHT. Really. Every single one. I never missed a night unless dire circumstances came up. I decided to focus on writing full time in April 2008, and since then I've added from about 10-2 during the day for writing stuff. With a book out now, the time is more than appreciated. Marketing, revising, kids...they all need their place!

2) Have you always wanted to write a book?
Somewhere in the back of my mind was that thought so many people have—that they'd like to try to write a book. But I just never did it. Instead I got my degree in Electrical Engineering and designed chips for 15 years.
That said, I love the writing life. It's perfect and meshes with so many things in my personality. And the best thing is I want to write all the time, unlike engineering (which was great but just not my passion).

3) How do you think your experience as an electrical-engineer influenced the way The Emerald Table was written?
I love sneaking bits of science and math into my writing! For example, how lower floors are numbered based on i (the imaginary number). What a meniscus is. Counting starting at zero. And most seemingly random numbers I used are actually powers of 2 (as binary numbers are the basis for Electrical Engineering).

4) Are there any interesting or noteworthy stories behind some of the idea’s in The Emerald Tablet? (ie: the geodine, or any of those creative things that makes your story unique?)
Totally! The Kinetic Orb comes from my passion for the Rubik's Cube. Solving it with eyes closed comes from my son putting Transformers together in the dark.
The Geodine the size of a golf ball is a small tribute to my husband's love of golf.
The scene in Bangkok is based on my love of the song "One Night in Bangkok".
And my all time favorite poem (which I have memorized), Kubla Khan by Samuel Coleridge, inspired the Xanadu scene.


1) What was your favorite childhood book?
I read Gone With the Wind more times than any other, but my all time favorite book from childhood is The Hobbit! It reads well, has a perfect mix of fun and drama, and is great for kids!

2) What are some of the books or authors that have most influenced your writing?
Of course I love the Harry Potter books (especially the first three), but my favorite author is Rick Riordan of The Lightning Thief fame. I love everything about this book, from the story, to the voice, to the roots in mythology.

3) What is the most recent book you have read?
I'm just finishing up the Kiki Strike books by Kirsten Miller. I read almost soley MG and YA, though I'm trying to venture out a bit.

Thanks for taking the time to share these bits of wisdom, information and inspiration with us, PJ! Congratulations on an awesome debut novel! I can't wait to read the others.

And don't forget to leave a comment to have your name entered for a free copy of The Emerald Tablet. Let me know in the comments section of you refer your readers over here on your blog. If you do, I'll put your name in the mighty tupper-ware-bowl-of-free-book-drawings twice.

The drawing will be on Thursday. Please check back on Thursday to see if you have won so I don't have to track you down and hunt you. ;0D


beth said...

*don't enter me in the contest--I've got a copy and would rather someone who hasn't read it get a chance to read such an amazing book*

Just wanted to pipe up and say--what a brilliant interview! Loved it--I especially liked the question about inspiration and where some of the details of the book came from. :)

Kelly said...

Excellent interview! I especially liked number four, seeing her inspirations for parts of the book!
I linked this interview on my blog, too!

bridget3420 said...

I'd like to read this book.

Solvang Sherrie said...

LOVED this interview!

I love all the "behind the scenes" info and if I don't win, I'm going to Amazon because I really must read this book. A good writer friend of mine is also an engineer so I'll have to let her know, too!

Thanks, Christine, and Kelly for pointing me here!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks so much for interviewing me, Christy! And thanks everyone for stopping by!

Bish Denham said...

Sounds like a fun and exciting book! Nice interview too.

MJ said...

Great interview. Please count me in.

Kelly H-Y said...

Excellent interview! And, PJ is SUCH a wonderful person ... so very cool!

Natalie Hatch said...

PJ that was great of the editor to give you feedback in that way. Congrats on your book, I'd definitely like to read it.

Natalie said...

Thanks to you both for the interview! I especially liked hearing about how you write around your children's bedtimes, as I've got three kiddos of my own. Congratulations on your book!

Natalie said...

Thanks to you both for the interview! I especially liked hearing about how you write around your children's bedtimes, as I've got three kiddos of my own. Congratulations on your book!

Anonymous said...

OH, I so want a copy of PJ's book--please enter me in the contest! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Aw, you guys are all so sweet! Thanks!

Angela said...

What a great interview. Thanks so much for letting us in to see how all this came about. I'm so proud of you, PJ!

Katterley said...

Great interview! I'd love to be entered! I posted about the interview and contest on my blog: http://katterleyschatterley.blogspot.com/2009/02/almost-new-day.html

Thank you!

Christina Farley said...

Fabulous interview! So excited about this book. And I'm impressed at PJ's ability to write with such dedication. It puts me to shame!

Carrie Harris said...

Fabulous interview! I'd love to win a copy of PJ's book. :)

I did link to you in today's post, Christy, but I don't think it counts. Just a thank you for your most recent comment. So thanks!

D.A. Riser said...

Great interview, Christy. I found my way over from PJ's blog. It looks like you have a nifty site as well. I'll add you to my list of blogs to follow.

Tabitha said...

Great interview!! :) And PJ, so glad you're still out there with your book, that's awesome! :)

Don't enter me in the contest though. I've already got a copy of the book. :)

adrienne said...

Great interview! It's so interesting to hear what some of the inspirations were - like putting together Transformers in the dark :)

Heather said...

I love books with cool gadgets!
PJ's path to publication is so cool. Great interview. Congratualtions to PJ!

Anonymous said...

Here from Kelly's. I love to hear of a writer's success!

Angie Frazier said...

wonderful interview!
PJ's book sounds so fab.
Please enter me into the contest,
and I'm glad I found your blog!

Corey Schwartz said...

Great interview! So interesting to hear how the book came into being!

C.R. Evers said...

Thanks for commenting everyone! I'm so glad to see some new names!

I'll do more book giveaways through out the year, so be sure to come back!