Tag Archives: swoontini interview
Hello, sweeties!! How are you? How was your summer? We’ve missed you. Why are you all so pretty???
Now some of you might remember the Swoony Boy Alert we did for Noah Shaw, from THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER. And if so, then you probably got that we’re a *little* smitten with him. Well today we have a special treat because the author, Michelle Hodkin is here and OMGSHESTHEMOSTADORABLETHINGEVER.
Lo & C: HI MICHELLE! *tacklesssss* Oh, sorry. Meep. Let us just… help you back up. *dusts of Michelle*
You’ll have to forgive us for fangirling, but you see… we happen to like swoony boys around here. A LOT. And Noah has to be one of the best swoons in YA. How quickly did his character come to you? Did you feel like he grew as you wrote, or did he start out ALL NOAH ALL THE TIME pretty much from the first line?
MH: I love that you love him Noah developed as I wrote; I had a solid handle on Mara from the beginning, and knew, because of who she was and how she would end up, who Noah would have to be and how he would have to seem when the story began in order for their dynamic to work. But there was so much that I learned about him as I wrote and I’m still learning about him, to be honest. He’s definitely the character who surprises me most.
WELCOME BACK! Last week was a big week for us because as most of you know…… IT WAS COMIC CON!! *pops nerd collar*
Did you go? Did we
tackle love all over you? Well guess who was one of the unfortunate recipients of our hugs? The amazing Kami Garcia, co-author of The Beautiful Creatures series with the lovely Margaret Stohl, and author of the upcoming UNBREAKABLE, the first book in her solo series, THE LEGION! She didn’t even call security! And though everyone knows that Kami is a kickass writer, she’s also a real inspiration to those of us just starting out.
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Lo & C: You were on a panel at San Diego Comic Con this year – the What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction). And you’ve been to SDCC before – what’s the best costume you’ve ever seen?
KG: The Star Wars costumes are always my favorites, but the con before “The Walking Dead” came out, there were some serious zombie costumes at the booth.
Lo & C: We agree! We swear we could probably sit and do nothing but people watch all day and still have a blast.
Have you read Cinder? If you have then you know how great it is. And if you haven’t … WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? Cinder is the first in a trilogy, and is a modern retelling of the classic, Cinderella. And if that weren’t enough to interest you, Cinder … is cyborg. IKR? Don’t have a copy? Stick around and you could have the chance to win one of your very own. Win/Win.
Lo & C: Hi Marissa! Thanks so much for joining us here at Swoontini!!
MM: My pleasure!
Lo & C: Ma’am! You are immediately a winner in our world because you used to write fanfiction! This is how Lo & PQ met! So, we’re always so happy to meet others who have dabbled, and are actually surprised just how many authors play in those worlds. What’s fascinating to us is just how different writing fic is from writing a novel. What are some things you think helped you become a better writer, and what are some habits you had to get rid of when you began writing original novels?
MM: Fanfiction FTW! I learned so much from writing fanfic—how to strike a balance between details and action, how to jump right into the heart of the story rather than muck around with a bunch of boring backstory, how to take criticism, and perhaps most important, how to write often and FINISH stuff (because fanfic readers get very annoyed, very fast, if you don’t update regularly or leave a story unfinished for an extended period of time).
Lo & C: THEY DO INDEED, MARISSA.
MM: One thing that’s changed over the years, though, is my willingness to revise. When I started writing fanfic, I would finish a chapter or story and slap it up on the internet with barely a read-through. Now I recognize the importance of stepping back and evaluating the story on everything from overall suspense to miniscule word choices, and I’ve completely deleted and rewritten many a-chapter in my efforts to make them publication-worthy.
Lo & C: We lovvvvvve that you said this. The amount of revising that goes into our work now versus our fic. . . it’s unbelievable. Speaking of revising, your publication journey is interesting because it was two years between starting CINDER and querying an agent. And then, you were picked up by the first agent you queried and sold within a week of submission. (This is rare, brave Swoonies. Don’t compare yourself to this.) Even given this path, what was the best writing advice you received before you were published?
MM: I know, I’m one of THOSE authors, but I do feel that spending all that time making the book as good as I could before querying was the reason I had such a fast sale. And that directly ties into what I think is the best advice I’d heard pre-pub: Take your time and write the best book you can. It can be SO HARD to be patient when you feel like everyone around you is getting a book deal and agents are closing to queries for the summer and bookstores are closing and if you don’t get published right now then you’ll never get published at all, argh! But you’ll only be doing a disservice to yourself by querying prematurely, and you only get that one chance to make a great first impression. Rewrite, revise, have some trusted readers look at your book, and revise some more. When you’ve done the best you can, that’s the time to start hunting for an agent.
Lo & C: This is such good advice. We remember how hard it was to be patient. We wrote “THE END” and then wanted to send it out that day. BUT – wait, revise, wait, revise. It’s the best advice. Tell us a little bit about teenage Marissa. What books would she devour today? What boy characters would have had her fanning herself, and what girl characters would have her jumping up and down cheering?
MM: I feel like Teenage Marissa was simply a less-confident version of Modern-Day Marissa. My tastes haven’t changed that much. I was super into fantasy (particularly the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind), and I still love fantasy, though ironically I read much more YA now (such as Kristin Cashore’s books or Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone – LOVE). I also watched a ton of anime, and while I’m so out of the anime loop these days, I’m still in love with the same sorts of stories (teenagers being awesome and saving the world and falling in love). Teen Me would have been smitten with mysterious-yet-sweet heroes (then: Tuxedo Mask; now: Four from Divergent or Cas from Anna Dressed in Blood). And Teen Me was always a fan of any girl who could kick butt and stay true to herself.
Lo & C: We each bring our own unique voice and experiences to what we write. What teen experiences influence your writing in YA?
MM: I feel like the “experiences” that have most influenced my writing were all those ones that happened inside my own head. When I was a teen, I fantasized about being a superhero, a rock star, a hero, a sorceress, an assassin, a spy… (okay, I still dream about all these things). But those dreams have become the seeds for every one of my stories, and continue to inspire the types of characters and adventures I want to write about.
Lo & C: Tell us some of your favorite websites to visit when you need writing inspiration and/or a good laugh.
MM: Pinterest! So many people post hilarious photos or geeky jokes, and I love all the images of mystical castles and devious-looking characters. (Not to mention all the inspiration for food, décor, and fashion… it’s an all-around inspiring web site. Oh, and my Pinterest page, including a Lunar Chronicles board!
You are currently reading: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
A movie you’ve seen a thousand times: Clueless (don’t judge me)
No judging here, girlfriend. That movie can play in a constant loop in our homes and we’d be happy campers. Favorite season: Autumn
A guilty pleasure: Prosecco – I’ll pop open a bottle at any time, no celebratory excuse necessary.
You’re just like our bestie Masenvixen! And, the critical question: popcorn jelly bellys are awesome or disgusting? EW. I loathe all jelly beans with a great burning passion.
A HUGE thank you to Marissa for stopping by. Isn’t she adorable??? Ngl, we’re smitten. You can order a copy of Cinder here (go on, we’ll wait…), orrrrrrr leave Marissa some love and we could be sending you one of your very own.Read More »
Hello Swoonies!! We are so happy that you’re joining us for our interview with the AMAZING LAUREN OLIVER! *crowd roars* Squee! When I told PQ that Lauren had agreed to be interviewed, I’ll admit there were some shouty caps in the text message. That may be true a lot between us, but these were SHOUTY shouty caps. You feel me? Also, HELLO PRETTY COVER! *pets*
Hi Lauren! (Awesome name, even better initials, BTW *high fives*) Thanks for coming to Swoontini!! Lo says: I read DELERIUM last year on a plane trip, listening to music and now every time I hear those songs, I immediately go back to that feeling of STRESS-SWOON-STRESS. Do you write to music?
LO: Actually, I don’t! I find music is so evocative for me, it really affects the tone of my writing in ways that feel inauthentic. But I definitely listen to music to get me in the MOOD to right sometimes.
Tell us about Teenage Lauren. What current books would she be devouring? What characters would have her swooning and cheering?
LO: I think I would have loved the Hunger Games as a teenager—just as I loved it now! In my early teens, I read a lot of Jane Austen, and dreamed of being projected back in time. So some of the great historical series out there right now would have made me very happy. I also think, later on, I would have really devoured all of the dystopian series. I was quite angsty!
Hey Swoonies!! Welcome back! We are so excited to see you, and you all look ADORABLE. Wednesday suits you quite nicely. AND HEY, we have Gretchen McNeil here today *WILD SCREAMS* and ALSO? We’re giving away an ARC of TEN! WOOT WOOT! So all you need to do is hop on those comments below, leave your name and some love for Gretchen, and you’re entered to win! EASY.
Hi Gretchen! So excited to have you at Swoontini! We both got ARC’s of TEN at WonderCon because we are lucky hoors. And I (Lo) have to admit that there were a few sections where I literally had to close the book and put it down for awhile it scared me so bad. What are some of your favorite scary books & movies?
GM: So I’m a notorious wimp with scary movies. Traditional horror scares the CRAP out of me! I prefer things more on the suspense scale. Hitchcock was a master –Birds, Strangers on a Train, North By Northwest – absolute edge-of-your seat film making. I also love old Victorian ghost stories. There’s nothing creepier than drafty old manor houses and ghosts on the Moor. Sheridan Le Fanu, Algernon Blackwood, Wilkie Collins, Emily Bronte. Deliciously gothic!
(Christina totally agrees. Rear Window is one of her all-time faves)
WELCOME BACK! *hugs you all* *holds you tighter so you can’t get away* SO SQUIRMY. Today we’re super stoked to have the amazing Beth Revis here! Have you read Across the Universe and A Million Suns? If yes then take a cookie and have a seat, we’ll be around with shimmies and refreshments in a few. If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??
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Welcome Back!! Today we’re super excited to have Jodi Meadows, author of INCARNATE here! You’ll want to pick this one up guys, TRUST US. Also, Swoony Boy post on Sam (all the swoons) coming soon.
Lo & C: HELLO JODI MEADOWS! We are so excited to have you here at Swoontini because, girlfriend, you know how to bring the swoons. (omg, SAM. *DIES)
Thanks so much for having me! <3 <3
Lo & C: We loved your post, What Ferrets Taught Me About Being a Writer. Any other Ferret-inspired advice you’d like to pass along?
This one is actually from a blog reader (who has ferrets): get excited.
Ferrets really know how to do excitement. They jump around, fluff out their tails, and make this low dook dook sound that is absolutely ridiculous. What thrills them? Plastic bags. Treats. Jingly balls. They get excited over everything, which leaves them being pretty happy critters.
Lo & C: What kinds of scenes are easiest for you to write? Which are the hardest?
If I’m in the right mood for an emotional unveiling or argument scene — those are definitely the easiest. I love it when they have feelings!
The hardest . . . probably action scenes. The choreography and making sure things are clear and interesting always stresses me.Read More »
Hi swoonies!! It’s been a long week, can we sit down? Put our feet up? Let’s let Christina paint our nails (so relaxing). We hope you all caught up with us for the Swoony Boy Alert yesterday *fans selves.* We’re giving away a copy of THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE! Woot! And today, we have the SERIOUSLY ADORABLE Victoria Schwab here visiting! If you haven’t read her book, THE NEAR WITCH, well get on that ASAP! Don’t have it? Leave her some love and be entered to win one. YES WE LOVE GIVING AWAY BOOKSES.
Hello GORGEOUS! We are so thrilled that you’re here having a Swoontini Slumber party. And thanks for bringing the cupcakes! *gobbles*
Lovelies!!! Thank you so much for having me. I brought you a delicious spread, but as you can see, I had to poison test them.
SWOONIES! We want to make sure you’re ready for today’s interview. Are you sitting down? Do you have to pee? (Do that first). Need a snack? We can wait. BECAUSE: OMG HELLO RACHEL HAWKINS! *shrieking fangirls scream in the background*
Thanks so much for coming to Swoontini! And we should probably start with a blanket warning that this post will
probably be inappropriate.