Thursday, January 10, 2013

Please Welcome Author Colleen Hoover

Today The Contessa, along with Never Too Old for Y.A. Books group on Goodreads, is honored to have author Colleen Hoover joining us for an interview.

You should get to know Colleen's books if you don't know them already!



You can go to these links to buy Colleen's books:




I love music. LOVE music. Namely The Avett Brothers, Lumineers, Pink, Eminem. I have eclectic taste? If you have any recommendations, send them my way!
I'm addicted to diet pepsi and could tell you in a taste-test which restaurant it came from. It's a serious addiction, I tell you. 
I get stoked whenever I get a message from goodreads saying I have a new friend request...so request me, dangit! 
If you want to know when I have new books out or just want to be inundated by random, pointless blog posts, follow me at www.colleenhoover.com 
Avoid my Twitter at all cost. It's propaganda. 





So, without further ado, let's hear what Colleen had to say to us!


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was about seven years old and when I wrote my first "book."  It was titled, Mystery Bob and my mother raved and raved about it.  I don't remember if it was any good or not, but I remember loving my mothers reaction and I immediately wanted to write something else.  It never stopped, although I did take a long break while I was in college.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I wrote Slammed and Point of Retreat in about 30 days each.  Now, I know that sounds really quick.  BUT-I wrote all day, every day.  Sometimes 16 hours a day.  So if you spread that out over the a few hours a day, it would have taken me a lot longer.  Once I start a book, it consumes me.  
What do you think makes a great story?
You know, this is an interesting question.  It really depends on the reader, but for myself I love to be surprised.  I'm fairly good at guessing plots, so I wanted to throw readers for a loop in Slammed.  
I will tell you what my motivations were behind the way I wrote Slammed.  I am a very picky reader.  I've never been a fan of flowery prose or a lot of description.  To me, I just want to get to the "good stuff."  I tend to skip over entire paragraphs when I read books.  It got so bad that I started just finding the screenplays online and reading them instead.  I love dialogue  and am easily thrown off by writer's who try to showcase their vocabulary.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that.  A lot of readers actually prefer that.  But when I wrote Slammed and Point of Retreat, I wanted to focus on writing it in a way that would make it interesting to me as a reader.  Therefore, I use a lot of dialogue, simple dialogue tags and not a whole lot of description.  Some people love it, some people hate it.  That's the beauty of this industry...the variety that is available to us.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
This one is a bit tricky.  When I wrote my first two books, I also worked a full-time job.  I worked 11 hour days.  When I could fit writing time in at work, I would.  When I got off work at 6pm, I would come home and write until around midnight, sometimes later, then have to be at work at 7am the next day.  On the weekends I would write when I woke up, periodically taking breaks throughout the day.  I would usually write until 2 or 3am.  Now that I don't work, I can't really say what it's like.  I'm so incredibly busy with all that is going on with the first two books, I've been to scared to dive into another one.  I know how consumed I get and I've been waiting until we got moved into our new house to start up again.  However, I'm sure it will be much of the same.  
How do you balance family and writing?
Simply put, I don't.  My husband does.  He is so incredibly supportive of my writing career.  He works a full-time job and never complains about ANYTHING.  He cooks supper, makes sure the kids get their baths.  I actually thanked him in this blog post.  http://colleenhoover.com/2012/04/05/hey-husband/
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I got the idea for Slammed because I was watching Slam Poetry on youtube and actually wanted to read a book where the characters Slammed.  After doing a lot of research trying to find one, I couldn't locate anything.  So, I decided to try and write one myself.  
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The entire publishing process.  When I wrote Slammed, I initially started it just as a gift to my mom.  Once a few of my friends started reading it, I was getting requests from other friends.  I looked online into how I could print copies of it for them when I ran across Amazon's self-publishing program.  It seemed easy enough and I could load it for free for 5 days, so I did it.  I put it up on Amazon New Year's Day.  After that, I started getting sales and reviews from the 4,000 free downloads it received.  I honestly had no intentions of this book becoming a best-seller.  It has been an insane ride, to say the least. 
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I have written two.  Slammed and Point of Retreat.  I love them both for different reasons.  I honestly couldn't say which one I love more.  
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Not really.  I take bits and pieces like characteristics, names, habits, etc.  Kel is actually a lot like my own sone, Cale.  Very unique.  ;)
Do you have a favourite place you love to write?
I don't.  I have a favorite time, and that is when everyone in the house is asleep.  I do most of my writing after ten o'clock at night.  
How hard is is to get published?
It's pretty darn easy to get self-published.  Whether or not you get sales is another question.  I wouldn't know about traditional publishing, since that isn't a route I took.  I know it is very difficult to obtain an agent and even more difficult to actually sign with a publisher.  
What do your family and friends think about your books?
Some love them, some are in different, a couple of them hate them.  It just depends on the reader.  Luckily, I have a lot of brutally honest people in my life.  My own mother even tells me when a scene I'm writing needs works, is great or downright sucks.  She is one of my best beta-readers.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to read, unfortunately I don't have a lot of time.  I have three young boys so we stay pretty busy with them.  
Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they?
I have read a lot of advice that tells writers to read, read, read as much as you can in the genre you are writing in so you can get ideas and identify trends.  However, I don't feel this advice works for me.  I actually had never read a contemporary romance novel before writing Slammed.  I'm not so sure Slammed would have been what it is had I been taking cues from other books.  I think the absolute best thing a writer can do is write from the heart.  When you start trying to identify publishing trends and you write based off of what is selling, it takes the passion out of the story.  
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A writer, actually.
What are your favourite books and which authors inspire you?
I have a lot of favorites.  I love Tammara Webber, John Green, Charlaine Harris.  There are also a lot of authors whose drive, determination and personalities inspire me like J. Sterling, Tarryn Fisher, Jamie McGuire, Liz Reinhardt.
For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for getting their material published?
DO research every aspect to see what is best for you, be it self-publishing or traditional publishing.  Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.  Also, I've noticed a lot of authors are extremely active on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.  However, its disheartening to see another professional author talking about other authors or their books.  Also, it's VERY important to build a network of authors that you can bounce ideas and questions off of.  I can't tell you how much I've learned from other authors.  And don't submit your work to be published or viewed by an agent until you are CERTAIN it is ready.  I can understand the excitement of wanting it to be out in the world, but you don't want something out there that you can't be proud of.  
What are you working on now?
I've had an overwhelming response to a chapter I posted of Will's Story.  It's Will Cooper's point of view in Slammed.  Once I get that one completed, I've got an outline for a book titled Fall Together that I'm extremely excited about.  It's another Young Adult Contemporary Romance.

Thankyou!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, Colleen. It was so great having you here!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the interview! Looks like stories I'd enjoy reading :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great interview! I see Colleen everywhere online these days, your books are on my must-read list:)

    ReplyDelete

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