Friday, 10 April 2015

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Amanda Hocking!

    I live in Minnesota with my dog Isley, three cats Sophie, Nikki, and Squeak, my husband Mike and my stepson Gavin. I do many things, most of them lame and boring, but the thing I get paid to do is write young adult books.
     I enjoy Red Bull, Jim Henson, Batman, dinosaurs, sharks, Jane Austen, Lego sets, and I absolutely hate long walks on the beach out of my intense fear/hatred of wet sand.
     By the end of 2015, I will have published five different series, with a total of 20 different published works. Two of my series and one standalone novel are self-published, and three of my series are with a traditional publisher, St. Martin’s.
     My New York Times Bestselling series the Trylle trilogy has been optioned for a film by Media Rights Capital with District 9 screenwriter Terri Tatchell adapting the books for screen. My zombie series, The Hollows, has been adapted into a graphic novel by Dynamite.

What has she written?
She has written many novels, they are:       
Switched, Torn, Ascend, My Blood Approves, Fate, Flutter, Hollowland, Wake, Wisdom, Lullaby, Hollowmen, Tidal, Letters to Elise: A Peter Townsend Novella, Elegy, Frostfire, Virtue, Forgotten Lyrics, Swear, The Beginning of the End, Honalee, Ice Kissed, Fresh Water, Radio Silence, Crystal Kingdom, Movin' On, Forced Eviction, The New Regiut me, That Old Time Religion, Grim, Inevitable, The Girl Next Door, The 2011 Book Blogger's Cookbook, Dark Tomorrows, And Then There Were Five, Surrounded by the Marauders, Endgame, United BDivided, Watersong, Torn, Switched, I Am Not Who You Think I Am, How I became rich, Royale: Trylle, T3, Ice Kissed, Freeks, Crystal Kingdom.

Now on to the Interview!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I started writing stories literally as soon as I learned how to write. Before that, I was constantly telling stories and making things up. 

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
I want them to gain a moment of escape. I write to forget my troubles, quiet my anxiety, and lose myself in another world, and I hope that readers get the same thing from my books. 

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
1. Write what you want to read, not what you think other people want to read. Sometimes writers get too focused on trends, but if you don’t love what you’re writing, nobody else will, either.
2. Read a lot in a variety of genres. Don’t limit to yourself to one thing. I love young adult and horror most of all, but I’ve found books in all kinds of genres that I’ve really loved and that have shown me things I wouldn’t have known otherwise. 
3. Find a writing group to give you honest feedback. You can’t become a better writer if you don’t know what isn’t working. is an excellent place to get early feedback, but there a number of writing groups online, not to mention ones at schools and colleges. 

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
That’s hard to say, and it changes. The two books I’ve read more than any other are “Slaughter-house Five” by Kurt Vonnegut and “Manic Magee” by Jerry Spinelli. I think Vonnegut is a brilliant writer, and I’m a bit of a WWII buff, so I enjoy his take it immensely. “Maniac Magee” just really stuck with me when I first read when I was kid, so I keep going back to it. 

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
That’s another tough question. I love Kurt Vonnegut, but I also really enjoy Judy Blume, Richelle Mead, Holly Black, and Neil Gaiman. 

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
Writing and reading are my two biggest pass times. Beyond that, I watch a lot of movies and cooking shows. I have a golden retriever and three cats, and they keep me pretty busy. I also play video games from time to time. 

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
I guess I don’t really credit anyone with my imagination. I grew up as an only child, living out in the country with no cable TV or internet, and I didn’t really have any friends. To entertain myself, I had to make things up. It was an act of survival. My parents and my grandma were always supportive and encouraged me to write, but I don’t think anyone really gave me my imagination. 

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
1. Travel to all seven continents. (I only have two down, so I have five more to go). 
2. Fly in a hot air balloon.
3. Swim with sharks.
4. Become fluent in Swedish. (I can only speak a teeny little bit).
5. Clone dinosaurs and create my own Jurassic Park. (A girl can dream, right?”

9) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
Don’t be cynical or do things ironically. Life is too short to be lived sarcastically. Do the things that you’re passionate about and matter to you, not just because you think you’ll look cool. 

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