Sunday, September 22, 2013

Author Interview: Mia Hoddell

Please welcome Mia Hoddell, author of Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1) for an exclusive interview in my blog, Books Are My Best Friends. I'm really very glad to have her here. I asked her a few questions about her book and here are the answers she gave for those questions.

Interview of Mia Hoddell-->

Me: Hey Mia, first of all welcome to Books Are My Best Friends. It's a pleasure to have you here. To start the interview I'd like to ask you first who are your target audience? And which genre do you prefer writing about?
Mia: When I started writing, I had my own age group in mind so my target audience was from about 16-22. However, I know that a lot of Young Adult books are read by people outside that age bracket so it’s hard to narrow down. If you like YA fiction (with a bit of a NA crossover) then my books are aimed at you.

With regards to genre, I tend to like romances, contemporary or paranormal. I prefer adding at least a small paranormal aspect to my books as personally, I feel it allows me to be more creative. I don’t feel constrained to normality and can invent my own world which I love.                                 

Me: When did you first know that you wanted to be an author? Did you always want to be one?
Mia: I've been writing for as long as I can remember and recently found a book of poems I wrote from ages 4-10. I always loved poetry but it wasn't until 2009 when I had a year of great English lessons in high school did I know it was what I wanted to do.  All we did that year was creative writing and I would spend hours on the homework because I loved writing stories (it was the only homework I ever enjoyed).
Before then I had never considered novels because I hated reading. I had got three poems published before I was 16 and entered my short stories into competitions but I never thought to develop them further. That year though, I found both a series of books I loved (Cat Royal by Julia Golding) and I started writing my first novel. I found it so much easier than short stories as I wasn’t restricted by a word limit and from then on I’ve just been working my way down my ever growing list of ideas.
Me: What is your work schedule like when you're writing a book?
Mia: For the last two years I've had to fit writing in around my exams. They always came first as I needed the qualifications and although I managed to release three books and still achieve top grades, doing this it was incredibly tiring. However, now I have received my A-levels I've decided to take a year out to focus solely on my writing before going to university. Because of this, my schedule is clear and my attention is either focused on writing, editing or promotions/marketing.
I make sure I get at least one chapter done every day and on top of that I will be online replying to emails, blogging, contacting people or anything else that needs to be done.

Me: How did you come up with the idea behind "Deadly to Love"?
Mia: I wanted to write something more light-hearted and fun. I knew I wanted to create a romance with a modern twist and stay away from high-school, so I started experimenting with social games on my iPod (bit like Facebook with vampires, zombies and other creature). It was from some of the messages I received on there, which generated the idea for Deadly to Love.
Originally, it was going to be just a romance but when I started writing, I decided I needed a paranormal element as I felt restrained to realism. I prefer to create my own worlds (even though my island in Deadly to Love is on Earth) or have an element that allows my imagination to run free. As well as this, I wanted the lead characters to stay human so when I found the Elementals they seemed like the perfect antagonists.
The book is based on some real life experiences and the rest was down to my imagination asking “what if the world was alive and fought back?”

Me: Are any of the characters/incidents in your book influenced by real life people or circumstances?
Mia: Yes, I spent a few months playing these games on my iPod and used that research to form the basic idea for the romance. Some of the messages I used were actually things I received from people but I will let you try and figure out which are real and which I created.

There are a few characters who are based on people I know.  However, I’m not going to reveal who as they don’t know. Normally though, I tend to take certain aspects of people’s personalities and merge them into one character rather than base them on one person.

Me: What is your favourite character of the book? Which character was most fun to write about? And which one was the most difficult to portray?
Mia: I love all my characters as they each brought a new personality with them. I liked being able to change from Jack’s carefree manner to Kai’s explosive temper as it gave a variation. The person I had most fun creating though is a new character in the sequel. He also happens to be the character who caused me most trouble though as he wouldn’t stick to my plan. Every time he would come up in the novel he would change the story and make me rewrite my plan, it was like he had a mind of his own which was great as I could never predict what would happen.

Me: What was the biggest challenge while writing the book?
Mia: I can’t really think of one. Deadly to Love was the first book that I wrote all the way through without coming across any problems. There were a few issues in the planning stages when I was trying to work out how everything linked together but those are to be expected when I’m still figuring things out.

Me: Did you ever suffer writer's block? If yes, what did you do to get over it?
Mia: I can’t say I have ever suffered from writer’s block when writing any of my five novels. I think the main reason for this is because I have such detailed plans before starting. By making sure I have a chapter by chapter break down in my planning, I know exactly where I want the book to go and what is happening in each section so I end up filling out basic ideas rather than having to come up with sections from scratch. Of course there are points where I deviate from the plan and add ideas that come to me in the moment but I always make sure to think through how they tie in with what I already have.

Me:  What were your feelings when you first saw the finished copy of your book?
Mia: I was ecstatic. For me there is nothing that can compare to a printed book (I read ebooks but I’m not really a fan) and to see mine come through the post is just amazing. I don’t think words can describe the feeling though.

Me: Are you completely satisfied with your writing or would you like to change something in your story, given a chance?
Mia: I don’t think there is any writer who is completely satisfied or doesn’t have ideas they wished they’d added at a later date. I've even heard J.K. Rowling give an interview where she said she still thinks of things she could add or change to Harry Potter. However, there comes a point where you have to decide it’s enough. It would be impossible to fit every idea I had into a book and if I spent time adding new content, I would never be able to get on with other books. Even though things come to me every now and then, I’m happy with what I've put out there and I can always save the ideas for the sequels!

Me: Is there any person who inspired you to become a writer?
Mia: I can’t think of anyone specifically as I’ve always had a love of writing. I think my interest just grew as I got older. I needed some way to get the ideas out of my head and I loved writing so I just kept doing it as I've always been taught to follow what makes me happy.

Me: What is your favourite place for writing?
Mia: I don’t have one really as I get bored staying in one place for too long. Around once a month I will change where I work as I need a change of scenery. In the summer I love working outside if the weather is nice but in the winter you will probably find me near a radiator or in the warmest room of the house.

Me: When you're not writing what do you do to relax?
Mia: I get asked this a lot and people always think I’m strange when I tell them writing is relaxing for me. I know it is my job but I don’t consider it that way because it is something I love to do. There have been days where I've wrote for twelve hours straight or stayed up until 4am because I’m so lost in my story. Writing is both my hobby and job.

There are a few occasions where I just can’t force myself to sit at my laptop though. Most of these occur when I’m tired or need a break from screens. If this is the case I will generally read, work on my photography which also happens to get me out of the house or go running. I love anything creative and practical so I find crafty things relaxing too.

Me: This is the first book of the Elemental Killers series. Are you working on the sequels? When can we expect the sequel to be published?
Mia: I have planned four books in total for the Elemental Killers series. The second book is going through the final stages of editing right now and I’m aiming for a mid-October release with that one. While it’s with my editor, I’m writing the first draft of book 3 which I’m aiming to finish by the end of September. I’m not sure whether book 3 will be out this year as it depends on how long the editing takes but it should be around early next year.  I’m working on two other titles though so it all depends on the order I want books released.

Me: What are your favourite books?
Mia: If I start listing my favourite books I don’t think I would stop! I've just read too many to pick a favourite. Generally, the books I re-read often, so I consider favourites, are by my favourite authors: The Skulduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy, Dragonfly, The Cat Royal Series and The Darcie Lock Series by Julia Golding or The Shifters Series and Unbound Series by Rachel Vincent.

Me: What are you reading currently?
Mia: I haven’t had the time to read in the last few months as I’ve been so busy editing, writing and planning. The next book on my TBR pile is City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments) as I’ve been meaning to read it for over a year but have never found the time. Although because Derek Landy has released a new book in the Skulduggery Pleasant Series that may take priority as I love his work!

Me: Thank you so much for you time and I wish you good luck for the success of your upcoming books on behalf of all the readers of my blog. :)

Author Bio-->

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.

Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged.

With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.

Link to her Goodreads Page: Mia Hoddell on Goodreads.

About the Book-->

The world is dangerous – but love will kill you. 

Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.

She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.

His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.

What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and the world now wants her dead.( Link to Goodreads Page)

Other Books by the Author-->