So, as I’ve mentioned before, one of the coolest things about being a writer (you know, aside from getting to make up stories for a living) is meeting other authors. I’ve had the pleasure recently of getting to know author PJ Hoover and she’s graciously agreed to come onto my blog today for me to dissect her brain. Woohoo! Actually, I might have neglected to mention the dissecting part. (So don’t tell her!) Anyway. Here she is….
Hi PJ, thank you for coming on my blog today.
Thanks so much for letting me be here! I’m excited to meet your blog readers 🙂
I have not yet read your book, Solstice, but it is in my ever-growing TBR stack. Can you tell us about it?
Sure! SOLSTICE is set at least eighteen years in the future when global warming is basically killing the earth. This girl, Piper, gets a mysterious box as a present for her eighteenth birthday, and her entire world shifts. She discovers that, in addition to her global warming world, there’s this world of mythology, and somehow she’s deeply connected to it. Her mother is psychotic and won’t give her any freedom, so when Piper gets a rare opportunity for freedom, she seizes it. And the next thing she knows, her best friend almost dies, she visits the Underworld, and gods are walking the earth. And that’s only in the first eighty pages. 🙂
You used to be an electrical engineer. How do you go from designing computer chips (the mere thought of that makes me dizzy, by the way) to writing? What made you change courses?
Dreams of vast riches made me change. 🙂
Okay, in all seriousness, engineering paid really well. But with writing, I can spend a lot more time with my kids (10 and 6), work my own hours (which would be 24/7 if I had no kids), and work for myself.
I always read science fiction and fantasy, so writing this genre for me was a no brainer. I love it!
You collect smurfs!! Oh my gosh. In honor of that and the upcoming movie that my daughter is dying to see, the rest of our interview shall be in Smurf! How many collectible smurfs have you smurfed to date? Which smurf is your favorite?
I asked my son, and he estimates 111 to date. My favorites are the Beer Drinking smurf, the Kung Fu smurf, the Mermaid smurfette, and the Mummy smurf. I really love the collections from the last few years (especially the monsters and the zodiacs)
How did you smurf up the idea for Solstice? My own books contain mythology, so I personally can’t wait to read it.
Thanks! Greek myths rock, so I wanted to write a Greek myth retelling. But when I started planning out the plot for SOLSTICE, I found out it was really more of a “what happens after the myth” kind of story. The basic idea came out of nowhere, and I ran with it.
When you write, what do you need for your atmosphere to be the very smurfiest for writing? I personally need quiet—I can’t listen to music because I’m too distractible. What about you? What do you absolutely need to have?
If I’m writing at home, I love quiet. The only exception to this is Gregorian Chant. Listening to chant totally frees my mind and lets me focus on the writing.
I also have a hard time eating when I’m writing. I can’t seem to do both at once.
And lack of crap. I can’t have a bunch of stuff all over my desk distracting me. It’s too…distracting.
When I write away from home, I have an amazing ability to tune out sounds around me. I love 80s music in the background and some of my favorite writing friends around.
I haven’t yet interviewed an author who is both indie and repped by an agent for traditional pubbing. What do you think about the indie world? Why did you choose to go indie for Solstice?
The indie world…I love it! And it is the future.
If I had to list three reasons I pubbed indie for SOLSTICE they would be
1) Timing – Hitting the mythology and dystopian markets RIGHT NOW was key.
2) Moving on – I wanted to be free of SOLSTICE and move on with my writing projects.
3) Cutting Edge – Indie publishing is cutting edge and I wanted to be a part of it big time!
What kind of smurfy advice would you give to aspiring writers?
OMG, it changes on a daily basis, so today I’ll go with this:
Create your own future. Don’t wait for the world to be delivered to you on your doorstep. Map out what you want in your future, plan the steps to get there, and get moving!
I think that blue M&M’s taste the best. Do you agree? I would think so, since you clearly have a penchant for smurfy blue things…
It’s a toss-up between blue and red since they never used to exist in my childhood. I love that M&Ms have new colors, but what ever happened to the dual brown shades? I kind of want light brown back.
You’re stranded on a desert island with your closest friends and family. You can only take THREE material objects. What are they? Keep in mind that if one of the three isn’t chocolate, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore. (Kidding. Kind of).
Wow, I’m kind of a survivalist, so I’ll go with:
1) A lighter to set large patches of wood on fire so passing ships will see our bonfire.
2) Makings for s’mores, which does in fact include CHOCOLATE, graham crackers, and marshmallows, since we’ll be lighting lots of fires to flag down passing ships.
3) Coffee. A never ending supply. We can heat the water over the fire.
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
I’m not sure because even I don’t know it! I’d love it to end up being that I know what next week’s lotto numbers are going to be.
Thanks for doing an interview with me, PJ. You’re absolutely the smurfiest!!
No, you are the smurfiest! Thank you for letting me be here 🙂
P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. P. J. is also a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik’s cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice, takes place in a Global Warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade fantasy novels, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, and The Necropolis, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea.
To learn more about PJ, visit her at her website, www.pjhoover.com
If you’d like to watch her award-winning trailer for Solstice, click here.
Have a great day, everyone!