Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Five for PJ Hoover

The fabulous and super nice, PJ Hoover, author of THE EMERALD TABLET, took time out from her busy writing life to answer some questions about first drafts, Science Fiction, and her fans. 

Check out her website here and her amazing blog here. And to get your hands her fantastic debut, THE EMERALD TABLET, click here

1. THE EMERALD TABLET is the first of a three book series - THE FORGOTTEN WORLD. How did you come up with amazing creative setting - a world hidden underneath the Pacific Ocean? Also, can you tell us about the series? 

I've always had that love of the unknown. Anything that can't be explained fascinated me. It was like there was a mystery and nobody had uncovered it yet. So I always loved Atlantis and I knew it would factor in my story. And while googling Atlantis, I found the sister continent of Lemuria deep under the Pacific Ocean. And I knew immediately this is where my story would take place! The Forgotten World Books, starting with THE EMERALD TABLET, tell the story of five kids who learn not only are they from this hidden continent under the Pacific Ocean, but they aren't even human - they're a species called telegens, and they have special powers like telekinesis and telepathy. So they're all set to spend their summer playing around playing tricks with their awesome power when they actually find out they need to save the world. And summer was supposed to be all fun and games. 

2. Did you always want to be a writer? Or did the writing bug bite you later in life? Did you know immediately you wanted to write Science Fiction? 

I never wanted to be a writer! I wanted to be an engineer. Which I was (for about fifteen years). And probably still will be no matter what. After all, a key part of engineering is trying to fix every little thing that breaks around the house. Once you're an engineer, you're always an engineer. :) 

But while deeply entrenched in the engineering world, I had two kids and started wondering what else there was to life. Thankfully (very thankfully) my second (a daughter) slept through the night way early on, so in the evenings after the kids were in bed, I started writing. And if there's one thing I am it's consistent. I write every single night, and when I have to miss, there better be a pretty darn good reason why! 

As for genre, there was never any question in my mind I wanted to write science-fiction or fantasy. It's all I read since I first learned to make the distinction, and it's what draws my interest above all else. 

3. Are any of THE EMERALD TABLET characters like you? If not, what is your favorite character. 

THE EMERALD TABLET has five main characters, and they all have a part of me. that said I'm mostly like a blend of Heidi and Gary. Heidi is fin, spunky, and doesn't mind breaking the rules. Gary is a nerd, plays chess, and never breaks the rules. Which kind of explains the battles which go on inside my head from time to time. 

4. Do you revise as you write? Or do you write the first draft, then go back and revise? 

I never revise as I write. I don't even go back and change a character's name if they've changed or remove characters I decide I don't want. I put a note on the side margin and push on through the first draft. Because finishing the first draft is a great feeling! 

5. What has been the best fan reaction to your book so far? 

I love getting the reactions from kids! Kids are perfect and precious and so sincere. I had the son of someone I know call me on the phone and tell me THE EMERALD TABLET was the best book he'd ever read. I also got chosen over Katherine Paterson's BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA for a classroom read-aloud. Knowing a kid likes my book is the best gift in the world. 

Thanks bunches, PJ! :) 


PJ Hoover said...

Hey, that's me!
Thanks for the interview, Keri! You rock!

beth said...

Great review!

I loved learning about Heidi and Gary in particular. While reading, I liked their interaction, but never thought of it in as clear as terms as that...I guess I just read them as people, and now I understand on a writer level :)

(OK, reading over that, I realize I'm about as clear as mud--I just meant that I liked those characters in the story and like them even more now that I know where they came from out of your brain!)

Also: wow, the dedication to write every night!! When I got home from work, I collapsed into bed and took a two hour nap...and I am not entirely sure if I have the energy to do anything much more than that!

Alyson Noel said...

Great Interview Keri!

adrienne said...

Great interview!
The question my son wants answered is when is the next book coming :)

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, everyone! It's funny, Beth, but I think having kids actually makes you way more productive. I never did anything so inspired before kids.

LOL, Adrienne! It's a perfect question. October 2009 book 2 comes out!

Tabitha said...

Great interview! I love how you keep getting out there, PJ. :)

And Keri, I just read that you're doing a chat with the ICL! Congrats!!! :)

Keri Mikulski said...

Hi, PJ! Awe.. Thanks. :)

Hi, Beth! Me too.. :)

Thanks, Alyson! :)

Hi, Adrienne! Me too. :) Thanks.

Hi, Tabitha! Thanks. I'm looking forward to it.

Sheri said...

Awesome interview Keri and PJ. I especially loved hearing about your writing process and that you never go back, not even to change a name. That is inspiring to me - a true two-stepper of a writer. Always one step forward and two steps back all the way to the finish line. So interesting to know all the background info. And being chose by a child - that IS the greatest gift, isn’t' it?!

Melissa Walker said...

Wow, PJ, I love that you said this: "I never did anything so inspired before kids."

That perspective is so underplayed--but I'm gonna try to take it on. When the times comes, that is. :)

Kaitlyn said...

Just popping by to say hello. You should check out Lauren, Madison, and my new YouTube channel. We are starting up making videos this year.
we are going to do vlogging and spoofs.

Barrie said...

Also fun to learn a little more about you, PJ! Great interview!

Keri Mikulski said...

Hi, Sheri! Thanks.. :) I love to find out everyone's writing process. :)

Hi, Melissa! Go for it! ;)

Hi, Kaitlyn! Definitely. I bet they're fun!

Hi, Barrie! Thanks. :)

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, everyone, for such nice comments!

Lapillus said...

Yay PJ - I loved your book! Glad to hear the next one comes out this year.

Great interview Keri!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Casey!

Lenore said...

Thanks for the interview Keri! I had a kid (Eleanor) read and review it on my blog and she LOVED it. I just heard she bought one for her friend for the friend's birthday and it is getting passed around the group - which I think is really, really cool!

PJ Hoover said...

Very, very cool, Lenore! Thank you so much for sharing and for spreading the word!

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