Friday, September 5, 2008

And Another Awesome Author Visit: Caroline Hickey

This weeks fabulous author is Caroline Hickey. Caroline is the author of CASSIE WAS HERE (MG) and ISABELLE'S BOYFRIEND (YA), which was just released. While I haven't had the pleasure of reading either of them, I really hope to in the near future.Especially ISABELLE'S BOYFRIEND which has to do with a situation I'm sure we are all to familiar with...liking a guy that's already taken!!

I also want to give a big thank you to Caroline for doing an interview with me, as I know her free time is limited with a newborn in the house!!
To learn more about Caroline you can visit her at her website or the blog her writing group, The Longstockings, run.

1. What made you go YA, instead of sticking with Middle Grade books?
It wasn't a conscious decision, it just happened to be that the next big idea I had after Cassie Was Here was more appropriate for YA. I love middle grade and YA equally, and I plan to continue writing for both age groups.

2. How did Isabelle’s Boyfriend come about?
The book started with the idea of a girl walking her dog after school, on a day like any other day, when suddenly she meets THE GUY. Then I realized that the guy would be taken, and our main character would be willing to do anything to get him.

3. What was your road to publication like?
Pretty typical, I think. I worked and worked on my manuscript (which became my first book, Cassie Was Here) until I knew it was ready to send out. Then I sent queries to several agents who worked with authors I liked. I found one who was a great fit for me, and we sent out the book and sold it to Roaring Brook Press. They later bought Isabelle's Boyfriend as well.

4. Do you see a lot of yourself in your characters?
Wellllll, sorta. Friends and family tell me they hear my voice in many of my characters, which makes sense of course, and my first two books are set in Baltimore where I grew up. But I'm very careful to make my characters fictional, and to only add in the bits and pieces of myself that will round them out. I don't ever want to write a character that's just like me -- it would be too personal.

5. What’s one of the hardest parts of being a writer? The best?
The hardest part for me is days when my writing isn't going well -- when I'm stuck on a plot point, or figuring out a character -- and I feel like I'm never going to write a good word again. The best days are when I get an email from a reader who says they loved my book.

6. What’s your ideal writing environment?
I love writing in my office (the finished attic room of my house), at a coffee shop, or away on a retreat with my writing group, The Longstockings. I like editing on a train or at my kitchen table.

7. Do you write full time or do you fill your days with things other than pages and pages of words?
I have a one-month old daughter so at the moment I'm pretty busy taking care of her. I hope to be back to writing about 2 or 3 days a week when she's a few months old. But even when I'm not writing, I'm thinking about my current work in progress, or reading books for inspiration.

8. Do you mostly read adult books or young adult, or a healthy mix of both? What are the last three books you read?
I try to read a little of everything, but mostly I read middle grade and young adult. They really are my favorites, so why waste precious reading time on boring books for grown ups? The last three books I read were Princess Ben, Sweethearts, and Breaking Dawn.

9. What’s one quirky thing that you care to share?
I'm addicted to post-it pens. I can't revise without them.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?
I'm working on a new book now about a young girl who uncovers a deep, dark family secret. It's only in the first draft stage at the moment, but hopefully I'll get it together enough to send out soon.

11. Are there any questions you wish I had asked?
How about the biggest problem I had writing Isabelle's Boyfriend? I had a terrible time with the ending. I think I wrote three different endings before I finally found the right one. And then I still had to rewrite that about three more times.


Barrie said...

Very interesting interview. I write MG and have wondered if, one of these days, a book might just present itself as more YA. And it sounds as though that's exactly what happened with you!

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Tasha!


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