Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spotted: Anastasia Hopcus + Shadow Hills

So today is the official release date of Shadow Hills! I've read wonderful reviews about this novel and I'm itching to get my hands on a copy soon. I have Anastasia Hopcus with me, the author that brought to life the story of Shadow Hills. Enjoy the interview.

What lessons will readers learn from Shadow Hills?

The theme of my book has to do with figuring out who you really are, especially in the face of adversity. It also touches on the importance of standing up for yourself and taking charge of your own life. I hope that is what readers will take away from Shadow Hills.

Where did you get the inspiration to write Shadow Hills?

I saw a 60 Minutes segment on a gifted savant, and it made me start thinking about what the human brain is capable of and what kind of advantages, as well as problems, people would have if they had extraordinary mental abilities.

Can you tell us about Phe?

Phe has been having strange and eerie dreams, much like the ones her sister had before she died. She leaves LA to attend Devenish Prep, the boarding school that her sister mentioned in her last diary entry. Phe meets a mysterious guy named Zach. While Phe is drawn to him, she remains her own person. Phe has a backbone and a mind of her own---she’s impulsive and this often gets her into trouble, but she's nobody's doormat.

How will you describe writing Shadow Hills in three words?

fun, engrossing, challenging

Was there a part of a novel that was hard to write?

I find writing action scenes challenging because it's really important to me that they're clear enough that you understand what's going on but without making it sound like you're reading blow-by-blow instructions from a sports playbook.

How does your mood affect your writing?

I definitely get more done when I'm feeling upbeat, with a lot of energy, but if I'm too excited, I can't sit still long enough to write. Needless to say I didn't get a whole lot done the week I first saw my cover. J

What are you working on now?

I'm continuing to explore the possibilities for Phe and Zach, but I also have a few other ideas that I'm developing as well. One of the projects I'm working on is also a YA paranormal like Shadow Hills, but historical and set in London. Unfortunately, it's not far enough along for me to elaborate further.

Why did you choose to write for teens?
As someone who has no intention of growing up any time soon and who has always loved books and tv shows set in high school, it just seemed like a natural fit for me.

What tips can you give to aspiring writers?

Read as many books in the genre as you possibly can. Take notes of what you like and don't like about them. When it comes to getting your work out there, be persistent. If the first agent says no, send it along to the next. Above all, keep writing.

What would you like to say to the people who have read Shadow Hills or have included your novel in their wishlists and/or to-be-read piles?

It's so exciting for me that people are interested in Shadow Hills. I'm really grateful for all the support I've received from bloggers and readers. I just hope people have as much fun reading Shadow Hills as I did writing it!

Thank you Anastasia for dropping by!

Book Description via Goodreads:

His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her.

Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.

1 comment:

  1. Great interview. Shadow Hills is on my wish list. And the historical project set in London sounds intriguing.