Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blog Tour: Shadow Hills

I'm sure before I even type this you know who this author is, am I right? Yes my friends, Anastasia Hopcus and her gorgeous hair are visiting A Fanatic's Book Blog today! If you recall, I LOVED Shadow Hills so very much. You can see my review here.

I had the opportunity on this tour to ask her a few questions, so let's get to the lovely Anastasia's answers shall we?

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1) How did the idea for Shadow Hills first come to fruition?

I was interested in writing a YA novel set in a boarding school, but I wanted something different from most boarding school stories. My love for paranormal elements seemed like a great way to shake things up, but I thought it was important to start a new mythology instead of reworking one that was already in place, such as vampires. So I was headed in that direction, but I wasn’t sure about exactly where I was going. Then I saw a 60 Minutes segment on a gifted savant, and I realized that I wanted the powers to be anchored in reality, with a concentration on enhanced mental abilities. That’s when I really started brainstorming. I wondered how this might have come about and what other effects such abilities might have on a person. This led to research and more questions, and I began to see the story develop. It was around this time that I took a road trip to visit some friends in LA. While there, I got a real sense of my main character, Phe, and her background. After that, things started to mesh and the long drive back to Austin gave me plenty of uninterrupted time to expand on my ideas.

2) Did the story just flow, or did you find yourself stuck at times?

Both. Sometimes the writing went very smoothly, but at other times I would hit a snag in plotting. Obviously it's easier when it goes smoothly, but you have to find a way to get yourself out of the stuck parts because they're going to happen. I found that taking a step back and giving an idea a chance to incubate in my brain was the best thing to do. Usually a solution would come to me later---when I was taking a shower or driving or doing something else completely unrelated.

3) What was one thing (food or otherwise) that helped you through the writing process?

Well, I think that what I couldn't have done without were my 'support' people. It always helped a lot to talk to them, even if I was just venting my frustration on a plot problem. And sometimes talking about it was enough to help me work through the issue.

4) Who is the character that you enjoyed writing most in Shadow Hills?

They were all interesting in their own way, but I guess I had the most fun writing Adriana and Brody. They had very distinct voices, and there was a different element of humor with them, which made it extra enjoyable.

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Thank you so much to Anastasia for stopping by!

Anastasia Hopcus wrote her first book in the 2nd grade. It was entitled Frederick the Friendly French Ferret and was seven pages long. During high school she wrote numerous short stories and started (but never finished) three screenplays, all as an alternative to doing actual school work. At the very wise age of twelve her career ambition was to drive a Mack truck, but when that didn't pan out, she tried acting, bartending, and being a receptionist in a dojo before finally returning to writing. Anastasia loves horror movies, Joss Whedon, obsessing over music, and British accents. She lives in Austin, Texas and Shadow Hills is her debut novel. You can visit Anastasia at her website


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