September 28, 2011

Author Interview: Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is Michelle Hodkin's debut.  This is the book that everyone seems to be talking about, and I'm happy to say that Mara Dyer is finally here.  You can check out what the hype is about, and find out who Mara Dyer really is
Michelle took some time from her crazy schedule to answer a couple of quick questions about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, her new author experiences, and herself.
Unfortunately, all the questions I wanted answers to would have spoiled Mara Dyer if you haven't already read it.  Therefore, I kept the questions spoiler free!

Read & Riot:  Favourite colour?
R&R:  Favourite book or book series?
MICHELLE:  I could never pick just one. But I do have a Top 5 list of adult novels I adore:
1) THE MAGICIANS - Lev Grossman
2) JURASSIC PARK - Michael Crichton
3) LOLITA - Vladimir Nabokov
4) GEEK LOVE - Katherine Dunn
R&R:  Favourite author?
MICHELLE:  Again, it’s impossible to choose, but when I was younger, I was obsessed with R.L. Stine’s books, and I think it’s probably fair to say I’ve read more books by him than any other author.
R&R:  Favourite season (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter)?
MICHELLE:  Autumn.
R&R:  Favourite place to be?
MICHELLE:  I’m a nomad!  I love to travel and move around.  Right now, I’m enjoying New York City a bunch (I used to live there when I was in college), but I also really love Portland, OR.  I’ll tell you the truth, though—I’ve never been to Canada (except for a very brief trip to Vancouver when I was 9) and I’ve always wanted to go, now more than ever since I’ve been getting the chance to talk to so many awesome Canadian readers.  So I’m very much hoping I get the chance to visit someday soon!
Read&Riot: Yes, you SHOULD come to Canada!
R&R:  If you were stranded on an island for one year what book, CD, and movie would you take with you?  Let’s pretend this island has electricity, and you are living comfortably for that year.  
MICHELLE:  Book: ON GOLD MOUNTAIN by Lisa See. I’ve read it 13 times and it never bores me.
Movie: When Harry Met Sally
CD: For Emma Forever Ago, Bon Iver; it’s beautiful but also unobtrusive enough that I could listen to it for a year without getting sick of it.
R&R:  What are five words that describe Mara Dyer (the character)?
MICHELLE:  Troubled, curious, complicated, smart, loyal.
R&R:  Which character, besides Mara, speaks or spoke to you the most?
MICHELLE:  Probably Jamie.  His lines are always the easiest to write.
R&R:  Do you believe Noah is any one's ideal guy (besides possibly Mara’s)?
MICHELLE:  I don’t know! It’s hard to see him out of the story’s context.  I certainly hope people enjoy reading about him, though.
R&R:  Why did you decide to become an author?  Was it a conscious decision or did you just start writing for fun and then all this happened?
MICHELLE:  It wasn’t a conscious decision at all.  I never actually even had the thought “I want to be an author.”  I had a story that I just had to write, and I wrote it.  And I’m grateful for everything that has happened every single day.
R&R:  How did / does it feel going through this process?  (getting signed, seeing your cover, holding your ARC … etc)
MICHELLE:  It’s still very, very surreal.  In many ways, I haven’t fully grasped that there’s going to be a book, a real book, with my name on it, in stores.  I’m still getting used to it!
R&R:  What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
MICHELLE:  Write the story you have to write, and tell the story that only you can tell.
R&R:  This is your debut into the writing word.  Congratulations!  Do you feel more nervous or excited?
MICHELLE:  A mixture of both! I still can’t believe it’s happening.
R&R:  Did you model Mara’s brothers after your own?
MICHELLE:  I didn’t really model any of the characters after anyone else, really.  There are definitely elements of myself and sometimes elements I borrowed from other people I know and love, but they’re caricatured elements, really—and when I’ve done that, it was mostly to make myself (and my friends and family) laugh.
R&R:  Did you have a favourite scene to write?  If so, could you describe why it was your favourite without spoiling the book?

MICHELLE:  Chapter 50 *wink*
*Read & Riot runs to Mara Dyer and flips to Chapter 50*
R&R:  If you were in school with Mara how would you describe her?
MICHELLE:  Disturbed.
R&R:  When you wrote this book did you ever expect all this excitement to surround it?
MICHELLE:  Never in a million years.
R&R:  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is one of the most anticipated YA books of 2011, (a category it deserves to be in by the way).  Can you put into words how that makes you feel?
MICHELLE:  First of all—thank you!  I don’t even know how that’s the case—I’m trying to get used to the idea that other people have actually read it!  Mostly, I just hope people enjoy reading it—I think books should be entertaining, so if MARA DYER helped anyone pass time on a plane flight or in a waiting room or between final exams, I’m beyond thrilled.  It was a tremendously fun book to write, and I hope it’s fun for people to read.
R&R:  What was your favourite thing about writing Mara (the character)?
MICHELLE:  My favorite thing is definitely sneaking in little inside jokes; sometimes Mara will make a comment about something she did or someone else did, and the incident she’s talking about will have actually happened to someone I know or to me.  It keeps me entertained. *grins*
R&R:  What would you say to your readers, potential or otherwise, if you could?
MICHELLE:  That there WILL be a sequel, and it will be out in Fall 2012.
Read&Riot can't wait for the sequel! (And you won't want to either).
R&R:  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
MICHELLE:  Finish the book!

Thank you so much to Michelle for answering all my questions!

If you want to know more about Michelle Hodkin and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer you can check out her website.
If you want to contact Michelle you can find her on twitter.
You can also read my spoiler free review of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer!

1 comment:

  1. Now I can't wait (even more) to get to Chapter 50!