Hope Collier was born in Harlan County, Kentucky. Growing up in the Appalachia, she quickly learned that a good imagination — along with the ability to outrun the neighbor’s cantankerous dog — was essential to survival. Hope wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of six and never stopped writing. She now lives in central Kentucky with her husband, two daughters, and a menagerie of pets. When not spending time with her imaginary friends, you’re likely to find her stalking other writers on Twitter or searching out new ways of fitting square pegs into round holes.
-From Author's Website
Where you can find Hope Collier and her books:
Author Website: Hope Collier Books
Where to buy: The Willows: Haven
Facebook: Hope Collier
I just want to thank author Hope Collier for participating in this interview. Congrats on her success and best wishes in her future.
I hope everyone enjoys the interview.
~When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer/ that you even liked writing
I'm not sure I ever had a moment where I just knew I wanted to be a writer. It's something I've always done. I wrote and illustrated my first book at six years old. Our teacher had them covered and bound as a surprise. I haven't stopped writing since.
~What inspires you to write?
I find inspiration in most aspects of life, but the thing that inspires me most is music! After writing, that's my favorite thing of all. It amazes me that someone can sum up an entire story in a matter of minutes.
~Are any of your characters similar to you or anyone you know?
I think all writers include a little bit of themselves and others in their characters…whether they mean to or not. I want my characters to feel and act real. The best way to do that is by observing others.
~What made you decide to self-publish? Did you try to go the traditional route at all or did you know from the get-go you wanted to be an indie?
I'm published through a small press and couldn't be happier. I love the attention and support authors receive from smaller houses. It was nice to have a say in cover design and content. I queried a handful of agents very early on, but the more I learned about indie publishers, the more I realized that was the best fit for me.
~Do you have any other jobs at the moment or are you just focusing on your writing?
I'm a stay at home mom of two little girls, and they keep me on my toes!
~Do you enjoy writing in first or third person?
This is a tricky question. I prefer first person for the fact that I love feeling, seeing, hearing and just experiencing what the character is. However, third person is more inclusive of all characters. You get a more information when you can see every aspect. There are advantages to both, but I'd have to say I prefer first person.
~What is a must have food/drink that you must have when writing?
~Who are your favorite authors and do they affect your writing?
My favorite authors are Janet Evanovich, because she has such relatable stories and characters, and Elizabeth Isaacs because she is such an emotional and sensory writer. It truly resonates with the reader. I so strive to be that kind of story teller!
~What are your goals at the moment?
My goals for the near future are: Finish the novel due out in April, and complete the second book in THE WILLOWS series due out Fall 2012.
~What was the best and worst comment from any of your writing? How has it helped you grow as a writer?
I try not to take compliments or criticism personally. It becomes too much pressure to please a reader. The problem is, what one person might love about your writing, another may hate. I just try to write something I'd want to read myself and learn from my mistakes. Though I will say, honesty and specificity really help no matter if it's a complement or criticism.
~Will we ever get to see any of your unpublished work one day?
Geez, I hope not! It's unpublished for a reason. Haha!
~You mainly write for teens, why?
I love YA! There's just something magic about teens and the way they see the world. Everything is emotional and epic, yet there's still the newness of not having experienced everything life has to offer.
~Can you share with us a little of the work that is yet to come?
Book two of THE WILLOWS is well under way and so much fun! Everyone will get a deeper look into the mythology surrounding the world where Ashton, Gabe, and the rest live. More questions will be answered from HAVEN, and there will be a few surprises as well. I'm all about the mystery!
~Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
You guys are my heroes! I couldn't do this without the support and encouragement of the readers. I owe you all more than I can ever repay you! Thanks!
~Do you have any rituals or habits that you do when writing?
Music! Music is the drive behind my muse. It fuels my imagination and sets the stage for what's going to happen. I can't write without it.
~Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?
See the previous question ;) My favorite bands for writing are: Luke Asher, Silversun Pickups, Florence + the Machine, Bon Iver, The Fray, Adele, Death Cab for Cutie, and Snow Patrol. I love indie, folk, and singer/songwriter bands.
~Out of every one of your novels, who is your favorite character?
Oh, wow. This is a near impossible question to answer. I think one of my favorite characters to write is Kyle. He's just so easygoing and simple, but he's genuine and heartfelt. He's the kind of person anyone would want to have as a best friend.
~Which is your all time favorite novel?
Hands down, my favorite book ever, THE LIGHT OF ASTERIA by Elizabeth Isaacs. No other novel has moved me like this one. It's a story about selfless love and heartfelt forgiveness. Not to mention the incredible characters that are so real and true to life, you forget they're not really your friends. Just an incredible story! I highly recommend it!
~Do you outline before you write?
Not typically. I'm more of a pantser when it comes to writing. I'm not sure if that's the best way to write, but I think if I plotted the entire thing, I'd pull my hair out. I like the element of surprise, even if it's from my own characters.
~If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor and why?
Elizabeth Isaacs. I love her ability to include so much information and detail without the reader ever noticing they're getting it. And her world/character building is just amazing! There's so much more to her stories than the obvious. They're steeped in meaning and significance.
~Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Free advice is worth what it costs you, but mine would be this: Write for you. Write for fun. Learn and grow, but never give up or compromise when it means something to you! Oh, and don't expect to be perfect…especially when you're just starting out.
~What are some future projects we can expect?
I actually have several projects in varying stages. I hope to have more on those as they progress, and I have a little better idea how they'll pan out. One is a ghost story and the other has more of an "earthy" feel. And of course, Book 2 of THE WILLOWS.
~If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want?
To pilot their indestructible aircraft! I don't want to be able to hurt myself.
~If you could be any character in fiction, whom would it be?
Hmm, this is a tough one. The first person to pop into my mind is Jo March from Little Women. She's such an incredible character…strong and non-conforming. She was always comfortable with herself and really made an impact. Plus, she was a writer.
~If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
It'd probably something lame but functional like super-human knowledge retention. I love words and information. It would be nice to act as a walking encyclopedia as long as I wasn’t annoying!
~If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?
Something salty, no doubt!
~When was the year you were the most happy and why?
I've never been happier or more content than I am now. My life is so beyond blessed. I couldn't ask for anything more.
~If you had to choose to fight off 1000 cats, 1000 babies, or 1000 old people, who would you fight against?
I'm going to go with 1,000 babies. They're relatively immobile and they don't have teeth. While some might say that's true of the latter, the thought of dirty diapers is less creepy on an infant. ;)
~If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
"Caution: Stumbler at Work"