HP: Hi Everyone! I'm H.P. Mallory and today, I have the honor of interviewing the lovely and talented Amanda Hocking! Amanda, thank you for being here!
AH: Thank you for having me. It’s my pleasure.
HP: This marks our second indie author interview at indieurbanfantasy.com! Okay, so getting down to business, here are some questions that come to mind for you, Amanda. You are really one of the biggest indie authors in the genre of paranormal fiction. Can you tell us how you started? What made you decide to go indie?
AH: I’ve always been writing books, and I actually had written around 12 or 13 before I decided to go indie. I just wasn’t getting anywhere with mainstream publishing. I kept getting the same line from agents – they liked it, but they just weren’t passionate enough about it to represent it.
I heard about Amazon, and I thought I’d try it. I wasn’t willing to cross out any avenue, and going indie has actually been the best thing I’ve ever done.
HP: Your success is really encouraging to all of us who are just getting started. Do you have any advice for other indies out there?
AH: Research everything before you jump in. Make sure you know the pros and cons of what you’re doing. Also, I think it really helps to have a backlist. Write 2 or 3 or more books before you even publish one. And edit more. I can’t stress that enough.
HP: Okay, moving on to your books. Which of your characters are you most like and why?
AH: Probably Bobby, in the My Blood Approve series, especially in Wisdom. I’m definitely more of a goofy sidekick.
HP: Which of your male characters do you think is the sexiest and why?
AH: Finn in Switched. I love his level of restraint. There’s also another guy I’m currently swooning over, but it’s too soon to talk about him.
HP: Okay, have to butt in here—Finn is my son’s name! LOL OK back to interview…What are you reading right now?
AH: I just finished The Long Halloween, a Batman graphic novel by Jeph Loeb, but I don’t know what’s up next on my reading list. I have about a hundred books that I need to get to.
HP: Let’s talk about your series, My Blood Approves. How many books do you imagine will be in this series?
AH: Five total, not including a side novella I’m putting out around Christmas. It’s not really in the continuity of the rest of the series, and I just wanted to give Peter some screen time to explore his past a bit.
HP: How did you come up with the title, My Blood Approves?
AH: My Blood Approves, along with the titles of other books in the series come from “since feeling is first,” a poem by e e cumming. “my blood approves,/and kisses are a better fate/than wisdom/lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry/—the best gesture of my brain is less than/your eyelids' flutter which says/we are for each other”
HP: So, when I was interviewing Zoe Winters, I asked her a bunch of zany questions and I’m afraid I’m going to have to do the same with you. Zany question number one: what would you rather be, a vampire or a werewolf?
AH: Vampire. I don’t know if I really want to live forever, but I’ve never liked the idea of shapeshifting.
HP: Let’s talk about your book, Switched. How did you come up with the idea for it and how many books do you propose to have in that series?
AH: I was actually reading stuff up about the new sequel for Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal that’s supposedly in the works. I got off track reading about Brian Froud, and I found two lines about old Scandinavian folklore. I never did find much more than those two lines, but the idea kept running through my mind, and that’s how Switched came out.
HP: So, I’ve read your first book, My Blood Approves, and I loved it. I really loved the character of Milo. Can you tell us a bit about him? Also, are any of your characters based on real life people?
AH: Milo always tries to do the right thing, and he gets to be an interesting character because he’s the younger brother, but he’s also the more mature one. I love that he’s so innocent and naive, but also responsible and protective. Mae is based a lot on my gramma, but I think the rest of the characters of combinations of people.
HP: Zany question #2: What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten?
AH: Probably cuddlefish. I love calamari, but something about the cuddlefish tentacles being so small and cold, I don’t know. I thought it was going to come alive in my belly like that thing in Alien.
HP: Okay, let’s talk zombies. Tell us about your new series.
AH: With Hollowland, I wanted to write something with a lot of zombies, a lot of action, and a female lead that kicked a lot of butt. It’s fun, but it’s definitely dark. I had a crisis in writing it where I had to decide between the slow, lumbering George Romero zombies and the wicked fast 28 Days Later ones. So I combined them. You get all kinds of zombies, along with marauders, crazed cult leaders, and Bon Jovi.
HP: Love it! Zombies and Bon Jovi. LOL Have you ever seen a ghost? If not, do you believe in ghosts?
AH: I don’t know that I’ve visibly seen a ghost, but I got locked in a room once. My friends and I were playing around with an Ouija board and taping white noise after we saw that horrible Michael Keaton film White Noise. The Ouija board told us to “open the door” and the white noise screamed at us “Get out!” when we played it back. But when we tried to leave, the door wouldn’t budge. We were trapped in there for like 6 hours before somebody finally had to unscrew the door handle to get us out.
HP: OK note to readers, avoid Ouija boards!!!! Are you a True Blood fan?
AH: Definitely. But I still have the last half of the newest season on my DVR. I made a pact to watch with a friend of mine, but she’s been busy with a new baby, so we haven’t made it very far yet.
HP: What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
AH: The best? Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut or Watchmen by Alan Moore, maybe. I also love 1984 by George Orwell and Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead.
HP: If you could travel back in time, what time period would you travel back to and why?
AH: The 1980’s. I know it’s not very exciting, especially since I was alive then, but I just love the 80’s.
HP: Okay, sorry for all the questions. One final question…is there anything you’d like to say to all those people out in cyber space, and especially your fans?
AH: Thank you to everyone that’s supported me and given me a chance. This whole industry can be brutal, but I’ve been met with so much kindness, it’s really incredible, and I am sooo grateful for every minute of it.
HP: Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us, Amanda. I wish you continued luck! I’m very excited to read the next book in the My Blood Approves series as well as the Switched series and your newest! Before we sign off, can you let everyone know where they can find you online? Thanks again!!
AH: You can find me lots of places! amandahocking.blogspot.com, www.twitter.com/amanda_hocking, www.facebook.com/amandahockingfans , and www.goodreads.com/amanda_hocking ! Thanks for having me!