Monday, July 11, 2011

Author Interview: Maria Rachel Hooley

I'd like to present a friend of mine and colleague who I've been working together with Cover arts and shes a super cool author who is easy to work with and has an awesome writing style, Maria Rachel Hooley! I'm excited to have her here! It's completely awesome! :D Yay!

About Maria:
Maria Rachel Hooley has written over thirty novels, including New Life Incorporated and When Angels Cry. Her first chapbook of poetry was published by Rose Rock Press in 1999. While her novels typically venture into different genres, the one constant is the theme of redemption. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children. If she's not writing, she probably teaching English to high school or college students. As the parent of an autistic child, she is an advocate for education about autism.

1. What inspires you to write the most? Art? Movies? Or Books?

That's a tough question. I love all of the above. Probably, I draw a lot more inspiration from movies right now because I have a very hyper eight-year-old who is on the autism spectrum, and movies are a lot easier to focus on than books right now. Of course, that said, I do spend a lot of time looking at digital art.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?

This is probably going to sound like a cop-out, but it really depends on the book and how much of 'me' is in there. The quickest I've written a novel is 22 days (Sojourner), and the longest is ten years (October Breezes) so there is a wide disparity. (Naj's Note: Woah, 22 days? I need to start Sorjourner)

3. How did you get into writing?

I've always loved words so I'm guessing it was pretty natural to move from reading stories to writing them.
4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?

Young adult section, hands down. It's my favorite genre.
5. What are you currently reading?

I'm currently reading Rotters by Daniel Kraus and then I'll probably move on to Unsinkable by Abby Sunderland.

6. In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?

My favorite novel is actually The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, and in that novel I love the character Lady Amalthea, the human the last unicorn is turned into to save her from the Red Bull. The reason I like this character is that when she was a unicorn, she didn't understand what love or regret were, and once she's transformed, she not only falls in love but has to lose that love when she is transformed back. From then on, she isn't like other unicorns. She's really a stunning character.
7. What is your weakness? Books, Food, etc.
Music and movies are actually my weakness. I really love books, but I don't have nearly the time to read as I used to. I still manage to read five books a month, though. As far as music, I love film soundtracks and scores. There is such a beauty to them that really inspires me. And movies just sweep me into another world, feeding that creative energy even more.
8. State 5 random facts about yourself.
1. I am a teacher.
2. I once played viola as part of a symphony.
3. My favorite song is "Angels or Devils" by Dishwalla.
4. I love photography.
5. I started out as a Romance Language major in college. 

9. Paperback or Hardback? Why? 

Actually, I prefer e-books because of space and ease of portability, but if I'm going to going collect physical copies of books, I will choose hardbacks. 

10. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?

Again, it really depends on the book. The lowest number is typically three, but I have done it up to ten times with one novel.
11. Your favorite Genre?
Young adult. I also like women's fiction.
12. How many books in a month do you tend to read?
Between five and ten.
13. Do you prefer reading Adult or Young Adult paranormal books?
I prefer young adult over most categories. There's something magical about that genre for me.
14. Have you read something completely out of your comfort zone? For Example, You only read cute romance novels then you decide to read a horror book.

I've written in most genres, so that doesn't happen often. I have read a few westerns and do not plan to write in that genre. I also have read some thrillers, but I don't really want to write in that genre, either. While I'm not above branching out, I do try to remember not to hold my preferences against a novel. When I review it, I look at it in terms of whether the novel succeeded according to what the writer set out to do. Right now, I'm reading Rotters, and the story is way outside my comfort zone.
15. What particular place do you write in? Coffee Shop? Home?

Because my time is so limited, I have an IPad and it goes everywhere with me. I write on it.

16. Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe your book(s) and why readers should pick them/it up?

  Right now, I have about twenty books out, so I'll focus on my young adult paranormal Sojourner series which revolves around a girl who keeps dreaming of her own death and the boy who watches her die every time. It's a love story about angels.
One of the things that I wanted to focus on was creating a world of angels walking among humans who are every bit as complicated as people. They have free will, and sometimes that free will can cause just as many problems for them as ours does for us. And then, what happens when you throw love into the mix?

Currently, the first book has 24 ratings on, and a lot of the reviewers compare it to Twilight. No, no vampires. From what I can tell, the book just seems to evoke the same type of emotional response. There are four books to the series: Sojourner, Covenant, Second Sight, Anathema, and you can view the book trailers on my website.

Thank you Maria for being part of this feature! It was a pleasure having you.
Click the images above to read summaries! Do check out her other books as well. :D 


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