Today we are very honored with a very special guest author, who, in fact, is my very good friend and the finest author there ever was. Hootie Olson, an accomplished author, has graced us with her presence and has kindly agreed to let me interview her. *Ahem* Now let's being my version of twenty questions.
AZ: Hootie, thank you so much for allowing me to interview you and taking time away from... what you're supposed to be doing at this moment and talking to me. My first question would be: How long have you been writing? And what really inspired you to take up the art of words?
HO: Well, when I wrote my first creative piece of work I was somewhere around seven or eight. I remember it was something to do with a runaway little girl and her two sisters chasing after a kitten, and there was something in there about a magical flute. What really inspired me to start writing was Anastasia Cross. We grew up together, and when she began writing the Cycle of Time I took an interest in her work and started creating stories of my own.
AZ: What was your first serious writing project?
HO: It was a short novel in which a young girl named Megan was moved into her great uncle's old mansion and, while snooping around in the attic one day, was transported through a magical picture into a fantastic land filled with elves and dragons. I remember thinking all my old elf names were so clever, like Syllver. Haha.
AZ: How many books have you written so far, completed and uncompleted?
HO: I have written two (is that it?) completed books. One being a spy book and the other being The Orion, The Deadlands. Uncompleted? That's a little harder. Let me count... There is Isles of Ruin, FearStrong, The Uprising, another Untitled Story, I'm coauthoring CODED with you <3 (Angelina), Ty Skyy's Guide to Life, Blue Skies, and I believe that's it. I have a lot of work to do to become published, though, of course.
AZ: I know that feel... definitely. And I'm sure any writer does. Okay, now here comes a tough question. Out of all the characters you have written about, who is your favorite. Don't blow up, I know, it's hard.
HO: *EXPLOOOOODE* UUUUUURRGGGGAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH
H...... UGh...... ugh..... I don't know. Oh, Angelina.... Uhm.... To be completely honest? It depends on my mood. When I'm feeling inspired about a certain book I tend to be in love with the coolest character in that book. At the moment my favorite character I've ever written about has stayed pretty steadily on Tyler Skyy (my baaaaaaaby). But if I'm feeling really happy, it's Willow Vetti. If I'm feeling very smart, it's usually Corra Staunton or BJ Stauton. Sometimes it's Nicholas Calhoun. Sometimes I just suddenly start loving Vance Wilcliff and I barely even know him yet, or Marley Joseph, or Anderson Forwen. As you can see, this is a very tough question for me, but I will answer in the moment and say it is (at this moment) Tyler Skyy.
AZ: I had a feeling you were going to say that. Could you tell us which book he is from, and maybe a little synopsis on it?
HO: Most certainly! He is from the book Blue Skyys, which is sort of a sci-fi type novel with two galaxies at war with each other over the matter of slavery and invasion. Oddly enough there are no aliens appearing in this book, it is simply a war story set in an interesting time with an interesting family, the Skyys (who pretty much run the military for their galaxy), trying to make it through with their lives and their faith in God.
AZ: I, myself, have read some of it and it invokes a lot of emotion, from both the reader (and I imagine) the writer. Tell me, how many books have you co-authored, and what is it like?
HO: I am currently coauthoring the series The Orion, I am a small part in the CODED series, I'm coauthoring Blue Skyys, The Iris-Windr, Il Coniglio del Romanzo, and two other untitled novels/series. I have to say, coauthoring is easier than it should be. It's almost an addiction to me, because I enjoy the interactions between characters written by different authors clashing on the page. The only bad thing is that most of the time coauthoring tends to be more dialogue then story progression. You can write out a rough draft pretty well, but woe to the editor, they will have a ton to cut.
AZ: What is your favorite part about co-authoring? Or even writing in general.
HO: My favorite part about co-authoring is, like I said in the last answer, the interactions between characters made by two different people. You get a lot of character development when you face your hero up against one of your sisters characters and expect them to hash out their differences because they are forced to work together. It's interesting to watch play out. Writing in general is a bit more tricky. I guess I like just the feeling of reading my own writing, reading what I think, getting words down on the page. I enjoy the poetic sense of it and the ability it gives me to think more clearly about the world I live in by looking at it through someone else's eyes.
AZ: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers or any warnings? Something for us to remember?
HO: One tip I can give you is to never stop writing. When you start a book and it stinks, finish it. No matter what, just get that first draft down and it's somewhat smooth sailing from there. Just keep writing, as Dory would say.... JUST KEEP WRITING.
AZ: Thank you so much, Hootie, for giving up some of your time to let me interview you. The time that I'm sure you could be writing. *wink wink* It has been a pleasure, as always.
HO: Same here. Great talking to you all!
Agelina Zoe out! :)