Sunday, July 18, 2010

Interview with Author Anastasia Hopcus

author of the recently published (July 13th) YA fiction novel


joins us today in an interview!

Read the synopsis here!
Read an excerpt here!'s the interview!

You started writing at a very young age. What do you think has helped your writing grow and develop the most since that time? 

Briefly---practice, feedback, and reading.  I don't think anything helps your writing as much as doing it---whether it's essays for school or the stories you write for your own amusement, you need to write to improve.  Hard as it might be to accept sometimes, feedback on your writing is very useful, although it's essential that the person you're listening to knows what he or she is talking about.  My writing has improved the most, I think, since I've been working llwith my editor.  And I think that all the books I've read over the years have helped me a great deal, particularly when I take the time to analyze them and see what the writer does that makes me like the book.

Do you think you may ever return to writing screenplays? 

I'd love to try it.  I really enjoy writing dialogue and I am such a fan of movies. I think it would also be amazing to be a writer for a TV show. I’m an impatient person and it takes forever to publish a book or write, film, and edit a movie---but TV writers often see their words being said on screen the very next week. Plus, all the behind the scenes on DVDs of TV make the writers room look like so much fun!

Have your many careers influenced you as a writer? 

I think you pick up all kinds of experiences that influence you as a writer in whatever jobs you have---little bits and pieces of knowledge or insight into people that show up later in your writing.  I felt that there was a lot of connection between acting and writing.  In both you're creating characters and telling a story, and those are the things I really love to do. 

Does your love of horror movies manifest itself in your writing?

Oh, yes. I love to evoke that kind of creepy atmosphere. The old cemetery plays a big part in Shadow Hills.  And then there's a scene in the school where she's being chased.  I visualize those things like something out of a horror movie. But I try not to go to scary or bloody: I want my books to be fun, not terrifying.

What do you think is most unique about your writing? 

That’s really hard to answer. I write what I like to read, and though I put my own spin on the mythos, I certainly can’t say I’m the first person to write about Greek myths or genetic mutations. I guess if I had to pick something, I’d say the importance of music to my characters across the board is fairly unique. I offer a glimpse into Zach, Phe, Adriana, Graham, Toy and even Corinne’s music collections. But even so, there are writers like Jeri Smith-Ready that have a ton of music references as well. I don’t know---I’d probably be more likely to call my ideas ‘fresh’ rather than unique.a

Do you prefer writing poetry or novels? 

Hmm.  It depends.  Poetry is great for expressing a sort of emotional snapshot.  It's immediate and intensely personal.  But I love to tell a story and create people and a place, and a novel suits that better.  I guess I'd have to say writing novels; I just prefer that broader scope. Plus a lot of the poetry I write is only seen by me and I love discussing Shadow Hills with readers.

What is your most interesting experience in publishing your first novel? 

BEA was crazy. It was huge and intense and just go, go, go! I loved the Teen Author Carnival and meeting so many fellow authors. I’d only talked to them on 10’ers or Twitter before that. Plus, I had sooo much fun meeting a ton of bloggers and actually getting to spend time with them and go out to dinner and discuss books. Yep, BEA was really interesting.

And now...A CONTEST!

A parcel of Shadow Hills swag will be sent to one lucky commenter by the author!

Be sure to include your name and email address, and any outside postings (twitter, blogger, whatever) get you an added bonus entry. Same for new and old followers. 

More info on prize content coming soon. 



  1. O
    I want this :) Please enter me :)

    Great interview btw :)

  2. Here's my e-mail. This book looks good.

  3. Oh, I want to enter. You don't know how many contest I entered to win this book. Also, my bookstore doesn't have it in stock. So I have to wait for my order to come in! I'm all for swag!

    my email:

    *squealing like a teenage girl* LOL !

    Also great interview!!

  4. This book looks fabulous and would be a great summer read! Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

  5. The book sounds so good!!! I am so excited! I would love to recieve it! My email is (its my name backwards lol)please enter me in the contest.
    Thanks, Gabby

  6. I can't wait to read this book!!!

    I am an old follower

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com


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