So.. first of all, I'd like to welcome this hot piece of ass to my blog. :) Oops, I cussed. It's going to be all downhill from here folks.
Everyone welome Colleen Hoover- superstar author of the Slammed series. Which is so freaking brilliant by the way, that if you aren't reading them... well, I don't have anything nice to say about you. You're dumb if you don't read these books. You're crazy if you don't like them. LOL okay, fine- i'll stop being mean.
Onto the interview of greatness!!!! :)
Dear Colleen (my new bff), I read somewhere that you came up with the idea for Slammed while you were at your son's acting rehearsals. Is that right?
Why, yes dearest best friend Jenn. It is true. I had to sit night after night in the auditorium while they rehearsed, so I would bring my ipad and read. I'm pretty sure the thought 'Slam' came to me initially because that's what I felt like doing with my head up against a brick wall. The rehearsals were monotonous. (Although very worth it in the end.) I had been watching 'slams' on youtube while I was there, bored, and thought it would be interesting to read a book where some of the characters slammed. After not being able to find one, I decided to try and write one.
So have you always wanted to write a book, or did you literally wake up one morning and say, "i'd like to write a book that rocks people's socks off?"
I've always wanted to write a book, but honestly, I love t.v. too much. I'm a (used to be) reality tv junkie. So I never made time to try and write, until the idea for Slammed came. I suddenly stopped watching tv cold-turkey and wrote and wrote until my hand literally fell off. Literally. I didn't know if the book would rock people's socks off or not.
As a fellow writer (I cannot bring myself to call myself an "author" ha), I'm totally jealous at how quickly you seem to bust out your books and the fact that you don't have a professional editor (right?) and your stories are written SO well. So let's talk about your writing process a little- after you've written your first draft of a story, what follows?
I edit as I write. And I read and read and read and read my chapters and read them again and again and again. Then when I'm done I read them some more. I change and correct so much as I go along that by the time I get to the end, it's all been edited to an extent. However, as with anyone, I'm still finding mistakes. Just today I uploaded an edit because I found a word the said 'be' when it should have said 'me.' DAMMIT! It never ends. I've only been doing this a few months and I have so freaking much to learn. But it makes me feel good to know that you are a little jealous. Maybe that means I'm doing something right. Or maybe it just means you are blinded to my mistakes because of your incredible love for me.
I loved your interview over on Behind the Books (http://www.maryse.net/behind-the-books-interviews/behind-the-books-interview-with-colleen-hoover.html) and could SO relate when you talked about having no intentions on writing a sequel to Slammed. I felt the exact same way about In Dreams. So now that you've written Point of Retreat, do you think you'll write another book, or is Lake & Will's story really done?
Lake and Will's story is done. But that doesn't say the other characters' stories were done....That's all I'm going to say about that.
What about short stories, or books on some of the other characters? You know, like EDDIE?
I'm sorry. I couldn't hear this question. Could you type your question a little louder please?
Okay, so I've heard you say that most of the characters aren't really based on people you know. But clearly, this is a lie, because I am SO TOTALLY Eddie- and somehow you channeled that into your books and you summoned me to you. Right?
So. If the people in your stories aren't really based on anyone in particular- then what about the events? The little things... Like the pink balloon story?
Nope, didn't base that one off of anything from my own life. Not a whole lot in the books were. Maybe a few names here and there, and the snowman scene happened with my boys. But characters and their likenessess were fictional. Except, of course, Eddie...who is totally you. Even though I didn't know you when I wrote the book. But yeah...totally you.
And what about the idea for the stars in the vase. Which I freaking LOVED by the way!!!!! Such a cute, creative and clever idea. Where did that come from? I swear if you have no influences other than the your own personal amazeball-ness, I might stab something.
That was actually a gift my niece made for my sister. Here, I blogged about it: http://colleenhoover.com/2012/03/06/
How did you come up with Kiersten? She cracks me the hell up- and also scares me a little.
Kiersten is the kind of child I wished I was. And the kind of daughter I would totally raise. Care-free, to the point and with a mouth like a sailor!
What character did you have the most fun writing?
You know, I had the most fun writing from Will's point of view in Point of Retreat. I was nervous at first, thinking I wouldn't be able to pull off a guy's perspective. But honestly, it was easier than a girls perspective. When a girl is writing things from a girl's POV, for me it was hard to separate what I would do in situations as opposed to what the character Lake would do. I kept having to re-write things as she would say or do them, not as I would say or do them. With Will, it was so much fun getting inside his head and writing from that perspective, because I only had his characteristics to go by. I think my favorite scene was his drunk journal entry.
And what character do you love the most? And don't say you love all of them the same. It's like kids- we lie and say we don't pick favorites, but we so totally do!
I totally agree...even mothers have favorites. (Quit lying to yourselves, Mom's)
My kids often ask me which one of them I love the most. But like my own mother once said, it depends on the situation. If one of them is sick, or is having a bad day, or is being incredibly adorable, I favor that one at the moment. Sort of like my characters. If I'm in a particular mood or listening to a particular song, I tend to like certain characters over other ones. More often than not it's Will, though. I have a fictional crush on him.
This question is like a 4 parter.
#1- why are you so emotionless? Are you really a zombie?
I don't know why I'm so emotionless. It's not that I just don't cry, I also don't get super excited. I'm pretty even keel ALL of the time. It's kinda weird and I've often wondered that myself. If people can be super depressed, super emotional, super delirious, super hyper...then why can't we be super even keel? That's me. And no, I'm not a zombie. Unless your brain is made of lindor truffles.
#2- did you cry at all when you wrote your stories (I bawl like a freaking baby when I write mine)?
No, I didn't cry. If I would have wrote something that made me cry, I probably would have re-written it, thinking something was wrong with it.
#3- has ANY movie or book made you cry or tear up? If so, WHAT ONES?
Sometimes I start to tear up, but nothing comes of it. But if this is your way of wanting to know what movies I like, let me think.
Funniest movies ever:
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Oh Brother Where Art Thou
Greatest movies ever:
The Color Purple
Forces of Nature (I have no idea why I love this movie so much. Weird, I know.)
American History X
Mean Girls (I have an eclectic taste)
Dead Poet's Society
And #4- Are you really a zombie? lol
What has been the best part about self publishing? And what has suriprised you the most?
I started out dumb as dirt when it comes to the whole 'publishing' aspect. I initially had no clue I could even self-publish. Once I figured that out, I uploaded it almost immediately, thinking I could query the project later. Once I started querying, it became evident that perhaps I shouldn't have self-published first. lol. Oh well, live and learn. I queried several agents and actually have 'fulls' out on request right now. But considering the success of the two books over the last few weeks, I'm pretty positive I made an amazing inadvertant decision to self-publish. I didn't realize a book could reach the amount of readers it has reached being a self-published book, so I'm stoked about it. I'm so glad I was dumb.
Who designs your covers, or how do you come up with them?
I just use stock photos from createspace. That's really an area I need work. I wanted an image on Amazon so I used their self editing tools to slap a cover on it. If anyone has any better ideas...I'm open for suggestions.
Are you shocked at all the hooplah surrounding your book? Did you ever think you'd touch so many people with your words, or is what happening the very thing you always hoped would? Good lord, did that sentence even make sense?!? lol
Everything you say makes total sense, Jenn. We are author soul-mates. Not to be confused with platonic soul-mates...my Jamie already has that title.
How can I answer this question while maintaining a confident, poised display of author professionalism? Ummm.
HELL NO! I had NO IDEA people would read my book. Are you kidding me? I'm still in shock. Complete shock. I mean, I live in a trailer house. Seriously. I'm a month behind on pretty much every single one of my bills. I wrote this book because I was bored and I love to write...not because I was hoping for the next best seller. I fell in love with my story and kept going so I could entertain a few friends. If you told me four months ago that the words I was writing were going to eventually reach hundreds, if not thousands of people...I probably would have freaked out a little bit and stopped writing it. Seriously. But let me tell you, I am loving every single second of it. Especially the moments that bring me to other amazeballs writers like yourself.
What do you have planned in the future? What can we look forward to next?
Tomorrow we're having Easter. Monday I'm going to work. That's as far as I've got.
Anything else you want to say to all your supporters and fans?
Oh. My. Freaking. Word.
How to put my appreciation into words?
When I started writing Slammed, I had no idea how involved I was going to get with my characters and their story. It was intense. I completely understand why authors refer to their stories as 'their babies.' It was my baby. And letting my baby out into the world to be judged and reviewed by people was a very scary thing to do. So when people fall in love with it the same way I did? It melts my heart. In fact, I love the readers so much I...could...cry. Seriously. You guys are bemazing and are the sole reason for the constant perm-grin I've had on my face for three straight weeks now.
And there are a few fans I would like to give a quick shout out to.
"Yeh gals es the best! Yeh know who yas are? You bangs like a dunny door in a hurricane!"
Gotta love this woman! Sweet baby Jesus knows I do. The best part about being an indie author is meeting other authors who ROCK! I mean, I love finding good books by new, indie authors. But then when I stalk them to tell them how much I enjoyed their books or their stories- it makes me SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY when their personalities don't suck!!!! :)
Now really, if you haven't read Slammed, go get it! It's truly a beautiful story. But i'm a sucker for good romance and unlike Colleen, I have a heart. And feelings. And emotions. She's really a robot. lol :)