Welcome, Erika. What has drawn you to writing for the YA market?
Many of the books that have had the biggest impact on me are young adult, and I have spent a large portion of my adult life working with teenagers in ministry and as a teacher.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My fourth grade teacher introduced me to creative writing. I distinctly remember writing a story from the point of view of my feet. I couldn’t believe something so fun could be considered schoolwork.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love the classics, especially classic children’s literature (
’s Web, Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia Series, Anne of
Green Gables Series, A Secret Garden),
Jane Austen novels, and historical biographies and memoirs. My favorite modern
novel is Charlotte Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
What other books have you written?
I have a few half written novels in folders on my computer, but this is my first time to bring a novel to a satisfactory conclusion and publish it.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I had a family picture taken on The Great Wall of China when my youngest son was only eight days old.
I love the picture of that. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I take time each day to pray, read scripture, and journal. I walk my dog. I read and laugh and cuddle with my family. I make thankful lists.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
I spent several weeks in
China in between my junior and
senior year of college. It was a big step of faith at the time and because of
that initial trip, I ended up spending six years there after graduation.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dolphin. They travel in groups and get to live at the beach.
What is your favorite food?
You’d be surprised how many authors say their favorite food is chocolate. I’m with you. I take mine dark. Is it hard to break into the YA market?
It seems that way, but I’m still at the very beginning of the process.
What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
Write the best book you can write and spend a lot of time editing. Get to know young adults, care about them and learn from them. Read a lot—not only will it make you a better writer, it will remind you why you decided to write in the first place.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
It is the story of adoption through tragedy and the joys and struggles of becoming a blended family. I hope it will touch you deeply, make you laugh, and encourage you to celebrate and appreciate your own family.
Please share the first page with us.
For twelve years I dreamed about what it would be like to grow up in a large family. I would have been happy to have had even one brother or sister. I asked for one several Christmases in a row, and it was my standby wish every time I blew out my birthday candles, but I didn’t really expect it to happen, and certainly not in the way it did. It was a Sunday the day before school started for second semester, and Mom and I were pulling ornaments off the tree and putting them in boxes when Dad got the call. I could tell it was a serious conversation by the noises Dad was making, the way he drew in his breath, the way he whispered, “No.” Mom turned down the music, but he stepped outside anyway. I watched him on the front porch in his hoodie and jeans, his breath like smoke in the cold air.
“Melissa, could you step outside a minute?” he said, sticking his head in the door.
I watched them talk, knowing they would have to tell me whatever it was and wishing they would hurry. Mom nodded as she listened and pulled Dad into an embrace. I could see his shoulders tremble and her knuckles turning white as her arms tightened around him.
“Dad’s going to drive out to Gram’s house. He might bring her back for the night,” she said. “Let’s sit down. I guess you need to know what this is all about.”
And you have me hooked wanting to know what this is all about. I know my readers are, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?www.TheHopperHillFamily.com
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Hopper-Hill Family - Paperback
The Hopper-Hill Family - Kindle
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