Sit Down Saturday!
Today we have the wonderful Alyssa Hubbard! Check out her Q&A!
Alyssa Hubbard is author of the short story collection Humans and Their Creations, and her debut novel Apocalyptia, a Young Adult/Dystopian, which will be out December 2013.
- What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Tim Bowler’s Frozen Fire is probably the most inspirational book I’ve come across. The way he mixes surreal, fantasy elements alongside everyday struggles is beautiful. He makes them seem unnatural when apart from each other. I hope to capture that perfect mixture in my writing.
- How did you come up with the title(s)?
For Humans and Their Creations, it was a toughie. It’s a short story collection, and I had to think long and hard about what tied them all together. In the end, I took the two basic elements that caused conflict: humans and their creations. Thus, my title was born.
For Apocalyptia, it didn’t take nearly as long as HATC. It comes out in December, but before I even started the book, I had the name in mind. I wanted everything to feel hopeless, and to have the end of everything feel as if it encompasses the entire world, perhaps even the universe. Plus, I think it sounds cool. Nothing wrong with picking titles which sound cool.
- Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All of my characters have some realness to them. I base every character off people I meet or know. As far as real life events go, I try to carry the emotions into my work, not so much actual events. I prefer events which we all fear, but very rarely can experience, mask them with a surreal element, then apply powerful emotion.
- What books have most influenced your life most?
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. One word: tears. I myself have a sister with special needs, and that book encompasses every fear and powerful emotion that I have ever experienced in regards to her well-being and life. It’s lovely, and something I think every person should read, if for nothing else than to better their understanding in what it means to be special needs.
- What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading The Ethical Vampires trilogy by Susan Hubbard. Picked it up because we had the same last name, and the woman is brilliant. Hopefully some of that writerly genetics will be on my side of things, as well.
- Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Her book just came out, but she’s been working on the series itself for a long time, and I’ve been hearing about it for a while. R.J. Blain’s fantasy series sounds amazing. If you’re into the classic high fantasy, she’s your gal.
- What are your current projects?
Like I said earlier, I currently have Apocalyptia, which is set for a December release this year, and I also have the sequel underway. I already have a title, but I think I’ll keep it under wraps until after the first book comes out.
- Do you see writing as a career?
I guess I could call it a career, but it feels too fun for that, I think. I’m an English major, planning on going into teaching of some sort. That is my career, writing is my life.
- If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would probably change what stories went into HATC. There is one story in particular I kept fighting with myself over, mainly over whether it really fit in the collection or not. It ended up being a favorite, but I still question if it was right as far as the over-arching theme is concerned.
- How did you get started with the writing venture?
I could tell you all about my elementary school years where I wrote all of these cute little stories for my family, but I’ll save you the time. I started writing seriously about eight years ago, but what started the sudden eruption is still a mystery to me. I bought a notebook, a new pack of pens, and just started writing.
- Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
I talked about this in my blog, but I bleed adverbs. “Adverb” is the a-word in the writing world. You just don’t do it, but I do.
- Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. Support your fellow writers. Friends are your greatest asset, and the best friends to have as a writer are other writers. They will understand you when no one else will.
- Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Oh gosh. I just want to hug all of you.
- What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Learning about space. When I was writing Apocalyptia, I was constantly printing things out about stars, space, theories on how different stars may change the Earth’s atmosphere. I eventually got it right, but it took much longer than expected.
HATC made me cry. I cried a lot.
- What genre do you like writing the most?
I really love Literary Fiction, but I’m delving into YA and NA.
- Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I don’t, personally, believe in writer’s block. I just think people get bored, and end up wanting to start on a new shiny piece rather than stick it out. Like a honeymoon phase. Regardless, I do have times where I just can’t find my inner writer, but all I can say is to push through. Keep writing. That’s what a writer does, isn’t it?
- Do you write an outline before every book you write?
YES. I can write on the fly, but they always end up as short stories, which is what led me to HATC. Apocalyptia had a complete outline, then I started writing. I love lists, more than I probably should.
- Have you ever hated something you wrote?
More times than I can count. I hated Apocalyptia. I had to rewrite it three times before I’d even let my editor see it. Now, we’re back on speaking terms.
- What is your favorite color?
Blue, it’s calming.
- What’s your favorite food?
Pizza. Does that need explaining?
- Puppies or bunnies?
I’ve had rabbits before, and they all hated me. Puppies it is.
- Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla. Then, I add brownies.
You can find Alyssa and her books at www.lissywrites.com
Follow her on Twitter @LissyWrites www.twitter.com/LissyWrites