Monday, February 20, 2012

Interview with Audrey Hart

I'd like to warmly welcome Audrey Hart, the author of The Dig to the blog today. I've had the awesome opportunity of interviewing her and her answers are just as entertaining as she is through email. I hope everyone enjoys the interview! I threw in some this-or-that! questions as well since they're very fun :)

How do you find the time (and discipline) to write?
It’s kind of like finding the discipline to work out. Sometimes, you have to put the sneakers on even if you don’t feel like it to remember that sneakers feel good and make you want to run around. And I make time into blocks and make a deal with myself that some of those blocks, particularly the night ones, are designated to writing.

What type of research did you have to do while writing Zoe & Zeus?
I read up on Greek mythology, lots and lots of books. My dad had some beautiful books from when he was young, and it’s interesting to see how the descriptions of the Gods have changed since then, and also how they haven’t. And I did a lot of research on archaeology and talked to a couple of people who have been on digs. Oh and I borrowed my friend’s time machine and went back in time. Ha.

The Dig has such a nice cover--were there any other images for it before it had its official cover?
When I saw this one, my heart sprang. In my humble and passionate opinion, this was, hands down, the cover.

What’s your writing process like? Do you use outlines or just see where the story takes you?
It’s kind of like a road trip. You don’t want to be like ‘At 9:15 AM we will arrive at the Biggest Ball of Twine and stare at it for 30 seconds’ but you also don’t want to get in the car with no plan whatsoever. I’m fortunate that my publisher had a great concept with a solid vision. Since I knew where Zoe and Zeus would conclude this part of the story, it was really fun to color in the details of the journey.

What was the most challenging/easiest aspect when it came to writing your novel?
The greatest challenge was not wanting it to end, if that makes sense. I loved this character, this journey so much that I wanted it to last forever. Fortunately, I have a terrific editor with a top-notch sense of pacing. The easiest part, the most enjoyable part, was seeing the world through Zoe’s eyes. She struck me as such a unique and humorous girl and it was just plain great fun to step into her shoes.

What would be the ideal environment for you when it comes to writing?
Home alone, Macauley Culkin style. I envy those people who can write in coffee shops. How do they do that? (I've always wondered the same thing.) I concentrate the best when I have few distractions. Of course, the computer in and of itself is a distraction, but hey, we all need to procrastinate sometimes. That’s why we have youtube, after all...

How would you describe your writing style?
Playful. I really get into it and use all my senses, imagining what it truly feels like in different moments and situations. In my favorite books, the reading experience is magical because you’re truly brought into a new place, and that’s what I aspire to give to readers when I write.

If you could live in any fictional world, which would it be and why?
Oooh that’s a fun question. I have to say, those Hobbit houses have always seemed so warm and cozy to me. It would be fun to walk into one of those circular doorways and have tea with a hobbit. And if Viggo Mortensen was there too, that would be okay by me.

Are you working on any other projects currently?
The Dig is a trilogy, so look for the second episode in early 2012!

Now for some of those this-or-that! questions...

Gel pens or sharpies?
Gel pens. Sharpies bleed!

Jane Eyre or Jane Austen?
Jane Eyre. In high school I had a great English teacher who brought that book to such great life. 

Coffee or tea?
Coffee. With milk and equal. Only tea if in hobbit hovel. 

Cute skirts or scarves?
Parentheses or brackets?
Parentheses. They seem less mathematical somehow.

Night owl or early bird?
Night owl. I know early birds catch worms, but I mean who really wants worms?

Polka dots or stripes?
Stripes. I like the nautical look. 

Hogwarts or Narnia?
Hogwarts. Surely they have a graduate program, right?

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