Monday, February 13, 2012

Interview with Jill Hathaway, YA Author of SLIDE!!

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again. 

Since Slide is one of my most anticipated reads of 2012, I figured I'd beg ask Jill Hathaway to share her awesomeness on le blog! Luckily, she agreed, and today I'm happy to give you Jill's interview. 

Le interview:

On the book

1) Vee's ability both fascinates and terrifies me! Was there ever a moment while working on SLIDE where you freaked yourself out? 
I got goosebumps when I wrote the scene where Vee slides into the killer standing over Sophie's bloody corpse. 

2) I read on your blog that your ideas usually come to you while driving. How much of SLIDE did you brainstorm in your car? 
Hmmm... Maybe about 50%? I commute to work, so I think about stories A LOT while I'm driving. But about half the story just comes to me while I'm writing. I'm definitely a combo plotter/pantser!

3) You've mentioned watching the super awesome TV show Veronica Mars prior to writing SLIDE. Was the book's mystery element a result of this, or was the show part of your research? 
It definitely wasn't research. I think writers subconsciously draw on a lot of their experiences or things they've read or seen, and I think a lot of the tone came from things like VERONICA MARS and HEATHERS and other shows/movies/books I've enjoyed.

4) YA is no stranger to paranormal stories, but paranormal mystery is making a name for itself. What appeals to you most about the genre? 
I guess I didn't think of the genre while I was writing the story. My first kernel of an idea was a girl somehow finding herself in the head of a killer standing over a dead body, and that naturally led to a mystery. And I needed the paranormal aspect to explain how she got into the killer's head--that's where sliding came in.

On Writing 

1) Pantser or plotter? 
Definitely a combo. I usually have an endpoint or certain scenes in my mind, but I let myself run wild when I'm drafting. It makes for a lot of revising...

2) Revisions. Love them or hate them?
I guess I'm ambivalent. They can be frustrating, but I know they're necessary to craft the best possible book.

3) How much of SLIDE's first draft made it into the final version? 
*laughs* SLIDE was rewritten many times. In fact, the killer changed from the rough draft to the final version. And manymanymany other parts of the story changed, as well. It's enough to make me want to outline, but I find it difficult to do at the beginning of the process. 

4) You have an awesome series on your blog called Query Makeover! Since you were so generous in helping other writers with their queries, and since you're repped by the wonderful Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary Agency, I was wondering if you could tell us about your process of nabbing Sarah's attention. Did you query her? If so, was there anything that helped you craft The Best Query Possible? 
Sarah fished me out of the slush. The main thing I tried to do in my query is hook the reader, just as you would with the blurb on the back of a book. You have to make the agent want to read more. Same thing with the first five pages, which a lot of agents request now.

5) What's your #1 piece of advice for querying authors? 
Make sure your manuscript is in the best shape possible. 

On randomness

1) Favorite TV show/movie: Veronica Mars

2) Favorite candy: Anything Reeses

3) You're stranded on an island by yourself. Which book would you read over and over again? THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt

4) If you weren't a writer, you would be... a teacher! Which I am. So... Yeah. :)

A HUGE thanks to the wonderful Jill for stopping by OA today!!! Make sure you pick up your copy of Slide on March 27th, and go follow Jill's blog, her Twitter and Facebook!! 

1 comment:

Michelle McLean said...

awesome interview ladies :) sounds like a great book!!