List of Ten by Halli Gomez
Be sure to check out the GIVEAWAY for List of Ten book swag which includes a journal, bookmark, and sticker.
1- How did you get into teaching martial arts and what does it mean to be a fourth degree black belt?
I started martial arts for my kids when they were young because I loved the life skills. Not long into it, I was hooked. I guess my excitement was obvious because my instructors at the time asked if I wanted to become an instructor. Becoming a fourth degree black belt was a big accomplishment for me. I was older when I started training, and never dreamed I’d get this far, but I put my heart and soul into it and wouldn’t let myself give up.
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
Stories are subjective. There are books you love and books you don’t. Just because your story isn’t right for one doesn’t mean it’s not perfect for another.
3- What most motivates you to read a new book?
I hate to admit this out loud, and on internet where it will live long after me, but when I was young, I was drawn to books by their titles. I did find great books that way, but also missed quite a few. Now that I’m older, I look at them in different ways and focus on genres, plots, and authors.
4- What are the most common misconceptions about Tourette syndrome?
The most common misconception about Tourette syndrome is that everyone has coprolalia, which is the use of uncontrolled abusive, obscene, or offensive language. Of course that is one of the most shocking tics, and therefore newsworthy, but the percentage of people with it is actually very low.
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book and dog?
6- What are some ways a teen contemplating suicide might best get help?
In my opinion, the number one way to get help is to ask for it. I know that is the hardest thing to do. Not just for teens but adults as well. There are many places to find help for people contemplating suicide – the suicide hotline, teachers and counselors at school, doctors, and many others. I spoke with a psychologist while compiling the discussion questions for LIST OF TEN and she strongly encourages teens seek out an adult. Friends may feel the need to keep it secret or believe they can help. What someone thinking about suicide really needs is to speak with a professional. Suicide hotline: 800-273-8255.
There's also a website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
7- What is your favorite book to movie adaptation?
My all-time favorite book to movie adaption has to be the Harry Potter series mainly because of the way the set designers recreated the detail and magnitude of the Hogwarts castle and grounds. A few years ago, I went to the Universal Studio in London and saw a lot of the sets and castle miniatures. It is so interesting to learn the behind the scenes tricks.
8- When did you first know you wanted to publish a book someday?
I hear a lot of stories about authors who knew they wanted to publish books as a child. Way back then, I was content to just read them. I didn’t even start writing until I was an adult and moved to NC. I had no job, my kids were in school, and I thought, hey, why not try this writing thing. Many years later, here I am!
9- Are you a Plotter, Pantser, or Plantser, and how did you adopt that style?
I am definitely a Plantser. I start with ideas for a story and plot it out the old-fashioned way - on paper. As I begin to write the story, I find new ideas creep in or the characters decide they want to go in different direction. Who am I to ignore them? And oh, the thought of not exploring a possibly better storyline, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.
10- What does your basic writing schedule look like, and how often do you write?
My writing schedule is best described as whenever time allows. I would love to write for hours during the day when the hubby is at work and my son at school, but I can never find the uninterrupted time. I do try to write every day, but it is usually when I can find time. So, a little in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
11- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!
This is the hardest question I have ever been asked! There are SO MANY good books out there. I will give a shout out to the authors in my debut group, #the21ders. Readers – you are in for a treat this year! But if I must pick one. I can’t. Here are two (both debuts)
Author name: James Matejek-Morris @mjatejekmorris
Title: My Ex-imaginary Friend
Love because: I love how the author used creativity and originality to tell the story of divorce and mental illness in a family.
Check out the interview with this author!
Author name: Cory Anderson @coryanderwrites
Title: What Beauty There Is
Love because: The characters and story are captivating and haunting. I couldn’t put the book down.
12- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?
I wrote LIST OF TEN without sugarcoating anything because that’s not how real life is, and I know this may sound mean, but I want readers feel everything. The good, bad, and ugly. Early praise makes me feel like I have accomplished that goal. Reviewers used words powerful, heartfelt, and humorous. They laughed and cried.
13- What kind of impact do you hope your book will have?
I hope LIST OF TEN reaches the people who are in the same or a similar circumstance or feel lonely. This book was written, in part, so people feel seen and understood. I also hope it touches others and makes them rethink how they look at and treat others.
14- What is your favorite creative non-writing activity to do?
This will sound strange since we have all been on some sort of lockdown for almost a year, but my favorite non-writing activity is being locked in escape rooms. I love the creativity of the stories and puzzles, and it’s a great activity to do as a family.
15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks
LIST OF TEN is an own voices novel and definitely fits in the diverse book movement. Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder are characterized as neurodiverse. In other words, variations of the brain. Both neurodiverse characters and authors are underrepresented in publishing today.
16- What method do you feel is the best way to get book reviews?
Begging your friends and family? And writing the best book you can, of course.
17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
I know people who have self-published, but I never considered it. You have to be able to market yourself and your book well because if you don’t, no one will. I don’t have the right personality for it. I am way too shy.
18- What's the biggest writing goal you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
My mother and I always joked that seeing my book on a bookstore shelf would be the ultimate! And it will be incredible. But since I started writing, I began looking at what it really means to be a reader involved in a story. Now my goal is to write stories that move people. My biggest goal is to write a lot of them!
19- Would you please ask our audience a question to answer in the comments?
What is one thing that puts a story on the top of your favorite list or buried on the bottom never to be seen again?
20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
I love this comment from a fellow debut author. This is what I hope all readers walk away feeling “LIST OF TEN begs for compassion and hope, making it a story that will stay with the reader long after the final page.”
Halli Gomez teaches martial arts and writes for children and teens. When no one is looking, she sock skates through the house and talks to dogs like they are human. When people are looking, she enjoys reading, outdoors, and breaking out of escape rooms with her family. Halli lives in North Carolina. LIST OF TEN (Sterling Teen, March 16, 2021) is her debut young adult novel.
List of Ten by Halli Gomez