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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Author! Author! Interview with: Larissa Hinton

Hi everyone and thank you for taking the time to check out Breath of Life Reviews. I'd like to welcome you to my very first author interview! Please welcome Larissa Hinton! 
About Larissa: 
The young adult fantasy and paranormal romance author, Larissa Hinton, grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Chesapeake, Virginia. She now lives in northern Virginia, but she always looks forward to going back to the sweet smell of the salty ocean.

Larissa has always loved writing since the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. After many years of writing whimsical tales of romance and fantasy, she is now proud to be a self-published author. When she's not writing, she's teaching English at a local middle school.

When seen out of the classroom, Larissa is shopping for the next great Wii game, searching for undiscovered treasure (a.k.a. sparkly jewelry) and plucking some fresh fruits (or vegetables, dependent on the year) out of her small garden.

Larissa Hinton is currently author of Everblossom: A Short Story and poetry Anthology. However, be on the lookout for Angel Diaries (a paranormal romance) and Everblossom 2: A Second Anthology of Short Stories and Poems!
If you want to know more about this author and her sarcasm, then check out her blog (http:/teacherwritebookaholicohmy.blogspot.com/) and click on FAQs.
Larissa was kind enough to offer an interview so that you all might get the chance to know her a little bit. Read on and enjoy!

Adria: I love writing myself though I tend to jump from story idea to story idea and thus have never finished a story, short or long. How hard is it, if at all, to stay focused enough on a story to complete it?

Larissa: Very difficult. I tend to jump around as well. The key I think is to stay focused for one day and to take it one day at a time. Today, for instance, I strictly focused on my next collection of short stories and poetry, Everblossom 2. However, yesterday I focused on editing my next YA novel, Angel Diaries.

Adria: Have you ever received a piece of advice about your writing/ideas that you ignored and it turned out for the best?

Larissa: The one piece of advice I am very happy I ignored was actually given to me by an editor. He suggested that my book, Angel Diaries, was purely a young adult romance novel and suggested that I took out all of the paranormal elements and stick with the romance line part of the story which blew my mind.
A lot of the readers who fell in love (and became addicted) to Angel Diaries said just the opposite. They loved the paranormal elements, but the romance needed a lot of work.

So at the time, I decided to a really harsh look at my book and figured it out: The paranormal parts happened WAY too late in the novel (which explained why the editor might think the romance is the main part of the book since that happened first). So I bumped up the paranormal elements with a hint of foreshadowing then delved into the romance part more. If people didn't like Phillip, didn't believe that he was, at heart, a good guy, then the whole story falls apart. Therefore, I needed to delve deeper into who Phillip was and make sure that Phillip and Lindsey's relationship was more then just a hate love relationship.

Anyway, long story short, I flipped the comment on its head: Why would the editor think the romance part is the main part of the story? Once I figured out the problem, I knew which direction I needed to go. In the end, my book is stronger and better then ever.

Adria: Do you carry around a recorder or pen and paper with you in case an idea pops up in your mind and you're not at home?

Larissa: Absolutely! I hate having an idea pop in my head and not have something to write with so I carry as much paper and pens (which I have in my bedroom as well, just in case) as I need. Plus some.

Adria: In your opinion, what's the most important thing a writer needs to succeed?
Larissa: A hunger for understanding. I really think that when a writer becomes hungry to understand society around us they can really write a beautiful story with a depth that sweeps a reader away. And when the writer writes a deep story with heart and soul, it has the potential to become successful and henceforth, can lead a writer to the golden gates of success. 

Adria: Would you consider writing in another genre such as Contemporary, Mystery or Women's Fiction?
Larissa: I actually already have (actually each of the genre you've mentioned). It's one of the many books that are on my flash drive that I plan to self-publish eventually. 

Adria: Favorite romance authors/books?
Larissa: Top three: Nora Roberts, Julia Quinn, and Jude Devereaux

Adria: What would people be surprised to find on your bookshelf?
Larissa: A grand mixture of boy mayhem and tom-boy foolery which equals poetry by Shel Silverstein, Time Warp Trio Series, and The Knife of Never Letting Go Series.

Adria: Do you have a writing music playlist?
Larissa: I literally can't focus when music plays so I don't have a playlist. The closest I've come is playing movies that I've seen a million times so I don't pay attention to (like The Mummy, Zorro and High School Musical). However, I haven't listened to movies while writing for a long time.

Adria: Because you're an English teacher, particularly a middle school English teacher, how important is it to you to encourage young minds to be creative?

Larissa: It is very important to me. Most writers discover in middle school that they want to be writers. I know that I discovered I wanted to be a writer in middle school in 7th grade. Therefore, I view it not only as my job but as my duty and an honor to encourage my students to write creatively and to think creatively. 
Thank you Larissa! I appreciate you giving me the chance to interview you! Everyone, be sure to check out Larissa Hinton's Everblossom and be on the look out for Angel Diaries soon!
Here is a bit more info on Everblossom: A Short Story and Poetry Anthology provided by Larissa herself!
An anthology that will quench your thirst for more than the ordinary.

Everblossom is a journey through poems and short stories that may seem ordinary on the surface but dig a little deeper and the world not only shifts . . . It changes.

The author who brought you Iwishacana/Acanawishi, now brings you a dash of everything from dark fantasy to the paranormal to romance. So prepare yourself to delve into the three stages of the flower from bud to blossom then back to seed; you'll go through them all with a whole new perspective on what it all truly means.

And a rough blurb of Larissa's next book, Angel Diaries:
Lindsey's life couldn't have been any more ordinary. So, she had two guys fighting over her, a psychic friend and a school dominated by Goths but, other than that, life was good. 
That is until horrible nightmare start about her mother being ripped apart by a monster changed her life from the inside out. Literally. Her whole world was full of lies. 
She's not even human. She's an Angel.
 Purchase Everblossom: A Short Story and Poetry Anthology by Larissa Hinton

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