Welcome to Ink & Angst’s first author interview. We’re thrilled to open our regular monthly feature with author Jill Hathaway!
From Jill’s website: Jill was born and raised in Iowa. As a child, she loved paper dolls, Archie comics, and writing. In her adolescent years, she wrote emo poetry and produced paper zines that she sold for $1 in local comic book and record stores.
Having earned her BA in English from the University of Northern Iowa and her MA in Literature from Iowa State University, she now teaches high school and community college courses in the Des Moines area. She lives with her husband and young daughter.
Jill spends her free time collecting cool gear for her blood elf paladin, watching Veronica Mars, and listening to angry grrl music.
SLIDE, her debut novel, will be released from Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins in 2012.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Ah, I remember it well. I was in the second grade and wrote a story about a disgruntled ball of belly button lint named Fuzz. After that, I knew I was meant to write the Great American Novel. Haha, just kidding. It’s just a thing I’ve always liked to do, and I feel beyond privileged to get paid for it now.
What kinds of books did you read when you were a young adult?
You know how they say kids read up? Well, I read a lot of R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike when I was in middle school. By the time I was ACTUALLY a young adult, I was more into Stephen King and Clive Barker.
If you had walk-on music (a song that plays when you enter a room), what would it be? Why?
What an awesome question! *thinks*
Maybe “Everything is Everything” by Lauryn Hill? So inspiring. Watch the music video here!
What authors have influenced your writing the most?
Someone on Twitter recently said that SLIDE reminded them of the old Christopher Pike and Fear Street books, which would definitely make sense, since that’s what I was reading during my formative years. I was really flattered by that comment.
What was the last book you read?
INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows. It was AWESOME!
Let’s hear a little bit about SLIDE. From Jill’s website:
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.
How was the idea for SLIDE born?
I was about to write a novel along with my creative writing kids, so I was bouncing ideas off of a colleague. I wanted a character who’d be able to peek into other people’s lives.
Was high school as dramatic for you as it is for Vee?
Ah, no. Vee has to find a killer before another cheerleader turns up dead. I was more dealing with boy drama.
What do you hope your readers feel after reading SLIDE?
I just hope they think to themselves, “Phew! What a ride!”
What drew you to the thriller genre?
Probably those Christopher Pike and Fear Street books I read when I was young.
On your journey to publication, what motivated you to keep going?
When I saw a lot of my blogger friends landing agents and getting awesome three-book-deals, I felt inspired rather than jealous. (Well, okay. Maybe there was a leeeeeeeetle envy.) It showed me what was possible.
Was there anything about the publishing process that surprised you?
I guess what everybody says–how slow publishing is. Though I’d read enough blogs that I should have expected that.
If you had to describe your agent (Sarah Davies) in three words, what would they be?
Perfect. Every. Way. She is my Mary Poppins.
Where do you hope to be in five years, in your career?
I just hope I’m still writing and publishing.
What is your favorite word?
Thank you again, Jill, for spending time with us! Remember, Jill’s novel SLIDE will be released in 2012!