Today I am super excited to announce that I am doing my first ever author interview with the amazing Janice Hardy, author of 'The Healing Wars' (you could win the first two books in the series in my Summer Reads, Fall Conclusions Giveaway!). So a huge shout-out and THANK YOU to Ms. Hardy!
Q. When did you know that you wanted to become a writer?
A. I’ve always written and told stories, but it wasn’t until high school that I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t know it was real job until then.
Q. Who is your favorite author? Why?
A. Harlan Ellison. His prose just blows me away. He uses interesting combinations of words and sentence structures, and that creates a unique voice and style. I just love the rhythm of his writing. He also has a wild imagination that makes some poignant comments about life, so they’re great stories that make you think.
Q. What was your inspiration for The Healing Wars?
A. The very first spark came after I saw the movie, X-Men (the first one). Rogue is my favorite superhero, and I wondered what would happen if someone accidentally healed people by touching them like she stole superpowers by touch. I wrote up a ten-page outline for a story about a boy who could absorb people’s pain. I quickly realized it was terrible and stuffed it in a drawer. About seven or eight years later, I was at a conference that stressed original ideas, and when I got home I pulled out my old idea file to see what I had lying around. I found that outline. It was still bad, but the idea of shifting pain stuck with me. I started thinking about the type of world where pain was bought and sold, and what kind of society would have evolved around that. Before long I had my world and came up with a girl who could heal by shifting pain from person to person. The rest developed from there.
Q. Who is your favorite character in these books?
A. That’s a tough call. Aylin is my favorite to write, because she always seems to get the best lines. Jeatar was one of my favorites overall because I knew he was hiding secrets in the first book, and it took a while before I found out what they were. He kept me guessing. And naturally, I love my protagonist Nya, because she puts up with all the trouble I throw at her. I throw a lot of trouble at her.
Q. After the publication of Darkfall how many more books can we expect to read in The Healing Wars?
A. The story wraps up with Darkfall, though I might do a short story here and there for fun. I often get asked about the original war that left Nya and Tali orphans, and I have a silly idea for a Halloween short story involving zombies. Something I’d have on the website for free.
Q. Do you follow any sort of ‘schedule’ with your writing?
A. I’m a morning person, so I like to write from 8am to noon most weekdays. If the writing is going well I might write in the afternoons as well. I take days off when I need a break, but I aim for three chapters a week. That’s about 7,500 words for me. If everything goes well, I can write a rough first draft in two to three months. Then it’s on to revisions, which can take anywhere from three months to a year depending on the book.
Q. Are you working on any other projects?
A. Right now I’m working on a new YA fantasy set in a different world from The Healing Wars. It’s about a deep cover spy who gets caught between love and loyalty when a political assassination exposes her true identify. I’m having a great time with it. I’m trying some new things writing-wise and it’s been fun to stretch myself creatively.
Q. What advice would you give to young aspiring writers?
A. Read as much as you can and write as much as you can. Writing is a skill like any other, and the best way to improve is to study books you love and practice what you learn from them.
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In other related news, I am not only doing my first ever author interview, but today I am launching my first ever book giveaway! there will be two packages, one of which being the first two books in 'The Healing Wars' the second of which being the first two books in the 'Leviathan Trilogy' by Scott Westerfeld! click the button to sign up!!!
I am sorry, but this giveaway is now over. Thank you to all who participated!