Saturday, November 12, 2011
Book Review and Interview with Larissa Hinton
Today I am welcoming Larissa Hinton (Yeah, we have the same name, how awesome is that?) On my blog. I reviewed her book, Everblossom, and she was kind enough to allow me to interview her.
Title: Everblossom: A Short Story and Poetry Anthology
Author: Larissa M. Hinton
Author Blog: A Three Way Tie
Page Count: 70
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
* This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
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.
When Larissa Hinton first emailed asking me to review Everblossom the description intrigued me immediately. I was really fond of the supernatural elements of many of the short stories and the vignette-esque style they were written in. The brevity of the passages makes it an extremely quick read.
The deliberate arrangements of the words of the poems were compelling as well. Whenever I read free verse, seeing the way the words are spread out on the page and the rhythm their position evokes can be as potent as the word choice.
I really enjoyed this anthology for its uniqueness and honesty. Each section makes you think, whether the writer addresses a topic directly or uses fantasy as a vessel.
Reviewing poetry is difficult for me because in my mind there are no “bad” poems. You can disagree with poems or hate them even (neither of which was true for me in this book) but as long as the author is speaking their truth and being honest in their writing, I do not think there can be “bad” poetry. With the short stories though, there were a few typos and tense inconsistencies that were a bit distracting. They were not enough to decrease my enjoyment of the anthology however.
I would recommend fans of anthologies, poetry and short stories, fantasy, and fans of Larissa Hinton’s, should definitely check it out! I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under the age of 13 though, since there are some themes that are best for slightly older readers.
Q. When did you first start writing?
I started writing at the ripe age of 12. At first, I wrote poems because of my lovely English teacher decided that we should write poems and from then on, I fell in love with poetry. The writing bug really bit me a year later when the movie of Nickelodeon movie, Clock Stoppers came out. I thought the movie was going to be horrible, so I decided that I would write a novel that would be better than the movie. Needless to say, my book wasn't as good as the move but I didn't care. I love writing and nothing else mattered. Thus my obsession with writing begun.
Q. Who is your favorite author? Why?
Now that's a tough question! I have to say, lately, that I have fallen in love with Andrea Cremer. I love the way she has recreated the werewolf myth and how she merged it with the vampire myth. It makes total since and I can't wait to read her next book, Blood Rose.
Q. What/Who has the biggest impact on your writing?
The biggest impact on my writing was my personal life. An event changed my life and my writing forever. When I wrote Angel Diaries, it was a completely different story then I normally wrote. It was dark, dreary, and something that was just so authentically me. And I loved it and so did my beta readers. They ate it up and I knew I had a bestseller on my hands. I actually got a trad pub contract on it, but I refused since they were not open for negotiations among some other reasons. But from then on, I knew I had it in me to write incredible stories and I haven't stopped writing since.
Q. What was your inspiration to put together this anthology?
Funny enough, there wasn't any inspiration at all! I know, such a bad answer for a writer, but I am telling the truth. You see, I was taking a Creative Writing class and for the first time ever, I had to write short stories. Before this point in my life, I never wrote a short story but I found something funny about it: I loved it. I was able to delve into the characters I loved, create new stories that would inspire bigger ideas, and it was a way to play with the inner thoughts that floated my mind. Even at one point, my professor told me that all of my novel ideas were really short stories. Granted, at that time, I did not appreciate him saying that, but some of my ideas were short stories. I just never knew it.
The poems in the anthology however, were inspired by mostly my personal life. And other times, by the urge to write it down. I don't think I could fully explain it properly, but when an idea hits me, it's like lightening and I'm alert and aware that a poem is in me that needs to be written. I've literally tried to go asleep with that feeling, but I couldn't. I had to write it down into poetic form. It doesn't happen so often (like once or twice a month) but when it happens, I have to write that poem down or I can't think straight.
Oh, and one of the poems, In Death You Speak, it was inspired by boredom in class. I was sitting in one of the English Literature classes listening to them drone on and on about something, so I wrote a poem instead of listening. ☺ I know. I'm horrible. A-soon-to-be English teacher not paying attention in an English classroom? Shocker.
Q. What books of yours should we be looking out for release next?
The next book I'm currently editing that you should look for is Iwishacana/Acanawishi.
Where rules are meant to be broken
Anissa is constantly on the run from the police and can't seem to stay out of trouble.
Secrets are meant to be kept
Until Anissa hides Florence in her bedroom and her mother finds out. There's only one thing left to do: Send her to Juvenile Cop Camp to erase all of her crimes on her record.
And everything is not what it seems
There's only one problem: Anissa is innocent.
Welcome to Iwishacana.
I am hoping to have this book released before Christmas. So be for the look for it! In the mean time, you can check out the history of this lovely wishland in Everblossom!
Q. Are you a plotter or a panster?
I have to say I'm a plotter. I like to plan everything in the book before I set off and write it. And usually, for me, this takes years to do. It took me a year to plot out Angel Diaries and at the very last minute I changed the ending. Which doesn't happen very often. I knew the ending for Everblossom: A Short Story and Poetry Anthology. As soon as I wrote it, I knew it felt right to have that as the ending story and I knew the right poem to match the overall tone of the story. I added an extra ending to Iwishacana/Acanawishi because it felt right to add that after I changed the plot in the series, therefore, I had to make it reconnect to the other books. Anyway, for the most part, I like to have the basics plotted out in my story and make up the rest on my own. I let the characters tell me what to write next and how it should play out.
Q. What is the most difficult thing about being a writer?
The hard part about writing is putting your idea on paper and making it come across right. Especially for a novel. It's a long journey from the first page until the last and to make sure it's projecting the idea from cover to cover from word to word is the most difficult part. As a writer, you have to be consistent, persistent, and have excellent time management to be able to complete a novel with style, grace and be sane. Seriously. Ask some writers if they haven't pulled their hair out over a story that just wouldn't translate from their brain onto the paper right. Ah, the makings of a novel.
Q. What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
I know for me, the most rewarding thing about being a writer is getting back reviews from people who have bought and loved your book. And understood your ideas! I was really wondering about the poems I wrote called WSV (Words Speak Volumes). For the longest time I debated about publishing them in the first place since all they were was words written down a page telling a story in an odd way. I thought that maybe people just wouldn't get it. It warmed my heart that not only did people understand my poems, they loved them! I couldn't be more thrilled since my poems have never been out to see daylight (yes, I get the Emily Dickinson irony there)! Therefore, I'm always glad to receive somewhat of fan mail on how my writing has made people think in a whole new way once they read Everblossom: A Short Story and Poetry Anthology.
Buy This Book!