I was asked to participate in the Shadow Hills Blog Tour and I’m really excited to be part of it! I absolutely LOVED Shadow Hills and can’t wait to re-read it. If you haven’t read my review of it yet, you can find it HERE. For the blog tour, I was able to ask Ms. Hopcus a few questions. 🙂 So, here are her answers and I hope everyone enjoys learning more about her and her writing!
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I don’t know that I ever made a conscious decision to be a writer. I’ve written stories in one form or another ever since I was a kid. I love to think of stories, and I’ve always enjoyed sharing them with others. I can remember telling ghost stories all the way down to the Big Bend area of Texas on a school trip (about a seven hour ride), and by the time we got there, all the students were scared to get out of the van and put up their tents. When I was a teen-ager, I wanted to write movies. (I love movies and TV, too.) I kind of drifted from there into acting, though, and it wasn’t until a few years later that I realized that what I really wanted to do was write books.
How do you think your writing has grown over the years?
Probably the biggest areas where I’ve grown as a writer have been in structure and plot. I had lots of ideas, but I struggled with getting them organized and making them all fit together into a coherent story. I love intricate back-stories, but I can make things too complex. I’ve had to learn to simplify sometimes instead of expanding.
What has been your favorite part about being an author?
Oh, there are lots of things that are awesome—making my own schedule, sitting at home working in my pj’s, spending hours looking up information on the internet and in books. So much about writing is enjoyable that it makes those moments when you want to bang your head against the wall all worthwhile. One of the very best things, which I did not expect, was getting to meet so many book bloggers and become friends with them. That has been a real bonus.
Shadow Hills is rich with history and mythology. What kind of research did you do for it?
I researched a lot of very different things. I went to Massachusetts and spent some time driving around. It’s just beautiful and very different from L.A. and Austin, the places I’ve lived before. I looked at some strange New Age and magic websites on the internet, but I also had to wade through scientific articles and books on the brain and the nervous system and genetics. I really wanted to ground the townspeople’s abilities as much as I could in science. I even had to dig into history, which has never been one of my favorite subjects, but I found that when I was looking into stuff that I was interested in, it could be pretty fascinating. The Black Plague was a particular interest of mine.
What can you tell us about the direction the story/characters will take in the possible sequels?
Well, I can’t yet promise a sequel yet, but if there is one, I think Phe and Zach are going to move forward in their relationship; they need to get to know one another better, and they’ll have to work through some issues. Brody, of course, will be adjusting to his new circumstances, and there just might be some interesting developments regarding him and Adriana. I think all of them will grow and change, especially Adriana. I think we’ll get a closer look at their families, too—including Phe’s. And, of course, Phe will doubtless find herself investigating something new, but this time there may be more people at risk.
*A big thank you to Goodman Media for inviting me to participate in the tour!*
For more information on Shadow Hills and Anastasia Hopcus, please visit:
(author image taken from Ms. Hopcus’ official website)