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Author Interview: P.J. Hoover & Giveaway

Thursday, June 9, 2011
Today, I'm delighted to be interviewing with P.J. Hoover, author of Solstice!

Where Mythology and Dystopia meet...

Piper’s world is dying. Global warming kills every living thing on Earth, and each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy humanity. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives with her mother who suffocates her more than the chaotic climate. When her mother is called away to meet the father Piper has been running from her entire life, Piper seizes an opportunity for freedom.

But when Piper discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed, she realizes her world is not the only one in crisis. While Gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper's life spirals into turmoil, and she struggles to find answers to secrets kept from her since birth. And though she’s drawn to her classmate Shayne, he may be more than he claims. Piper has to choose whom she can trust and how she can save the people she loves even if it means the end of everything she’s ever known.

Why did you decide to write a book centering around Greek mythology? Why Persephone?
Greek mythology because it was the first mythology I ever learned, and I think it’s also the easiest to remember. And the best known in our society. I probably had four different classes on it even before college.    

As for why the Persephone story, I think this one gets so much interest because there’s this rumor that Hades carries poor Persephone off to the Underworld unwilling, and to question that is irresistible.

What do you like the most about mythology? What are your favorite myths?
It is so cool how so many civilizations have flood stories in their mythology, and they probably all tie back to the same cataclysmic event from ages ago.

I love the story of Cupid and Psyche. I adore how the days of the week are named for the Viking gods. I have been immersed at times in Egyptian mythology. And Gilgamesh is awesome. If you wrote another book based off mythology, what pairing would you choose?
Oh, there are so many choices! I go over this in my head tons, and I still can’t decide. The hardest thing is trying to find a way to put a modern twist on whatever story is chosen.

What made you decide to write a novel for young adults after having written for younger readers?
There’s a huge appeal in writing for young adults because so many more issues can be touched on. With the middle grade market, some topics are just forbidden, and with young adult these days, it seems like anything goes! I would love to keep writing for both middle grade and young adult, and at some point, I’d like to write in the adult market, too.

Solstice takes mythology and moves it into our future, and Piper’s mom runs a greenhouse. How much research did you put into the writing of Solstice? Was there any scientific research involved?
I did some research on global warming in particular, to see the impacts it would/could have on Earth. Still so much of what will happen is theory, and anything is possible, from crazy shifts in weather to plant/animal extinction. So I took bits and pieces from the various places I researched and blended them into my own world.

What was the most fun part about editing it? The hardest?
The most fun part was when I made major changes to the manuscript and really saw how the story could change into something so much more than what it was. I’m super open to editorial feedback which is a good thing. The hardest part of editing was the number of rounds of edits I did, followed by a healthy dose of copy edits which make any author feel incompetent.

Would you like to talk a little about the sequel to Solstice? (Some teasers?)
It’s in a super early first draft stage. But I’ll give a few teasers: Crazy weather with winter approaching. All is not stable on the romance front with Piper and Shayne. And the Labyrinth is involved.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?
PJ at a B&N Signing
Awesome feedback from readers! There is nothing like it!

What is the most interesting comment you’ve gotten by a reader?
I get some really detailed questions on the world for my middle grade trilogy which starts with The Emerald Tablet. It’s set on the underwater continent of Lemuria and is filled with telepathy and telekinesis. It’s fun when kids ask me challenging questions, and I have to figure out the answers that fit in with the world as I know it.

What influenced you to publish Solstice independently?
It seemed like with dystopia and mythology, the time for Solstice was now. So my agent brought up the whole independent ebook thing as an option, and after I considered it for a while, I decided to go for it. It seemed like a fun and groundbreaking thing to try.

How do you feel ebooks will grow as a market?
Ebooks are going to be huge. I can feel it. Just seeing how my ten-year-old son has taken to reading on the Nook has made me realize our younger generation will get hooked on these ereaders. They make buying and reading so much easier.

How big a threat do you feel global warming is to us? Do you feel that the events that take place in Solstice are a possibility (divine intervention excluded)?
I go back and forth on the whole global warming thing. But one thing I really do feel strongly about is the habit of waste everyone seems to be in. Everyday we come in contact with cheap plastic toys, wasted paper…all sorts of things that are ruining Earth’s resources. If we could globally reduce that, we’d be worlds better. As for whether Solstice events are a possibility, the science gal in me says probably not.

If readers got two things out of reading Solstice, what would you like them to be?
A desire to read the sequel and a curiosity to learn more about mythology.

I’m definitely reading the sequel!!

Quickshot Questions:
a. In honor of the advent of summer vacation, what would be your ideal vacation spot?
Disney World (and I just want to note that I could answer the exact same thing for b, c, and d, also)

b. Where would your characters go on vacation?
  • Piper? Japan
  • Shayne? Wherever Piper goes

c. Cute! Where would you go if 99 degrees became the new low?
The mountains in Pennsylvania

d. Your favorite reading spot?
In bed tucked in nice and cozy

e. Which Greek god or goddess would you like to be? 

f. Solstice playlist?
This is for starters...
  • "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult
  • "Every Breath You Take" by The Police
  • "Thanks you" by Led Zeppelin

Thanks for interviewing with us! I hope that readers enjoy this as much as I have!!

Tricia's Website | Facebook | Twitter
P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. P. J. is a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek.


P.J. Hoover is giving away FIVE FULL SETS of Solstice trading cards to international winners. Each card has a secret QR code to take you to a hidden website with a fun extra.

Why trading cards?
PJH: I love the idea of trading cards. I have postcards to hand out and post everywhere, but trading cards are unique enough in the market right now that they make for a fun giveaway with teens and adults alike.

To enter...
Mandatory entry: fill out the required parts of the form below. You do not have to be a GFC Follower to enter, though it would be appreciated.

Extra Entries:
+5 Comment on the author interview with P.J. Hoover here
+5 Comment on Kris's review of Solstice
+2 Tweet about this giveaway using the tweet below

#win one of five full sets of #Solstice by @pj_hoover #tradingcards @ImaginaryReads #free #giveaway

+1 Enter our 100 Followers giveaway

Giveaway has ended. Congratulations to the winners: Panda Girl, Diana, Phanee, Janhvi Jagtapand, and Jeanne 
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9 comments on "Author Interview: P.J. Hoover & Giveaway"
  1. Great interview. I'm so excited for PJ. She's being a pioneer for the rest of us as is her agent. It's a learning experience to watch.

    I love mythology and can't wait to read Solstice, especially the global warming elements.

  2. Thank you so much for featuring me today, Kris! I loved doing this interview!

  3. @Natalie: It's a great read. I hope you enjoy it!!

    @PJ Hoover: Thanks! I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to interview you. It was a lot of fun! :)

  4. Yay for the star wars guy reading the book! Hahaha!

    Lovely interview and cute giveaway! Thank you!

  5. Love the droid reading the nook! (At least I think it's a nook...)

    I love the idea this book is based on and PJ Hoover sounds lovely! Plus she loves mythology! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway, too! I've never seen any book trading cards! :)

  6. i enjoyed the interview!
    thanks for the giveaway!!

  7. Great interview! I'm from Greece and we have grown up with mythology. I love the 3 songs of Solstice playlist.
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  8. Great interview! I'm going to buy a copy ;)

  9. Great interview. I am really loving the cover of Solstice! It's beautiful!



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