I am pleased to announce the arrival of another tenner. Please help me welcome Rachel Hawkins, whose debut novel HEX HALL hits shelves TODAY!
1. Please tell us about your inspiration for Hex Hall.
RH: There were a lot of things that went into making up Hex Hall! For one thing, I’ve always been a big fan of scary stories (especially ones featuring big, spooky houses!) I was also teaching high school English when I started Hex Hall, so I knew I wanted to write for teens. Add in my near-obsession with boarding schools, and bam! A book was created!
2. A strong heroine makes a good story. How would you describe Sophie?
RH: Sophie is very much a regular girl trying to figure things out in a crazy world. She’s resilient and more than a little snarky, but she’s also pretty vulnerable and unsure of herself. My biggest goal was to make her relatable, and I hope I’ve succeeded!
3. Hex Hall contains a variety of paranormal creatures including witches, fae, shape shifters, and even a vampire. How far does your personal belief in the paranormal go?
RH: Well, I’m not so sure if I believe in vampires or shapeshifters (although I HAVE seen some really hairy dudes, and…you know what, let’s not go there.) But as far as ghosts go, I am such a big believer. Unfortunately, so is my husband, so whenever something goes bump in the night, we’re both hissing at each other, “You go check it out! No, YOU! I AM NOT GETTING KILLED BY A GHOST! I SAW PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, DARNIT!”
4. For you, what is the hardest part of the writing process?
RH: Just making myself sit down and do it, haha! There are times when the story is flowing, and I’m in the zone, and oh, how glorious life is! It’s making myself keep going even when it feels like pulling teeth that’s the challenge!
5. Where there any particular musical artists that influenced you while writing Hex Hall?
RH: No particular artists, but there are certain songs that will always be on the “Hex Hall Soundtrack” for me! I listened to Gang of Four’s “Natural Is Not In It,” on repeat for whenever I was writing scenes about the school, as well as Fiona Apple’s version of “Sally’s Song” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Travis’s “Luv” will ALWAYS be the love theme of the whole series, and I also listened to LOTS of classical music. As you can see, music was a big part of Hex Hall!
6. Are you working on any other projects you would like to share with us?
RH: Well, I just finished the second book in the Hex Hall series, and I have the third one to work on this summer. I’ve also written a book about a debutante who finds herself recruited into a secret fraternity of super-powered bodyguards, as well as a book that I’m calling MY GIRL meets BLADERUNNER (I is really a wonder my agent still takes my phone calls.)
7, So if you were a witch with powerful magic, what would you do with it?
RH: So many things! First off, I’d cast a spell on my son so that he’d never, ever get hurt because I am That Kind Of Mom. Then I’d probably do a charm on myself that made writing ALWAYS feel lovely and easy. Unending wealth would probably rock, too. ;-)
8. Lastly, what is your favorite way to unwind after a hard day of writing? Any guilty pleasures?
RH: I am ADDICTED to trashy celebrity gossip websites. It is a sickness, and I cannot stop! So that’s one of my favorite ways to reward myself after a long day of writing! I also love, love, LOVE TV shows about teens. Gossip Girl, 10 Things I Hate About You…these shows will always have a permanent place in my heart and on my DVR!
Rachel, thank you so much for taking time out to visit with us. Congratulations on your release and those to come!