Friday, July 19, 2013

2013 Summer Author Blitz Tour! P.J. Hoover Interview

Welcome to my stop on the SUMMER AUTHOR BLITZ TOUR!! Today I have an interview with P.J. Hoover, author of SOLSTICE, which I reviewed yesterday and would love to see a sequel. :)  Enjoy!

Thank you so much for joining us, P.J.!

Let’s begin with a little about you…
You are a new published author. Have you always been a writer or is this a new career for you?

First, thank you so much for featuring me! I’m so happy to be here! So I actually started writing books for kids in 2004. Though Solstice is my debut young adult novel, it isn’t my first published book. I am also the author of a middle grade trilogy, The Forgotten Worlds books, which starts with The Emerald Tablet. It’s a story about five kids who have telepathic and telekinetic powers and live on a continent under the Pacific Ocean.

As for whether this is a new career, before I started writing, I was an electrical engineer for fifteen years. I designed computer chips for a living for things like cell phones and Kindle eReaders. I was always the kid who was good at math and science growing up, so writing as a career is definitely a change for me.

Why did you choose to write for children and teens?

For kids, so many things are happening for the first time ever, and I love the excitement and sense of immediacy that comes from this. Everything is an adventure, and as a writer, emotions are so much fun to experience all over again. At some point in the future, I would love to publish books for adults also, but in the meantime, I’m having a blast writing for kids and teens.

Which writers or books inspire you to be a better writer?

One of the main reasons I started writing was because of J. R. R. Tolkien. The world of Middle Earth he created was amazing. It had its own mythologies, such a varied cast of species, and dangerous circumstances that had the power to change the world. Whenever I want to sink back into the joy of reading, I pick up The Hobbit and fall in love all over again.

Speaking of other authors, tell us about the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels organization.

Thanks for asking! I’m part of a group of seven amazing author and illustrators from here in Austin, Texas. We formed the group initially as a marketing team, but it has turned into so much more. These are the people I can count on when I am in need of emotional support, critique help, or really anything else related to the book world. I’m thrilled to be a member of the group! Besides me, the members of the group are Jessica Lee Anderson, Jo Whittemore, K. A. Holt, Don Tate, Emma Virjan, and Jeanette Larson. We write books for kids of all ages, and love doing group events. Please look for us next time you’re at a library conference. We love meeting new people and sharing our love for books! You can check out our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter at

Moving on to your new release for teens…
Solstice is such a unique concept that ropes us in as a dystopian and then morphs into a Greek mythology fantasy. What inspired you to put the two together?

Thank you! I started out wanting to write a story heavy in mythology, so I started brainstorming. I didn’t really want to write a myth retelling. More, I wanted to write a “what happens next after the myth.” As the ideas for the story came together, the dystopian world pretty much fell into place. I felt like it was the right combination for Solstice and am thrilled with how it all came together.

Was there something about Hades and Persephone that drew you to their story for your main characters?

I’ve always enjoyed exploring the myths with that “what if” attitude. What if Hades wasn’t really such a bad guy after all? What if Persephone wasn’t kidnapped but went of her own free will? Asking these “what if” questions and opening my mind for the answers is really what drew me to their story.

Are you writing a sequel? If so, will we see more of Piper’s famous dad, because he’s fabulous, by the way! I loved him from the beginning.

Thank you! You know I based the character for Piper’s dad on Sting (at least a younger version of him). LOL. Anyway, right now there are no active plans for a sequel. That said, I have lots of ideas in my head and would certainly explore the possibility for more of Piper’s story in the future. I’d love to see what happens to the earth now that Piper has relocated. :)

Can you give us a sneak peek at what teen books you have up your sleeve next?

My next book comes out Fall 2014. It’s called Tut: My Life as an Immortal 8th Grader, and it’s aimed more at the Percy Jackson crowd. It’s about King Tut who’s fourteen, immortal, and living in Washington DC with his one eyed cat, Horus. The dorky kid from school wants to be his best friend, a new girl shows up who knows way too much about Tut. On top of that, Tut’s crazy uncle from 3000 years ago resurfaces and wants revenge. It’s probably my favorite book I’ve written so far, and I’m really looking forward to it coming out!

Finally, one last curiosity for me and our readers – how did you master solving the Rubik’s Cube in under 2 minutes?

LOL! Practice. It’s actually not that hard, and it’s a really fun thing to do when taking a break from the writing. Also it makes for a nice party trick. I recommend it to everyone!

Thank you so much for your time!! We’ll be following you for your next release.

Thank you so much for having me here! I hope you have a wonderful summer with some amazing books to read!

A little more about P.J.
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. 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. Her first novel for teens, Solstice (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013), takes place in a global warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade novel, Tut (Tor Children's, 2014), tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat. For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website

Continue to follow the tour by going to the Books & Broomsticks blog HERE.


*Please join us on Twitter tonight (July 19) at 7PM for the 2013 Summer Author Blitz Twitter Party! #2013SummerAuthorBlitz

*And also the Facebook event on July 26 at 3PM!

*This event also includes a SCAVENGER HUNT! Make sure to find as many clues as you can in order to win even more prizes!