Hullo, hullo, dear readers! Once again, we have another author interview! Today’s author is Hope Bolinger, who is the author of Blaze (read the review here) and her upcoming release, Den. She is also a playwright and agent at Cyle Young Agency.
What (or who) inspired you to start writing?
So technically I’ve been writing since I could pick up a pen, but I never considered it possible to write novels. That is, until a friend in high school wrote novels. I wanted to be cool like them, so I decided to give it a try. The rest is history.
There’s nothing quite like wanting to be cool to motivate a person to try something new!
What has been the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Oooh, tough question. Because the list increases each time I write a book. I think, because I’ve written 20-somethng books, that I’ve picked up on what you can and can’t do, technically. There are certain rules that you have to abide by, no matter how rule-breaking the genre or concept. So I usually have to fight that internal editor when I write the first draft, and remind myself I can always fix it later.
Interesting! Turning off that inner editor is always hard.
If you were a character in a book, how would you be described?
LOL depends on who is describing me. I imagine someone would mention I’m tall, often wear a rose clip and some eccentric outfit like a tutu matched with a leather jacket.
Hey, that would certainly make you stand out as a character!
Speaking of characters, do you have a favorite character you’ve created?
I do! Two actually, but one hasn’t been published yet, so I’ll talk about the one who has. I love Hannah (from Blaze). She’s basically Tumblr and Hot Topic met had a Christian baby. She’s perfectly morbid and frank, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Ooh, I like her too! She was an amazing character! That’s the most perfect way to describe her.
How do you come up with your story ideas?
Besides thinking, “What’s the worse possible scenario I can throw some characters into?” My ideas usually are what if scenarios. What if the book of Daniel was modernized? What if superheroes paired with their nemeses on a Tinder-like app? That sort of thing.
That’s a great way of coming up with stories! I can see a lot of swiping left happening in a superhero’s future…
Who (or what) was your biggest influence while writing Blaze?
Glad you asked! It is a modern-day book of Daniel (divided into three parts, three books). So it came from an Old Testament class in college. My professor had mentioned that Daniel and his friends would’ve been teens when they were taken into captivity. That shook me. I always thought they were much older. So I wanted to see what a bunch of teens thrust into a new environment now looked like.
That’s some amazing inspiration! It’s always interesting finding out new things about people from the Bible.
What was the hardest and/or most fun thing about writing Blaze?
Oh boy. Where to begin? I was working somewhere between 5-7 jobs that summer, taking summer classes, witnessing the beginning of my parent’s divorce (that concluded six months later), being the maid of honor for my sister’s wedding, and battling suicidal depression. Nothing quite like that combination of events says, “Hey, let’s write a book in 45 days.” An lo, that is what happened. Most of it was in a delirium, so that could explain some of the outcomes of the book.
Oh, wow! That’s a lot to go through at once. I can’t imagine how stressful that all had to be.
What can you tell us about your next writing project?
Well, it’s tricky because there are eight books currently in front of publishers, but I can tell you about two books coming out in July “Den” (Illuminate YA) and in September “Dear Hero” (INtense Publications). Den is the sequel to Blaze, where we tackle what the lion’s den (Daniel 4-6) looks like now.
Dear Hero follows a superhero and a villain on a Tinder-like app that pairs nemeses. They fight, but they don’t expect to fall in love.
Ooh, can’t wait for Den to release! And Dear Hero sounds like a whole lot of fun!
Do you have any advice for others wishing to publish?
So much could go in here, but my best advice is know that the process will take a lot longer than you expect. I hit the ground running at sixteen and got my first book published at twenty-two. And that was six years of hustle. Know that although it takes time, it is worth it. Keep writing. People need to hear what you have to say.
That’s some good advice! I’ve been writing seriously since I was eleven and I’m an adult now, so things really do take time.
Thank you so much, Hope, for joining us and answering our questions! It was a pleasure getting to know you!
If you, dear reader, would like to know more about Hope’s books you can visit her website at www.hopebolinger.com to learn more! I hope you all enjoyed the Q&A as much as I did!