Sunday, July 26, 2009

Becca Fitzpatrick Interview



The FNC Presents an interview with...Becca Fitzpatrick, debut author of the upcoming novel, Hush, Hush! Read on to discover more about Becca, her hot upcoming release, awkward moments in biology, sex on the first page?!, the writing process, chipmunk love and more:-)


About Becca...

Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. HUSH, HUSH is her first novel and will be released by Simon and Schuster on October 13, 2009 (this feels like a long time from now)!



About Hush, Hush...


Falling in love was never so easy . . .or so deadly.

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.



Becca, thank you so much for taking the time out to talk with us!


1. What was your creation process for Hush, Hush? Meaning, what was the original nugget that inspired the book – the character, the story? How did it develop/evolve from there?

I started writing Hush, Hush six years ago, so it's hard for me to remember how everything unfolded. I'd just finished reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and it brought up all kinds of memories from my own high school years. When I sat down to write Hush, Hush, my brain was juggling several of those memories, including a memory of sitting in tenth-grade biology and having my teacher ask me to name, in front of the entire class, characteristics I'd be attracted to in a mate. Talk about awkward! There's a very similar scene in Hush, Hush, and it was one of the first I wrote.


2. When in the process did you realize there would be more than one book? I know you have been working on the sequel, Crescendo. How did you outline the series, and did that affect the plot of the first book? And how many books will there be total?

Laughing, because I wasn't the one who decided there'd be more than one book. I wasn't thinking that far ahead – I just wanted to sell my book, dang it! So you can imagine how surprised and elated I was when my agent called to say Hush, Hush had sold...along with a sequel. My publisher, Simon & Schuster, saw a lot of potential for a series and gave me a two-book deal. I don't have the entire series planned out because I'm not sure how many books will be in the series, but I'll let you know when I do!


3. What were the most difficult and best parts of writing your first novel? How long did it take you to write from concept to outlining to completion to sending if off to agents?

Uncertainty was the most difficult part. Despite the huge amount of time and energy I was investing into Hush, Hush, I knew there was no guarantee it would ever be published. There were times when that was really hard to accept. More than once I had to take a deep breath and focus on the journey – the writing – more than the final outcome. If all Hush, Hush ever amounted to was a labor of love, a story for my eyes alone, so be it. The best part of writing Hush, Hush was spending time with characters I felt a real attachment to. I love all my characters, but Vee is probably my favorite. She never fails to make me snort (in a good way). As far as a time line, I started writing Hush, Hush in the fall of 2003, and seduced an agent into representing it just shy of five years later.


4. Can you tell us a little bit about how you created the characters of Nora and Patch?

In the early drafts of Hush, Hush, Nora was self-absorbed, selfish and sarcastic. Over the years, she evolved into an intelligent and almost cagey young woman, and I think her cageyness matches well with Patch's sexy reckless abandon. Patch, on the other hand, has changed very little from the early drafts. He was the ultimate bad boy from day one. He hasn't shed his arrogance, and probably never will. At least, I hope he doesn't! I'm often asked if Patch is based on someone I know, and here's my final answer. He's based on someone I used to know. And that's all I'm going to say about that!


5. Your opening to Hush, Hush immediately drew us in. What are your secrets to a great first five pages?

Sex. That's it. Just kidding! Both Hush, Hush and Crescendo open with Nora caught in an uncomfortable situation. As a voracious reader myself, I like to read opening pages that show a character in conflict. I love that wickedly foreboding feeling of sensing that the conflict will escalate into a full-blown crisis over the course of the book. Basically, stuff needs to be happening right away. Stuff happening is key!


6. Can you tell us a little about the creation of the play list for Hush, Hush? Did you listen to the songs as you wrote?

I can't listen to music while I write (it messes up my concentration), but I definitely plot to music. Most of my plotting takes place in the first hours of morning, when I'm out running. As I listen to my iPod, I try to envision whatever scene I plan to write later that day. Watching a scene unfold in my mind before I sit down to write helps me immensely.


7. What do you see as your greatest strength and your greatest weakness as a writer?

I'm very conscientious. I pay attention to detail. I don't send my writing to my agent or editor until I know it's the very best I can make it. My biggest weakness is my aversion to deadlines. Writers face deadlines all the time, but I often feel like deadlines conflict with my desire to send in only my best work. In a perfect world, I'd have an infinite amount of time to edit my writing (I can hear my editor laughing all the way from New York).


8. Can you briefly detail your journey to publication after finishing your first book? (Finding an agent, an editor, promoting the book, etc.)

I signed with agent Catherine Drayton in June 2008, spent the summer revising the story with her, and in September she submitted the story to several editors, Emily Meehan at Simon and Schuster among them. Emily was incredibly enthusiastic about the story, and I knew right away we were a great fit. In March 2009, I flew to New York to meet her for the first time, and while I was at dinner with her and my publisher, they agreed that the most important promotion I would ever do would be writing my next book. I've taken their advice to heart, and really focused my energy this year on making Crescendo a worthy sequel. Of course, interviews and guest blogs are a fun way to break up the intensity that comes with writing a book.


9. Which authors have inspired you the most?

Laurie Halse Anderson, Diana Gabaldon, Sandra Brown, Karen Joy Fowler, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Jane Austen.

10. What non-literary thing inspires you to write?

Just being alive inspires me to write. I've got one shot at this life, and I should fill it with the things I love. It really is as simple as that.


11. You are stranded on a deserted island for five years. What five books would you want with you?

Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, The Phantom of the Opera, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Wilderness Survival.


12. You are waiting for your first novel Hush, Hush to come out. It’s already getting SERIOUS buzz online and will debut in over 13 countries. That is amazing! What would you like to accomplish next?

I'd love to run a mile in under six minutes again.

13. Ok fess up, which of the Chipmunks are you secretly in love with? Alvin, Simon, or Theodore?

Oooh, good question. As a girl, I had a huge crush on Alvin. Anymore, I'd probably have to go with Simon. Smart is sexy!


Hehe, we hope you enjoyed the interview as much we did. For more information on Becca Fitzpatrick and Hush, Hush check out http://www.beccafitzpatrick.com/.

32 comments:

  1. great interview! so excited for Hush, Hush to come out

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  2. Hahaha! I love it! Thanks, Frankie!

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  3. Awesome interview. Becca is so enthusiastic and seems to really understand her characters. Hush, Hush is a fantastic read and I cannot wait for Crescendo.

    And if I was stranded on an island for 5 years, I would definitely be bringing Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

    Nikki

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  4. I can't wait to read Hush Hush! Very fab indeed!

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  5. It's great that she really loves the characters even if the novel would have never been published. I really can't wait to read Hush Hush!

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  6. This was an awesome interview! I'm dying to get my hands on the book!

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  7. I don't ever want Patch to shed his arrogance! I loved him! :)

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  8. I'm in agreement with Sara once more! I LOVED Patch because of his arrogance-he was so frustrating yet so alluring at the same time... loooove it! Although the one part in the book where he opened up to Nora was so touching. :)

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  9. Wow! 6 years ago! But I guess that's how long it is to make the perfect Patch? I've heard so many people fall in love with Patch!!

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  10. What a great interview and I loved her responses! She makes me want to read the book even more!

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  11. HAHA... SHe is fantastic. Funny! She does a great interview. Great questions!

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  12. Okay, now I'm sold. (Not that I wasn't already!)
    I can't wait to read this book!

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  13. Great interview! And I think it should be illegal for high school biology teachers to ask their students to name features they find attractive in potentional mates, lol.

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  14. Thanks for the great interview. I want to read the book so bad I wanna bust but it will have to wait until after Christmas..lol. Great questions and answers. I love that in a interview. Thanks!!

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  15. Patch is one of my favorite characters ever.
    And Becca is so awesome. I'm kinda becoming her fan.
    Can't wait for Crescendo.
    =]

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  16. Great interview.Makes me want to read the book more

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  17. Anyone who grew up reading Nancy Drew is cool with me! I have to read this book soon!

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  18. Great interview. Great questions. Just makes me want to read it more.

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  19. I've always wanted to read Hush, Hush! Great interview, by the way!

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  20. Great interview ! and enjoyed so much !
    I've been reading about this book all over the blogs !

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  21. So cool that she started writing Hush, Hush right after reading such an amazing book as the Outsiders.
    ANd I LOVE her response to what non-literary thing inspires her. Just being alive. . .that is awesome!

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  22. Really liked the interview and can't wait to read the book.

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  23. Great Interview.I just can't wait to lay my hands on the book.stranded on an island for 5 years ! Anne of Green Gables and Harry potter are surely on my list too !

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  24. Now i really cant wait for the next book she comes out with next year

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  25. Aww this put me back in the right frame of mind as a writer. I credit Laura Ingalls Wilder with having a huge impact on my development - not just as writer, but as a girl.

    Yay!

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  26. Love the interview. I love hearing where an authors ideas came from. And Becca is sooo sweet. Hope I get a chance to meet her on tour one day.

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  27. Great interview!! Becca is so sweet!!

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  28. This was a cute interview. I had a crush on Alvin as a kid too =)

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  29. Great interview. Hush, Hush was awesome and I can't wait to read Crescendo!

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