I love Shelf Awareness, because it gives me the chance to request super cool advance review copies. Which is precisely how I came upon Becca Fitzpatrick and her October 13, 2009 debut YA novel, Hush, Hush (Simon and Schuster).
From the book homepage: “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.”
Obviously, Hush, Hush sounded perfect for an ex-Twilight junkie, and I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen ARC recipients. For today, we’re going to talk about the author, Becca Fitzpatrick. Becca 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. (For more, visit the book/author homepage: http://www.beccafitzpatrick.com/index.html.)
Tomorrow, I’ll post my full review of Hush, Hush. Until then, you MUST meet Becca—a passionate, talented, young author, ready to take the publishing world by storm. (Stephanie Meyer better watch her ass…)
An H and Five Ws with YA Debut Author Becca Fitzpatrick
How did you become a writer?
The day was February 3, 2003, and the event was my twenty-fourth birthday. After a long debate between Japanese cooking lessons and an eight-week writing class, my husband decided to give me the writing class for my birthday present. I have to admit, I was hoping for the Japanese cooking lessons because A) I took one English course in college and my professor threatened to fail me, and B) I didn’t think I had a story to tell. But at the same time, I felt a scary and almost magnetic draw to the class. When I was eight years old, I watched Romancing the Stone for the first time and promptly announced to my mom that I would grow up to be a writer. Granted, I thought all writers hunted for treasure in Colombia and fell in love with a sexy, mysterious stranger a.k.a. Michael Douglas.
Who is your biggest literary influence?
Ooh, good question. I love the sense of adventure in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, but I also feel like reading Sandra Brown’s romantic suspense put me on the path to writing. I love twisty, turny, thrilling stories, and I think Sandra Brown has mastered all three.
What has been the hardest thing about being a debut author?
Not understanding everything that goes into publishing a book. Maybe that’s how it is for every debut author – maybe you have to dive in and learn as you go. I feel like I’ve learned a lot this past year as I’ve worked to get HUSH, HUSH ready for publication, but at the same time, I feel like I have quite a bit still to learn. Every debut author should get to take a crash course in publishing. What You’ve Gotten Yourself Into 101!
Where did you get the idea for Hush, Hush?
The very first inspiration for the story came from an experience in my own tenth-grade biology class. We must have been studying human reproduction, because my teacher asked me, in front of the whole class, to name characteristics I would be attracted to in a mate (I know!). I sat next to a really cute boy, and the thought of naming characteristics I might look for in a mate was a humiliation I was not about to subject myself to. I told my teacher, “pass,” and he moved on to another student, but the experience always stuck with me, and when I sat down to write HUSH, HUSH, that little piece of my history evolved into an early scene in the book.
When have you been most frustrated with the writing process?
After I sold HUSH, HUSH, I had to learn to work on a deadline. That’s been a new and, at times, very frustrating process. It’s hard to feel creative when you’re rushed. I think (hope!) I’m getting better at it, but when I sit down to write on a deadline, I can’t seem to block the ticking clock out of my mind, and I find it very distracting. In a perfect world, I could take all the time I needed to write and edit (I can hear my editor laughing all the way from New York).
WHY are you a writer?
I mentioned knowing I wanted to be a writer when I was eight years old, but I got sidetracked for several years, thinking I wanted to be a marine biologist or maybe even a spy. During that time, I wrote in my journal daily and read voraciously – the best parts of my day. Deep inside, I knew I wasn’t focusing on what I loved. When my husband registered me for the writing class, I was a horrible, melodramatic writer, but I was happy. I’ve been happy ever since.
Thanks, Becca! Like I said, the full review for Hush, Hush will go up tomorrow. Enjoy! And be sure to check out this debut novel, hitting bookshelves October 13, 2009.