Author Interview: Hope Collier

A little bit about Hope:

I am a twenty-something year-old wife of one and mom of two. I love anything to do with nature, especially trees. I form odd attachments to things like keys, watches and compasses. I buy them compulsively like Mel Gibson with The Catcher in the Rye in the movie Conspiracy Theory. Music is the biggest influence when it comes to my writing. Indie and alternative are the best. My favorite color is purple. I love flowers but hate the smell of orchids. One day, I want to write a Tim Burton-esque novel and something reminiscent of Steel Magnolias without the dying.

As far as my career, making up stories has always been a part of my life. From the time I learned how to spell, I was putting pen to paper. I started writing at the age of six and just never stopped. 

Can you tell us about your debut The Willows: Haven (The Willows, #1)?

 When tragedy strikes, seventeen year-old Ashton Blake sets out on a cross-country road trip, leaving the comforts of Malibu for the mountains of Kentucky. Along the way, she encounters Gabe Willoughby — the mysterious drifter with eyes like the sea and a knowing smile. Getting to know Gabe raises questions about her past. But no secret can be buried forever, and Ashton soon finders herself in a world where water is air and myth becomes reality.

Just as Ashton comes to accept her newfound heritage, she’s summoned to fulfill a treaty laid down centuries before — a treaty that will divide her love and test her loyalty. In the end, her future isn’t her biggest concern, her humanity is. To run may mean war, but is she strong enough to stay?

Where did you get the idea for The Willows: Haven (The Willows, #1)?

The characters told me. I know that sounds odd, but the male lead, Gabe, was the first to have a voice. As cliché as it sounds, I had a dream about these two beings who were just inherently good. They intrigued me, so I started thinking about their lives. Eventually, it turned into a story of whom they could help, how and why. After some arguing on their part and some concession on mine, we decided to let them show me what was going to happen. All in all, they have pretty good ideas ;)

I love the cover of The Willows: Haven. Who designed it and how much say did you have in the designing of the cover?

Thanks so much! My cover designer, Neil Noah, is simply a genius! I can't praise his work enough. The idea for the cover was mine. I wanted something that was not only striking but truly captured the essence of the story. Thankfully, I'm fortunate enough to work with a publisher who appreciates their authors' input and vision. Ultimately, Neil was the mastermind in design and execution. Thanks again, Neil!

How does it feel to have your novel published and out there for all to read and criticize?

This is a really tricky question. I'm so excited to share my world with others. It's such an honor that readers would want to! But like you say, this opens the author up for criticism. I don't mind criticism when it's respectful and not directed at the author vs. their work. I don't like disrespect in any form though, be it for me or others. A courteous review is simply one that is respectful regardless of the reviewer's opinions. But in the end, good review or bad, you can't let the thoughts of others change who you are.

The Willows: Haven is the first in a series. How many will there be?

At the moment, I'm planning a total of three in the series. I'm a total pantser when it comes to writing, so that could change later. I suspect it'll be three, however :)

Are you currently working on any other projects at the moment?

Yes, I am! Several actually. I'm working on the sequel to Haven as well as few others. I'll have more information on those as they progress. 

Hope's Book History

Favorite book as a child and why?

I *adored* the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series by Betty Macdonald! They were hilarious, and I loved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's way of teaching lessons. I still worry to this day that if I don't bathe enough, I'll begin to sprout seedlings from my body. ;)

Favorite book as a teenager and why?

SONG OF FIRE by Joseph Bentz. This was the first novel I ever read cover to cover in one sitting. The world in the story just impacted me like no other had at the time. It was magic.

Favorite book you have read this year and why?

I really got into The Hathaway series by Lisa Kleypas. They're definitely NOT YA, but Kleypas has this phenomenal knack for character creation. Just wow! In YA, I really liked Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.

A book that has taught you a lesson and why?

Hands down winner and my favorite book ever, THE LIGHT OF ASTERIA by Elizabeth Isaacs. No other novel has moved me personally like this one. It's a story about genuine, selfless love and heartfelt forgiveness. Not to mention the incredible characters that are so real and true to life, you forget they're not really your friends. Just an incredible story!

An author you would recommend my readers check out?

See the aforementioned author ;) Not to mention Megan Curd, author of BRIDGER and coming-soon, THE GUARDIAN CHRONICLES.  

Where to find Hope:

Twitter: @HopeCollier

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