Thursday, September 03, 2009

Author Interview: Mary Hoffman

To help me celebrate my blogoversary, I've invited some help from some great authors. So first off, I'm pleased to host one of my favorite authors Mary Hoffman, author of the Stravaganza series and the newly released Troubadour. So without further ado, here's my interview with Mary (my questions are in bold).

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Being my own boss. I run the writing as a business, with one overworked and overstretched employee - me! But she has a very understanding boss so that if I as worker ask me as employer for a day off the answer is always yes.

Do you think your writing style has changed over the years?

Not really. What has changed is the kind of books I write (see below). I think I've got better at the macro-level of planning and the even more macro (if you can say that) of managing my career and raising my profile, But how much influence this has at the micro-level of which word to choose, I can't say.

You’ve written such a wide variety of books from picture books, to the Stravaganza series, to several stand alone novels. Do you have a book or series that was/is your favorite to work on?

I love writing the Stravaganza novels and there is so much potential there for more. When you create a very detailed and complex world you can keep going back and digging into it for more.

The Stravaganza books are my favorite too. :) What’s your best writer experience?

When the writing is going really well (usually the last third of a book) and everything is coming together and all the set-ups have pay-offs and a very complex plot is beginning to twist and plait itself under your fingers to a satisfying whole - that's the best - like flying. But it's also very rewarding to get an appreciative and intelligent letter or e-mail from a fan - or a good review. Cheques are nice too.

It’s kind of a tradition for me to ask about pets. So can you tell us more about your cats?

I have currently three Burmese cats, aged four. They are not related but we got them all within a week in July 2005, four and a half months after our last Burmese had died, leaving us catless for the first time for thirty years. They are Lonza, a chocolate female; Lila, a lilac tortie female and Lorenzo, a blue male. Lonza is skittish to the point of craziness but also very loving and maternal; she is the only one who washes us. She is very beautiful and has a wide range of vocalisations, some more like a duck than a cat! Lila is very pretty and very naughty. She has a tiny miaow except when she is bringing us one of her toy spiders or when a closed door is between her and my husband, whose cat she is, when she sounds like a soul in torment. Lorenzo is a magnificent panther-like creature who loves the great outdoors and who has a very loud voice, mainly made up of mournful vowels. He always purrs if picked up.

I'm a sucker for a purring cat. As I mentioned before the Stravaganza series is my favorite, so I have to ask. Any hints about City of Ships you can give us?

I've just finished copy-editing this. My editor says it's her favourite. The Stravagante from our world is Isabel who has a twin brother, Charlie. She goes to Classe (= Ravenna) and gets mixed up in a coming war. There is a dashing pirate, lots of mosaics, some Luciano and Arianna action, a sea-battle, a break-up and a getting-together, some scenes in Elizabethan England .... Is that enough for you?

Yeah, that was a great preview. That one's going on my wish list right now! I'm all for a little pirate action. What is the one question no one ever asks you but you wish they would?

Would you like to have dinner with me? My guests are Rufus Sewell and Alan Rickman and I'm expecting Stuart Townsend to drop in. They are all huge fans of Stravaganza and want parts in any future possible film!

Thank you so much Mary! Can't wait to read the new book!

If you'd like to have a little more fun with Mary Hoffman, check out this quiz on her website.

Mary Hoffman lives in the UK, has had over 90 books published, is a total Italophile, has three grown-up daughters, three Burmese cats, and one husband. She's also completely in love with new technology and the blogosphere. You can find her on Twitter as @MARYMHOFFMAN


Amanda said...

Awwwh those kitties are so cute.

I just love reading Author interviews.

Alyssa said...

Glad to hear that Amanda! You're going to be seeing a lot this month. :)

Pam said...

I've never heard of these books before but I'm intrigued after this interview, Thanks!

WordVore Prod said...

The cats are REALLY cute!
And this was a very well done author interview--fun to read yet informative. Keep it up, Alyssa:)

Ladytink_534 said...

Gorgeous cats! Also, great interview :)