Tuesday 17 November 2015

Interview: Mia Hoddell

This week I'm participating in the blog tour for Not Enough by Mia Hoddell. As part of the tour, I had the opportunity to interview the author. You can also read my review of the book.

Mia Hoddell is the Amazon #1 bestselling author of books including The Seasons of Change series, False Finder, the Chequered Flag series (coming next year from Limitless Publishing) and now Not Enough. She lives in the UK with her family and two cats and writes mainly YA and NA romance.

How did you first become interested in writing?

I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been writing. I had my first poem published at the age of fourteen and after that I started to take things more seriously. I published my first novel at sixteen and since then I haven’t stopped. It was something I fell into and I realised quickly I loved it.

How do you get inspiration for your books?

I ask a lot of questions or I’m always observing things and thinking ‘what if’. There’s no exact way I get inspiration, it can come from anywhere, but the biggest thing I draw on is life. Sometimes themes hook me and I build on those, or a dream conjures an idea… anywhere something intrigues me there’s potential for ideas.

What draws you to writing romance?

I think it’s the escapism. Although there are struggles in most romantic novels, I like writing about people falling in love and getting their HEA. However, I will write in any genre as long as the idea intrigues me enough.

Tell me about Not Enough

Not Enough is a full-length standalone contemporary romance aimed at the Upper YA and NA markets. It’s an emotional novel about an introverted girl searching to find peace with who she is in a family of extroverts. The book deals with themes such as conflicting personalities, the consequences that come from society’s pressure to conform, and learning that it’s not worth changing who you are to please others.

What inspired you to write Not Enough?

I wanted to write a book introverts could relate to. Personality conflicts and not being afraid to be the real you are things I’ve always been interested in, and after speaking to many people in the book industry I found a lot of us shared similar experiences and thoughts. There's a common view in society that being an introvert is a bad thing and introverts should become more out-going. I wanted to challenge that view since not compromising who you are for the sake of others is something I strongly believe in.

What’s your writing process?

It really depends on what stage of the process I’m at. I write full-time so I tend to pick it up whenever the mood strikes me rather than have a structured day. Normally, I spend a few weeks planning and then once I’m writing I do a minimum of 3000 words a day until I’ve finished. That usually takes me a month and after that I start on edits and it goes to my betas, editors, etc.

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

Each book brings its own challenges so the hardest parts are always different. Sometimes they're emotional hurdles I need to get over, such as with Not Enough because I had to go to dark places to get inside Neve’s head. Other times they're research or character based challenges.

Which authors inspire you?

I look up to and admire all authors who started out as indies and have gone on to become traditionally published. That doesn’t mean I don’t admire others, these have just started off like me and made it work. To name a few: J.A Redmerski, Jennifer L Armentrout, Rachel Van Dyken, Colleen Hoover.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Don’t think things are going to happen overnight. Writing is a slow process and so is publishing. Take the time to develop your craft, learn about the industry, and get involved in the community. Most of all I’d say enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy what you’re writing it’ll be infinitely harder.

What’s your all-time favourite book?

Dragonfly by Julia Golding. Her books were the ones that got me hooked on reading at the age of 14, and Dragonfly is one I find myself returning to constantly. It has a little bit of everything in it.

Where’s your favourite place to write?

It changes with the seasons. In the summer I love writing outside, but in the winter I have to be curled up somewhere warm and bright.

If you weren’t a writer, what do you think you’d be doing? 

I’d like to do something creative. I also design book covers on the side so that’s probably what I’d do. I’m only 20 so I have plenty of time to change my mind.

What are you currently working on?

Back in September I signed my third contract with Limitless Publishing LLC for a new romance series called Chequered Flag. The books will be interconnected standalones that follow a group of racing drivers as they fight for love and the first book, Chameleon Soul, is releasing February 2nd 2016. I have also finished the first draft of the second book.

As well as that, on December 1st, I have a short story included in a mafia anthology titled Men of Mayhem. This is a prequel to another full-length novel I will be working on next year that will be a dark contemporary romance. It could be read as a standalone story, though.

Do you prefer e-books or traditional books?

I prefer traditional books. Nothing can beat a paperback in my opinion. I love being able to hold, bend, and see the cover and pages. However, because I also review the majority of books I read are in ebook format. My bank account also prefers ebooks.

Having used both, do you prefer self-publishing or traditional publishing? 

They both have their benefits. I’m a bit of a control freak with work so self-publishing gives me full creative control. However, I’m slowly getting used to handing control over to my publisher and it’s nice to be able to just focus on writing my books while they do all of the bits I don’t like e.g formatting. Limitless have been great at including my ideas so far so that we get a product both of us are happy with.

What are you reading at the moment? 

I finish a book nearly every other day so by the time you read this I’ll have moved by quite a few books. However, at the moment I’m reading Rip by Rachel Van Dyken.

To find out more about Mia and her work, you can visit her blog, find her on Goodreads, or like her on Facebook

Have you read any of Mia's books? Let me know in the comments below!

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