1. Is there a specific time or place that you do your best writing in?
Most of my writing happens at night, after my kids go to bed, but my son recently started preschool, which gives me an extra five hours during the week...and in the morning! I love it! I feel like my brain is a little sharper at 10am compared to 8pm.
2. Who were your favourite authors as a teenager? Are they different to your current favourites?
Early in my teens, I read a ton of R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. Back then, the YA section was filled with horror paperbacks. I was also a big Sweet Valley High junkie. By the time I hit sixteen, I was reading classics. I fell hard for Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables. As an older teen, I read John Grisham. My favourite authors today are Jane Austen, Diana Gabaldon, Emily Bronte, Sandra Brown, L.M. Montgomery, and J.K. Rowling, so yes – I'd definitely say some of my favourite authors as a teen are still favourites today.
3. If you were only allowed to take three books to a desert island, what would they be?
Trick question – one of my three has to be Wilderness Survival, right? Okay, I'm going to pretend Wilderness Survival comes with the whole deserted-island-package, and say, The Complete Works of Jane Austen (technically it is one book), The Phantom of the Opera, and my own journal.
4. What inspired you to write 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 basically said “pass” and my teacher moved on to someone else. 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.
5. How does it feel for Hush, Hush to be one of the most anticipated books of the year?
Oh man, I don't even know what to say! I never could have anticipated all the support behind Hush, Hush – my publisher has been amazing, my friends and neighbours are spreading the word, and so many book bloggers have done incredible things to get the word out. I feel overwhelmingly grateful. And excited! Oh, and nervous too :). But whatever happens, I'll always be appreciative to the people who've helped me make it this far. Thank you!
6. I thought that the setting of Maine really enhanced the dark and creepy atmosphere of Hush, Hush. Was this your intention when picking the setting?
When I was in third grade, I wanted to grow up to be a writer. By the time I was in high school, I was pretty sure I would grow up to be a marine biologist. I had posters of whales and dolphins pinned up all over my bedroom, I had a huge collection of whale/dolphin T-shirts, my Christmas present from my parents in 9th grade was a whale-watching vacation to California, and my aunt and uncle adopted a humpback whale for me named Tanith. Every so often, the whale adoption agency would send me photos of Tanith in the wild, and once I even got a humpback whale calendar. As I was flipping through the photos in the calendar, I came across this amazing photo of a breaching whale, and in the background was the Maine coast, dense with evergreens. I hung on to that picture for years, and it was my dream to someday move to Maine. Eventually I forgot about that dream, but when I started writing Hush, Hush I found myself writing about a girl growing up in a small, atmospheric Maine town without even realizing that of course I'd picked Maine as the setting because of my childhood dream. It's funny how something so seemingly small as a photograph I first saw when I was fourteen years old could have such a big impact on Hush, Hush, but there you have it.
7. How did you develop the myth surrounding fallen angels and the Nephilim?
I relied on Judeo-Christian mythology for the basic idea, then spread my wings a little, to make the mythology in Hush, Hush a little more fantastical. Like The Da Vinci Code, Hush, Hush has roots in the Bible, but I like to think I took it a few steps further, which was a lot of fun!
8. Are you working on anything at the moment? Can you tell us anything about it?
I'm editing the sequel to Hush, Hush, currently titled Crescendo. In Crescendo, readers will find out what really happened the night Nora's dad was murdered. Expect more twists and turns...and lots more Patch!
Thank you very much, Becca! You can visit Becca at her website here and read my review of Hush, Hush here.