– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Hooverville’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Kayla Joy is an author and artist living in the Pacific Northwest with her family and her many animals. At 20, she has already self published two books: Morbid Tales from Behind the Mirror (available on Amazon now) and Hooverville.
Annaleise Winston can never seem to fit in with the Society Girls, the strict rules that govern them, or their selfish indulgence during the Great Depression. Behind closed doors, her publicly perfect new fiance, Frank Alexander, is violent and dismissive, but without his financial security, Annaleise and her mother will be on the streets with not a penny to their name.
When Annaleise finally has enough, she runs away and accidentally becomes stranded in a Hooverville, a lawless homeless encampment in Central Park, where she must keep her identity a secret if she wants to stay alive. But a kind shoe shiner named Thomas Kelley may get in the way of everything she thought she ever wanted. As their love for each other grows, the Great Depression worsens, and Frank will pay any price to bring back his bride.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Hi everyone! My name is Kayla Joy, I’m the author of Hooverville and Morbid Tales from Behind the Mirror. I’ve always wanted to be an author, but it officially happened after I challenged myself to write and publish a collection of short horror stories before Halloween and that has been the most fulfilling journey ever and made me realize that I could be an author. Now, my second book Hooverville is coming out and I’m so excited.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I looooovveddd Roald Dahl books. I think I was yelled at by teachers for reading too often. My favorite book was Matilda, of course. Nowadays I’ve been really into autobiographies. I have Michelle Obama’s, Elton John’s, Julie Andrews’, etc; I think learning from others’ life stories is the best way to become accustomed to the world.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Neil Gaiman, because he’s written in so many genres and somehow nails it every single time, and he seems like a decent human being. A lot of times when authors have a lot of hits they start to seem stuck-up, but I don’t get that vibe from him.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
My tea party would include Jo March from Little Women, Annaleise Winston from Hooverville, and Lizzie Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. Their group chat can be called Strong Female Lead Tea Party Gals.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have to have a salty/sweet snack like chocolate covered pretzels or popcorn and M&Ms, and I like to listen to film scores and build a scene that matches the beats to the song and I think it makes my scenes stronger. There is a scene at the end of Hooverville that lines up to a song from the Lion King score, and another one that lines up to The Hunger Games’ score.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ahaha, they should be worried. Most of my ideas come from my life, with some sort of twist with it. Hooverville was already a small idea in my head, but it didn’t really take shape until I got in an argument with someone about the homelessness problem. They repeatedly said “they got themselves in this mess, they should get themselves out” and that changed the narrative of Hooverville drastically.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a pantser by heart, a plotter by nature. I plot things out, but then while I’m writing I’ll get an idea that completely changes the structure of the story and I have to throw out all the planning I just did.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do: Find a writing support group. Twitter is a great place to go, and it will help immensely.
Do: find what works best for YOU. So many writers will tell you that you have to write every day or that you have to write a certain number of words each day, but ultimately you have to find the routine that works for you.
Don’t: Believe you’re above learning. You aren’t. Always strive to learn something new. Even reading will inspire you and you won’t even know it.
Don’t: Give up on yourself.
What are your future plans as an author?
I have at least 2 more books planned for the near future, and beyond that I don’t know! I’d love to get a film deal some day.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Absolutely! This scene comes from Chapter 4 of Hooverville. It comes at the moment Annaleise realizes she has a chance to escape.
Dinner is painfully awkward, unfortunately. Mother doesn’t take her glaring eyes off me for even a second. Frankly, I don’t care how furious she is with me; I’ll not put up with it. As I’m about to excuse myself to my room, Frank clears his throat and stands, trying to hold back a smile but failing. Even the skin on his face unnerves me. It’s like aged leather that has been stretched out over time, with a sort of green tint to it.
“Ladies,” he smirks. “I have an announcement. I’m going away on business in the morning. I won’t be back for at least a week,” he says, practically bouncing as he speaks. This isn’t news, though. Frank’s away on business at least half of the time. He’s never made a big show of it before, so what’s he hiding? Frank answers my question before I ask it. “Don’t be mistaken, this isn’t like any ordinary business trip.” He holds his head higher in the air and looks at Mother. “Governor Roosevelt and President Hoover have invited me to a gala where I will get to meet all the state senators and the opportunity to have an input in some political manners.”
Mother clasps her hands together excitedly and congratulates Frank, but I feel frozen to my chair.
“The President invited you?” I ask incredulously, raising my eyebrows disbelievingly. Mother’s eyes burn a hole in my skull.
“Yes, he and I met once at an alumni event. He went to school with my father.” Frank smiles proudly at this and looks me up and down.
“Why would he invite you to do politics?” I ask, scrunching up my nose. “You’re a businessman.”
“Anne, all politics is business, and especially right now, he needs someone like me to show him how to keep his money.” Frank shares a laugh with Mother and snaps his fingers at Virginia to load more food onto his plate. Virginia gives me a look while scooping extra potatoes.
“Is money all anybody here cares about?” I ask.
“Don’t be silly, Anne. Without money, man has nothing.” Frank says. “You can pretend not to care about it all you want, but even you can’t live without it.” I take his words like a challenge. I’ll show him, when I leave him and make it on my own without his money. I don’t need him or anyone to survive.
“Well,” Mother chimes in. “I think that’s quite an honor they’ve given you, Frank. Be sure to bring us back a souvenir from Washington.”
“Actually, I was going to ask if Annaleise wants to come with me.” Frank and Mother both look at me hopefully, my mother nodding for me. In their faces, I see an opportunity, an opening in the brick walls they’ve built up around me. Very carefully, I speak.
“I’ll think about it,” I tell them, a soft smile coming to my lips. “I’ll let you know before we go to bed.”
“Very good.” Frank smiles at my sudden personality change, and I grin to myself while cutting up my steak. I catch Virginia eyeballing me, but I give her a minuscule shake of my head.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Kayla Joy.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!