Sunday, September 5, 2010


I would like to thank Anastasia Hopcus, author of Shadow Hills, for stopping by today and answering a few questions.

Hi, I'm happy to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

1. I saw on your blog that the old cemeteries from the 1700s in Massachusets intrigued you.  Was that one of your inspirations for Shadow Hills?  Did the atmosphere of witch persecution in that area in the late 17th, early 18th centuries also inspire you?

Yes, Massachusetts certainly has the atmosphere I wanted for my book. Although my book doesn't involve the witch trials of the Salem area, that history does affect some of the events in Shadow Hills' past---and it also serves to add to the eerie aura of the town. I knew that a cemetery was going to be important to my story, and when I was considering Massachusetts as the setting, I looked at pictures of their cemeteries, and I was positive that it was the right place. The cemeteries are even more fascinating in person. I had never before seen tombstones with the symbols on them that some of the really old gravestones had.

2.  I was reading on your blog that you used to want to be John Hughes.  Which of his movies is your favorite?

Weird Science. In middle school, my friends and I went around quoting it all the time. Second favorite is probably Ferris Buehler's Day Off.

3.  According to your blog, you were inspired to start writing novels in your late teens/early twenties.  Were there any novels that were particularly inspiring to you?

My favorite YA book was Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas. I also loved Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat series. But when I first started writing, I was more into reading mysteries. Anne George, who wrote the Southern Sisters mysteries, was my favorite. I really love her writing, especially because she wrote very memorable and likeable characters. I always think of her books as my mental 'comfort' food; reading one of her books is like sitting down with old friends. I would love to have that sort of effect on my readers.

4.  I see that you're a karaoke too! What is your favorite song to sing at karaoke?

We love to do Sing Star at parties at our house. (Not so stage fright-inducing as getting up in front ofstrangers at a bar!) I really enjoy "What's Love Got to Do With It" by Tina Turner, but another one I love and usually get my best score on is the Buzzcocks' "Ever Fallen in Love?"

5.  When you finish writing the Shadow Hills series, will you continue to write YA fiction or will you try your hand at an adult novel?

I'm definitely going to continue in YA fiction. I wouldn't rule out writing an adult novel someday, but I really enjoy writing for teens. I think that time is such an important one in everyone's life; we all remember our high school years, whether they were good or bad. There's so much conflict and emotion and so many issues that people deal with during that period---it gives you a lot to work with as an author.

Thanks again, Anastasia, for stopping by! I look forward to the continuation of the Shadow Hills series.

Bye! It's been great!

Shadow Hills was released in July 2010.  You can read my review of the book here.  Want to learn more about Anastasia?  Visit her website, her blog, or visit the next stop on the tour over at The Story Siren, on September 6th.

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