Monday, July 23, 2012

Author Interview: H.D.Gordon on "JOE"

Happy Monday, everybody! I thought I'd start this week with a fabulous interview of author H.D.Gordon, who has written a new novel outside of the Alexa Montgomery Saga. This one is called JOE, and it's exceptional in both writing style and story. And, since I'm reading it at the moment, I can say that it's very very good. Read on to see what Heather thinks of her newest book.

Hello Heather, it's so nice to have you featured here at YA Story Teller again! Your popularity is growing by the minute :)

1. What is so special about Joe's story that you knew you had to put it on paper? 

Special? Hmm, not sure how to answer that. Stories come and go all the time. Mostly, they go. I had been reading a lot of King and Koontz, and I thought to myself, I want to try this. I read their books and felt the challenge rising in me. I can do that, I thought. I must do that. I had never written a thriller/mystery, or anything of the sort. I had never written anything but YA. I was ready to dig deeper. I said, come Hell or high water, I'm going to make this thing as good as it is in my head. It ended up being quite the trip. 

2. How did it feel to get in the head of a psychopath? 

I did a lot of research for Joe. A lot of research. I suppose I have always had an interest in the macabre, and that no doubt comes through in my writing. Many of the things I learned show up in the story. Many things do not. I researched and researched until I finally felt ready to write from the psychopath's perspective. I tried a few times, failed, and researched more. Then, after what seemed like countless hours of study, I felt ready. This was when the opening scene of the book was born. I sprawled the words onto a notebook, read them aloud, and knew I was ready. My mind set had gone as far to the dark side as a sane person's can come. Which the reader will see, is pretty dang far. 

3. Did your writing process differ in JOE from what it was in the Blood Warriors?

Not really. I avoid plotting whenever necessary. I write stories the way I write poetry. I catch hold of an opening line that I like and run as fast as my writing-legs can carry me. The opening line, a vague idea of a character with a problem- that's all I really have when I first begin. Along the way I'll catch glimpses of the rest of the story, and then I work to get to those points. My characters take my hand, as though I am a child, and I let them walk me through the tale. All I do is take notice of all the things I see along the way. I have no idea how to "plot" a book. My process is a jumble of frustration, doubt, worry, enlightenment, and tiny little sparks of inspiration that send me into fits of euphoria. At some point, after a seemingly endless walk through a dark tunnel, a dot of light appears up ahead. That's when I lace up my shoes, and high-tail it the hell out of there. Writing is a lonely business. It suits me just fine.

4. Was it difficult to determine exactly what Joe was supposed to see about the future, and when she was supposed to see it?

I have thus far written three novels. Of the three, Joe was by far the most challenging. I knew only that Joe would have a premonition about a massacre at the college she attends. I had that, an opening line, and my "running shoes" on.

5. How would you like your readers to handle the story you present in JOE

The readers can handle it any way they see fit. My part is done. I don't have much choice in the stories I write. I write what I feel I have to write, otherwise it would be no fun. I am proud of my work, and I stand behind it. If I have done my job, people are going to take the story and make it their own. I'm okay with that. It is what art is all about. 

Well, thank you Heather for your time! It was nice to have you visit again :)