Please welcome my next guest in my Meet Some UtopYA2015 Lovelies (Unofficial) series.
I met PM early on, and she was a brand new face to me. Her beautiful hair (you’ll see in the picture below) drew my attention. Then, we started talking, and I knew we were going to be fast friends. After all, we both understand the perils of DC traffic. Whenever I saw her, I made a point to strike up a conversation. She’s magnetic.
Thanks for hanging out on my blog today.
PH: No problem. I feel like a rock star. I’ll make sure to have a list of demands next time. Spoiler alert: I only eat blue and green M&Ms.
Too funny. I've never met an M&M I won't eat. So, how did you hear about UtopYA, and what made you decide to attend?
PH: I’m always looking to improve my craft, meet more authors, and learn about the publishing industry. A fellow author suggested I attend BEA. I researched going, but quickly decided it was too much conference for me at this stage in my career. I figured there had to be a smaller conference geared more for my genre (YA/NA paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi). Google did the rest. What struck me most were the great reviews UtopYA got from past participants and the enthusiasm of the UtopYA community.
It is an amazing community. I felt at home the minute I stepped into the hotel. When did you know you wanted to write?
PH: I’ve been writing since I can remember, definitely since elementary school. I did fan-fiction before it had a name! I’ve been doing what I call serious writing - stories I’d actually want to see in print - for the last five years but only in the last year pursued it in earnest. I have a day job and it’s wonderful, but writing is what I love to do…full time if I can swing it.
I noticed a post on your blog talking about Dark and Bright, a manuscript you were writing during last summer’s CampNaNoWriMo. Is this what you are currently working on? If so, can you describe the story? If not, what are you working on?
PH: Dark and Bright was inspired by Frankenstein. I love the horror classics and wondered what if Frankenstein’s monster was a young woman? What if she didn’t know she was a monster? I wanted to explore the idea of a sheltered girl having the rug pulled out from under her, her life completely upended, and how that transforms her, inside and out. The story follows Caroline as she discovers the truth about her father and his experiments, and what she does with this discovery. She’s joined by Ethan, a young scientist who is part of an undercover operation to expose and put an end to her father’s horrifying work. While I’m querying Dark and Bright, I’m working on something unrelated involving aliens. The hot kind. Not the green kind. Not that there’s anything wrong with green aliens.
Hot aliens. I'm in! I can't wait to hear more about it. And Dark and Bright sounds fascinating. As an author, what would you like to accomplish by this time next year?
PH: UtopYA definitely got me thinking about goals and staying accountable to those goals. (I made a list and everything!) I’ve been querying, but the more I make friends with indie authors, the more attractive that path becomes. My goal is to either have a publishing deal by this time next year or join my indie friends. Who knows? Maybe I’ll have a book ready for Utopia 2016!
I know you can do it. I'm planning on buying your book in 2016! What was your first favorite book? Why was it so special?
PH: That’s so hard! As a young girl, it was Anne of Green Gables. I could totally relate to her rich interior life and her dissatisfaction with her looks. As a young adult, I got hooked on Emma and it’s still my all-time favorite. When you think about it, Emma is kind of annoying with a weird case of noblesse oblige. She means well, but she’s stuck-up. Watching her transform from a privileged know-it-all into a mature young woman is a great ride. I reread it about once a year. Keep your Mr. Darcy. I’m all about Mr. Knightley. (“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” Swoon!)
Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorites. I knew we clicked for a reason. One question I'm asking all my Lovelies... What is your favorite inspirational quote? Why?
PH: There you go again with the hard questions! I’m a reader so all my favorite quotes come from books. One of my favorites is something Dumbledore says when he confronts Harry about his nightly visits to the Mirror of Erised: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” I have a tendency to get caught up in shoulda, woulda, coulda. The quote is a good reminder to be present and mindful of where I am and what I have. It’s even engraved on the back of my iPad!
|PM with her "book boyfriend" from the After Light premiere|
Finally, what do you think makes UtopYA, renamed Utopia for its fifth year in 2016, so special?
PH: It’s obvious that what sets UtopYA apart is the community. Everyone is supportive and awesome and downright cool. Something Janet Wallace (UtopYA/Utopia founder) said this year really stuck with me: “The only person you should compete against is yourself.” Utopia is filled with people looking to lift each other up. There is a sense from the whole community that as individuals succeed, they need to bring others along with them. Pay it forward, if you will. So many people got home this year and immediately clicked ‘buy’ for their 2016 tickets, myself included. That’s a powerful testament to the value of UtopYA. I love the ‘fight for your write’ theme for next year. It’s such an exciting time to be in the publishing industry. Authors have an unprecedented amount of creative control and choice. That means more wonderful books are on the market. My TBR pile is insane, but more creativity in the world is a beautiful thing.
✮✮✮✮✮ Quick Answers ✮✮✮✮✮
Last Movie you Saw: Avengers: Age of Ultron
Comedy, Romance, Drama, or Horror? The best things in life have all four elements.
Last Book you Read: Sea of Stars by Amy A. Bartol! Still getting over it.
First job: Babysitter, of course!
Gift cards or Cash? Gift cards, especially to places that sell books and/or coffee.
Favorite Vacation Spot: Outer Banks, North Carolina, or my home state of California.
More About PM
Paulette (PM) Hernandez is a young adult/new adult paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy author. Her day job involves writing, but it's a completely different style, sadly lacking in discussions of superpowers, werewolves, fairies, mad scientists, or steam-powered inventions. She is a self-proclaimed nerd. She wears a lot of black, not because she's cool but because she's fashion-challenged. She regularly has reading hangovers and tends to fangirl. You’ve been warned.
Please visit often for more UtopYA2015 Lovelies (Unofficial) interviews,
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the schedule and links to past interviews.