Tuesday, January 29, 2013

An Interview with 2013 MCBF Moderator, Molly Harras

Q: When did you decide to become a writer?

A: Ever since I was a kid, I loved writing stories. Always behind my career aspirations was the fallback option of writer. I love talking and documenting the things going on around me and when I come across a good story, it really affects me, so a lot of my writing stems from that.

Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life, so far?

A: Writing wise, John Green and Derek Landy, my favorite authors, have contributed a lot to the formation of my writing style. They’re both really funny, witty people who have the talent of coming up with brilliant stories that really get to me. In terms of reality, my parents have contributed a lot to the formation of myself and the experiences that I draw from when writing. It also helps that my Dad always has a story to tell.

Q: Tell us a little about your book.

A: My book is about a teenager, Rocky, who doesn’t stay in one place for more than 3 months and has problems talking to and dealing with people as a result. The story beings in Rocky’s first days of living in California after leaving the one person he’d ever connected with, Alex. The novel is the story of Rocky’s life after moving away again. I wrote it in November 2011 for NaNoWriMo; the month-long novel writing challenge. It was pretty exhilarating to go through with the whole process and fulfill a life dream of mine.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for you stories?

A: A lot of the inspiration in my stories appears randomly, sometimes from looking at the things and interactions going on around me and sometimes just from out of the blue. That’s why I always have some paper around me, even at my bedside. Sometimes I have to go hunting for inspiration, but in almost every situation, the ideas I find catch me off guard, which can be a great feeling.

Q: What do you hear from your readers?

A: Given that I’m an unknown author, most of my readers are friends and family. Though they may be biased, they say they love my book.

Q:  What do you like to read? Do you have a favorite?

A: I like to read good books. I love John Green and follow him on YouTube and I love the way he can be funny and honest at the same time. Derek Landy is my favorite author from across the pond (Ireland). I love the way he’s able to make me choke laughing in the middle of a very dramatic scene. I also love the book Airman by Eoin Colfer because of the amazing character development. So there’s not one particular genre that I stick to, except for the genre of Awesome. 

Q: How important do you think being a reader is to the writing process?

A: Being a reader is insanely important. I don’t think it even matters what you read, but that you do read. When you look at the material that gets published, you can see the kind of thing that interests people. You can also find different ways of expressing yourself through writing and get inspired by the stories you read. It’s also good to know your competition.

Q: If you had to grab three things (and ONLY three things) from your house to evacuate due to a zombie invasion, what would they be?

A: Given that it’s a zombie invasion we’re talking about here, I think I’d grab my sword first. I’d also grab my computer backup drive. I think lugging the laptop around would be useless since all Wi-Fi and electricity would likely be down, so better to save the files and ditch the equipment. You can always find another laptop. I’d also grab my notebook which would already have all my important artwork and whatnot in it. Then I’d run over to my friend’s house and take back the guide to zombie invasion book that I gave him last summer. It’s not from my house, so it counts.

Q: What advice do you offer to someone who wants to write a book/Self pub?

A: First off, I would suggest putting your book though some rigorous editing sessions or hire an editor to take a look at it. Professional publishers have the advantage of editors on call, but since you’re by yourself, you have to be a little resourceful to polish your book. I’d also suggest letting some of your friends and family to read it and give you feedback. Something you think is really interesting and deserves multiple paragraphs to explain might not bode well with others. Also shop around for companies and see what they can give you. Some companies have some very good connections with big book sellers, so see what your company can do to help you get your book out there.

Q: Anything else you would like the readers to know?

A: Anything else… well, they can follow me on Tumblr at ifanythingremember.tumblr.com and if they like to discover some good books, I also have a book review blog at thebookshelfreview.tumblr.com. And if anyone’s considering writing a book, you should look into participating in NaNoWriMo. It’s such an awesome and supportive organization and I really benefited from their help. You can check that out at nanowrimo.org. Ok, now I’m done. Thank you to everyone and I’m really looking forward to the festival!

Thank you for your time, Molly! We look forward to see you at the festival!

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