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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gratitude and a Fact

Tonight Christian Bale won a SAG award for his role in The Fighter, and as he was walking up to the stage, he was hugging a whole buncha people, and my roommate Eric said, "I wonder if he's going to hug the sound guy," and I laughed for a good ten minutes. Really loudly.

I eat peanut butter with frozen cheese pizza because it tastes awesome. I know all the words to every song ever written by Fall Out Boy. I've seen pretty much every movie made in the 80s (and most of them from the 90s and the 00s too). I really, really love Michael Wincott. I try on shoes a lot, but I rarely buy them. I'm obsessed (unhealthily so) with possessing Sharpies. I live in the same house my parents bought twelve years ago, and I live with the same guy I've been friends with for the past ten years.


Last night, my friends threw me a surprise party at a bar.(Thanks everybody!!!!) My mom, my roommate Eric, and my good friend Pete did most of the planning, along with my friend Fi would made me a really neat plaque and a clock (and some of my writerly friends wrote some very nice things about me, thanks guys :) :)).

At the party, these are people I've been friends with for years. And they are truly, awesome, quirky, funny people. They know who I actually I am, and they like me anyway. And most importantly, they'll call me out on my crap. And that's the point. I'm still Amanda Hocking. I still have my same fantastic friends and family, my same life, and I'm grateful for it everyday.

Because as much as I love everything's that's been happening with my writing, the things that really make my life what it is are the people (and pets) I have in it.

So what has all this been leading up to? I have a fact that I'm about to share with you, and I thought this fact would change something. I thought that I would be a different person when these things happened. And the last six months have been so confusing to me because I'm not a different person, so I kept feeling like something's wrong. Something should have changed.

But then I realized that that's the point. It hasn't changed. And I don't want it to change.

Anyway - here's the long meandering moral. According to what Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Createspace is reporting, I've sold 486,018 books total. But that's without sales from Apple and the My Blood Approves series from B&N reporting to Smashwords yet. Assuming that I've sold at least 14,000 books (which I'm inclined to think I probably have) - that means I've sold half a million books.

I hate saying "I sold" books, because you know what, I didn't. You did. I wrote the books, but you the readers, along with the good folks at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple did all the work. You're the ones writing reviews, blogging about it, telling your friends. You've done so much for me, and I'm not going forget that or stop being grateful for it.

But I'm not going to let that change me. I'm still gonna drink orange Hi-C from a juice box, and I don't care what anybody thinks.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I Heart Rhinos

I got this email today, and I like rhinos, so I'm spreading the word. They have an option to donate as little as $8 a month, plus there's options to donate one time, and you can use PayPal, your checking account, or a credit card. PLUS when you donate money, some employers will match or double the amount you donate.

You've probably heard the grim report already: An astonishing 333 rhinos were killed illegally in South Africa in 2010--the highest rate ever experienced in the country. Ten of these were critically endangered black rhinos, of which only about 3,500 individuals still remain. Help WWF protect rhinos and other wildlife and habitats around the world from threats such as poaching--make a monthly donation today.


Rhino horn
White rhino horn being transported
to a secure holding facility.
© Michel Gunther/WWF-Canon

Donate Now

Plush rhino
Free gift when you make a monthly donation to WWF in honor of rhinos.
Why are so many rhinos being killed?

The recent rhino crime wave is largely due to a rising demand for rhino horn, which has long been prized as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine. Its popularity increased in Vietnam after claims that rhino horn possesses cancer-curing properties, despite any medical evidence.

Today's wildlife poachers are well coordinated and employ advanced technologies. Their sophisticated criminal networks use helicopters, night-vision equipment, veterinary tranquilizers and silencers to kill rhinos at night--attempting to avoid military and law enforcement patrols.
How can we stop this?

WWF and TRAFFIC, our global wildlife trade program, are working to combat the crisis on a global scale. Locally, we support anti-poaching operations, introducing transmitters in rhino horns, facilitating regional dialogues on security and raising awareness among the public. WWF's Black Rhino Range Expansion Project in South Africa aims to increase the overall numbers of black rhino by making breeding lands available--with the goal of reaching a national target of 5,000 black rhinos. Globally, we are focusing on reducing demand in consumer nations and stopping wildlife trafficking through such initiatives as aiding enforcement officials to detect rhino horn in transit.

The rate of threatened wildlife poaching cannot continue unabated. We need your urgent help to protect these and other animals and their habitats.

Donate today to support WWF's global conservation work, and we'll send you a free rhino plush as a thank-you gift. Your monthly support will help preserve and protect our world's majestic species--like rhinos--and the habitats in which they live.

Together we can help protect the future of nature for generations to come.

Sincerely yours,
Black rhino
Terry Macko
Vice President, Membership


P.S. This new year has already begun with five more rhinos lost to poaching. Help us stop poachers and other threats to nature--please support wildlife and their habitats today.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Inevitable by Jason Letts



Jason Letts has a new book that just came out. It's a young adult paranormal romance called Inevitable that I did some editing on it. I don't know if that's technically enough for me to be considered a co-author, but there you have it. Here's the description...

Every choice is played out in a world unto itself, and so the only Nathan who needs to be saved is the only one who can’t be.

A supernatural spirit holds all of these worlds together, bending fate from her place outside of time. When eighteen-year-old Nathan Wheeler sacrifices himself to provide for his orphaned sister, this entrancing spirit goes back to when the death of his mother forced him to quit college and attempts to make his life better before his inevitable death.

But for all she knows about the future, assuming human form is not as easy as she thought it would be, and getting close to Nathan comes with consequences she could never expect.


Inevitable is available at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rambling... plus a Giveaway

Look at this you guys:



In case you don't know, Doug Jones played the thing the with the hands in Pan's Labyrinth, which I dubbed the scariest thing in the scariest movie. Some other terrifying thing he's played includes: the scary zombie at the end of Quarantine, the ice cream man with the arms in Legion, and Billy Butcher in Hocus Pocus. (Okay, Billy Butcher isn't scary but he is neat.) He's also played Abe in Hellboy. So anyway, Doug Jones is awesome. And that's my favorite tweet ever.

Rick Springfield is playing at the Mayo Civic Center next week, and I'm debating on whether or not we should go see him. I love Rick Springfield. But... well. I guess it's not much of a debate. I don't really have a "con" for not seeing him. I mean, it's flippin Rick Springfield, right? I have an actual album (as in vinyl) of Working Class Dog. That album came out 3 years before I was born.

Also in fun news - James Franco was nominated for an Oscar. What fun for James Franco! He's like the most fascinating person in the whole world. I literally have no clue what he's going to do next. Ever. And I love that.

Today, I did a phone interview with USA Today. They said it should be out sometime next week. I mostly talk about publishing and ebooks, but it's fun. So if you're into things that I say, you might enjoying checking that out.

And I forgot to post this the other day. I'm having a giveaway at Goodreads for a signed copy of Ascend. To enter, click on the link on do what Goodreads says.



Goodreads Book Giveaway





Ascend (Paperback) by Amanda Hocking



Ascend


by Amanda Hocking



Giveaway ends January 30, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.




Enter to win


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FML SouthLAnd

If you haven't watched Tuesday, January 25th's episode of SouthLAnd, and you plan to, DO NOT read this blog. It will be very spoilery. Because I don't know anybody that watches SouthLAnd (ridiculous), and I need to vent.

The thing is that I love SouthLAnd. And I did right off the bat. I seriously worked my tail off to keep it from getting canceled. I've done more work promoting that show than I have my own books. That's how much I love it and believe in it.

But tonight's episode was the most traumatic viewing experience of my life (aside from real tragedies, such as footage of the 9/11 attacks or that ASPCA commercial with the Sarah Machlachlin song).

Tonight on SouthLAnd was a fairly normal episode. It always starts with an ending scene. It was Det. Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) , sitting in a waiting room, his clothes covered in blood, then a woman screams. The voice over says "Most of us go to work every day with a pretty good idea of what's gonna happen. As Det. Bryant will be reminded of today, cops never do." Then at the bottom it says: 20 hours earlier, and the show goes starts at the beginning.

As the story unfolds, I assume that the witness of one of the crimes that Sammy and  his partner Nate will be killed. Similar things have happened before. I'm also becoming annoyed with how Sammy has been acting this season. He's a good cop, but this season he's too focused on his upcoming divorce and he's making mistakes. But Nate (Kevin Alejendro - as seen on a couple episodes of True Blood and an episode of Psych) is reeling him back. Nate is always grounded and does the right thing, and I'm pretty sure he's the only latino guy I've seen with blue eyes.

Anyway - throughout the series, I always think about how unbelievable it is that these guys do these things. These cops walk into these dangerous situations knowing that they could be shot or killed at any moment. I think of that particuraly with Sammy and Nate because they work with the gang task force or whatever, and they situations filled with gang bangers. I've always admired and appreciated the way they interact with them, Nate especially.

So tonight, Sammy and Nate go about the episode trying to catch a murderer. Regina King solves another crime, and Ben Mckenzie is randomly also a really shitty copy now. But Cudlitz is still funny.

But it isn't until the last 5 minutes of the show that I understand the beginning of the episode. A gang banger throws a bottle at the cop car, and Nate stops. Sammy and Nate get out to deal with it, and it was that moment I realized it wasn't the witness's blood on Sammy's shirt.

And I have to be honest - from an objective standpoint, this is really artful, intense storytelling. Because suddenly, I know what's going to happen. I know how horrible this will turn out. And my heart is pounding out of my chest, and I'm shouting at the TV, "No! Nate get back in the car!"

There's like fifty gang bangers in a crowd, and Nate is teasing them, talking to them, and I think for a brief second, that maybe I'm wrong. Maybe everything will turn out okay. Then Nate turns around to get back in the car and they hit him over the head with something (a bat? a tire iron?)

And then the scene gets so utterly horrific and intense. It's just Sammy and Nate alone on the street. And now Nate is down, and these gang bangers swarm Nate. They're kicking him and stomping on him, and Sammy is trying to save his partner. He literally has to climb on top of Nate and shoot in the air to keep the gang bangers from swarming Nate like vultures.

Help finally comes, and Sammy gets Nate in the car, but he's not moving.

The next scene is the one from the beginning. Sammy in bloody clothes at the hospital. And then you hear the woman scream, only this time, we know it's Nate's wife, who only recently gave birth to their baby. And then she comes out and she and Sammy break down sobbing, and so do I.

First the Internet, then the World

Hey, did you guys ever see that movie where Billy Zane taps his sister? It was supposed to  be some kind of noir thing. It was called like First the World, Then the Fireworks or something.

On a related note, did you ever see The Grifters? That movie is MESSED up. It was nominated for like four Oscars. And I don't get it. I love Anjelica Huston and John Cusack, and the movie actually was interesting and enjoyable. It was just John's relationship with his mom that was totally... crazy.

Anyway - I had my first television interview today. It was actually a lot of fun. I wasn't really nervous, and Tom Overlie is a really swell guy. For those of you interested in watching, it will air on KTTC (the NBC affiliate out of Rochester, MN) sometime next week probably. Tom said he'll drop me an email when he knows when it will air. He also said that it will be up online, so people out of the viewing area will be able to see it too, and see what a total goon I am.

Onto a clarification - people have wondered if the hold up with the fifth My Blood Approves book and/or Honalee is because of the stuff that I'm not talking about it. It's not, exactly. I do have other things that I'm working on that have been prioritized above those things for various reasons. 

But here is my explanation for the Honalee and  book five of MBA that I've lifted from my FAQs:
 
What's the deal with Honalee?
Honalee was almost ready for publication when I decided to rewrite the ending. I haven't done that yet. I've tried, but something is off. So I'm stepping back from it for a little bit and working on other things.

Will there be another book in the My Blood Approves series?
There will be five books total, plus one novella about Peter. I don't know when book five will be out, because I haven't written it yet.

All the info on my FAQs is up to date. So if you have other questions, and you'd like an instant answer, that is a good place to check.

Onto things that make me angry - the Oscars have once again snubbed Chris Nolan for Best Director. Yes, Inception did got some much deserved nominations (including Best Score - which it seriously HAS to win), but Nolan wasn't. The man is brilliant. Beyond brilliant. Even though Inception pissed me off, his direction of the film is spot on. And it always is. He's way better than the Coens.

It was nice to see Christian Bale nominated. Because I worship the ground he walks on. I don't know that I'll ever watch The Fighter because I'm under the impression that I won't enjoy it, even though I love listening to Mark Wahlberg talk. But still. Yay Christian Bale!

The Oscars are like the Superbowl in my house. This is what we get all excited for. We do our Oscar picks and take bets. We buy special snack foods for it even. It's probably never been more apparent that I live with a gay man.

Also, I'm looking for a new car because my car is dead. I found a really nice, surprisingly low priced 2005 Cadillac SRX. Does anybody know anything about them? Pros? Cons? I've done some research on the internet, but I wanted to know if anybody had actual experience with them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baby, I'm Howlin For You

Here's what I don't like: Not being able to talk about everything that's going on. I am the worst secret keeper in the world. And I never know how much of anything I can talk about, so to be on the safe side, I'm not really talking about anything. And it sucks.

But here is something I'm pretty sure I can talk about: I'm having my first television interview tomorrow. It's for a local news station (KTTC out of Rochester), and it should be fun. It's with Tom Overlie, and  I'm secretly a big fan. He sang at a telethon last year, and I had it on my DVR for like a week. (I think it was "Unforgettable.")

So that's fun. It's at the Coffee House on Main which has the single greatest iced cappuccino drink ever. Is that what's it's called? I don't remember. I just know it's a cold cappuccino with raspberry syrup added, and it is probably the greatest beverage I've ever had in my life.

I probably won't be putting out a new book until March or April at the soonest, and the next book I will be putting out will be Lost Without You. I'll have more info about that as I get closer to releasing it. I am planning to work on the sequel to Hollowland too, but I have no clue when that would be out.

There is a lot of stuff going on, and it's hard for me to gauge when things will be ready or when I'll really be able to work on what.

And if you haven't heard this song,  you should listen to it immediately:


I also love this song:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm back!

I'm no longer on vacation! I had a ton of fun in New Mexico, and I miss my friends already. (And I missed an episode of Jersey Shore :( ). Sorry this blog is short. I just have a couple things I wanted to say real quick.

I updated the FAQs section of my blog, so you can check that out if you want.

If you ordered a signed book from me, but haven't received it yet, email me: hocking_amanda@hotmail.com. I'm at war with the postal service.

Oh, and how excited are you about Anne Hathaway playing Catwoman in the new Batman? I'm like a 20 on a scale from 1-10. 

Here are some fun pics from New Mexico (all courtesy of my friend Valerie):


Mountains in Albuquerque (I think the Sandeas?)


The sun setting over Albuquerque

My friend Greggor admire the sunset from the top of mountains

Mountain view from my friend Val & Greggor's apartment

Friday, January 14, 2011

One last thing before I go...

Ascend is out in paperback now. Here is the link: paperback. It's $8.99, the same as the other two. (Here's Switched and Torn).

Onto other news - I've had some issues with the US Postal Service. As in they returned to me a mutilated package that did not contain a book, and said they don't know where the book went. I've also heard reports of at least one person not receiving a book.

As of last week, I had mailed off all my autographed books that people had ordered and any paperbacks won in giveaways. I will be gone all of next week, but if by Monday, January 24th you have still not received a book that you ordered from me, please email me so we can get it straightened out.

I'm also going to discontinue selling autographed copies of books for the time being. Because of the postal issues.


Um... what else. I felt like there was something I thought I should tell you guys. Ah, well. I can't remember what it is.

But I'm gone now until January 22nd. I might check stuff in between now and then, but I probably won't. I'm trying to unplug and all that.

So, thanks for all the love and support, and I'll see y'all in 8 days. ;)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ascend Stuff

In case you missed yesterday's post, Ascend is now for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! There's also a discussion at Amazon where spoilers are welcome. So if you're interested in discussing the ending of Ascend, there's a good place to do it.

The paperback for Ascend is just waiting for them to let me approve the proof. Also, I updated Switched and Torn's paperbacks (like I've needed to do for awhile), so they're going to be unavailable for a little bit. I hate to do it, but the only way I can make changes is to unpublish them. The good news is that Switched, Torn, and Ascend should all be for sale in paperback around the same time again. I'll make updated links as soon as they are.

So it's just starting to set in that the Trylle Trilogy is over. It's weird. There's so much time and energy put into the three books getting them ready and so many people talking about it. It feels really strange to think that this is it.

I know other writers have talked about how they felt sad when they finished writing a series, but I didn't. I still had to live in that world for awhile getting it all ready. And I know that for awhile now, I'll still be getting reviews and readers will still be asking questions about it. But... it's kinda over now. At least for me.

And I don't know that I'm sad. But it is weird.

But it definitely is making me consider the idea of writing a spin-off trilogy more. I don't know why exactly, since I wouldn't really want any of the principal characters from the Trylle Trilogy as main characters in another book. There would be some small cameos, but that is all.

Oh well. I can't work on it any time soon anyway. I have about 57 other things I need to do first.

But thanks to everyone for reading the books and all the support. So far, the response to Ascend has been really positive, and I was pretty scared about how people would react. It's nice to know that none of you have plans to kill me in my sleep (so far, anyway).

But now, I miss bid you farewell. I have to eat breakfast, watch Top Chef, and do a lot of running today, including meeting with an accountant, which is also terrifying. So all in all, it should be a pretty scary/busy day.

Stay gold, everybody!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ascend is for Sale for Kindle & nook

Ascend is for sale on Amazon right now!! UPDATE: Ascend is now for sale at Barnes & Noble!

Not sure when it will be on for sale on Barnes & Noble. I published them both at the same time, and last time I published a book, B&N went up faster. But Amazon went really fast this time. It took about 24 hours exactly, and it usually takes around 48 or more hours. I think Amazon went faster because I emailed them about my name.

I did also email B&N because of issues with PubIt! being generally stupid. So maybe that will speed it up. But I expect Barnes & Noble have Ascend for sale within the next 24 hours. But again, if it's not up on B&N by Friday, I will be publishing it through Smashwords, and you'll be able to buy it from them for the Nook.

At this time, I have not control about when Ascend will be for sale at B&N. Once I hit publish, it's out of my hands.

Here's the link for Ascend on Amazon: get it here. Here's a link for Ascend on Barnes & Noble: get that here.

And please, please be mindful of spoilers in comments and reviews, especially since there's a delay for Nook readers. There are discussions on Facebook and you can start some on Amazon too. Just alert people when there will be spoilers.

Thank you guys! I hope you all enjoy it! I know I loved writing it!

Oh, on a less than happy note: Australia is flooding something major. I'm secretly a huge fan of Australia, which is why I set some of Wisdom there, and what's happening there is really sad. Here's a link where you can donate money to help: http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ascend News - plus a teaser

Here's what's up: Today I published Ascend to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. So when will you be able to buy it?

I don't know for sure. Somewhere between 24-72 hours. From this point out, I have no control when it publishes. It's all up to them.


On the 14th, I will publish Ascend to Smashwords. That will be available instantly after I hit publish, and it sells formats that are supported by pretty much every ereader, including the Kindle, nook, Kobo, Sony ereader, and iPad. So even if the books aren't for sale on Amazon or B&N, you will definitely be able to buy them through Smashwords on the 14th.

As for paperback, I'm working on getting that formatted correctly. It usually takes a bit longer for it to go through, because Createspace and I are forever locked in battles about how big .5 inch margin really is. Ideally, I'd like to have the paperback for sale by the 15th too, but if Createspace and I end up fighting like we always do, I won't be able to fix it until I get back from vacation on the 22nd. So it might be up in paperback until the last week of January.

Also, when I published Ascend to Amazon, I didn't list myself as the author. Because I'm an idiot. I only listed the editor, Jason Letts. I emailed Amazon, telling that I'm an idiot and asking if they could correct and add my name.

But I'm letting you know that when searching for Ascend on Amazon, you'll probably be better off just typing Ascend and/or Trylle Trilogy. And not my name. I'll fix it, but I don't know when. UPDATE: I fixed it. Amazon let me.

I sent out four eARCs for early reviews. I got back three 5-star reviews and one 2-star review. I suspect this will be pretty standard for Ascend. I love this book. I really do. And most of the people who have read it have loved it, but I know that some people will hate it. So it's scary for me, but I'm standing by this one. 

And since Ascend is coming soon, I'm asking for one request - please be mindful of spoilers when you talk about it. There are some discussions on my Facebook fan page that are open to spoilers, but when commenting on Facebook or my blog, please try to keep spoilers to a minimum. Or at least alert people that there will be spoilers.

Meanwhile, if you want to check out the early reviews for Ascend, which are spoiler free:

A Tale of Many Review's review of Ascend
Fiktshun's review of Ascend
Bewitched Bookworm's review of Ascend
Sunny's review on Goodreads of Ascend 


And I'm ending this with a Teaser Tuesday. So here's a couple lines from Ascend:

    “Princess!” Duncan yelled, and he appeared in the doorway. “They’re coming for you.” 
    “What?” I asked. I tossed my bouquet aside, gathered my skirt, and raced from the altar.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fun Fact & a Top 10 List

Yesterday was my friend Valerie's birthday. Also - it would be Alice and Wendy and Remy's birthday. Yep. My main character's always share a birthday with Val. I don't know why exactly. I started doing it years ago, and every character I've had since then has had January 9 for their birthday. It just makes it easier for me keep straight, I like my friend Val, and having birthdays in January makes it easier to keep track of their ages through the years (if that makes sense).

So that's today's fun fact about Ascend.

In a completely unrelated note, I've been thinking lately about what albums I would classify as the Top Ten from 2000 through 2010. Why have I been thinking of that? I don't know. The year ended or something. But I've thought about it. And here's what I come up with.

  1. Silverchair - "Young Modern"
  2. blink 182 - "(Untitled)"
  3. Green Day - "American Idiot"
  4. Interpol - "Antics"
  5. Ryan Adams - "Gold"
  6. The Killers - "Hot Fuss"
  7. Death Cab for Cutie - "Plans"
  8. Lady Gaga - "The Fame Monster"
  9. Kanye West - "808s & Heartbreaks"
  10. Modest Mouse - "Good News for People Who Love Bad News"

Honorable mentions that I loved a lot but enough to make it to the Top 10 - Fall Out Boy - "From Under the Cork Tree," Band of Horses - "Everything All the Time," Metric - "Fantasies," Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "It's Blitz," MGMT - "Oracular Spectacular," Bloc Party - "Silent Alarm," Adam Lambert - "For Your Entertainment," Kanye West - "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," Chris Garneau - "Music for Tourists," Death Cab for Cutie - "Narrow Stairs," Panic! at the Disco - "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out," Cobra Starship - "Hot Mess," Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible," The Shins - "Chutes Too Narrow,"  Elliott Smith - "Figure 8," Deftones - "White Pony," Tool - "10,000 Days," Snow Patrol - "Final Straw," and Coldplay - "A Rush of Blood to the Head."

Yep. Those are albums that I think are fantastic. So you should go listen to them all now.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Answers to Questions about Ascend

Okay, so I went through all your questions and tried to answer them. If questions were repeats or similar to other ones, I answered the first one that came up. And if I didn't answer your question, it's because the question will be answered in Ascend.

Will Ascend have a conclusive finish or will there be a door left open for the possibility of a future book or novella down the road?
This storyline is completely wrapped up at the end of the book. I haven’t completely crossed out the idea of spin off yet, but it wouldn’t be with the main characters. I’ve thought a little bit about it, and I’ve considered something possibly with Finn’s little sister Ember. 

Who is your favorite character and why?
I can’t really say out of the boys because that might give something away. But I definitely have a favorite there. I really like Duncan and Elora. I’ve seen some Willa hate lately, but I dig Willa, and she does some growing in Ascend too, so hopefully people will like her more. 

How did you come up with the Trylle Trilogy?
I had a few ideas in mind for something I wanted to do with a paranormal romance, but I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done yet. I was reading a lot of old folklore, and in some Scandinavian folklore, trolls were beautiful and cunning. They had changelings, and they were wild and ill-tempered. So that’s the basis for the Trylle.

How long did you take to write them?
It took me about 3 weeks to write each book. 

I know you can't tell us who does get killed off, but could you tell us how many (if any)?
Of the characters that have already been introduced in the book that you know, three die. EDIT: I miscounted. Four die. Sorry.

In Ascend, will we find out more about what will happen with her father and the kingdom?
Yes, absolutely. 

Will Akira be a main part of this book?
I’m not sure who Akira is, so no.

As far as a question is concerned, I couldn't really think of a great one, so I am going with...Is Finn a tea drinker or coffee drinker? :)
Tea. Trylle prefer tea to coffee.

Would you be Trylle or Vittra? What kind of power/s would you want? Do you believe in changelings?
I’d probably be Vittra, because I’m short and a little hobgoblin. As for powers, I’d like to move stuff. It would be awesome, and I am lazy. And no, I don’t believe in changelings.

How do you manage to come up with these amazing characters? Do you ever base your characters on people you know?
I don’t know exactly. They’re not really based on people, but they’re mostly based on people I want to hang out with. 

This really has little to do with the Trylle series, but just out of curiosity, do you have a brother? In all your stories, the heroine always has a brother.
Yes, I have a little brother. He’s eleven.

Are there any female trackers? Or are only males able to be trackers?
There are female trackers. Males tend to be trackers more often, because one parent has to stay home and raise tracker children. But sometimes the guys will stay home with the kids, and some ladies don’t have kids. 

If you could pick anyone to play your characters, who would you pick!?
Michael Wincott as Oren, obviously. Anjelica Huston as Elora. Logan Huffman with green contacts as Tove. Blake Lively as Willa. Olivia Thirlby as Wendy. Um… that’s what I’ve got. 

1)If compared to Breakfast Club who is who?
Wendy = Claire
Finn = Andrew
Duncan = Brian
Loki = John
Did I get any of them right?
Ha,  yep. That’s perfect. 

Will Ascend be longer than the other two books???
No, it’s about the same length as the first two books.

So what is Wendy's favorite meal, and what would be the Trylle version of junk food, especially dessert? Does chocolate envy lie at the root of Trylle hatred for humans?
Wendy loves blueberries. Junk food might be champagne and strawberries? 

OMG I could totally see where you were headed with Matt and Willa but I never thought you'd actually go there - heck yes! And aside from my delight with that pairing, I wanted to know if you had planned to put those two together from day one or did it just kind of evolve and turn into something?
I planned on them being together from the beginning. Willa needed someone to ground her and help her grow. She has potential to be something awesome, but she’d been spoiled a lot in her life. So she needed someone to push her to be better.

I don't know why you keep adding such amazing male characters to the mix to totally mess with my head! Just when I get my mind totally fixed one way you add another great guy/option/delima, you're killing me (in a good way)! On that note, did you already know who Wendy would end up with when you started writting the books? And if you were in Wendy's shoes who would you choose, and why?
I knew how the book would end when I started it. And I can’t tell you who I’d picked. But I can say I agree with Wendy’s choices.

Does Duncan play a big role in Ascend? You made him out to be so cute, silly, kind and loyal I just can't get enough of him and I'd hate to think that I won't get a lot of him in the next book.
I don’t know if Duncan’s role is necessarily big, but he is in Ascend a lot. And he’s definitely important.

I was even more impressed when I came upon this website and heard music for each book. If you don’t mind me asking what are the songs called?
If you’re asking the songs from the book trailers, the trailer for Switched is "You Think You Deserve That Pain But You Don't" by Dance Movie available at http://dancemovie.bandcamp.com, the trailer for Torn is “Leap Year” by Maria Taylor, and the trailer for Ascend is “The Walk” by Imogen Heap.

Is Loki's personality and/or his actions based on his namesake (the Norse god)?
I definitely chose the name Loki because the character that Loki is. A lot of the mythology from the book is from Scandinavia, and I’ve always the stories of Loki. He’s a trouble maker and he’s fun. 

How do come up with their names?
Wendy  is named after Wendy in Peter Pan. She kind went to a reverse Never Neverland where there are no children and Wendy has to grow up instantly. Elora is the name of the little girl in Willow. Willa is a variation of Willow. Loki was named after the Norse god. Rhys and Rhiannon – I wanted similar sounding names because they have similar positions. Tove was named after a Finnish author who writes books about trolls. The author is a girl, but Tove is a boy. I just like the name Finn. 

Can or when can we preorder Ascend?
No, sorry. The way I publish books, it’s not possible to preorder them. 

I was just wondering why you decided on trolls? Was it just to kind of revamp the image and things like elves are way over done or was there another reason?
I didn’t actually really mean to revamp them. If you look in old folklore about trolls, they were often described as attractive. And in all the stories of changelings, the trolls had to have human appearances to be able to be switched with human children. A lot of the attributes I give to the characters do come from the mythology of changelings – they were ill-tempered, never wore shoes, did not bond with their families, they had hair that couldn’t be tamed, and they were finicky eaters. So I’m actually sticking a lot to the traditional stories about trolls. They’re just not the ones we hear as often.

I have always wondered if there are some characters that are harder for YOU to figure out/get to know as you start a book/series? Is it hard to get into some of your own characters' heads? Take Finn... did you know his history - his deepest fears - his childhood pets :) - etc - right off the bat? Or did he start out as a mysterious guy to you too at first?
I know all the major stuff about Finn. His age, name, his history, his family, why he treats Wendy the way does. I don’t know every detail of his life – like childhood pets, though.

Is Ascend going to have two possible endings?
Nope, I wrote one ending. Sorry.

And if you could write Switched and Torn again would you change anything?
Um, I don’t know. I cut about 25,000 words out of Switched. I wanted the main action of the story – with the Trylle – to start sooner in the book. But I wonder if maybe I should have left some of that in there. Wendy got to be more tough, and there was more stuff about Wendy and Finn getting to know each other.

Which character do you think you resemble the most in your books?
I don’t know. Maybe… Rhiannon. Yep. 

What will the ISBN for Ascend be?
I don’t know yet. 

I understand that Ascend will be out on January 15th, but I would like to know if it will also be available as an e-book on that date??
It will be out in e-book before paperback. 

If you had to rename Switched and Torn what would you change their names to?
I like the title Switched. But for reasons I can’t remember, Torn was originally called Proxy. I don’t know why. But I changed it. 

Novels on the Run said something earlier about Loki, about him being tempting but not quite getting his attraction to Wendy. I'm curious about this too, I can't say I was surprised by his wanting Wendy but I didn't completely understand it and his proposal seemed sudden. Will we learn more about this in Ascend?
Yes, we will. 

Also, what exactly does Finn's family know about Wendy? His sister made it clear that Finn had mentioned her but what do they know about their relationship? I can understand Finn's mother's resentment towards Wendy because of her husband's affair but I still don't quite understand why she dislikes Wendy so much. Can you tell us more about that?
Finn and his sister are sorta close, or about as close they can be considering Finn is gone all the time. So I think Finn was a bit more open about his feelings to Ember, but also Ember is excited about the prospect of a princess, so she asked him a lot. But I think Finn still kept his real feelings to himself. As for his mother’s feelings about Wendy, I touch on it a bit more in Ascend. I will say this – her feelings for Wendy aren’t really based on Wendy herself, but rather on the monarchy and the royalty. 

I don't necessarily think this means Loki is bad; I just wondered, is there any significance to the fact he does not call her Wendy?
I don’t think it’s necessarily a negative significance, but I did do it on purpose. Calling her by her name does denote a level of ... closeness. 

Could you possibly maybe tell us all how to pronounce the places and names in the Trylle trilogy?
All the words are based on Scandinavian. So, if you go to Google translate and pick Swedish and put the words in, you can listen to them pronounced. In my mind, that’s how you say them.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

it's all for you, Michael Wincott

I'm still taking questions about Ascend that I will answer on Friday. But I'm answering one now - Ascend will be out on Kindle and Nook before paperback. I will publish them both at the same time, and they should go on sale about roughly the same time. (With Letters to Elise, I think Nook beat Kindle by about two hours.) 

As some of you may know (or may not), the character of Oren in the Trylle Trilogy was written specifically for Michael Wincott. I'm not saying the trilogy will ever be made into movies - because honestly, I really don't have much control over that.

But I have been a die hard Michael Wincott fans for years. Ever since I saw Robin Hood: Prince of Theives when I was seven (and subsequently became unnaturally obsessed with Bryan Adams), I said to myself, "That Michael Wincott is for me." And he is.

Unfortunately, the film industry does not seem to feel the same way as me, and Michael Wincott's gravelly voice has been absent from the silver screen for far too long. So I decided to do my part, however small it might be, to bring Michael Wincott back.

Hence, the character of Oren. And you may say, "But Oren isn't really a nice guy. If you love Michael Wincott so much, why didn't you make a character for him the hero of the story?" Because that's not how Michael Wincott works. He's awesome because he does evil so well.

If you're unfamiliar with Michael Wincott, here's a scene of him from The Crow. (Warning: This scene does contain some adult language, including the F-bomb twice).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - Ascend

Quick, before I get into the fun stuff - SouthLAnd season 3 premieres on TNT tonight. Watch it. Tell your friends to watch it.

I have been fighting for this show since it got canceled because it's the greatest cop drama on television ever. I've signed petitions, emailed TV stations, attended Facebook chats, tweeted, blogged, and just generally harassed the world into keeping this show on the air. And I will continue to do that if I have to.

So go watch it, so I can talk about stuff other than saving SouthLAnd, okay? 

Teaser Tuesday is a meme I frequently mutilate for my own purposes, and today will be no different. It's supposed to be "pick two random lines from a book you're reading." I was going to pick two random lines from Ascend, but the part I "randomly" picked really needs more than two lines because it's short.

So pretty much nothing about this follows the Teaser Tuesday meme rules, but it is Tuesday, and this is a teaser, so it's not a lie.

Without further rambling, here is the teaser for Ascend:
    “I want you to remember this,” he said, his voice low and husky. 
    “What?” I asked. 
    “You want me to kiss you.” 
    “I don’t,” I lied. 
    “You do. And I want you to remember that.”


It's not that great. But it's hard to pick lines. Maybe I'll come up with better ones later and post them. I can't really post my favorite lines from the book, though, because I feel like they give away too much. So... that's what I've got.

Well, I guess, my favorite non-giveaway anything line is: "I'm not a bloody cockroach." 

Also, I'm still taking questions about Ascend. I talked about it on my blog yesterday, and feel free to ask away.

And just as a reminder - Ascend will be out by January 15th.

EDIT: Sorry. I posted this blog a couple hours ago, and I just wanted an episode of "Hoarders" on A&E. They left many animals in the care of a woman who is clearly unwilling and/or incapable for caring for them. I don't understand why A&E did it, but it is obvious to anyone that the animals left under Hanna's care will continue to be abused and killed.

Does anybody know who to contact about this? All I know is that Hanna lives in Illinois. And yes, I know that lots of people watched that show and lots of people are probably writing somebody. But it was one of the most appalling things I've ever seen, and I want do whatever I can. 

So if anybody has any information about who to contact or something I can, please let me know.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Questions About Ascend

The Trylle Trilogy continues to be compared to Twilight, which completely baffles me. Other than the fact it's paranormal and has romance, I personally don't see similarities.

Here a list of things that the Trylle Trilogy is more like than Twilight:
-Labyrinth
-Pretty in Pink
-The Princess Diaries
-Star Wars


This isn't really a fun fact about Ascend, though, and I said I would start today.

Here's what I'm thinking would be fun. And factual. If you guys have questions about Ascend or the characters, post them in the comments, and I'll answer them on Friday. I'm not going to answer spoilers, such as "How does the trilogy end?" or "Do Wendy and Finn end up together?"

But if you have questions about the book, the trilogy, or any characters, ask away. As long as it's not a spoiler, I'll answer it on Friday's blog.

And just a reminder, Ascend will be out by January 15th. So... the end.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011!!

First off, I want to thank everybody for their support and encouragement. It really, really means a lot to me. I hate commenting back to comments on blog, because it's not like on Facebook, where I can just click and comment directly. And if there's five people I want to say something to, it seems confusing to me, so I'm just writing a big thank you here, and promising to figure out how to respond to comments in more a timely fashion.

It's been 2011 for a little over a day, and I've already made a few decisions.

But before I get to them, I just want to say: Ascend will be out before January 15th. I don't know what date exactly, but I will be sure to let you all know the second it goes up for sale. It will be up for the Kindle and the Nook about the same time, and follow very shortly in paperback.

Throughout the next two weeks (starting on Monday), I'll be posting teasers and fun facts and stuff like that for Ascend.

Now onto my other decisions.

First - my New Year's resolution is to answer email in a more timely fashion. If you've emailed me and I haven't replied, it's not because I don't care or haven't read it. It's because I take forever to reply to an email. I feel like that I should be eloquent and witty, and all I can usually come up with is something like, "Thank you." And that feels too insincere.

I get really hung up on how sincere I sound apparently. I think it's because when I'm nervous and I talk, I sound really rude. My friends make fun of me for it. And now I have complex any time I do anything when I'm nervous, and I'm afraid I sound disingenuous when I really am being genuine.

Anyway - the next decision concerns my blog. I'm still going to talk about whatever I want. (Today's blog was almost about how Kickass reminded me a lot of Observe and Report, and then also go on a rant again about how Death to Smoochy  and Mystery Men are really underrated films).

But I did need to decide what kind of blog I wanted to have. More personal, or more business? Because on a business blog, it makes sense for me to talk about sales, the process of writing, and all sorts of writerly business. It would be meant to inform other writers and people interested in that kind of thing.

But if I'm writing a personal blog, it makes more sense for me to ramble about Michael Wincott and talk about what I'm working on and stuff to readers about my books. It would be more aimed at being mildly entertaining and informative to readers.

But I can't have both. (This it the third paragraph in a row I've started with the word "but." I'm a really good writer). People coming here to read about stats and figures will be bored when I discuss why everyone should be listening to Chris Garneau or how I'm still sore that Jo dumped Laurie in Little Women. And readers coming to find out more about stuff about the Trylle Trilogy will be irritated when they see me posting sales.

So here's what I decided - this blog is personal. On almost any given day, I would much rather talk about pop culture or my books than about money or figures. So I'm not going to be posting that kind of stuff here anymore.

However, if you are a writer and want to ask questions, feel free. Although, I should warn you, my advice probably isn't that great. And if you have a blog and you'd like to invite me to talk about facts and figures and things like to inform other indie writers and people in the biz, then I'd be happy to do that.

I'm not going to be secret about what's happening in  my life. I have no reason to be. But I don't need to talk about it all the time either. So that's my feelings on all of that.

On a final note, Oprah now has a channel called "OWN" and I doubt that my gay roommate will ever let the channel change to anything else ever again. But Oprah just said somehing, and I've decided to end on that, because she makes it sound deep and meaningful.

"Welcome to 2011. Let's make it our own."

ONE DAY LEFT Plus... Fun Stuff

There's only one day left until Switched hits bookshelves, and I'm filled with a mixture of unparalleled excitement and absolute terror. I hope all of you have that pick up a copy enjoy the book, and I can't wait to hear what people think of the brand new short story - "The Vittra Attacks." Nobody's read that yet, and I'm excited to get feedback.

Also, if you do pick up Switched in stores, don't forget to take a picture of yourself with the book in the store and send it to me (via Twitter, Facebook, or email - hockingbooks@hotmail.com). I'll be posting my favorites this week. Just make sure that if you do take pictures, you don't do anything to get yourself in trouble. I'm not encouraging lawbreaking or rule-breaking of any kind. Only fun.

 made a video the other day where I pronounced all the words in the Trylle Trilogy that I get questions about. The most obvious one is, "How do you say Trylle?" I've got that one in there, along with a few others, and I hope it helps those of you with questions :) (P.S. I'm wearing my new glasses).



So I hope you and all your friends and every person you've ever made any form of contact with picks up Switched this week. And to everyone who does, and everyone who has already pre-ordered, thank you guys so much! I'm so grateful for all the support I've gotten so far, and really, all of this is an amazing, surreal experience.