PJ Hoover enters cautiously and looks around.
2k8: (indicates straight-back, wooden chair in front of her) Have a seat, PJ.
PJ: What's going on? What am I doing here?
2k8: (flips on bright light and pulls out notebook and pencil) It's your Launch Week interview. And we want the scoop. On you.
PJ: Uh, okay.
2k8: (slides large, dark sunglasses up her nose) So, where do you do most of your writing? Photo, please.
PJ: I write in a 7x8 loft. It’s small but cozy, and thanks to shelving from Home Depot, I can keep everything within hand’s reach. It’s funny because our house used to have a double story entry area, but I started eyeing the extra area as more square footage, so we had a small loft put in.
And yes, I do keep my desk that neat pretty much all of the time!
2k8: Seriously? Your desk is always that neat? Wow. (looks at notebook) What made you write THE EMERALD TABLET? How'd the book came about?
PJ: I started writing after both kids were born. It was one of those “I’ve always wanted to write a book” moments, so I headed upstairs, sat down at the computer, and started brainstorming. Really. Just that fast.
2k8: Wow. Impressive. And how did it find a publisher? (lowers voice) Give us the *real* dirt!
PJ: Lots and lots of trying. Revisions. Not being afraid to revise. But finding my publisher almost happened by accident. I decided I wanted to live the writer’s life, so I jet-setted off to NY for a winter SCBWI conference one year. While there I met an editor who offered to read the manuscript and give me feedback to help with my revisions. Her feedback was phenomenal, and I was so excited to revise, I ripped apart the manuscript and sent a revision back to her. Which she read. And I revised again. And she read again.
This happened a couple more times until one day she told me she wanted to acquire the whole trilogy!
PJ with Editor Madeline
2k8: Anything surprise you when you were writing your book?
PJ: How much I had to learn about writing!
How much had to be cut from my first draft!
How awesome the writing community is.
How experienced writers really want to help new writers.
How much I would absolutely love writing!
2k8: What's a question won't most people know to ask you?
PJ and her Rubik's Cube collection!
Question: How long does it take you to solve a Rubik’s Cube?
Answer: Just around 2 minutes. That’s for the 3x3x3. The 4x4x4 and 5x5x5 take much longer – so long I never really time myself. Everyone should learn to solve a Rubik’s Cube.
So, there you have it, folks. The scoop on PJ Hoover, debut middle grade author of THE EMERALD TABLET PJ's just as fun and interesting and creative as we've thought all year long. Although her desk is a little cleaner than we were expecting.
Oh wait, this just in. Another pic...
It's PJ holding a scorpion! Ack!
Well, she's braver than we thought too.
Join us tomorrow to find out about PJ's real-life launch party.