Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Interview with E.C. Hibbs


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series? 
My latest book is called Tragic Silence and it’s a YA paranormal romance / thriller / suspense. It’s about a young woman called Bianka Farkas who is targeted by a vampire while trying to rescue her best friend. She eventually runs away to London so she can try to find some safety, but it soon turns out escaping is not quite that simple. It’s part of a series – it has two prequels which are unpublished at the moment. But the three books can be read individually and in any order; together they bring together a larger story.
Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all? 
It happened with Tragic Silence, because Frank was originally going to be quite a minor character. I honestly can’t imagine how I could have written it if I’d carried on that way. He really brought a warmth and sense of humour to the book, and it didn’t take me long to see that Bianka would definitely need more of his influence!
How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel? 
All in all, I think it took me about three years. The idea that I might someday be able to become a professional writer wasn’t something I really thought about until I was in my teens, but my family and teachers encouraged me to try. By that time, I had already written four novels and two novellas, and I originally approached publishers with one of them. I put off trying again for a while, but when I rewrote Blindsighted Wanderer from an earlier version, I decided to give it another shot, and that book turned out to be “the one.”
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover? 
The Tragic Silence cover was done by the brilliant Airicka Phoenix, but I was very involved with it because part of the image was actually created by me! The background is a concept artwork which I created of the main character, Bianka, and I knew I really wanted to have her on the cover somewhere.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you? 
I outline, but I don’t always stick to it completely. I tend to just use it as a general walkthrough, to remind me where the chapter breaks should be, or roughly when a certain bit of information needs to be fed into the plot. I hate tying down the story and not giving it room to breathe and grow by itself. But I do need to have some kind of ‘umbilical cord’ to make sure it can’t completely run away with me!
What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)? 
The main sites that I use to keep people updated on a day-to-day basis are Facebook and Twitter, and every few weeks I write a post on my blog. I’ve recently launched a brand new website (www.echibbs.weebly.com) which is full of bonus material from both my books, including desktop wallpapers and some of my original notes. Last month I also took part in Vlog Every Day in April on Youtube, and I think I’ll carry on making the occasional vlog in the future!
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book? 
It can be a bit tricky, but I think it all comes down to time-management. I’m also at university studying for a Masters degree, so if I’m not working on stuff for that, I’m usually doing something for my two published books. I really enjoy writing, so I don’t have a problem focusing on that in my ‘spare time’, but the way I prefer to write means I can get most of the story done in 4-8 weeks. So I try to organize my time into blocks, to allow for university work, promotional work, and then writing intensely for a couple of months every year.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions? 
I’m a really big nature and animal lover, so I enjoy being outside, especially in the Lake District, which is one of my favourite places in the world! I’m very passionate about art as well, because I’ve been doing that for pretty much as long as I’ve been writing. Besides that, I practice Shotokan karate and archery, and collect old books!
Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night? 
I can’t choose between dogs and cats because I love them both! In ice cream terms, I’d pick vanilla, but in all other terms, chocolate all the way! I can’t stand coffee or tea – hot chocolate always wins for me! And I’m definitely a night owl; I always seem to be more awake when it goes dark!
What’s next for you? 
This is going to be quite a busy year for me because I’m due to finish my Masters course, so I have to write my dissertation over the summer. But once that’s all done, I’m going to write a fantasy / steampunk novel in winter, and next year I’m planning to start a new high fantasy series! But the main thing I’m looking forward to is paying a visit to Royal Holloway University’s book club later this month! It’s all very exciting!

Book & Author details:
Tragic Silence by E.C. Hibbs
Publication date: November 19th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Suspense

Synopsis:
When tragedy strikes Bianka Farkas one night in her native Hungary, she loses more than a friend and her mobility. Some things are harder to understand. Waking up in a hospital, Bee struggles to remember exactly what happened the night she was attacked and witnessed a brutal murder. Memories of a mysterious figure plague her as well as bizarre and terrifying changes in her over the next few years. Facing this new horrifying reality with a surprising ally, Bee finally has the chance to take her revenge but at what cost?


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AUTHOR BIO:
E. C. Hibbs has lived all her life in Cheshire, north-west England. A lover of stories from an early age, she wrote her first ‘book’ when she was five, and throughout school was a frequent visitor to the younger classes to read her tales to the children.

Living so near the coast, she loves anything to do with the sea. She studied Animal Behaviour at university and longs to work with marine mammals in the future. As well as nature and animals, she also has a soft spot for history, and loves paying visits to castles, cathedrals and museums.

There are many things she could be without, but writing isn’t one of them. She carries a pen everywhere, in case an idea appears, and takes pride in still seeing the world as brimming with magic. Besides writing, she reads obsessively, her favourite genres being the classics and all kinds of fantasy. She also enjoys Disney and horror films, practising Shotokan karate, drawing, archery, and playing with her very cheeky kitten.

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