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Author Interview: Yawatta Hosby


Hello and happy Monday! For the last month I'd been good about doing my Music Monday posts. I'm still doing it this week, but with a twist.

My fellow writing buddy, Yawatta Hosby released her latest thriller/suspense book on November 19th. To help celebrate her newest book, I invited her to my blog for a fun interview. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy.


1. What books have most influenced your life? 

Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries have always had a place in my heart. For the longest time, I’d only buy her novels in bookstores. My favorite of hers: And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and The A.B.C. Murders. Her writing has influenced me in every way possible, even down to the monsters in my stories are always human.

The Babysitter’s Club and other books I read as a child influenced my life as well. I’d get lost in the pages and fantasize about being an author myself. Without thinking reading is cool back in elementary school, I may have never thought to be a writer.


2. How do you develop your plots and characters? 

I develop my plot by always thinking of what I’d like to see on the big screen. I always have the ending in my head first, then I come up with scenarios that will get me that ending. Next step is coming up with characters who will fit that plot.

Plotting an outline, I write extensive notes to get a feel for my story. I end up noticing that once I actually start working on my novellas, scenes change or get deleted. I think of outlines as being flexible.

Creating character sketches is the longest process for me. Since I love to draw, I always sketch my characters with many different poses and facial expressions. I do this with main characters and secondary characters. I even go as far as drawing fake social media profiles and interviewing my characters like they were auditioning for a reality tv show.

I really like getting inside their heads before I even start the first sentence of my book.

3. What do you enjoy most about writing horror/suspense?

I LOVE scaring readers!


4. We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonist(s)? 

Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?


For my newest release, Six Plus One, a group of college kids travel to Green Bank, West Virginia to film footage for an alien-centric web series. Alta is the main character. She’s charming and flirty. When things go crazy, she keeps her cool and tries to be a leader. Natalie is the nicest one of the bunch. She shows sympathy. Kendrick and Declan are nice guys. They wouldn’t even hurt a fly, or would they?

There weren’t any real-life inspirations behind my heroes. However, I did try to mirror similar personalities from characters of One By One since my new book is its sequel.


5. A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner 

villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?
Tapping into my inner-villain(s), I was focused while I wrote the novella. I listen to certain playlists on Spotify to stay in the mood. Writing about killing characters in gruesome ways can get intense sometimes. After I’m done from my inner-dark place, I immediately change playlists to happier, upbeat music or I watch a comedy on Netflix.

I promise I’m not creepy in real life haha.

Grayson and Eugene were main antagonists. They were jerks and manipulators. Of course, the killer(s) were villain(s) too. No spoiler alerts in this interview. There weren’t any real-life inspirations behind my villains.


6. What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part of writing Six Plus One was the revision process. Since it’s a sequel, I wanted it to match the word count of One By One. I did many massive rewrites, but the new scenes just weren’t vibing with the story. I had even tried a totally different ending than originally planned. However, listening to my critique partner, I decided to change things back and delete scenes that were slowing down the pace.

I’m happy that I listened. Now, I see that it doesn’t matter if Six Plus One has a lower word count. The novella is a great read. One day maybe I’ll share the alternate ending and/or deleted scenes with my newsletter subscribers.


7. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Chapter Seventeen is my favorite. Something pushes Declan over the edge, causing him to go over to the dark side. Since the beginning, he seemed like one of the good guys, so it was quite fun making him be badass. Chills went down my spine as I wrote Declan entering the cabin. I can only imagine what Alta, Kendrick, Natalie, and Eugene were feeling!



8. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? 
I learned that I am capable of writing sequels. Publishing my first book in 2013, I always thought I’d be one of those authors that would never write sequels. That once I wrote ‘the end,’ my story was complete. However, Six Plus One challenged me in a fun way. Even though it’s a sequel, the book can be read as a standalone.

I also learned that around 30,000 words tend to be my sweet spot. I’m okay with writing fast reads. I’m okay with writing novellas. I’m okay with not pushing myself to get a higher word count if the pacing doesn’t fit the story.

9. Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp? 

The message I hope readers will grasp—trust no one. Characters can be unreliable narrators. Characters can have their own agenda for lying. I hope I shock the readers by the killer(s) reveal.

10. What are your future project(s)?

I tend to jinx myself with this question. I think because I’m a slow reviser. Sometimes it can take me years to complete a novel. I feel like I’ve been saying this for ages, but my future projects are finishing my suspense story of a young, crazy ballerina terrorizing her sister, and finishing my horror story of a group of college students dying, one by one, from different urban legends.

Even though I’m a suspense and horror author, I also dabble in other genres from time to time, especially with short stories. For NaNo this year, I’ve written a sequel to my women’s fiction novella, Something’s Amiss. And, my local writing buddy and I committed ourselves to writing a short story every week for 52 weeks straight. That’s a lot of stories I need to polish! I hope to submit to magazines and perhaps publish a short story collection.

I hope 2018 will be the year where I can publish more than one book a year!

11. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be? 

Growing up, I always had a sketchbook in my hand, surrounding myself with pencils, markers, and colored pencils. My family thought I’d be a children’s book illustrator. If I hadn’t become an author, my ideal career would be a cartoonist or comic book artist. My favorite sense of humor is sarcasm, so I would apply for shows with the same tone as Daria and Total Drama Island.

This year I attended an online art school called Schoolism, learning from instructors with great credentials. One helped with the Disney show Kim Possible. Maybe one day I can follow my dream of creating a comic book or graphic novel…


12. What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with 

or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?

I’ve noticed that I mostly hear from readers through my email (found on my blog) and Goodreads, but using any social media platform is okay with me. I’m mostly on Twitter, interacting with readers and other writers. My favorite hashtags are: #amreading and #amwriting.


And because this is my Music Monday spot, I had to find out what song or songs Yawatta listens to while writing. 

Civil Twilight's "Letters From The Sky". It’s one of my favorite rock songs, putting me in that somber mood when I’m writing something dark :)





I hope you enjoyed this interview. Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,
~Meka






Hello, I’m Yawatta Hosby. I reside in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. I teach creative writing through the Adult Education Program, and I enjoy connecting with other writers through blogging.

With a desire to escape every day life, I create short stories, novellas, and novels. I’ve always had a fascination with psychology, so I like to focus on the inner-struggles within my characters. I’m an avid reader, favorite genres: mystery, thriller, horror, and women’s fiction.

You can find Yawatta hanging out at the following places:



Comments

  1. Thanks for the interview, Meka! I really appreciate it. Did you like my song? :)

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

    ReplyDelete

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