Welcome to Mia
Please tell us a little about yourself. I love reading and writing and that’s what I spend most of my time doing now I have a year off before going to university. I took A-levels in History, Drama & Theatre Studies, Photography and English Language (much to the dismay of my teachers who wanted me to major in science and maths). I love anything paranormal, which is mainly the genre I write in besides romance, and I have an overactive imagination that taunts me in the night when I’ve read or watched something scary. Until you get to know me, I’m quite shy but none of my closest friends or family would agree with that statement. Other than that I love escaping to new worlds either in books, movies or the little worlds inside my head!
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I’m the author of Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers 1) which is a YA romance with paranormal aspects. After writing my first trilogy (The Wanderer) I wanted to write something more light-hearted and fun. I knew I wanted to create a romance with a modern twist and stay away from high-school, so I started experimenting with social games on my iPod. It was from some of the messages I received on there that generated the idea for Deadly to Love. I based some of it on real life experiences and the rest was down to my imagination asking “what if the world was alive and fought back?”
At the moment I’m gearing up for the release of the sequel while editing the third book. There will be a total of four books in the series and I’m working on planning the final instalment now.
Who or what are your inspirations/influences? My inspiration and influences change per book. Sometimes they come from real life situations (like with Deadly to Love) and other times they come from other places such as my dreams. You never know when something is going to spark off an idea so I always keep a notepad handy to jot down ideas as they come to me.
Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? Once again it really depends on the novel I am writing. For Deadly to Love a lot of it came from my imagination so besides researching the paranormal aspect and adapting it to fit with my story, there wasn’t a lot of research to do because I created a new island on Earth as the setting and was adapting ideas from real situations. However, with the new book I am writing now I’ve had to do quite a bit of research on things like: travel, location, weapons, rankings in certain jobs etc. I don’t want to give too much a way on that project right now but because it has a lot of action in it, I have been using the internet and YouTube a lot for maps and videos of self-defence.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these? (If applicable) My books are available in both ebook and print. I wouldn’t know where to begin with audiobooks but it may be something I look into in the future.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? No, I made that mistake once and will never do it again. Thankfully, a reviewer let me know quickly so I could correct the book before too much damage was caused. I believed my editing was good enough but I think it’s incredibly hard to self-edit. For me I read what I know is meant to be there rather than what really is and therefore missed a lot. I now edit to a point but when I feel I can do no more I outsource. In the end I think professionally edited books are better as you get another person’s perspective to help not only with the grammar but correct continuity errors in the story and to help the overall flow of the book.
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? In general I don’t. I reply to emails, tweets or Facebook messages if someone tells me they have reviewed my work and it will always be a polite thank you even if the review is not something I agree with. I’m both a blogger and author so I’ve seen both sides. I know how upset authors get when their work doesn’t connect with someone but it’s part of the job at the end of the day. I don’t agree with authors who will get into lengthy and public discussions over a negative review and in my opinion it does more harm to the author’s reputation than the review itself.
The only time I’ve commented on a review was to let someone know that my book had been re-edited and re-released as they had picked up on some grammar mistakes which I was thankful for.
Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? Music is a big must when I’m writing as I find it traps me inside my own little writing bubble and focuses me. I have to have the right music playing to fit the atmosphere of the scene I am writing though because otherwise it’s just a hindrance. Mostly I use film scores as they are perfect for creating moods – it’s what they were designed to do after all – so fit great with images in my head. They also have no lyrics that can distract me by making me sing along (badly) which is a bonus.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? For me it allows me to escape into another world and actually engage with the characters. I find I just sit staring at a screen with movies (I don’t play video games) and don’t form a bond with the characters. Writing allows me to feel what the characters are feeling, go on a journey with them and experience their story rather than just watch it. I kind of turn into a zombie with a movie but can connect on an emotional level with novels.
What advice would you give new writers? Write whenever you get the chance. There is never, nor will there ever be, a ‘perfect time’ so just get up and do it instead of waiting. Also, develop a thick skin, learn to grow from criticism and ignore everyone who tells you writing is easy – it’s not and it only gets harder after you’ve written a novel!
Most of all though I would say make sure you have fun while writing. If you don’t have fun or pick a subject you are interested in it will be even harder to finish.
What are your best marketing/networking tips? I’d say it would be to keep an active online presence. Nowadays there are so many authors out there that if you stop promoting for even a day you fall off the radar and have to work your way back up. I try and spend at least two hours a day doing some kind of promotional activity for my books.
Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? I love anything paranormal or that includes romance. I like getting lost in new worlds and I’m a sucker for HEAs. For me reading is a feel-good hobby and I refuse to pay for something that isn’t going to end well. A few of my favourite authors are Rachel Vincent, Derek Landy, Julia Golding and Sophie McKenzie. There are a lot of others but those are the books I always re-read.
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I have an overactive imagination. I can’t watch or read any forms of horror (even the very mild or stupid) because I won’t sleep for weeks. I end up lying in bed and staring at my door believing something’s going to come through it. Living in an old house with creaky floorboards doesn’t help either, every noise makes me jump!
Book links, website/blog and author links:
Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell
The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.
Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.
She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.
His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.
What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.
She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.
About the Author
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still – despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.
Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series ‘The Wanderer Trilogy’ and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series ‘Elemental Killers’ before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.