Wednesday is All Write: Author Spotlight, Jill Hathaway

The talented (and adorable)
Jill Hathaway, author of SLIDE.

I am so excited for this week's author interview!

Jill Hathaway and I have been sharing writing triumphs, hurdles and secrets for about four years now. While our critique group - The Fab Five Scribes – may have gone defunct, and some of us (cough, cough) have switched genres, the bonds of friendship we established have never been broken. Which is why I'm more than happy for her. I'm ecstatic! Jill's debut novel, SLIDE, will be released to the world in March 2012, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins!!!!!

Can I get a woot, woot?!!

I was one of the lucky ones who got a preview of the cover before it's big reveal. (Yes, I can keep secrets.) But I was even luckier to receive an ARC of SLIDE (an advanced reader copy) before it's publication date. A YA murder mystery that keeps you guessing until the very last page, coupled with the coolest sci-fi element ever and rocking prose, SLIDE (and Jill's growth as a writer) blew my mind. Seriously,  I COULD NOT put this book down:

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth--her sister's friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered. 

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body. 

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Such a freaking awesome concept, yes? 

I assure you SLIDE delivers. 

Five stars, Jill. Five sparkly stars. 

And now we'll SLIDE into our interview:

Seven Questions with Jill Hathaway:

1) Tell us about your journey: From becoming an agented and soon-to-be published authoress, how long did it take you to get from concept to publication?
Well, my first novel never sold. (Thank you for critiquing it, by the way!) I queried about a million agents and got some requests, but it just wasn't polished enough. It was a good practice novel. After that, I got pregnant and took a year off from writing. When my daughter was about six months old, I was ready to try again. I came up with the concept for SLIDE in January of 2010 and spend a couple of months writing it. I did NOT spend enough time revising before querying. I was lucky enough to get a couple offers of representation, and then Sarah Davies helped me to revise SLIDE until it was ready for submission. We sent it to publishers in September, and we got an offer in October. SLIDE will not come out until March 27, 2012, so it was a little over two years from concept to publication. 

2) Did agent or editor revisions flip you out?
Yes, at first, they always do. I read the letter and give myself a little time to let it sink in. Then I make a list of all the changes I'd like to make. Checking them off as I go makes me feel like I'm making progress. 

3) What's your editing/writing process like? How do you manage writing with work, a toddler, and another baby on the way?
I just mentioned a bit about my editing process. I'm a teacher, so I usually draft my books in the summer. My husband takes care of my daughter in the mornings so I can go to a coffee shop or the library, and I write until I reach my goal, usually 2,500 words a day. It's difficult to juggle deadlines, especially during the school year, but my husband helps out a lot. I couldn't do it without him.

4)  Did you learn anything when writing SLIDE and what was it? Do you have any plans for another book? Are you ready to spill? (I know you're working on SLIDE II, is there another concept you're excited about???)
I discovered that my edgy, rebellious teenage voice could come off as pretty unlikable. So I learned a lot about making sympathetic characters. As you said, I've finished the initial draft of SLIDE 2, and I'm waiting on the edit letter. In the meantime, I'm working on a horror novel. I can't really give any more details than that.

And now for some fun:

5) If there was a soundtrack for SLIDE, what songs would play? 
Definitely Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the Smashing Pumpkins

6) Who would play Vee in the Movie? What about the other main characters?

That's a great question. I'm not all that familiar with younger actors, so I don't really have a preference. Someone kind of rough around the edges, though. I would LOVE Claire Danes to play Vee's mom. And maybe the dad from Friday Night Lights for her father.

7) Tell us about metaphorical jelly doughnuts? Do you need one?
Haha, there's a point in the story when Vee is feeling pretty low, and her friend takes her out for jelly doughnuts. So after that, she refers to any intimate/emotional moments as metaphorical jelly doughnuts. And I could ALWAYS use a jelly doughnut! :D

And now for some random. (Jill's answers are in pink)

1) Jelly Doughnuts or Chocolate Croissants
2) Vampires or Werewolves
3) Tacos or Enchiladas
4) Pantser or Plotter (although I'm trying to be more of a plotter)
5) Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate
6) Heidi Montag or Snooki
7) Movie Theater or Couching it with a DVD

Thanks so much for having me, Samantha!!!

No, Jill, thank you! I wish you all the sucess in the world!

For more on Jill, stalk fangirl/boy her at the following places:

And don't forget to add SLIDE to your GOODREADS or TBR list!


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