Thursday, August 4, 2016

Interview with Author Sophia Elaine Hanson

Hello to all my subscribers and readers just passing by!
I have a really awesome interview to share with you all today. This is my very first interview, so bear with me here. I had the opportunity to read and review Vinyl by Sophia Elaine Hanson (which I absolutely LOVED by the way) and after we talked a bit about a possible interview. Sophia is so kind and I could not have been more excited to interview her. If you have never heard of her or her book, then check out her website and feel free to check out my review of Vinyl, which can be found in the 'Reviews' tab above.

Before I get started, I want to thank the lovely Sophia again, for this interview and for writing such an amazing, creative story with characters that blew my mind. 

 Sophia Elaine Hanson
May your song guide you home!  

 How old are you? And how long have you been writing for? 
I just turned twenty this summer! I have been writing since I was about eight. I wrote my first 'book' in a spiral bound notebook around age ten. It was called The Journey to Demethedept, which was a magical country you could only enter through the pages of this ratty old library book. I know, super original. *rolls eyes*

What is it like being a published author at such a young age? 

A bit surreal, honestly! When I first starting writing Vinyl I wasn't really considering publishing. I knew I wanted to be an author eventually, but that was just in the far of land of Someday. Then it started coming together and I realized...wait...what am I waiting for? I found a great editor, formatter, and cover artist just sort of spilled out. 

What first influenced you to begin writing? 

When I was little I was a terrible reader. Then one day I heard about Harry Potter and I knew I had to read it no matter what. My mom started reading the series to me, and then I started reading the books myself. From then on, you couldn't pull me away from my books. In the fourth grade I ran into a problem, though...I ran out of books. Literally. I couldn't find a single thing to read that interested me. It just seemed natural that if I couldn't find what I was looking for on the shelves I would just create it myself.   

What is your favorite genre of music? Going into more detail, what is your favorite song at the moment?

I range all over the place! I would say my overarching favorite category is alternative, but I am also into classical, indie, rap, hip hop, and electronic. To give you a little perspective, my writing playlist for Radio has M.I.A., The Lumineers, Vaults, Moby, Panic! At the Disco, The Weeknd, Sia, Beethoven, Beyonce, Hozier, and EXO (just to name a few). My favorite song at the moment is either Every Other Freckle by alt-J or Trouble by Halsey. 

How would you describe your relationship with music? And what inspired you to use music as a weapon? 

Interesting question. Music has always been a huge part of my life. My parents are big time audiophiles. I grew up listening to classic rock, everything from The Beatles to Rush to U2. Mom and I also had a huge thing for Muse. Anyway, over time I developed my own tastes, but I still trace my roots back to the music my family shared with me. For me, is all about self expression and healing and joy. When I was fifteen I went through a very difficult time in my life. I was diagnosed with a serious medical condition and was sexually assaulted in the span of about six months. It was tough, to say the least, but one way I really found my way back to myself was through music and writing. Now that I think about it, that was about the time I started writing Vinyl...Hope that wasn't a massive overshare!

What inspired Vinyl's strong, vivid cover?

Funny story! I found the image, which is by the incredible photographer Marta Bevacqua, on tumblr and actually shot out of my chair and screamed "RONJA"! I had such a clear image of her in my head, but I had never seen anyone that compared. Her eyes, her hair, the dirt on her face, her expression, even her longish nose. She was perfect. I emailed the artist right away and she kindly sold it to me for a reduced price, as I was only eighteen at the time. See! Being a young writer does have some advantages!

The main character, Ronja, is very special and extremely important. Is there anyone in your life that reminds you a of Ronja? Or vice versa? 

Hmmm. Yes. My mother sort of reminds me of Ronja. She is strong, a bit of a pit-bull really, but in the best way. She is a pediatrician, and a damn good one. She is loyal and she never ever gives up on people. She never gives up on me. Personally, I know this is a bit conceited, but I see a bit of myself in Ronja, too. For all my flaws, I am resilient as hell, and so is she. Maybe that's why I wrote her as I did. 

What led up to your first book being published?

A lot of writing and editing! Ha! There were about fifteen drafts of Vinyl in total, not including the rounds of professional proofing and editing it went through. There was a period of time that I never went anywhere without a binder full of notes and edits. That must have been my junior year of high time flies. I feel sort of old now. 

What made you become interested in the Dystopian genre?

Hard not to be with the world we live in. The planet is in turmoil, and our literature reflects it. The Hunger Games, Divergent, Legend, Matched...we write what we know, what we see. 

What do your supporters and readers mean to you? Who has been your biggest support system since you began this journey? 

My readers mean everything to me. I am young, new to this business, and without a large marketing machine backing me. When people tell me they liked or loved my book, I still tear up. Because it is a huge chunk of my soul. I guess in the end that is what writing is, holding out your soul in your hand and allowing everyone to scrutinize it. You just hope they will see a bit of themselves in it and smile. My biggest support system has been my parents. My mom is always my first editor. She loves the characters and the story as much as I do. She has put so much time into helping me. Really, she is my agent. Until such time that I get an actual agent, but that is further down the line, I think. My dad is just as invested in his own way. He is my rock, he is Mr. Logic. He helps rein me in when I get a little too artsy for my own good, fills in gaping holes when the story gets a little too crazy. They're the best. I don't know what I would do without them. 

Is there anything you'd like to share about the sequel, Radio? 

Ooo sneaky. Kidding! I guess I can share a little. There will be a time jump between Vinyl and Radio, not going to say how long. Ronja and the gang are back at it not listening to any rules and kicking some serious butt. We will see Ronja go through quite an emotional journey, she is obviously very scarred after the events of Red Bay. She is also hungry for revenge. There is music, there is blood, there is heartbreak, and there is kissing...maybe even a bit more than kissing...oh...and there are a few pretty massive plot twists. The release date is not set yet, but I will be announce it as soon as I know! Should be early 2017 or if I pull off some sort of miracle late 2016. But I do work two jobs and am a full time student at New York University so...please be patient! 

If you could be placed as a character into any book, which book would it be?

Easy. I would want to be at Hogwarts. I am a proud Gryffindor and would love nothing more than to live in the Wizarding World!

Since Harry Potter and the Cursed Child just released, which Harry Potter Character is your favorite? 

Don't make me choose just one! I'll give you my top three. Ginny, Harry, and Sirius. Oh, and Hermione. Okay, and Tonks. Dammit...also Luna. 

I also have to ask you.. what is your all time favorite book? If it is even possible to pick one.

Hmm not possible to pick only one haha! I'll give you my top five! In no particular order...

1. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki 
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 
3. Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
4. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury 
5. Blackbringer by Laini Taylor 

And that concludes my Interview with Sophia Elaine Hanson!

 I can not thank Sophia enough! If any of you are interested in her book Vinyl, you can find it at the link given, and once again, you can get in touch with Sophia on her website at 

Thank you for reading & another HUGE thank you to the amazing Sophia!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice interview, Amazing job for such a young Author. Just hearing a little about Sophia makes me want to read her book, I think i will start it this week.