Transforming Old Myths into New YA Fiction: Interview with Author Kelly Hashway
I have met many inspiring writers through the online community She Writes and Kelly Hashway is one of them. Over the past two years, I’ve come to enjoy Kelly’s frequent blog posts (especially her weekly ‘Monday Mishmash’) and the knowledge she shares about the publishing industry. Kelly makes being a writer look easy and fun though I know she works very hard at the craft.
Hashway is a former language arts teacher who now works as a full-time writer, freelance editor, and mother to an adorable little girl. In addition to writing YA novels, Kelly writes middle grade books, picture books, and short stories. Her genres of choice are paranormal, fantasy, and horror. (She prefers creepy horror to gory horror.)
When she’s not writing or digging her way out from under her enormous To Be Read pile, she’s running and playing with her daughter. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.
She is represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management.
Touch of Death, her first YA novel, has just been released and I thought this would be a great time to interview Kelly.
-Tell us about your debut YA novel, Touch of Death. Why did you want to write this book?
I came across two lesser-known myths about Medusa and the 13th sign of the zodiac while researching for another book, and I immediately fell in love with the stories. Everyone knows Medusa as this evil monster, but according to this myth, she was beautiful and wrongfully cursed by Athena. In another myth, Athena gave two vials of the Gorgon Medusa’s blood to Ophiuchus, who used the blood from the right side of Medusa’s body to become a healer. When I learned that one vial of blood (from the left side of Medusa’s body) had the power to kill, I wondered what would have happened if Ophiuchus had used it. My cast of necromancers was born from there.
-How did you get bitten by the ‘writing bug’? Did you always wish to become a published author?
I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve been writing since elementary school, but I got serious about it after my daughter was born. I went back to school to learn about the industry, and then I found my agent, who thankfully sold my books.
-What’s your process like when you’re working on a novel?
I spend some time planning the story first. Sometimes I have over 20 pages of notes (like with Touch of Death) before I draft. I draft quickly at that point. Touch of Death took 14 days to write. Then it’s revise, revise, and revise some more.
-You manage to pack a lot into your day! You are a consistent blogger, freelance editor and have numerous writing projects underway. How do these activities feed into each other and you?
They all involve reading and writing, which I love. I think I have the best jobs in the world. I work seven days a week and couldn’t be happier about it.
-If you could invite three living writers to a dinner party that you’re hosting, who would you invite and why?
Rick Riordan, Becca Fitzpatrick, and JK Rowling. Riordan is my idol. I love the Percy Jackson series. My copies have post it notes all over them, marking passages of brilliance. Fitzpatrick is the author of my favorite YA series, Hush Hush. I could talk to her about Patch all day long. And Rowling is a legend. I’d just let her talk and stare in awe.
-What’s your best writing tip that you’d like to share?
Read as much as you can. Reading great authors is the best form of research in my mind, and it’s fun too!
To learn more about Kelly and participate in her promotional giveaway (includes a copy of Touch of Death and great paranormal themed swag) visit her blog.