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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Author Interview – Inspirational & Gifted High School Author Halle Homel!

Halle Homel


  1. What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in New Jersey, and I now live in Southern California.

  1. Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
For a very long time I wanted to write. I started writing when I was in fourth grade, and attempted many (failed) novels. Although for a long time (meaning like all of Middle School), an author was not the ideal career choice. I wanted to be an interior designer, and it wasn't until I started seriously working on my first novel in Freshman Year of High School that I decided that my passion was in books.

  1. When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
Last year, in 9th grade (or Freshman Year). That was when I did most of the writing of my first novel, Abduction Day, and became serious about getting it published.

  1. Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Since I self published, the actual publishing process was only about four months.

  1. Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Not yet, I'm trying, but since I'm in High School, it's hard to get a job, other than writing.

  1. What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My debut novel is called Abduction Day. It's about a dystopian society filled with mysterious abduction, spies, and corrupt totalitarian government, with a touch of sci fi.

Abduction Day By Halle Homel

Buy Here: Abduction Day

  1. Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I self publish for now, but hope to one day get a professional publisher.

  1. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it.
It depends on if I'm writing it during the school year or not. I usually can write about one book during the whole school year (9 months), and then another one over the summer, when I have more time.

  1. Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
All of my three books that I've written were equally easy/hard to write, but the third book in the trilogy was the most fun to write.

  1. What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Well, I'm first going to self publish books two and three of the Abduction Day Trilogy. And then after that, expect to see not only more dystopian fiction, but also some contemporary works. I'm trying to experiment with other genres. There might even be some fantasy in the future... you never know.

  1. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have plans for many books. Four of which I'm trying to develop. They will most likely all be stand alones. (I say most likely because Abduction Day started off being a stand alone). Two of them are dystopian/sci fi, and two are contemporary.

  1. What genre would you place your books into?
The ones I've written are all dystopian fiction.

  1. What made you decide to write that genre of book?
The Hunger Games. That was the series that got me seriously into that genre, and inspired me to actually keep going.

  1. Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
My favorite of the three books in the trilogy is book three because it was the most fun to write and the most things happened in it.

  1. If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I would be Georgia Canterwood, mostly because her personality is very much like my own already.

  1. How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I've been writing in general for about six years, but I started seriously writing almost just over a year ago. The Hunger Games inspired me to write the Abduction Day Trilogy. But a lot of books that I read in Elementary School inspired me to start writing.

  1. Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Two of my best friends act as my editors. They give me grammatical help and advice about certain parts of the plot.

  1. Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
I haven't yet, since I'm saving money to publish book two.

  1. Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, and I must say, I'm happy.

  1. What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
No bad reviews yet. It is hard to hear that my book is amateur or young sounding, although I know that's because I wrote most of it when I was only fourteen. The next books in the trilogy are written much better.

  1. Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
A lot of times, the story comes first, but with the trilogy, the titles came first.

  1. Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
A lot of times I come up with the characters first, but that's mainly with minor characters. With major characters, the name usually comes first. And place names usually come after I create them.

  1. Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
For the trilogy, I did close to no outlining. For all my future books that I'm planning, I have some outlining done.

  1. How do you market/promote your books?
I mostly promote through Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. All three are amazing websites for a lot of people to get in touch with me and hear about release dates and events.

  1. What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
When it makes you feel like it changed your life. If you feel like the words have made you look at life differently, it's a good book.

  1. Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Of course! I usually get past it by taking a break, and trying to outline a little bit.

  1. Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I base a lot of my characters on my friends and especially my family, but I actually base a lot of them on me and bits of my personality. I don't (or at least haven't yet) base things off of events that have happened to me since my books are dystopian fiction.

  1. Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of ("The moral of this story is..")
There are some, but they aren't very hidden. They're out there, but they're important lessons.

  1. Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and John Green are my main inspirations.

  1. Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Paperback. And I prefer this mostly because I'm a reader. I don't like ebooks because you can't sign them or get them signed, and hardbacks are expensive.

  1. What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
My all time favorite book would have to be Looking for Alaska or The Fault in Our Stars (both by John Green). They are amazing stories that really did change my life. I've read both of them twice.

  1. Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
It depends. Some adaptions are amazing (like Catching Fire), while some were disappointing (Like Percy Jackson). My favorite book to movie transfer would have to be Catching Fire, since it was almost exactly like the book (I saw it four times in theaters!). A close second would be The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Even though it was slightly different from the book, it's still amazing.

  1. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I'm currently reading The Book Thief. I love this book so much so far, and I'm not normally a fan of historical fiction. It's a paperback.

  1. Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I hope not! I don't think they will. There is too much of a demand from people like me who like to hold an actual book.

  1. Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I think they do a lot of both. I have a younger brother (who one of my characters, Spencer, is based off of), and he does a lot of creative writing in school, and participates in literature circles.

  1. Did you have a favourite author as a child?
I'm still a child! (Sorta. Not really. I'm a teen, technically). My favorite author now is John Green, and my favorite author as a child was Ellen Raskin, author of The Westing Game, which was my favorite book in fifth grade.

  1. Do you have a favourite genre of book?
I love dystopian and contemporary fiction, but they're tied for favorite.

  1. Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
So many random ones. The Forest of Hands and Teeth was one that I wasn't able to finish. And I know I will NEVER read Twilight.. (no offense if there are any twihards out there).

  1. Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
Ada Slowe. She's new and indie and is very active with online fans.

  1. Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
No. Everything happens for a reason, right?

  1. What do you think about book trailers?
They're interesting, but I don't have much time to make one, and I don't have a publisher to do one for me.

  1. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Keep writing! Don't let the critics get you down, and don't write for other people, write a story because it's the story you have in you.

  1. If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
My three favorites that I listed earlier: John Green, Veronica Roth, and Suzanne Collins.

Where can readers follow you?
Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads

Your blog details?

Your web site ?
I don't have one yet, but it's in the process.

Your facebook page?

Your Goodreads author page?

Your Twitter details?

I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank you Halle for your eloquent replies, and I am sure that we will be seeing more of your stories in the future! You are an inspiration to all young people who have had the courage to follow their dreams and you epitomise one of my favourite sayings (on a chalk board, no less, which I thought was perfect).

Gripping Read!!

Dragonman: Face of the UnknownDragonman: Face of the Unknown by Ted Lazaris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an edge of the seat story, which begins smack bang in the middle of an apocalyptic event. The end of the world is a topic which has intrigued mankind since the beginning of time, but in this story it is just the beginning; not the final annihilation of humankind. The foreign object hurtling towards the earth is merely the first sting of a battle that will consume the heavens above and the earth below.
The threat introduces the DragonMan; a superhero already living on our planet, with access to different worlds such as ‘Spellville’; and he is not alone with his incredible abilities, of which more are revealed as the story continues. His family, with which he runs the family business ‘Starr Investigations’, are also endowed with their own fascinating skills, which invite further investigations of their own. Other characters from Spellville include ’Plupee’ and ‘Dooley’ who add a little light comedy in the midst of such dark and dangerous occurrences. Another lead character is Nathan, who has no abilities except for his skill with a pen. Luke and Nathan's lives become intertwined in the midst of the first catastrophe, and when Nathan has a series of personal disasters, he seeks out their firm for help. Thus begins a rollercoaster of explosive tragedies, spectacular fantasy, and murder mystery. The Author leads you through each one in a well written, intriguing and captivating way.

In summary I would advise that you set the scene to read this novel. Get your cocoa, your pyjamas, and go to your private place; switch off the tv and ignore the kids for a while, and step into Ted Lazaris complex and fascinating world of the unusual, the bizarre, and the downright terrifying creatures you are about to meet.

View all my reviews

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