Anastasia Hopcus wrote her first book in the 2nd grade. It was entitled Frederick the Friendly French Ferret and was seven pages long. During high school she wrote numerous short stories and started (but never finished) three screenplays, all as an alternative to doing actual school work. At the very wise age of twelve her career ambition was to drive a Mack truck, but when that didn’t pan out, she tried acting, bartending, and being a receptionist in a dojo before finally returning to writing. Anastasia loves horror movies, Joss Whedon, obsessing over music, and British accents. She lives in Austin, Texas but you can visit her on her Goodreads page.
Let the conversation begin!
Can you tell us about the book you’re working on? Is it coming easily or have you run into road blocks?
My most recent WIP has been much more of a struggle than anything I’ve written before it. It has two separate points of view, which means I have to spend time getting inside the head of each character. Because it is a time travel novel, I had to do even more research than usual, which is quite a lot as it is. Keeping the word length down has been the most difficult. But I think it’s a really good project and I’m excited for other people to get to read it.
How many words have you written in one writing session?
The most I’ve written in one session was 7000 words, but that’s very abnormal for me. I usually do about 1000-2000 words at one time.
Who was the hardest character to develop?
Probably Colt, the main female character in my WIP, because she’s very different from me, whereas Phe’s personality is a lot closer to my own, which makes it easy to determine what she would do in different circumstances. But I do feel like all the hard work on Colt paid off, and I think she’s a very multi-dimensional person.
When was the last time you went bowling? Was it fun or total disaster?
I don’t remember the exact date, but I’m always terrible at it, but it still ends up being a lot of fun.
Do you come up with your book titles?
Yes, that’s something I really enjoy.
What is the easiest part of the writing process? Hardest?
Dialogue is the part of writing that’s the most fun for me. I don’t know if it’s the easiest, but it’s the part I enjoy the most. Structuring the story is definitely the hardest part and something I’m always working to improve on.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
The most challenging part was trying to find an agent who had the same vision for my story as I did. Luckily, I found Meredith Kaffel, who I work well with. That search was probably five times longer than it took to find a publishing company for Shadow Hills. But it was well worth it!
What is your very favorite part of the day?
Around midnight. That’s when I get my burst of energy.
Would you rather plan a party or attend one? Why?
I’d rather attend one. As with structuring my novel, I find the planning phase of anything to be the most difficult.
Any advice to share with aspiring writers?
I think that learning many different methods to approach the writing process is very beneficial. Even if you don’t agree with some of the advice, it can help clarify what does or doesn’t work for you. That way you are better equipped to tailor your own writing experience, which seems to be very different for each individual.
Are you a person who makes the bed in the morning?
No, definitely not. I’m lucky if I make the bed once a year.
Are there certain characters you would like to return to?
All of the Shadow Hills characters, especially my absolute favorite, Brody. Luckily I was able to reconnect with all of them recently while writing a Shadow Hills novella. The novella Holiday Spirits will be out in late fall and here’s a taste of what’s in store for my favorite group of characters:
Winter break is fast approaching, and Persephone Archer is looking forward to one weekend at Devenish Prep where she doesn’t have to worry about her new supernatural powers or the mysterious affliction that plagues her boyfriend Zach. All she wants is to lounge around with her friends, and, even more tempting, spend some alone time in front of the fire with Zach.
So when the friends are forced to work as stagehands by the school’s drama department, the group concocts a prank to convince the Devenish Players that the theater is haunted. The thing they didn’t count on was that the ghost stories might actually be true…