P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. P. J. is also a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS.
When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik’s cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice, takes place in a Global Warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade fantasy novels, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, and The Necropolis, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea. To learn more, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What initially drew you to writing?
I wasn’t the kid who wrote all the time. In fact, I always figured I could never find enough words to fill a book. That said, I always loved reading, especially science fiction and fantasy. Around the time my second kid was born, all the Lord of the Rings movies were coming out and I was hugely into Tolkien. I loved them and watched them and read everything I could about the series. But then it struck me one day that rather than invest so much of my thoughts in someone else’s world, why not create my own? So I started writing!
When are you the most productive?
Before I quit my day job, I was most productive at night. Now, I find mid-morning to be the best time. I get email and stuff out of the way and then have a few good hours before I need to pick up my kids from school. I used to write at night, but now I mostly read in the evenings. It’s such a nice way to end the day!
Are your characters completely fictional?
Completely fictional. SOLSTICE is my fourth published novel and so I’ve gotten most of the urge to write people I know out of my stories. I mean, sure, probably every character I write has a bit of me in them, but for the most part, they come from the conglomeration of thoughts inside my brain.
What book was the easiest to write? Hardest?
SOLSTICE was by far the easiest book to write. The basic story flowed so well, I thought I would never capture that flow again. And I loved every bit of writing it. As for the hardest to write, I’ve had a couple works-in-progress since writing SOLSTICE that have been more painful, but I have to keep reminding myself that nothing (nothing!) is perfect the first time it’s written.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve received is to allow yourself to write rubbish in a first draft. It’s important to get the words down. After they are down, they can be changed and moved and reshaped into anything. But if they never make it onto the page in the first place, they’ll never become published.