Saturday, April 07, 2012

Interview with Elissa Janine Hoole (Kiss the Morning Star Blog Tour)

Today we have Elissa Janine Hoole here for an author interview! This post is part of The Teen Book Scene's blog tour for Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole. You can find out all about the tour here. Make sure to visit all the other stops if you'd like to know more about Kiss the Morning Star!

1. I love books about road trips! Have you ever been on one yourself?
I love road trips, in both book form and in real life. I have a box in my office full of maps that I’ve highlighted the paths I’ve taken on trips ever since I was in high school, and I keep journals and photographs of all my trips. On road trips, I like to be spontaneous and just drive all the back roads, which is why I really enjoyed working with the idea of Anna and Kat choosing their destination based on flipping to a page in a Kerouac book.
2. I was looking at your website, and I came across the crazy fact that you had a naked wedding reception. Um, what? Care to elaborate?
We had a small wedding ceremony in the Mount Hood National Forest, on the shore of the Clackamas River, just a few friends hiked with us into the woods—and a couple of random strangers who happened to be in the woods! One of our best friends officiated over the marriage, my maid of honor sprinkled rose petals around our tent, and we all wore flower crowns and big smiles. The place we camped was near a natural hot springs, a place that was very special to us during the time we lived in Oregon, and we all spent most of the evening soaking in a giant barrel of hot water, passing around a bottle of wine and enjoying our potluck feast of camping delicacies that we spread out on the benches around the tub area. It was a beautiful November evening, and all of my memories are wrapped up in lovely images of crisp air and swirling steam and friendship.

3. Without spoiling anything, could you tell us what was your favorite scene to write in Kiss the Morning Star?
My very favorite scene to write was actually the last one—as a writer, it was just one of the scenes that felt right to me, and I enjoy the feeling of creating closure, while still leaving the path into the future a little open. I love imagining what happens to Anna and Kat on the pages after the end.

4. How do you go about naming your characters?
On some level, I think the character names just arrive, along with their voices, as I start to write. I have changed the names of my characters (after noticing, for instance, that all of the characters’ names start with a J…this has happened twice. I guess I like J names!), but that takes a big shift in the way I think about the character. It’s kind of like with real life people, where the name takes on a lot of meaning and associations. I think a little bit about the ethnicity of my characters, the type of parents they have, the beliefs they have, and this impacts my choice of name, and then I do have a baby name book that I’ll flip through for inspiration at times, too. Sometimes I’ll use a phone book for the area where my characters live as a way to get last names that will fit.

5. Why did you decide to have your novel take place the summer after high school?
I’m fascinated with transitions in life, the points where a person has to make important choices that will impact the direction of their future. Anna has to figure out where her future is leading her, and the scary place right after graduating high school seemed like a natural place for her journey to begin.
Thanks for the great interview answers, Elissa!

Check out all the other stops of the tour, and keep your eye out for Kiss the Morning Star, which has already been released.

Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole
(Amazon | Goodreads)
The summer after high-school graduation, a year after her mother’s tragic death, Anna has no plans – beyond her need to put a lot of miles between herself and the past. With forever friend Kat, a battered copy of Kerouac’s DHARMA BUMS, and a car with a dodgy oil filter, the girls set out on an epic road trip across the USA. Maybe somewhere along the way they’ll prove or disprove the existence of God. Maybe they’ll even get laid...
It’s a journey both outward and inward. Through the Badlands and encounters with predatory men and buffalo. A crazy bus ride to Mexico with a bunch of hymn-singing missionaries. Facing death, naked in the forest with an enraged grizzly bear... Gradually, Anna realizes that this is a voyage of discovery into her own self, her own silent pain – and into the tangled history that she and Kat share. What is love? What is sexual identity? And how do you find a way forward into a new future – a way to declare openly and without fear all that lies within you?


  1. Ruth Lauren StevenApril 8, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Looking forward to reading this one : )


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