Interview with Hannah O'Donnell

When did you first start writing?
I honestly can't remember, I've written for years! I found short stories I wrote in primary school, mainly fanfictions for barbie which is a bit worrying, but I've always kept a journal, written stories, bad poetry and even helped a friend write a song which was fun. I honestly don't know what I'd do with all the spare time I'd have if I wasn't writing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Facepaint and Feathers is my first novel and something I've spent a long time working on. It started as a series of descriptions I'd worked on in class and fallen in love with and the story came together later. I felt like until this was out there for others to read I couldn't move on to my next challenge, so it also serves as a 'f- you' to everyone who turned it down, turned me down, or told me I couldn't do it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Philip Pullman.
Sara Manning.
Cassandra Clare.
P.C. Cast.
Cecily Von Ziegesar.
Meg Cabot.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend most of my time reading; I'm studying English with Creative Writing at university so it means I have long reading lists and only so many hours in the day.

I also play rugby, and have played for South East and Kent, and I horse ride.

I also have kittens and a dog. My life isn't complete without pets.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Normally they're in the 'if you like that you'll like this' category and if I've read something that sounds similar or is by the same author I'm all over it.
What is your writing process?
Procrastinate for 10 hours after waking up, striking creative genius at 2am, writing as much as I can before my eyes won't stay open and then editing it later. Bodes well doesn't it...
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My dad used to read the Hobbit to me and my brothers before we went to bed, and I definitely blame him for my addiction to fantasy novels. He then read us all the Harry Potters, A Series of Unfortunate Events and by this time I'd decided I was going to write my own. I love the idea of someone reading to their children before they go to bed and maybe I'll write something that is graced with the same honour.
How do you approach cover design?
For Facepaint and Feathers, I had an idea in my head of what I wanted but I told no one. The photographer, make up artist and model were all friends of mine, as well as the graphics designer, and all wanting to start their own careers on their own. So I let them do what they do best and hoped that in doing so they'd let their creativity and experience shine through. I'm so happy with the front cover now I'm glad I didn't get all control freak-bossy! They've all done a fantastic job!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
His Dark Materials - the descriptions, the narrative, the characters; there's nothing about these three books I don't love. Except maybe the ending of the third. I cried. Pullman is a literary genius.

Adorkable - I read this hating the main character, but being a ghost writer of blogs and an avid blogger myself, it gave me loads of ideas and confidence that I could make money doing what I loved.

The Hobbit - it just makes me think of my family, and we've made a big tradition out of going to see it as a play and the new films.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I work for a local magazine, so she's given me a free editorial.
I also work for my uni newspaper so there's an article about me in there too.
But mainly facebook. I drum up most of my followers through facebook.
Describe your desk
An absolute mess. Make up, paper I've horded, pens, pencils I've collected from placed I've visited, books, notebooks, kittens - all over the place.

The desk itself was a gorgeous white painted victorian desk - but then I spilt tea on it.
Published 2013-12-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.