Interview with Zara Hoffman

When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first coherent story the summer before I entered 4th grade, when I was 10. I've been writing ever since.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not the first story I ever READ, but my earliest memory of a book I loved was a collage story of Medusa, where SHE was a bullied victim. It showed me very early that PERSPECTIVE is everything, and it's a lesson I've never forgotten.
Who are your favorite authors?
Katie McGarry, Cora Carmack, JK Rowling, James Patterson, and Jane Austen.
Describe your desk
Long, built-in brown wooden desk with a corkboard in front. Normally more cluttered than I would like. I clean it once a month, and it only takes 2-3 days to get messy again.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My writing. If I stayed in bed each day, I'd just sleep. Getting up is half the battle in my writing, and that is my raison d'être.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Releasing the crazy and wonderful stories bouncing around in my head. Honestly, if I didn't write, I think I'd go crazy. Also, just sharing my love for reading through something I, myself, have created gives me an incredible rush.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I always wanted to be a published author, but the idea of giving up so much creative control over important aspects (title, content, cover, etc) did not sit well with me. As self-publishing became a more legitimate way of pursuing my dream, I knew that this was the perfect way to get my story out into the public as my own vision, not an amalgam of compromises.
What is your writing process?
I generally dream or think of a scene or idea for a story. Then I write a scene (not necessarily the first), then I go and make a barebones outline of the whole story. Then I "pants" my way through it. It makes for lots of editing, but keeps the process exciting over the long haul.
How do you approach cover design?
I think of themes/ideas for what I want, then I contact my cover artist, and we go through many different drafts until we hit on the perfect version.
What's the story behind your latest book?
THE BELGRAVE DAUGHTER was the culmination of 3 different WIPs: the 1st was a contemporary romance, the 2nd was a spy novel involving a mission and major betrayal, and the last was a story about Heaven and Hell. This novel took the best of all three and evolved into something much better than any of the individual ideas. I'm very happy with it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, listening to music, singing, playing with my dog, doing homework, researching internships and colleges, etc.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the sequel to THE BELGRAVE DAUGHTER. It's called TEARS OF AN ANGEL and will be out Summer 2014.
Published 2014-01-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.