Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview: Zoe Harrington

The Introduction: 

Hi Zoe! I'm so glad you agreed to let me interview you! First, some general questions:

What is your favorite book? 

Oh Ashley, this is a toughie! I have a lot of favourites, so this requires a lot of thinking...
For a time it was the Harry Potter series (first books I ever read, btw!) Then it was The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and then it was the Sookie Stackhouse (TrueBlood) novels. As you can tell, I like fantasy and paranormal.

Although I’d have to say that the one set of books I continue to read over and over is the Goddess of Partholon trilogy. If you haven’t read them, and you adore mythical creatures like centaurs, then you have to give them a whirl! If you don’t like mythical creatures, go read them anyway because the protagonist will rock your socks off. (If you’re wearing any...)

The ironic thing is, I got bored with the House of Night series by the same author – P.C Cast – and yet I love her trilogy.

A close second is the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy by Raine Thomas. They are similar books but also very different. J

I've been following your updates on your novelettes. Can you tell us anything about them? 

Hmm, they’re inspired by classic fairytales but each has a different twist. One has a fantasy theme, one a science fiction theme and the other a paranormal one. If you haven’t noticed already – there are three! ;-)

One is inspired by Rapunzel – currently going through rewrites – and the others are Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Each protagonist will have a completely different personality (I hope!)

You can actually read the draft blurb of the first one on the Writing Projects page of my blog. Although it will undergo some changes after the revisions, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what it will be like.

You write YA, is there any genre you prefer to stay in with YA? Like Fantasy? 

I wouldn’t say ‘stay in’, more like it’s my favourite genre to read and write.

I actually wouldn’t mind experimenting with different genres later on (I’ve got my eye on historical in the future.) I know some industry experts tell you to stick to one genre: you don’t want to flood the market, your readers need consistency...yadayadayada! It doesn’t bother me, I like to bend the rules sometimes. Especially in writing! J

The Book Questions: 

Can you tell me about one of your favorite characters? 

My favourite characters to write are those with an interesting back story.
So, usually the bad guys.
Then again, I do enjoy trying to write a male character. For this reason, one of my favourite characters is one called Ewan Miller. He’s one of the MCs in my long standing project. He’s fun to write because although he fills the position of ‘hot guy’ , he isn’t stereotypical. Or perfect for that matter. Ewan is hot-headed, sometimes arrogant and always domineering. What a lot of people don’t know is that he’s loyal as a puppy once you earn his trust, thoughtful and quite the romantic.
Here’s a cheeky picture for you to gaze at:

I love writing scenes with him in or even from his POV because it opens up new opportunities.

What is your favorite color? And do we see this reflected in any of your characters (e.g. One of my favorite colors is purple, so I make sure my character wears a purple dress!). 

My favourite colour actually is purple!

I usually avoid reflecting my likes and dislikes in my characters; I try to make them their own person. Of course, sometimes the odd trait slips in but I either magnify it or throw something else in there too.

The only occasion I can think of is a particular character having an addiction to blue Smarties. My second favourite colour is blue and I like Smarties so it’s the two-birds-one-stone scenario.

Maybe one day I’ll reflect more of myself in a character but who knows?

Which Character is most like you (in appearance or mannerisms)? 

Right, this is a trickie one.

None of them are similar to me in appearance.

However, there are mannerisms in a few of the characters that they share with me. A girl called Alice who took my protag under her wing on the first day of school, my protag – Sera – who can be grumpy as hell and sometimes blunt; and one of the novelette characters who is level-headed and pensive.

That’s not me being big-headed, just what I see. And to be fair, who would intentionally call themselves grumpy? ;-)

The Writing Atmosphere: 

What's your writing space look like? Or where do you most like to write? Do you have a playlist you enjoy listening to while you write? 

Right, so I notice a lot of writers have playlists to go along with their books and I don’t have one. I really should get one though, I want to. It’s just that I don’t listen to music that often. I prefer nothing but the hum of my laptop when I’m writing. When I’m not writing, and I’m listening to some music, I do listen to songs and immediately feel it inspires a scene in my writing.

My writing space is usually sat alone in my room, on the bed either in comfortable clothes or pyjamas! It’s my domain, and my family don’t bother me in there (usually.) I can sense other people’s moods quite well and so the atmosphere of a room is key. If someone in the room is tense, or there are a lot of people, I don’t like the vibe.

Finally, what is your ultimate goal as a writer? What do you hope readers gain from your writing? 

I just want to share the crazy stuff I think of with people everywhere.
Seriously though, I love the feeling you get after you’ve read a great book and it’s all you can think about. You’ve fallen in love with the characters, the magic of the setting and the gripping story. I really do hope I can recreate that in my writing. Even if it takes fifty books or fifty years before I reach that level.
It would be awesome if someone used the word unputdownable, enthralling or anything equally amazing. Of course, I know there will be some hits. I know not everyone likes the same thing. I don’t have my head in the clouds - but I can dream right?
Thanks very much for this opportunity, Ashley. These questions were fun to answer and I really did enjoy answering them!


  1. Ashley this was a great interview. Zoe always gives such wonderful detailed answers. She's a writer I am already planning to follow for as long as my eyes will allow me to read!

  2. Great answers. Every writer dreams of making characters people feel are real.

    1. Thanks! :-)

      I think every writer does, and I also think it's achievable will dedication & practice.

  3. Very cool interview! :) I can't wait to read some of Zoe's stuff once she's got it out. Sounds interesting. :)

  4. Great interview, Ashley and Zoe. Zoe, my favorite characters to write are the ones with the interesting backstory, too, which is usually the bad guys.

  5. Great interview you two! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  6. Lots of awesome insights! Thanks to you both for the interview.

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