The creative new author, a rising star from the UK, Mia Hoddell, opens up the magical Young Adult Paranormal genre to readers around the world. A fresh genre, YA Paranormal is not often talked about in the mainstream but should be, because it is a thriving and enthralling world which makes the reader ask the important question, “What if…?” Hoddell crafts a beautiful story about a dynamic love story interweaved with the influence and power of earth’s elemental forces.
CM: What made you decide to become a writer?
MH: I’ve always been taught to follow what you love and happiness will come with it, and that’s what writing does for me. I’m at my happiest when writing and have always been creative, whether in the arts, poetry or novels. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and recently found a book of poems I wrote from ages 4-10. I just love inventing worlds, stories and characters (it’s better than the real world sometimes).
My writing progressed as I found I had more to tell and after a year of great English lessons in high school I knew it was what I wanted to do. Once I got three poems published before the age of 16, I moved onto short stories which I entered into a few competitions. I found that the word limit restricted me though so it was just an obvious step to progress into full length novels. I love the freedom writing gives you and as long as it continues to bring me happiness I will stick with it.
CM: What books influenced your life?
MH: I read for fun and to escape the real world (or the voices in my head) for a while so I wouldn’t say they influence my life in any big way, other than relaxation. If I had to choose one though, I guess I would say The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding as it was the first book I ever read all the way through without being forced. It was also the first book I bought myself and since then I fell in love with books. Before the age of fourteen I’d have rather watched paint dry so I guess this author has influenced me the most.
CM: What drew you to writing in the Young Adult genre, and, specifically, in the YA Paranormal genre?
MH: Young Adult books are what I read, although I am starting to read New Adult too, so it is what interests me. I tend to like the paranormal genre as personally, I feel it allows me to be more creative. I don’t feel constrained to normality and can invent my own world which I love.
Also, setting my books in paranormal worlds or with paranormal aspects allows me to get around challenges such as locations easily. Because I haven’t travelled much, it’s hard to make settings realistic so for me this is a great solution. Besides that, I just find it more fun as I can let my imagination run free. One of my favourite parts of writing a novel is researching potential creatures as there are just so many interesting myths out there.
CM: What is your process for writing? Do you write notes or just let the words flow?
MH: When writing my first book I just let the words flow. That was probably down to the fact I wasn’t planning on writing a novel though, I was just entertaining myself during the summer holidays. However, now I have to write a detailed plan on everything before starting, especially when it’s the first in a series like Deadly to Love.
When Planning Deadly to Love I ended up with a twelve-page plan. It included everything from a plot summary, chapter by chapter breakdown, character profiles and details about specific and important items. I found this helps me keep continuity in the novel and the sequels. It also focuses me on where I am going with the book, hopefully creating a solid plot structure (which I’ve been told in reviews is the case). I also think this is the reason I’ve never had writer’s block as I already have a general outline for each chapter when I come to write it so I’m not thinking where to take the story next.
I do have pages and pages of notes for new book ideas though.
CM: You mentioned to me you took a year off to write. Why did you decide to do this?
MH: Well, I finished my A-Levels in June and up until that point I’d been having to write around studying. I had to put exams first and although I managed to release three books and still achieve top grades, doing this it was incredibly tiring.
I decided to take a break from education before going on to university this year. I applied but deferred my application as I felt that I needed time to focus on what I want to do rather than being lectured on things I wasn’t really interested in. There were no courses that really grabbed my attention (even the creative writing ones looked bland) so for me deferring was the best option. It gives me a year to focus solely on my writing and a much needed break from exam stress.
CM: Tell us about Deadly to Love, the first book in the Elemental Killers series.
MH: Deadly to Love is a YA romance with paranormal/fantasy aspects. It is my third novel and after writing my first trilogy (The Wanderer), I wanted to write something more light-hearted and fun. I knew I wanted to create a romance with a modern twist and stay away from high-school, so I started experimenting with social games on my iPod. It was from some of the messages I received on there, which generated the idea for Deadly to Love.
Originally, it was going to be just a romance but when I started writing, I decided I needed a paranormal element as I felt restrained to realism. I prefer to create my own worlds (even though my island in Deadly to Love is on Earth) or have an element that allows my imagination to run free. As well as this, I wanted the lead characters to stay human so when I found the Elementals they seemed like the perfect antagonists.
The book is based on some real life experiences and the rest was down to my imagination asking “what if the world was alive and fought back?”
CM: What do you want your readers to take, or absorb, from your books?
MH: I didn’t really write it with anything in mind. I just hope readers enjoy it and have fun while reading it. If they can get immersed in my world and characters then I’ve succeeded in what I set out to do.
CM: How do you picture yourself in the future?
MH: That’s a tough question to answer as writing is unpredictable and I have both long term and short term goals I would like to achieve. In general, I would love to have more books released, either through self-publishing or a publisher but I also want to travel. I have a huge list of countries/places I want to visit so I would love to be able to cross a few off.
Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell
The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.
Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.
She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.
His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.
What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.
She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.
“I couldn’t put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Goodreads Reviewer)
“I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)
“I will admit I scoffed at the way it started but in the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound.” Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)
A little bit more about the Author
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still – despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.
Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series ‘The Wanderer Trilogy’ and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series ‘Elemental Killers’ before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.