Today, Ellen Hopkin's first adult novel, Triangles is released! I was asked to participate in the Blog Tour for it's release, and so I got to ask Ellen 5 questions, and today, I get to show you the fabulous answers that she gave! :D
So, here's my Q and A with Ellen Hopkins:
What inspired you to start writing your books in poetic verse?
Ellen Hopkins: I started my first novel, CRANK, in prose, but the voice was all wrong. Put the book away and went to a writers’ conference, where I saw Sonya Sones (another verse novelist) speak. I’ve written poetry my whole life, and decided to give it a try. Then I found a talent for it.
Is writing in poetic verse difficult? And do you have a way to keep track of your storyline as you write it?
EH: The challenge is making every word count. Giving just enough detail to allow readers to “color in” the rest. It has become second nature at this point, so story flows onto the page as verse for me. I don’t outline or plot, except in very vague ways. My stories are really about my characters. They speak to me in verse, I guess.
Your books have unique formatting, is it difficult to do, and how much control do you have with their finished format?
EH: Some of the formatting is extremely difficult to write, especially the poems with the smaller poems to the side. I have complete control over the finished format, and in fact, write to trim size so the verse looks exactly the way I want it to, start to finish. Design used to hate me. Now they’ve come to enjoy the challenge, I think.
I was hesitant to try out poetic verse at first, and I know there are others out there that are also unsure about it. What would you say to those people to encourage them to try it?
EH: Just dive in! It doesn’t really read much differently and once you get past the first couple of pages, you’ll get over the idea that it’s verse. The story is what’s important and with no extraneous language to take you out of the story, it will feel like you’re living it, rather than having it told to you.
How different was it writing an adult novel compared to writing your young adults novels?
EH: I really didn’t find it all that different. I feel like I channel my characters, once I know who they are. So it was just channeling characters experiencing adult situations rather than teen situations. I was a bit freer to elevate language and to write sex without having to consider my audience so specifically.
Here's a video of Ellen Hopkins talking about Triangles:
I love Ellen's answers! And I agree with what she said about poetic verse putting you in the story, Triangles definitely did that for me! :D I hope that these questions and answers made you excited to try one of Ellen's books, and also to read Triangles!