Interview with Hope Welsh!

Today I have the distinct honor of interviewing the amazingly talented author, Hope Welsh. She is the author of The Prophecy Series, which includes (so far) two novels: ‘Linked’ and ‘Holding The Link.’ She also wrote The Hunted Series, which includes three novels: ‘Once Forbidden,’ ‘Once Bitten, and ‘Once Hunted.’ These books are in the paranormal romance genre, and for today’s purposes, we’re speaking about the first series, The Prophecy Series, which I have quickly become a huge fan of! I’d like to thank Hope for agreeing  this interview, and for answering the questions with such unique personality. On with the interview then!

10249017When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

An easier question would be when didn’t I want to be an author. I’ve been writing my entire life. I wrote my first romance when I was a teenager. In third grade, I wrote the play the school put on that year for Christmas.

Who first inspired you? Who continues to inspire you still?

When I was young, I read everything I could get my hands on. The Outsiders when I was a teenager is probably the book that made me decide to write, though. My first romance novel was by Elizabeth Lowell, and I was hooked on romance immediately!

Do you have any music you listen to when you are writing? Or do you prefer to do it in silence?

I generally write in silence. If I do listen, though, it’s going to be light rock. Michael Bolton was one of my favorites for years. And Elton John, and … well, you get the idea!

What hobbies do you enjoy pursuing when you aren’t writing?

I’m an avid reader; I read at least a book a day. My other obsession is television, I’m afraid. I watch DVDs of all my favorite canceled shows quite often.

Who is your favorite author, and is your writing style similar to theirs?

I don’t think my writing is similar to any author, really. I try to keep my own ‘voice’. But, if I had to pick a favorite author, it would be a toss up between Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell, Jayne Ann Krentz and Sharon Sala.

When you name your characters, how do you do it? Is there any special meaning behind their names, or do you choose the one which best fits?

Sometime, there is a meaning behind their name. For instance in Linked, I needed a name that meant ‘mighty wolf’, so, named the evil shifter ‘Connall’.

I play with names. If the name doesn’t fit, I’ve been known to change it half-way through. I know writers that don’t even have a name when they start. I don’t know how they do that, to be honest. I have to know their name to write their story.

I try to use names that are interesting as well. Usually, though, I just pick names that I personally like.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?

My daughter Career-wise, I’ve done many things that I’m proud of. But, I’m honored to have a wonderful daughter (who also happens to be a published writer).

603443_490882457649102_1648741192_nDo you have a job outside of writing?

No, I don’t. Though, I do take freelance editing and proofreading jobs from time to time.

How have your personal experiences affected your writing?

When I was younger, I wrote as an escape, to be honest. It was my way to escape things in my life that made me unhappy. What better way to raise the spirits than creating my own world?

How does your writing process go? Do you rough-draft and outline, or simply begin to write and take notes as you go?

I never rough draft, and I never outline. I generally know how the story starts and how the story ends. Part of the fun for me is seeing what happens along the way. If I try to plan things, my characters always have different ideas, so I learned long ago that for me, it’s best to start and see what happens.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read! You have to be a reader to be a writer, I think. Join critique groups so you’re with others that have the same passion as you do. I’d also suggest that you write every day—even if you don’t feel like it. There are days I just don’t want to write, but I always make myself do something.

When that great work is finished, be sure to hire an editor and have it read by beta-readers to be sure it’s the best it can possibly be.

It seems more and more new writers are trying to write in the markets that are currently ‘hot’. To them, I’d suggest to instead write the story you want to write.

What do you do when you get writers block?

I avoid it by having several stories going at the same time. If I’m stuck on one, I move to another. It is one of the biggest disadvantages to not plotting.

If you could apprentice under any author, who would it be and why?

Nora Roberts. She’s a great writer and she’s very prolific. I want to be both!

Who was the first person to read your first book prior to publication? What did they have to say?

If you mean the first I wrote, and not the first I published, it would be an English teacher I had in high school. She nominated me for Who’s Who Among American High School Students.

As an adult writer, with a book I wanted to publish, it was a critique group I belonged to at the time along with several writers that are now very well-known. I’m one to always listen to suggestions, and they told me things that I could make better in my story. Never underestimate the power of a good critique group!

How to deal with bad, non-constructive criticism? What advice would you give to other authors on dealing with it?

Honestly, I’d suggest to authors without a thick skin to avoid reviews totally. In my writing, if criticism isn’t constructive, it’s useless, and not worth my time—hope that came out right. People that aren’t helpful, so I wouldn’t continue to surround myself with them.

If there is a problem in your writing—I suggest seeing what several people have to say, not just a few. Always listen to things that you’re told by multiple people if it is constructive. The non-constructive ones? Feel free to ignore them.

Where and when do you think you get the best writing done?

I write best at night. I think it’s because everything is quiet and I can concentrate solely on my writing. I’m too easily distracted during the day at times.

How long did it take you write this book?

You’ll laugh, but less than a month on Linked, and the same on Holding the Link.

Which one of your characters are your favorite? Why?

I love Cole. I’m a fan of characters that are Alpha without being idiots. Cole’s a Southern gentleman that has a heart of gold. I want my own Cole.

Did you run into any snags? Parts of the book where you weren’t sure where to go from there?

Definitely. I’ve been lucky, as I have a daughter who writes. She’s given me just a one line idea that can spark enough to finish a book I thought was stalled. Without giving anything away, I couldn’t figure out what happened to Lana in Holding the Link, and my daughter made a suggestion that ended up having me add twenty thousand words to the book.

Why did you decide to write in this specific genre? What makes it special for you?

I’m a huge fan of happily ever after. I don’t want to be sad when I put a book down. I can be sad while I’m reading—after all, things happen. But at the end of my reading journey, I want my main characters to find their “Happily Ever After”.

How did you come up with the overall plot for this story? What inspired you to write it?

Actually, Linked started with just the Evil One. (The main evil in the book). The story spun from just that prologue.

Did the book come out the way you originally imagined?

Not at all. And it wasn’t really planned to become a series, either. I decided after Linked came out to continue the series based on reader requests wanting more, to be honest.

If you could change something now, would you?

Yes, Linked would be much longer. It was originally intended to be an entry in a contest that had a specific word count. In the end, it was too long for that contest.

If you could meet just one of the characters from your book, which one would it be and why?

Cole. He’s just my kind of guy. I wish there were more like him in the real world. He meets Lana when she’s in danger, and won’t take no for an answer when it comes to protecting her.

Is this book part of a series? If yes, then how many books can readers expect?

Right now, I’m planning on three books. Holding the Link continues on with Lana and Cole’s story, and was released late May. The third is planned to be about their son.

If you could describe your primary characters in just one word apiece, what would you use?

Stubborn (Lana)
Protective (Cole)

Who do you believe your target readers are?

My target market for this series are those that love a book with a happy ending, but like paranormal along the way. I love writing and reading paranormal, and I think that shows in the writing.

It’s definitely geared toward romance readers, though.

Do you have a favorite quote from this book? What is it?

He leaned over, his mouth next to her ear. “Why don’t we celebrate tonight by spending the rest of the evening in bed?” He nipped at her ear. “I think there are a few things I can give you early.”

“Promises, promises,” she said, grinning.

Are there any interesting facts you would like to share about this book?

I made up the town in the book. I like to be able to make the ‘town’ fit my books most often, so rarely write in a ‘real’ location.

One thing that was hard in this book was juggling so many things: We have ghosts, psychics, ancient shapeshifters, and more.

Is there anything else you would like to tell your readers about your book?

It’s hard to say a lot without giving the story away to those that haven’t read it yet. I believe Linked will appeal to those that like a mixture of mystery, romance and paranormal rolled into one interesting tale. Oh, and let’s not forget humor!

It’s a story of Good vs. Evil—but it’s also a story of overcoming obstacles to achieve the things you want and need. Lana goes through a lot of changes in this series.

Thank you so much for having me for this interview! 532528_500881789982502_1196160815_n

You can check Hope out on Facebook.


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