"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Inside the Author's Studio

This Months Inside the Author's Studio introduces

Kelly Hashway

Author of

1.) Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest publication MAY THE BEST DOG WIN and the adorable puppy Dash who stars in it?

Sure. May the Best Dog Win is the story of Dash, a mixed breed dog who has the perfect life until the Sweeper arrives. Dash thinks Sweeper is a strange new breed of hairless dog and he’s getting all Mom’s attention. But Dash isn’t about to give up his title as the favorite dog without a fight. (And yes, Sweeper is a vacuum. But don’t tell Dash that!)

2.) Why did you decide to get into Children’s Lit?

It was never really a choice for me. I’ve always written stories, and they were always for kids. I just consider it part of who I am.

3.) For those of us not familiar with the writing process that penning a picture book entails, could you tell us a little about it? How did you team up with your illustrator Valerie Bouthyette?

Well, picture books are a 50/50 between the author and the illustrator. My publisher paired me with Valerie, and she’s amazing. She blew me away with her illustrations because she really captured Dash and his emotions throughout the story. You wouldn’t believe all the revisions a picture book can go through since it’s so short, but every word counts. I even had to make revisions based on some of the illustrations. It’s a lot of work but also a lot of fun.

4.) I know, as it stands right now, you are working on a YA novel. Do you enjoy the freedom of switching genres? Is your agent supportive of your choice to switch?

My agent knew upfront that I loved middle grade and young adult and that I wrote across genres (fantasy, contemporary, horror, paranormal). She’s very supportive of me writing what I feel inspired to write, and I love that. Crossing genres keeps my writing fresh, and that’s important to me.

5.) Tell us a little about your agent and how the two of you joined forces?

I’m represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. When I queried her, she got back to me very quickly with a request for the manuscript. And soon after she called to offer representation. It was kind of surreal how we just clicked. I had full’s out with three other agents, but after talking to Lauren, I knew she was the agent for me. She has been absolutely amazing since we signed together in February. She was so enthusiastic about my middle grade novel she signed me with, and since then, her excitement has helped me write two more novels. She motivates me like no one I’ve ever known.

6.) Do you have a favorite genre?

Fantasy is definitely my favorite. But I prefer books that are grounded in the real world. I think of it as reality with a touch of the fantastic.

7.) Which came first? The Book or the Pen? Meaning which enticed you into the literary world first, the reading or the writing?

Reading. I remember wanting to learn to read more than anything else. I loved bookstores more than toy stores, and I always had my nose in a book.

8.) If you had a chance to work with one author – dead or alive – who would it be and why?

Ooh, that’s a tough one! There are so many. I’m going to have to go with Rick Riordan because I love his voice. Reading his books really helped me with my own writing.

Lipton’s Questionnaire:

1.) What is your favorite word? Magnanimous (I’ve never used it in my writing though.)

2.) What is your least favorite word? Then. In most cases, it’s a useless word.
3.) What turns you on about writing? Escaping the real world.
4.) What turns you off? Revising a piece for the 100th time.
5.) What sound or noise do you love? My daughter’s laugh.
6.) What sound or noise do you hate? Teeth clinking together. Ugh!
7.) What is your favorite curse word? Damn. Does that even count?
8.) What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Literary Agent
9.) What profession other than your own would you not like to attempt? Waste removal--I have a very sensitive sense of smell. ;)
10.) If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say with you arrive at the Pearly Gates? That my family is waiting to greet me.


Kelly Hashway said...

Thanks for having me, C.M. :)

Tabitha said...

Great interview!

So glad you found an agent that supports your wide range. I'm the same way, and I was lucky enough to find the same kind of agent--supportive, and dedicated to making my work the best it can possibly be. :)

Claudine Gueh said...

It really is wonderful to meet artists and agents dedicated to their work. Congrats on all your success, Kelly!

And I love the questions, C.M.!

(By the way, I think we share the same fave swear word ... teehee. For me, 'Damn' is definitely right up there with 'Bloody.')

Kelly Hashway said...

@Tabitha, yeah, it's so important to find the right agent. I feel very lucky to have Lauren.

@Claudine, thank you. LOL, can you tell I don't swear much?

Dawn Brazil said...

Great Interview. Great choice of questions CM. We're similiar Kelly. I too write YA, and MG, haven't tried the PB thing yet. But I might. I hope I have an agent as supportive as yours. Congrats to you!!!!

Fairday Morrow said...

Great interview. I like Rick Riordan, too. I saw him speak at a Barnes and Noble near me- he was awesome.

I am a new follower. Please stop by my blog and follow me back when you have a chance. www.jessicahaight.com

Take care-
Jess (though I may show up as my main character, Fairday)

Michael Ann said...

How fun!! I love learning more about Kelly and your interview was great! Thanks for sharing this.

Darby Karchut said...

Oh, this was a charming interview! I loved the questions about the Pearly Gates!

Kelly Hashway said...

@Dawn, it's amazing how much a supportive agent can fuel enthusiasm. I'm crossing my fingers that you'll find that too, Dawn.

@Jess, you met Rick Riordan? Excuse me while I go all fan girl for a second. I'd love to meet him. I'm sure I'd make a fool of myself though. ;)

@Michael Ann, thanks! I'm glad you liked it.

@Darby, C.M. came up with some really great questions. It was so much fun.

Nancy MacMillan said...

Great Review! I, too, loved learning more about Kelly and what lives inside her head besides cute little curious puppy's. Kelly, may your colorful path be long and prosperous.

Kelly Hashway said...

@Nancy, thank you very much! It's a little scary in my head sometimes. ;)

Brenda said...

I understand that clicking with someone because that's how it felt when I met Kelly (virtually). This interview was like reading the liner notes on your favorite CD/Album. It seems to me the more a writer posts the more we see inside, which can make or break a connection. I my case with Kelly, I only wish she were closer so we could share a glass of pinot. Wonderful interview. Thanks to both women.

Kelly Hashway said...

@Brenda, you make me smile. I wish we lived closer too, but you know you can email me anytime. I'm always happy to talk to you. :)

Carol Apple said...

Great interview! The message comes through that you are doing what you were born to do. I was especially interested in the back and forth process with the illustrator. Good information, and inspiring.

Kelly Hashway said...

Thanks, Carol. I have no doubt that writing is what I need to do. I feel like it's part of who I am. But to hear you say it's what I'm meant to do just makes me smile. :)

Pk Hrezo said...

Great interview, ladies!
I think being a lit agent would be fun too! Getting the first peek at all those shiny new stories? How awesome!
I didn't know Lauren reps you, Kelly. That is way cool!

Kelly Hashway said...

@Pk Hrezo, I think finding great manuscripts would be an awesome job. Of course it's very time consuming too. I think to be an agent, you have to need very little sleep. ;) And yes, Lauren is my amazing agent. I do believe I was the first client she signed.

DM said...

Very nice interview. Looks like an adorable book.

Mike said...

Great interview Kelly!

Kelly Hashway said...

@DM, thank you! I'm glad you think so.

@Mike, thanks!

Andrea Buginsky said...

Loved the interview Kelly :)

Papa Moon said...

Really good interview Kelly. I got a special kick out of your favorite curse word.

Kelly Hashway said...

@Andea, thank you!

@Papa Moon, LOL. Yeah, I'm not big on cursing.

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