All the latest news, ideas, and opinions from Denver's Independent Literary Center: lighthousewriters.org
The latest add to our lineup of outstanding instructors is Victoria Hanley, author of several award-winning young adult novels published by Random House, and two nonfiction books about writing YA fiction. She’s taking over the helm of the YA novel workshop while Sarah Ockler works triple time to hit a January deadline. I of course don’t want to let go of that continuing ed. course in journalism I took a long time ago, so I chased Victoria down to ask her a few questions.
-1- You’ve written YA novels and you’ve written books about writing YA novels. What’s your top
recommendation for someone just starting out or mid-way through a novel?
Every writer is different, and that’s something to celebrate. Your own style of writing includes not only what you write but how you go about writing–and discovering how this works for you can take a while and be frustrating at times. It’s going to be worth it though! The one truth that applies to everyone: You can’t write a book without writing it, so keep going. Experiment, dream, write, revise. Repeat.
-2- How did you first break into publishing your novels? Was it a straight shot or a circuitous path?
My first novel, The Seer and the Sword, was rejected by several agents before it was accepted. Then it was published overseas before being published in America. This created confusion, with some reviewers referring to me as a British author even though I was born in the U.S and I’ve never been to England. 🙂
-3- What novels do you remember loving as a young reader? What do you love reading now?
I adored Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and the collected works of Jane Austen. Most recently, I’ve especially enjoyed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Queen of Water by Laura Resau, The Secret to Lying by Todd Mitchell, and Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan. And I have to admit to rereading Pride and Prejudice this last summer.
Victoria’s class starts Thursday, 4 to 6 PM, and runs for 8 weeks (not including Thanksgiving). Check it out!