Sunday, September 5, 2010

An Interview with Hannah Moskowitz


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity of asking the lovely Hannah Moskowitz a few questions. Her book Break hit stores last year, her book Invincible Summer *I need this in my life now!* is coming out April 19th, 2011. And in the more distant future you can look for Zombie Tag (2011) *I also need this in my life because ZOMBIES.* and The Animals Were Gone (2012). You can read my review of Break, here. Now, let's get on with the interview!

1. Having a sibling plays a big part in BREAK. Do you have a brother/sister?

I have an older sister! Her name's Abby and she's 21, and she's amazing.

But I don't have any brothers, which always surprises people, because so many of my books (BREAK, INVINCIBLE SUMMER, my upcoming YA and ZOMBIE TAG, my upcoming MG) revolve around the relationships between brothers. I've always been pretty fascinated my brothers, I think, since I grew up without a boy my age in the house but with all-male friends. I've always been really interested in how boys act when there aren't girls around, and this is something that I've never been able to really witness, obviously. I've been "one of the boys" for a long time, but there's still a bit of it I'm not a part of, and I think writing all these brothers is my way of dipping my toes in that water. I've heard feedback that I do a good job of portraying them, so I'm glad my years of research paid off :)

2. How did you get the idea to have Jonah break his bones? Why not have him do something else that is self-destructive? (Cutting, etc.)

My plan was to write about a boy on some sort of strange quest. After I had that idea, breaking bones fell into my head. The thing that really stuck to me of that premise was that it was *all* of his bones. I really liked that there's a definite goal in mind--an endpoint for the quest. That's the kind of journey that's fun to write a book around, because the tension keeps building as he gets closer to his goal but further from the opportunities to finish it.
It was only after I thought of that that I realized the implications of bone-breaking. Self-injury is not at all a foreign topic for me, but it wasn't my intention when I thought of the idea for BREAK. But after I'd settled on that, I of course realized I'd need to build his motivation around that, which obviously included some of the reasons common to a lot of self-injurers.

So it went the other way, really--I didn't set out to right a book on self-injury and end up with breaking, I set out to write a book about breaking and ended up with self-injury.


3. What do you think about the difference between the Break and Invincible Summer covers?

They're totally different, right? I love that I've had the chance to have two such completely different styles, and I'm SO excited to hear people's reactions to INVINCIBLE SUMMER's cover. I think they're such a cool example of the power of marketing in YA. BREAK and INVINCIBLE SUMMER are pretty similar in terms of style and themes, but if all you saw was the covers, you might not even guess they're in the same genre. I'm so into that, and, like I said, so excited to see how the response to this cover differs from BREAK's (most people really liked BREAK's cover, but early responses to INVINCIBLE SUMMER's have been positive, too, so maybe they're not as different as I thought...haha)

4. You have a middle grade book coming out in 2011. Do you prefer writing YA or MG?

That's kind of like asking which kid you prefer...writing MG is right now easier for me, not because the stories are simpler (they're not!) or because they're shorter (well, that helps a little) but because the voice is coming more naturally to me at the moment thanks to all the time I've spent lately on ZOMBIE TAG. But the last manuscript I finished before those edits was a YA, and it took a little bit of work to get back into the MG zone after that. So...essentially I prefer writing whichever one I've been working on, haha. My next project is an MG, which I'm looking forward to a ton, and after that I have two YAs slated for the rest of the year, so...I guess the vague but correct answer is that I love both of them and I'm not planning to give up either any time soon!


5. Is there anything you'd like to add?

Can't think of anything...but thank you so much for the interview!

13 comments:

Michelle said...

She's awesome and I can't wait to read more of her novels! Thanks for the interview. :)

Girlinbetween said...

I love hannah so much!

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