While in New York this past May I had an opportunity to meet and talk with the Class of 2K10 YA Debut Authors. This was a lot of fun and I met some wonderfully talented women including my guest here today, Rhonda Hayter. Rhonda and I had a little time to chat one on one and she presented me with a signed copy of her book, The Witchy Worries of bbie Adams(SQQQQUUUEEEEEEEE)!
Please welcome to Book Journey, the lovely and talented Rhonda Hayter.
Rhonda, welcome. I always start by asking, how do you take your coffee?
Rhonda: By the gallon.
Good to know – will keep the coffee pot on! Have you been a long time reader?
Rhonda: I always talk about this in my school visits just to horrify the children but where I grew up there was no TV. It was in northernmost Canada in a place called Labrador and at that time, it was too remote to get a TV signal up there. It was also thirty degrees below zero a lot of the time, so reading was the only game in town. Much of my growing up was spent huddled on a heating grate, buried in books.
I was a book girl too Rhonda, I Almaty preferred books to tv. What is one of the first books you remember falling in love with?
Rhonda: I think it might have been the Pippi Longstocking books. I ordered them through the book clubs at school and devoured them the day I got them. Pippi was so wild and free, without parental supervision and she could go anywhere and dress however she pleased. Of course I was happy to have parents and all…but it was really fun to think about.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Rhonda: I actually always wanted to be an actor. I started off as one but well..not in what you might call a hugely successful way. I spent so much of my life yearning for that and riding the ups and downs of it all, that I almost didn’t notice that I wanted to write too…although I always did. It wasn’t until I finally gave up my acting (or it gave me up) that I noticed that writing gave me exactly the same kind of seat-of-the-pants/living-in-the-moment thrill that acting did.
Rhonda: I never actually thought of writing a whole book before Abbie but it just came pouring out of me. I had a fifth grader in the house at the time, and I was immersed in his life and his voice and his concerns….and that’s just the book that materialized.
There are a couple of references to Harry Potter in the book. You mention Abbie has a poster of Hermione on her bedroom wall and later there is a reference to Hogwarts. I am a big Potter fan. What is your Harry Potter connections – love the books, love the movies? Both?
Rhonda: My older boy Duncan is 16 now, so he was exactly the age to be ready for each book as it came out. It was such an incredible part of his childhood, waiting for the next installment…showing up at midnight at Barnes and Noble on the day it was to be released, watching him be completely consumed by it until he powered through to the end…and then passing it around the family, and reading it aloud to his younger brother…until he was finally ready to read it alone. And the movies always came out right around Duncan’s birthday in November so that was always momentous too. (Although I had to take him into the lobby for some of the scary parts of the first movie. I have such an affection for the whole experience that Harry Potter gave our family, books and movies combined.
I love that connection your family has to the Potter books! I heard a rumor that Abbie may be showing up in a future book…. hmmmm, is this true?
Rhonda: Well I can tell you that she’s going to share a very big secret with her best friend Callie…and complications will arise.
Is there a fictional character that you would like to hang out with?
Rhonda: I like that question! Let me see. I’ve always been a monster Jane Austen fan, and I’d just love to swish around in long dresses exchanging witty observations with Elizabeth Bennett or the Sense and Sensibility gals.
It was so fun to meet you at BEA this past May. I enjoyed hearing that you were part of the Class of 2k10 debut authors group. Can you tell us a little more about this group?
Rhonda: I LOVE that group. We’re all published in YA or MG for the first time this year. I always liken it to my pregnancy yoga class— you’re united in fellowship with people at a unique and magical moment in their lives. We network and cross promote and all that, but more importantly, we have become friends and great support for each other. That was one of the things that made BEA such fun, getting to meet everyone in person, after having chatted almost every day over the Internet for months. We were all CRAZY about each other!
I can not let you leave without asking you to share a little known fact about yourself.
Thanks so much for having me Sheila. This was fun.
Please stop in and see Rhonda at her website as well as at the Class of 2k10 website.