This weekend I have a very exciting writer interview for you. I am interviewing the lovely 4EvaHannah who you may know from her WattPad account where she has written multiple books. Her most popular book, Royal Blood, has had over 16.3 million reads!
1. Introduce yourself! Who are you? What do you write / what genre? What are you currently working on? Do you have any published works?
Hi, I’m Hannah, I’m nineteen and I currently publish my works on the online writing platform, Wattpad. I write Historical Romance novels set in the Tudor period. So far I have completed my first story, Royal Blood which has just reached 16 million reads online and I’m currently working on its prequel, Out of Bounds. I’m also obsessed with Pugs!
2. When did you first start writing and what motivated you to start?
Growing up I’ve always enjoyed writing stories but it wasn’t until I joined Wattpad back in 2011 that I realised I had a passion for it. I love books and I think I started writing because I wanted to have a go at creating my own characters and see where their story took me.
3. What inspires you to write? Can you tell us about the inspiration for any specific pieces of writing you have completed / are working on?
I’m inspired by everything and anything. I can find inspiration in an image, a film, a stranger, music or even a specific item of clothing. If the object/media triggers that creative part of my brain I’ll quickly scribble down the idea and just roll with it and see where it leads me.
My love for Historical Romance however, definitely developed from my infatuation with the TV show The Tudors and the Tudor period in general.
4. How important is the planning stage for you? Do you like to plan everything before you start or do you simply start writing with a vague idea in mind?
I like to think that I can plan but who am I kidding?! As soon as I get an idea I’ll make a few notes and then dive headfirst into writing only to crash approximately five minutes later. With the book I’m currently writing, I had an idea of where I wanted it to go but in recent chapters I’ve found myself planning more and more of it out so that I can strengthen the plot and the characters.
5. What is your writing process like?
My writing process is very simple. I like to make sure the space around me is nice and tidy (mess stresses me out) and then I load up my work and start writing. It normally takes me a while to get back into a chapter I’ve left half written so sometimes I procrastinate by looking on Pinterest for inspiration.
6. What are your writing essentials / what do you use when you write?
- My laptop
- Sticky notes (normally with hints of information the characters have revealed to ensure I go back and include it so it makes sense)
- My phone (for procrastination purposes)
- And my brain (where the magic happens)
7. What is your favourite thing to write? E.g. Dialogue, action scenes, saucy scenes…
I’d probably have to say dialogue. I really like it when the characters bounce off each other and the banter flows. I like to incorporate my humour into my characters so you can usually find me having a giggle behind my laptop screen.
Action scenes and saucy scenes can be pretty entertaining to write as well, I think I remember either watching or reading an interview with Sarah J Maas where she says it’s important to keep track of all limbs when writing those type of scenes haha!
8. What do you think is the most difficult part of writing?
I think the most difficult part of writing for me is to actually transfer the image I see in my head onto the page. Sometimes I find myself staring at the keyboard for ages trying to figure out the best way to word something. If I’m still stuck I’ll listen to some music to try and motivate myself or to imagine the scene playing out in my head.
Write even if no one is reading. Readers on Wattpad can be influenced by the number of reads or votes a story has but don’t let that discourage you. Stick with your story and be proud of what you’ve written.
9. It is always interesting to know what other writers listen to when writing. Do you listen to music whilst you write? If so, let us know some of the songs which have inspired you the most!
I love listening to the Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina soundtracks when I write. Some of my favourites are:
- Dawn by Jean-Yves Thibaudet
- Liz on Top of the World by Jean-Yves Thibaudet
- Nero by Two Steps from Hell
- Too Late by Dario Marianelli
10. Do you ever struggle with writer’s block? What do you do to overcome it?
I’ve never struggled with serious writer’s block (touch wood), but there have been times where I think to myself wait where was I going with this? I have a habit of leaving chapters half done and when I come back to them I can’t remember where I wanted the chapter to go. I’ve now learnt that jotting down notes when I finish writing for the day really helps me when I come back to it. I also write down any random scenes I think up or any ideas I have for future chapters.
11. How do you go about researching for a new book? Do you have any tips for others who are researching for a book?
Researching for a new book, for me, is one of the best parts of writing. I use Pinterest A LOT for inspiration; I use it to create boards for characters, for locations for anything! I feel like I’m a visual learner so gathering images really helps me to start linking ideas together and motivate me to write.
12. Where do you find your inspiration for character names and place names? Do you ever name characters after people you know?
Because I write Historical Fiction I feel like I am quite limited to the names I can choose from. I’m normally inspired by films or TV shows that I’ve watched for example, the main character in Out of Bounds, Georgiana is named after Georgiana of Devonshire who Keira Knightley plays in the film The Duchess.
Otherwise I turn to the good old baby name websites!
13. What are your future plans when it comes to writing or even publishing?
I feel like I have a long way to go before I start enquiring about publishing. I need to get my head down and start editing my work so that it’s the best it can possibly be. I’d love to have my books published one day, it would truly be a dream come true.
14. As we all love books I wondered, what are your five favourite books?
I had to think long and hard to narrow them down to five but, in no particular order:
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thornes and Roses series (basically every book ever written or to be written by Sarah J Maas, is that cheating?!)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
15. Can you tell us a little more about your experience with Wattpad?
I joined Wattpad on Boxing Day back in 2011 when I was fifteen. I have no idea how I stumbled across it but I made an account and started reading. I read a lot of books on there before I actually started posting stories.
My first story was basically the same as the film Wild Child, and it generated a bit of a following. I wasn’t happy with it so I took it down and started on another book. This one was called The Bad Boys Made Me Do It (cringe) this was where things really started to pick up for me. It focused on the ‘Bad Boy’ genre that was taking over Wattpad and quickly started gaining reads and a following. It was the first book I ever completed writing so it has a special place in my heart but I’m not going to lie, there wasn’t really a strong storyline and the characters were all over the place. I eventually took it down and started on another book, Royal Blood.
Royal Blood was only supposed to be a short novella but I soon realised I wanted to extend it into a full novel. It’s the first book I’ve written that I’m truly proud of, it still needs a hell of a lot of editing and reconstructing but it’s my baby. With the success (it feels weird to call it that) of Royal Blood I decided to start writing the prequel that had been floating around my head for a while and that brings us up to date with my Wattpad experience so far.
Earlier this year I was also invited by Wattpad to join the Wattpad Stars and to take part in the Wattpad Futures programme. I am so unbelievably grateful for all the experiences and opportunities Wattpad has enabled for me. Joining Wattpad has definitely been one of the best choices I have ever made.
16. Do you have any advice for others wanting to start writing on Wattpad?
Go for it! It’s the perfect place to post that story idea that has been floating around your head for the past year. Don’t be disheartened if your story doesn’t get many reads to begin with, we all start from nothing and build our way up. Interact with your fellow readers and writers. Let loose and enjoy loosing yourself in the writing.
17. Finally, where can we find you on social media?
I hope you enjoyed this week’s writer interview! I really loved being able to interview a Wattpad writer as they are a huge part of the online book community and sometimes forgotten as we focus on traditionally published writers.
Hannah has made me very curious about Watpadd and I’m definitely going to be reading her books! Let me know what you thought of this week’s interview! Will you be checking out Royal Blood?