Thursday, December 19, 2013

Indie Author Interview: Jane Hoppen


Indie Author Interview with Jane Hoppen - Author of the Literary Fiction Novel In Between.

Jane Hoppen is working as both a technical and fiction writer. Her short stories and essays have been published in various literary magazines, including Story Quarterly, PANK, Western Humanities Review, The Dirty Goat, Feminist Studies, and Gertrude Journal.

Interview with Jane Hoppen

Author Jane Hoppen
Author Jane Hoppen
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Jane Hoppen: I have worked for more than 20 years as a technical writer for the government and the software industry, but I have always done my fiction writing in tandem with that, primarily short stories, many of which have been published in various literary magazines, including Western Humanities Review, PANK, The Dirty Goat, Gertrude Journal, Story Quarterly, and Superstition Review.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
My favorite writers are many, including Louise Erdrich, Armistead Maupin, Lauren Groff, Virgina Woolf, Aimee Bender, James Baldwin. I could go on forever. Some of my favorite books include Maybe the Moon, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Go Tell It On the Mountain, To the Lighthouse, Arcadia, and The Round House. I feel as if my writing is influenced by nearly everything I read, as each author has his or her own way of weaving together words, drawing out details, and forming plot.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I think I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was in the sixth grade, and most definitely in junior high. I was a pretty quiet kid with a lot going on, and writing was a great release for me and a way to find my own voice.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was in the form of a comic book named Bird Man.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?

I initially come up with an idea or a plot and map it out from there, though I try not to stay too married to the idea so it can evolve as it needs to during the writing process. If necessary I also do any required research for the project up front. I have a very strict routine that entails rising early, heading to a writing space, and writing for at least six hours each weekday.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
I work out of a studio for writers called The Paragraph in New York City. Being surrounded by a variety of writers – journalists, novelists, essayists, playwrights, screenwriters – is very inspiring and invigorating, and one can always find someone to bounce an idea off to.

"The easiest thing about writing to me is the actual writing [...]"

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
The easiest thing about writing to me is the actual writing itself, the forming of the words into the whole. The most difficult thing I think is ensuring that the structure and the plot do the story justice at every turn and maintain the reader’s attention.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is when a story or a book comes together just as it should, and then seeing it in print, of course.

Jane, please tell us a little about your Literary Fiction Novel 'In Between.’
In Between is the story of a woman, Sophie Schmidt, who is born in the early 1960s, in rural Wisconsin, with a mix of both female and male biology, both internally and externally. At the time doctors advise her parents to allow them to surgically make her into as much of a female as possible, which the parents agree to. At the age of fourteen, Sophie accidentally learns the truth of how she was born and then embarks on a journey to learn more about her true self and to find others born like her. When Sophie moves to New York City, she enters the world of gays and lesbians, as well as those who are transgender and transsexual. Searching for her own place in society, her journey leads her to Alice Parker, and Sophie takes the final steps to accept herself enough to allow another to love her.

In Between (Jane Hoppen)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
I had read the Navajo myth of creation, as translated by Hosteen Klah, and all throughout the myth there is mention of people who are referred to as nadles, intersex peoples. Most Native American Indian tribes revere those babies and never would think to change them at birth, and I began to wonder what the rest of the population did with intersex babies. I then began to do research and the story started to unravel.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
I think this book is a good match for any mainstream literary audience, as well as LGBT readers.

"[...] I like telling stories that aren’t often told"

What makes your book special?
To date not a lot of novels have been written regarding the life or experiences of intersexual beings, and I like telling stories that aren’t often told, that deal with some kind of social issue or revelation.

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
The book has just been launched but so far the reception has been great and the orders are coming in.

How long did it take it to write the book?
I took me three years to research and write the book.

"The best advice I can give is to write consistently and constantly."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
The best advice I can give is to write consistently and constantly. That’s really the only way to get a body of work done.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m currently working on a novella that fell out of the novel In Between. I am also working on a collection of short stories, with every story involving some person overcoming some barrier, whether social, spiritual, emotional, or otherwise.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I don’t think books will go away, nor will the book stores. I know lots of folks who have gone back to printed books after using the e-readers. I think printed and e-books can coexist.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I did have a Kindle, but it broke, and I’m now happily back to reading printed books again.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I write fiction for about 30 hours a week, and I do technical writing consulting on the side. When I’m not writing I like spending a lot of time outside, reading, going to museums, cooking, and making things out of gourds.

How can readers connect with you?
They can find me on Twitter at JaneHoppen1, or via my Author Central page on Amazon.

Thank you very much for the Interview, Jane.



About the Book In Between

In Between (Jane Hoppen)
Click to Read an Excerpt
Never have there been only two genders—male and female.

A third gender, denied by society and hidden by the medical community, has always existed, and that is what Sophie Schmidt discovers when, at the age of fourteen, she learns the truth of how she was born. Sophie then embarks on a journey to learn more about her true self and to find others born like her. When Sophie moves to New York City, she enters the world of gays and lesbians, as well as those who are transgender and transsexual.

Searching for her own place in society, her journey leads her to Alice Parker, and Sophie takes the final steps to accept herself enough to allow another to love her.





Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback In Between with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook In Between with Excerpt on Amazon


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