I am so happy to be a part of the world blog tour this week. A special thanks goes out to the wonderful author, Carolyn Boehlke, who has linked me to this. You can find out more about her work at carolynkboehlke.weebly.com.
The idea behind this post is to offer some basic information about my work and my writing process. I will try to address some of the common questions I am asked, but please feel free to ask additional questions or make comments if you wish. I am also going to hold a little contest: The third person to comment on this blog will receive a signed copy of Stone Ridge, which will be released this September. Once that person is determined, I will contact him/her and we can go from there. Should be fun!
I will start with a little background. Having three YA novels published has been a dream come true. Since I was a teenager I have hoped to become a published novelist. I remember walking around my part-time job at a garden store, story ideas swimming through my head. I remember reading Stephen King books, wishing I could become that kind of storyteller. When If I Know It's Coming was published in 2012, it was the culmination of many years of hard work and faith. That being said, I'm still not where I want to be in my writing career. I have so many other ideas and aspirations to fulfill and I can't wait to pursue them. Who knows where they might lead, but to me, the creative process is rewarding in so many ways.
Speaking of my creative process. When I do readings and signings for my books, the most popular question (as it is for many authors) is: "What is your writing process like?" Well, that's a tough one. I have two small children, a full-time high school teaching job (which I love) and I coach Varsity tennis (which I also love). Needless to say, I'm not waking up each day and spending eight hours writing in a consistent routine. The bottom line is that my process changes with each book and with the time I spend on a project. Generally though, characters come first. When I am planning a novel, I create 3-5 main characters. I determine their "wants" and their "needs". I explore their backstories thoroughly. Much of the time these backstories don't even end up in the novels. It's important for a writer to understand every aspect of a character, even if the reader doesn't. Once those main characters have been molded, I start writing scenes. In some cases, like in Stone Ridge, for instance, I have a pretty good idea where the story is headed, where the climax and ending might be. Stone Ridge is a sequel though, which leant itself to that more easily. When I wrote If I Know It's Coming, the characters were clear, but the plot was not. It took lots of revision and trial and error to find the right adventure for which Tim Hansen was to partake. The end results for both books were equally satisfying to me, but they were reached in very different ways. The bottom line is that there is no "right answer" to how to construct a novel. It's about the end result and authors have myriad ways to reach that end game.
I also get asked a lot about my current projects. "What am I working on now?" Well, the last couple of years have been consumed by Zach Sutton and his family curse in The Ridge and Stone Ridge. As much as I have loved getting to know Zach and his predicament, it's time for something new. I am an avid music fan. I grew up in a very musical family, I play the drums, and I surround myself with music whenever I can. I have always wanted to write a book that centers around music in some way. A couple of years ago, I attended a Tedeschi/Trucks Band concert (Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are married). At that show I saw a young boy (he must have been 12 or so) with his grandfather selling merchandise. It turns out that that boy was Susan and Derek's son. All I could think at the time was, "What a fascinating life for a teenager. To travel the road with his "rock star" parents." At that moment I knew I would write my next novel about a teenager traveling on tour with his "rock star" parents. At this time, I am in very early preparations- just getting to know the main characters and their stories. I expect this book to take a bit longer to write than the past two, but I would like to take my time and create the best story possible.
I hope this post was beneficial. Remember, if you comment, you might just win a free copy of Stone Ridge when it comes out. If you have further questions or just want to read more about me and my work, feel free to stop by www.nickhupton.com.
I am pleased to link the blog tour to the next author, Karlajean Becvar. She is the author of The Firestorm Chronicles, a wonderful series about time travel, friendship, and the history of the Hinckley, MN fire. Check her blog out next Monday at www.thefirestormchronicles.weebly.com.