Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ellen Hopkins Tour Stop

I'm so excited to welcome the fabulous ELLEN HOPKINS to The Book Swarm today! You may know Ellen from her YA novels: CRANK, IMPULSE, BURNED, GLASS, IDENTICAL, TRICKS, FALLOUT, and PERFECT. Well, she's ventured into the world of adult literature with her newest novel, TRIANGLES (check out my review HERE -- a great novel!).

What inspired you to try your hand at writing a novel for adults?
Really, it was watching a couple of friends go through their own midlife crises. Admittedly, it reminded me of my own, so it seemed like something common enough (at least within the realm of writers, I guess, since all of us are). Two of the characters in TRIANGLES were definitely inspired by these friends (and yes, they know some incarnation of them is in the book). Many of my readers are adults, either because they've grown into them or because they have been introduced to my novels through their own kids. So, it just made sense to push into this arena, too.

Like your young adult novels, TRIANGLES, is written in verse. What draws you to this format?
Because verse is spare, it does not rely on extraneous descriptions that actually pull readers out of the story. Poetry is about how the poet views the world, so writing in verse becomes about how the protagonists view their worlds. It draws readers into their heads and hearts, so they live the story, rather than relying on being told the story. It's active and full of imagery that creates outlines for readers to color in. I like the challenge of making every word count, and creating characters that readers "become."

Ellen's view of her valley (from her FB page)
Where do you do most of your writing?
Three years ago, we added on to our home--new kitchen, master bedroom, great room and office. I write in my office almost exclusively. It looks across the living room and out big windows, to the Sierra. I call it "my mountain," though, of course, I share it with many. Behind me is a patio, with a view of the Virginia Range. And to my left, out the window, is my rose garden. The office is bright, and all done up in oak. I love it. 
Finish this sentence: When I'm not writing, Jonesing to write. Just finished TILT, the 2012 YA, two days ago. Even though I'm traveling and very busy, I'm character building the 2012 adult book, COLLATERAL, and am itching to dive in.

Favorite writing fuel?
Caffeine--coffee or diet soda. But only until 2 p.m. or I won't sleep that night. No music but birdsong. And, again, the view of my mountain.

Thank you SOOO much for stopping by! I hear you're going to be at Y'ALL FEST in Charleston, SC this weekend -- I hope to see you there!

Ellen’s Facebook link:
Ellen’s Twitter link:!/EllenHopkinsYA
Ellen’s website:

Check out the rest of the tour:
11/10/2011   Tiffany's Bookshelf
11/11/2011   Kritters Ramblings
11/15/2011   So Many Books, So Little Time
11/16/2011   Book Snob
11/17/2011   Reader Girls
11/18/2011   Colloquium


  1. Great interview! I like verse because every word counts. I don't have to worry about getting bored with descriptions or anything. I saw Ellen speak at Wordstock and although I didn't get to actually meet her (I had another panel to run to) it was nice to get to 'know' her. Although on twitter her personality comes out quite well ;)
    And what an amazing spot to write!

  2. Awesome feature, Mary! I love Ellen's writing, and verse can be so powerful. I hadn't heard of this one until now, but I'm totally sold on her pitch. :)