This in-person interview is from the beginning of November 2010, when Silence was still called 'Tempest'. I've changed it in my interview to avoid confusion, but originally it was referred to as that. I don't know about you, but I like the new title much better! (And don't forget the cover is being released this Monday May 2nd!!)
As always, thanks to my friends at Simon & Schuster UK and Becca for making these cool things happen. Even though she's a busy, busy lady, she always makes time for me - she's amazing! She's back in the UK later in the year, so make sure you go and see her somewhere!
Wondrous Reads: How has your life changed since the publication of Hush, Hush back in 2009?
Becca Fitzpatrick: Wow, it's like completely different. In a good way. Obviously no author can predict how their book's going to do, so I was just happy to get published. I really didn't know what would come after. I'm definitely busier, I get to visit countries I've never visited before and I know more people than I ever thought I'd meet in an entire lifetime. I've met so many cool people through this. That's definitely a blessing of being published. I also write Monday - Friday for two hours an evening, which is not enough!
WR: Did you think your books would ever be this popular?
BF: No! I received a hundred rejections letters over five years and one of the questions I get now is: did I ever want to give up? Of course I did, but I was determined to be published and have a small group of fans. I was in no way prepared for how successful Hush, Hush would be and how many people would fall in love with Patch and Nora's story. Nobody can predict that, and I was amazed.
WR: So how do you manage all your fanmail and stuff? I know you get loads! [I run a fanpage for Becca on Facebook, and lots of emails come to me, which I dutifully forward to Becca!]
BF: It used to be where I would answer every single one of them, back when Hush, Hush was first published. I was really dedicated about that. But now I don't know - I can receive up to three hundred a day, and there's just no way I can respond to that. So there's an inner conflict: do I just respond to ten a day, none a day? I've taken the stand that I just respond to as many as I can and don't beat myself up over it. I do my best, and I'm sorry to anyone who's emailed and hasn't got a response!
WR: I'm sure everyone understands! Speaking of responses, have you had any hate mail about the end of Crescendo?
BF: No bad ones yet, which I thought I would, especially after our conversation.
WR: I haven't sent you mine yet. :-)
BF: Okay. It's coming soon, right? Ha. I've had a few people joke it was a mean ending, but I haven't had anyone threaten to come to my home and burn it down.
WR: I'm glad to hear it! And that's actually one of my questions. Why did you end it like that?! Why?!
BF: I wasn't planning on ending it that way, I was planning to end it the same way as Hush, Hush - tying everything up and having a sweet reunion between Patch and Nora. As often happens, I was sitting there writing a little further. Once I'd written those last few paragraphs - and if you've read Crescendo, you'll know what I'm talking about - I kind of smiled in surprise because it was something I didn't see coming. My editor ended up loving it and wanted to leave it in. I'm happy I did, and I'm hoping readers will speculate about what's in store for Patch and Nora.
WR: You know, I always thought it was only going to be two books. How did you end up with a third?
BF: I always thought it would just be one book! I wrote Hush, Hush as a standalone and my agent sold it as two books. So I wrote the sequel and planned to end it there, but of course I'd written those last couple of paragraphs and that was really when we decided to do a third book.
WR: Well, yay for Silence! How far are you at the moment?
BF: I have a little under two hundred pages written, so I better get cracking when I'm home!
WR: So after this series, what will you write next?
BF: I do have a couple of ideas at the back of my mind, all of them at this point are young adult romances. One of them isn't as supernatural as the other books I've written and only has a small supernatural twist, so it will be heavier on romance and characters. That'll be a change for me as my other books are very plot-driven.
WR: So will it be more contemporary?
BF: No... historical!
WR: That sounds great! Get writing it dude. Off topic slightly: do you think blogs and fansites have helped with the Hush, Hush series' popularity?
BF: Oh my gosh, tremendously. There's no way you can even argue that. Especially bloggers who know their way around and have been doing this for a while *ahem* Wondrous Reads. It is really fantastic because it's a way for authors to have huge exposure. More people visit your sites than are visiting my site, and you all have such a diverse group of readers. It's a huge help, and so appreciated.
WR: It's good to hear you say that. Yay for the blogosphere! And now on to one of my favourite topics... your covers! Which is your favourite, Hush, Hush or Crescendo?
BF: My safe answer is I like the US version of Hush, Hush better but the UK version of Crescendo better. Overall favourite cover is Hush, Hush. It's hard to top it, it really is.
WR: I was actually just going to ask what it's like to have, in my opinion, the best book cover in YA history?
BF: Well I owe that to James Porto and the model - it's nothing to do with me! I just feel really lucky, but all cheering and applause goes to them.
WR: Do you want to see both Patch and Nora on the Silence cover?
BF: I do, that was my request. They had the photoshoot a couple of weeks ago and I have not seen anything. I'd tell you if I had. I did request they both be on the cover, but just because an author makes a request doesn't mean it'll happen. I think my publisher will think the same way though. It makes sense.
WR: I hope so too. Can you tell us anything about Silence? Anything at all?
BF: The difference with Silence is that you know from the offset who the bad guy is, whereas in Hush, Hush and Crescendo I make you guess. Patch and Nora get to team up for the first time, and they finally work together to overcome the villain. I won't say who that is, but if you've read Crescendo you'll know who I'm talking about!