Today I am very excited to welcome P. J. Hoover to the blog, here to tell us all about her favorite childhood books. For those who haven’t heard of P.J., here’s a bit about her:
P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. P. J. is also a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik’s cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice, takes place in a Global Warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade fantasy novels, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, and The Necropolis, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea.
Isn’t that cover great? And, without further ado, here’s P.J.:
SOLSTICE by P. J. HOOVER: MY CHILDHOOD IN BOOKS
Thanks so much for inviting me to guest blog over here! It’s great to connect with people who love reading young adult books as much as I do! For those who don’t know, my debut young adult novel, SOLSTICE, was just released in May. SOLSTICE is what happens when MATCHED meets THE LIGHTNING THIEF and is largely set in a future where global warming is destroying the earth. And parallel to this dystopic, melting earth, there exists a world of mythology. So what books sat there in my past and taunted me to write about a combination of dystopia and mythology?
I have to start my list with THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. This was the book for me that made the difference. My third grade teacher read it aloud, and fantasy was born. I can still taste Turkish Delight when I think about it. I wanted to be a part of Narnia, and I couldn’t wait for more. But after Narnia, my elementary years were filled pretty much with NANCY DREW and TRIXIE BELDON. See, the author of Trixie Beldon was the first author I even actually met. For those who think author visits don’t have an impact, I have to stand up and disagree. She visited our sixth grade class, and aside from thinking she was a complete rockstar, I went out and bought 36 books and read them in the next couple months. Loved Nancy and Trixie.
Middle school started with something my fellow writer K. A. Holt and I discuss as being a true dystopia. Society had gone through huge upheaval, and the world would never be the same. I was fascinated by this world, and couldn’t get enough. Yes, I read GONE WITH THE WIND seven times. Loved it. I wanted to be a southern belle. I was convinced if time travel were only possible, I could be. Really, I just liked the fancy dresses. But in eighth grade, something new came along. Enter LORD OF THE RINGS.
Wow. Yes, I need to repeat that. Wow. THE HOBBIT remains my all time favorite book. From this point on, I determined the only classics I liked or was ever going to like were fantasy and science fiction, and this was confirmed when I came across BRAVE NEW WORLD which was yet another dystopia. Such a crazy, vivid look at the future. And the ideas it put forth blew my mind.
But I have to address the mythology aspects of my reading past, too. Edith Hamilton started it all with MYTHOLOGY, but then high school brought SOPHOCLES and BEOWULF and Homer. Just thinking about all these old books makes me want to go back and live my past all over again. And isn’t that where the power of books comes in anyway? Feeling like we are so deep in the story that we are actually a part of the world?
I recommend for anyone who wants to feel like they are a part of SOLSTICE to travel to Austin,Texasin the blazing hot summer. During a drought would be the best. Kind of like now, actually J Thanks so much for reading, and may your summer be a sizzling one!
SOLSTICE is available as a $2.99 eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and iBooks. SOLSTICE will be released in paperback this summer.
Thanks for stopping by, P.J.! And here’s the book trailer for Solstice: