This month I sat down to chat with Melanie Hooyenga, author of the time-travelling young adult series, The Flicker Effect, to find out a little more about the writer behind the books!
LJ: Hi, Melanie. First of all I’d love to see where you write.
MH: It’s always been a dream of mine to have a fancy chair in front of a window, and I finally do! The fact that my chair has words on it is even better. The table belonged to my husband’s grandmother and I can watch the sunrise over the backyard through the window.
LJ: That sounds like a beautiful place to write. Do you have a pet that likes to join you while you write?
MH: I have a Miniature Schnauzer named Owen who is far more popular than I am. He’s closing in on 12K followers on Instagram! (@superowen_theschnauzer)
LJ: Other than Owen and your writing, what other things are you passionate about?
MH: I love the read and watch movies, and aside from writing, that’s about the only time I’m sitting still. My bio says I play every sport imaginable with my husband, and that’s not an exaggeration. Summer is filled with softball, golf, biking, hiking, and walks on a weekly basis, then kayaking a little less frequently, plus the occasional game of cornhole, Frisbee, or volleyball. In the winter we ski, bowl, and play darts and billiards, and I’d love to start snow-shoeing. At different times in my life I’ve also played flag football, soccer, tennis, and basketball, plus field hockey and lacrosse when I was in school.
I also love DIY projects and refinished our kitchen cabinets this past spring. (It’s normal to pet cabinets after they’ve been sanded and painted, right?)
LJ: You sure like to keep busy. I’d pet my cabinets too if I put lots of work into them. Do you have a favourite quote you can share?
MH: I have two. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.” Also, “what would you try if you knew you could not fail?” Those two quotes guide me to appreciate the small moments that so many people overlook, and to go for my dreams.
LJ: Do you have a favourite band or singer?
MH: I’m terrible at favorites. I love all kinds of music—mostly alternative, but also 80s, salsa, pop—Taylor Swift has sort of become my muse, especially her earlier stuff. I write about teens and she nails that angsty, first love/heartbreak mindset that I try to capture. (And I’m super excited for her latest album!)
LJ: Do you prefer coffee or tea?
MH: Tea. I used to drink coffee but can’t drink it black and hated that I was putting so much other stuff in it. I prefer green tea in the mornings, but also like black, ginger, and the occasional sleepytime tea. Not the fruity stuff though.
LJ: Is there an author you wish more people new about?
MH: There are so many! If I can only choose one, I’ll say Erica M. Chapman, author of the YA novel TEACH ME TO FORGET. She’s one of my dearest friends and while we met online, I’m fortunate to live 30 miles from her so we get together regularly. Her book is very powerful and everyone needs to read it.
LJ: If you could travel back in time what year would you travel to?
MH: Lately I’ve been intrigued by the women’s suffrage movement in the mid-1850s. I think it’d be interesting to go back to when we were fighting for our inalienable rights and meet the women who made our lives the way they are today.
LJ: What is one thing you want people to know about you?
MH: That I do this because I love telling stories. And I love hearing from readers! They’re why I write and it makes my day to know I helped them escape to another world for a few hours.
Thank you to Melanie Hooyenga for taking the time out of her busy life to chat with me! You can discover more about Melanie and her books using the links below!