Sunday, December 7, 2014

Seasons of Change Blog Tour and 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway


Talented indie author Mia Hoddell has just released a box set of her fabulous Seasons of Change novels. The Seasons of Change series includes four standalone novellas in the new adult/romance genre and includes Summer Demons, Winter Angel, Autumn Ghosts, and Spring Knight. On this stop of the Seasons of Change Blog Tour, Mia sits down for an interview to talk about her books and writing in general.


1.      Tell everyone a little about yourself. What are your hobbies and interests (outside of writing, of course)?

Outside of writing I enjoy reading (obviously) and reviewing books. I also design book covers, love graphic design, and photography. I used to play a lot of sport and have competed at regional levels, but I’ve had to cut back on those for now. I’d love to take up netball again, and I’m interested in learning martial arts.
2.       When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t think I made the conscious decision, I just fell into it. I’ve always loved writing—for as long as I can remember—so I think it was a natural progression. Also, the development in technology and self-publishing made it an easier or more realistic goal to achieve so when I ended up writing my first novel (2009), it was the obvious path to follow.
3.      What is the hardest part about being a writer?
I think the marketing because there is so much out there nowadays. I also hate edits and formatting. When I’m reading my book through countless times after my editor’s sent it me back just to look for formatting errors, or any last minute typos, I find staying motivated is hard as I just want the book to be released by that point.
4.       For anyone who hasn’t read the Seasons of Change series, tell them a little about the books.
 Seasons of Change is a series of contemporary romance novellas that follow the seasons (Summer Demons, Winter Angel, Autumn Ghosts, Spring Knight). I aimed to write them as feel-good reads where characters change for the better, find themselves, and overcome fears. All of the novellas are standalone reads and follow different couples. However, they can be enjoyed as a series because characters overlap.
5.      How did you get the idea for this series?
Seasons of Change wasn’t meant to be a long series. In fact when I started Summer Demons I only had two books in mind (Summer Demons and Winter Angel) and they were going to be separate with no links. However, when I started writing Summer Demons, I enjoyed writing quick, light-hearted romances and I wanted to tell the story of other minor characters so it grew from there.
The original idea for Summer Demons/Winter Angel came from coming up with the titles. They were originally going to be paranormal novels, but then I had the idea to play on the word ‘demons’ by using inner demons and confronting fears. I had the similar thought with each book (e.g. Winter Angel’s theme is helping/saving someone), and as the series grew in my mind I realized they all had a theme of change or personal growth, which is where the series title came from.
6.       What authors have inspired you the most?
I have my favourites, but I’m not sure they inspired me. Generally I read for pleasure, but if I had to name one it would be Julia Golding, as without her books, I doubt I’d have started reading when I did and therefore wouldn’t have been able to develop my writing. I hated reading until I was 14, but I guess she inspired me to buy more books.
7.       Some people take a walk, others bang their heads against a wall. How do you handle writer’s block?
 I don’t believe in it and that seems to be working as I’ve never been stuck when writing a book. Of course there are always struggles when planning but I find that’s a natural part of the process when you’re piecing little ideas together.
 Things I find that help me when writing is having a detailed plan before I begin. I do deviate from it as the story evolves, but it helps to know where I’m heading, who the characters are, and any other necessary details. I also never stop writing at the end of a chapter. I always continue to at least 500 words into the next one as I find it maps my train of thought at the time and it’s easier to pick up the next day.
 8.      Of all the characters you’ve written, which one are you the most alike?
All of my characters have a little bit of me in them, but I think Kayleigh from Spring Knight is most similar to my personality. She faces a few problems with confidence and feels most comfortable when performing on stage, which is something I relate to.
9.       Tell readers about your upcoming projects.  What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on an urban fantasy thriller (is complete) and a NA romance for NaNoWriMo. I’m not going to reveal too much about them though because I like to be secretive about new works. However, I’m also thinking about Seasons of Change Volume 2. I know who the first story is going to be about, but I’m trying to figure out the rest of the books so I can hopefully write them next year.
10.  If any of the books in the Seasons of Change series were made into movies (I’m personally voting for Summer Demons), who do you envision playing the main characters?
This question always stumps me. I never create characters with an actor or actress in mind and therefore I can never find someone who looks like who I have in my head. Can I take the easy option and let the readers decide?
11.  Do you find that you base your characters on real life people, or are they entirely fictional?

My characters are mostly fictional and if I do base them on real people, it’s never just one. Generally I pick out things from a few people—normally small quirks, habits etc.—and shape them into one character. Of course, I may use experiences with real people to help me create them, but I’m never going to reveal who anyone is, if I have. It’s surprisingly a question I get asked a lot “am I in your book?” but I doubt anyone would be able to tell if a character was them because they grow into their own while writing.
12.  Do you have any writing essentials (i.e. music, silence, coffee)?
I can write just about anywhere because I write on my iPod, so I’d need that. I find music helps when it fits the tone of the book, but it isn’t necessary. Also, I do like to be somewhere with no clutter. I don’t know why, but I can’t focus if there’s a pile of stuff around me.
13.  What made you decide to write in the young adult/new adult genre?

It’s the age bracket I fall into so I write for people my own age. They are also the genres I read and enjoy most so it felt natural writing in them.
14.   What is one of the first things you remember writing? Do you still have it?
It was a poem about a giraffe named Jack. I think it was written as a task for school when I was six and everything had to rhyme with Jack. I’m pretty sure I still have it as well.
15.   Do you have any advice for those wanting to take the plunge and begin writing?
I’d say just go for it. The thing I hear most is that people don’t know how to get into writing, and the only answer I can give is to actually sit down and write. You can think and think about it, but the only way you’re going to move forward is to put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard. I’d also say keep your expectations and goals realistic, and find what works for you. Writing is something you grow into and are constantly learning—I still am—and there’s a lot of details on what other authors do out there, but I think it’s best to find how you like to work and do that instead. It has to be enjoyable is the main thing.
16.   Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite books?

I have a lot. I’d say my top five are: Julia Golding/Joss Stirling with all of her books, Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant, Rachel Vincent for all of her books, J. Lynn – Wait For You Series, and J. A. Redmerski – The Edge of Never (which is one of the rare books that’s made me cry).
17.   If you could be any character in any book, who would you be and why?

Um … Valkyrie Cain from the Skulduggery Pleasant books because she’s amazing. She’s witty, strong, gets funny lines, has a reflection that does all of the boring stuff in her life, and above all she uses many types of magic and gets to solve magical mysteries.

Favorite color: Purple
Dogs or Cats: Cats all the time. Dogs scare me.
Favorite Food: That changes with the season. In the summer I like fruit, in the winter anything that is chocolate or cake.
Day or Night: I get more work done in the night because there are less distractions and it’s quiet. I prefer the day though, if it’s sunny.

Favorite Season: Summer, I need the sun.
Favorite Movie: Moulin Rouge

Laptop or Pen and Paper: Laptop. I tried writing a book by hand once … never happening again.

Seasons of Change Box Set
Books 1-4 + Exclusive Bonus Stories
by Mia Hoddell
Genre: YA Romance
Release date: November 27th 2014
You can now get all four Amazon best-selling novellas in the Seasons of Change series, plus two exclusive short stories, in one box set.

These feel-good contemporary romances follow the seasons as characters change for the better, find themselves, and overcome fears.
All of the novellas are standalone reads, but can be enjoyed as a series because characters overlap. This box set includes:

Summer Demons:
 Jenna Shaw jumped on a plane and flew to Portugal to try and forget her past. However, forced to deal with her memories due to an ill-timed joke, Jenna’s holiday is derailed by the charismatic Ethan Brooks. She sees him as an annoyance; he sees her as a challenge. And when all of his usual tricks only serve to push her away, Ethan has to work harder than ever if he wants to win over and help his mysterious girl.
Winter Angel: When Amy’s suggestion of a beach holiday is overruled in favour of skiing she couldn’t have predicted it might make her break the one, and only, rule she has: not to commit to a serious relationship again. The minute she sees Luke, she knows something’s wrong, and her desire to fix people means she wants to be the one to help him. However, she didn’t go on holiday to fall for someone, and whether or not she can move past her insecurities will depend on whether Luke can face his biggest fear.
Autumn Ghosts: Only one person knows what truly lies in Ellie Jeffords’ heart, and that’s herself. Hating the course she is studying, Ellie is failing and when a friend’s cousin, Justin, offers to tutor her, she jumps at the chance. However, as the pressure of exams starts to break Ellie, Justin wants her to confide in him. The only problem is that he can’t persuade her to talk without revealing his own dark secret, and forcing Ellie to choose between her parents’ dreams and her own will cost her something she loves.
Spring Knight: Kayleigh Barrow is most comfortable on stage where she can pretend she’s someone else, but when auditions for the latest production are opened up to the entire university, the lines between fantasy and reality start to blur. Thrown together with renowned player, Aiden Hanson, she can’t longer hide her feelings for him. However, he’s never had a serious relationship and Kayleigh refuses to be another conquest. When her acting starts to become real and she can no longer hide behind her character, Kayleigh must decide whether Aiden’s worth the risk, or if he will end up breaking her heart.
Plus 2 exclusive short stories:

Summer Revenge: Jenna promised she’d get Ethan back for his prank, and it’s time to cash in. Read about what happened after the couple left Portugal.
Season of Love: There’s beach fun, flirting, and mischief as all of the Seasons of Change couples take part in a beach competition.
Buy it now, save 20% and get more content than if purchased separately.