E.K. Henry is the author of Freak, a YA paranormal novel with dystopian elements.
Interview with E.K. Henry
1. Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that it?
Juniper is a 16-year-old humans living in a world ran by vampires. It has been drilled into her ever since she can remember that vampires rule, humans suck, and she can only amount to becoming a blood donor. The entire human race is oppressed, and Juniper can't stand it. When her father signs the family up to take part in a reality show called The Secret Lives of Humans, Juniper hopes it will give her the edge to become accepted and to shed her freak label.
She learns quickly that vampires aren't that accepting.
When she can no longer live in her own personal hell any longer, she joins up with a group of underground vampire hunters and joins the human revolution.
She quickly learns that friends might not be who she thinks they are, that she's just a pawn in the government's game, and that the world might not be as black and white as she always thought.
I came up with the idea for Freak while reading a story about a Mormon family that was getting their own reality television show. Most of the family seemed thrilled about the idea, but one child in particular wasn't. They didn't want the world to see how different their family was from mainstream society. This story got me thinking about what it would be like to be forced to participate in a show that was meant to spotlight how different you are than everybody else. I tried to imagine the worst scenario that I would hate to be put in myself, and that is how Freak was born.
2. How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?
As a teen, I always read Adult books. Stephen King was and still is my idol. I devoured his books. There wasn't really a young adult genre so to speak until quite recently. When I discovered it, I was enthralled with the stories I found there. Since, then I have always hit the young adult shelves first whenever I walk into a bookstore. I began writing young adult, because I knew there was a huge fan base that would accept my love for the paranormal. It just came naturally and I've been writing YA ever since then.
3. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
EDITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's such a love hate relationship. I love seeing my books become better and better, but revising and editing takes up soooo much time. I can draft a book in a month when I am really into it but revising is a whole different game. It can take months and months.
4. What’s the best thing about being an author?
Seeing reviews of my book, answering interviews, and getting emails from fans. It's such an amazing feeling to know that someone else likes my work. Whenever I see a review or email from a fan, I am on cloud nine for days. It's such a rewarding feeling.
5. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
My number one advice is to sit down and write. Even if what you feel like you're writing is crap just keep writing. My first two books were trunked, but I learned so much from them. If I wouldn't have kept going, I never would have become a published author.
My number two advice is to find a group of writing buddies. I cannot tell you how many times my online writing buddies have pointed out things that I would have never seen myself, pulled me off of the "I quit" ledge, and been an amazing source of encouragement. I have been working with these amazing ladies at all stages in the publishing business for three years now, and I can honestly say that I consider them to be some of my closest friends.
6. Where can fans find you?
I love to talk with my readers. You can find me at the following places: