Today I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for The Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna Caltabiano. And today I have a Q&A with Anna Caltabiano.
I enjoyed reading The Seventh Miss Hatfield (see my review), the debut novel of seventeen year old Anna Caltabiano and I look forward to future novels by Anna as she progresses. Don’t forget to visit other blog stops along the tour for other great content.
Q&A with Anna Caltabiano:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your book – The Seventh Miss Hatfield 🙂
I was born in colonial Hong Kong to a Japanese mother and an Italian-American father, before moving to Silicon Valley in California. Due to this, Japanese was my first language. I now live in a multi-national tech culture, which probably influences my writing more than I know.
The Seventh Miss Hatfield explores a series of firsts–first love, first loss, and the first realization that memories are fragile.
When a drop from the Fountain of Youth turns 11 year-old Cynthia immortal, she is forced to take on a new identity as Miss Rebecca Hatfield—the seventh Miss Hatfield to be exact. Sent on a mission to time travel back to 1904 to retrieve a secret painting, Rebecca uncovers more than what she bargains for: the turn of the century transitioning into the modern world, a man terrified of death, and a love that will leave her reeling.
Do you have a favourite moment in the book?
From a plot standpoint, the ending was definitely my favourite moment in the book. I won’t give too much away, but I will say that I had to rewrite it multiple times to get it just right. When I first started thinking of the book and the story I wanted to tell, the ending was one of the first scenes that I envisioned. I knew I had to get it just right to do the story justice.
Did you celebrate or treat yourself at all, upon becoming a published author?
My friends took me out to dinner to an all-organic restaurant with locally grown ingredients, started by a chef who used to be the chef at Google. I call that celebrating Silicon Valley style.
Is there anything that you are currently working on at the moment that you can tell us about? Or is it all very hush hush?
I’m currently working on the sequel to The Seventh Miss Hatfield. It’s definitely exciting to be working with some of the same characters again. It’s like meeting old friends. As for the plot, I can’t say much, but I think this one might even be more exciting than the first.
As young author, what do you think is the most challenging thing you have had to overcome?
As an author who also happens to still be seventeen, many people pick up my works because they’re curious about what someone so young can have to say. In general, this has been positive; my age makes them pick up the book, and then later the story I have to tell keeps them reading. But sometimes I’ve run into people who don’t believe that teenagers have something of value to talk about. These are the people who’ve told me to come back to writing after I’ve gotten my MFA or at least after I’ve gotten my high school diploma. I think that adults writing about teenagers can look back on their adolescence, give advice, and talk about what they would have wanted to know as a young adult. This is extremely valuable, but different from writing about adolescence as I experience and live through it. I can’t package the teenage experience in neat boxes, because everything’s still a confusing mess for me, but that’s valuable in its own way.
What are your top three books? Did they inspire you to write?
I have immensely enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember. I had different favourite books at different ages. However, there are certain books that I could keep rereading and each time, uncovering more of their complexity.
In general, I enjoy contemporary fiction, such as The Fault in Our Stars and Bridget Jones’s Diary, but classic books tend to be the ones that I can read many times and never lose my enjoyment and wonder. Three books that come to mind are Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Bronte, Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Each of them is never-ending magic and appeals to me in different ways every time I pick them up. After reading books like this, how can these not inspire you?
Do you prefer standalones or series?
I love books that can create an encapsulated, whole world. If the author believes that he or she can better create a tight world within one standalone book, then I think that’s best. The same goes for series; some plots need multiple books to better create an entire world and make it whole.
Is there an author who has inspired you to write?
Every book that I have enjoyed has left some impact on me. Contemporary writers who certainly inspire me include Jody Picault, Tao Lin, John Green, Helen Fielding, and Toni Morrison. I also look back on classic authors such as the Bronte sisters and Sylvia Plath, and am amazed at the continuing relevance of their novels.
And finally what are your writing habits?
Though I do the actual writing on my laptop, I like to keep a red notebook with all my notes for various books and stories. I also have a thing for bright pink heart-shaped post-it notes that permanently dot my desk. Each has a quick idea or character on it that I’d like to include in whatever I’m writing. Currently, I have exactly eighty-two post-its on my desk. When I write notes, or really anything by hand, I like to use gel blue ink. I’m infamous among my friends for being the pickiest when it comes to writing utensils.