Today we’re exploring the author behind the series that led me to loving books about angels – that author is Becca Fitzpatrick. I had the amazing opportunity to come see her on October 14, at Anderson’s Bookshop while she was on her Silence tour.
If you haven’t read the series, it starts off with Hush, Hush where we meet Patch and Nora. Patch is a fallen angel and Nora is Nephilim.
How’d she come to write these books?
In college she didn’t envision herself being a writer, but a spy! She even applied to the CIA. TWICE. Her husband enrolled her (thinking it would be funny) in a writing class when she was 24. In her 4 years at college though, she’d only taken one writing class where her teacher threatened to fail her. Her husband thought it would be humorous to put her in the class!. She told the teacher on the first day of class “I will come every week for this 8 week writing class but I will not write anything. Even if I do write something, I will not share it with anyone.” She was challenged to write a scene on humiliation – so she did it. She was in her 10th grade biology class and was not paying attention (as per usual) and was called on with the question “what are the characteristics you’d like in a mate”. She was absolutely humiliated and sat next to the cute boy in her class. So hence, she starts writing about the experience which later led to her enjoying writing. She didn’t realize you had to have an entire story written before you actually sent it off. She received her first rejection letter very promptly after sending her first edit off. Five years later she’d received just shy of 100 rejection letters but found her current agent in 2008. Her agent saw something promising and asked her to rewrite.
She commonly gets questions about the covers as well. So how are covers chosen?
Generally, 99% of authors have no clue what the covers will look like, but she was fortunate when her publisher asked for input on all three covers. Drew, who modeled as Patch, was asked to come in wearing nothing but a pair of skinny black jeans. He spent two hours in makeup getting wing scars painted on his back…and spent 6 hours doing backflips and stuntwork on a trampoline. He said this workout was so intense that he did not workout the rest of the week. After they’d finished, they sent Becca four of the best shots and asked her to chose! The photo Becca chose is actually upside down from the original on the cover of Hush, Hush!
The last common question she gets is where does she get inspiration?
When she was writing the books, she’d go back and read the journals she kept when she was in middle school and high school. Things she’d had happen to her back then started becoming her writing. One thing that did come of it – she moved to a place in Idaho after growing up in Nebraska. Apparently in Idaho you had to come up with a creative way to ask people to a dance. Her friend had a guy that asked her by filling the tub with water and fish with a saying “Out of all the fish in the sea, you’re the one for me, will you go to the dance with me?” So her friends told her she needed to ask this popular guy Beau – their thought was to ask by getting a hot dog, putting mustard, ketchup and relish on it and a little sign that said “Beau, don’t be a wiener, go to the dance with me.” She wasn’t going to, but later decided to. They went to a friends house and did all the preparations but on chickening out, she wrote down her friends name-Emily. So Beau told Barbie (his mom) that he knew Emily already had a date to the dance…and she found out who the mystery person was. Barbie made him go to the dance with Becca and he didn’t say a word to her the entire night. That ended in how Nora ended up going to Scott’s house with the hot dog (we’re all afraid of how Scott will hurt Nora) and that’s why she used the same line. For aspiring writers, keep a journal – you never know what will happen to you. You might think it’s boring but it may be the biggest thing that helps.
Are the playlists important to scenes in the book?
She can’t write while listening to music because she tends to type the lyrics, but she does plot while she’s running in the morning with her iPod.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned in being a writer?
If she were ever to write a series again she’d know from the start how many books there would be, how it will end, and what would happen throughout. There are things she wishes she could go back and change in the first book while now writing the fourth book. If she did it again, she would know.
Where did the titles come from?
Believe it or not, they all came from the dictionary. Titles are really hard. She was browsing through the dictionary and stumbled upon Hush which means to conceal – so she emailed one of her best author friends and told her she was going to title it “Hush” but the author friend told her Hush was such a tiny little word and said Hush, Hush. *Note – Many authors don’t get to actually pick their titles either!
When you’re writing and you’re stressed, how do you overcome it?
It can be a lot of things that come in with stress, but generally it’s the deadlines. You usually get about 9 months to write the book. She goes running, anything to get away from the computer and clear her head. Going to the park with her kids, or going to shower. You can sing in the shower and sound good!
When she started writing, she had no clue Patch would be a fallen angel. She knew he’d be the ultimate bad boy – like the one you know is guarded but you want to know everything about. She wanted him to be upstanding – but what caused him to fall from grace? It made sense then that he was a fallen angel.
Did you have to alter the way Silence ended now that there’s going to be a fourth book?
She knew there would be a fourth book when she finished writing Silence in May but she couldn’t tell anyone at that point that there would be. She didn’t have to change the ending but she had to keep this big fat secret.
What about her books being made into movies?
She’s kind of worried about it being optioned unless it gets picked up and things go almost exactly how the book goes.
And that is it for our lovely author! You can all just call me “Wings Girl”. By the way – here’s a photo from the night!