Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical,Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the “only one who understands me”, and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book, SMOKE?
I can tell you it was six years coming. I’ve never written a book with a sequel in mind, and this was one I never expected to write. But so many of my readers demanded it, that I really had no choice. I listened to them asking for closure for Pattyn and finally decided she really deserved it. Very happy I managed to give it to her.
Smoke is the sequel to Burned. Where does Smoke take off?
BURNED ends with Pattyn considering a shooting rampage. First on the list was her father, and SMOKE opens with him dead and Pattyn on the run. I wanted to explore what it would feel like to kill someone you loved, and as much as Pattyn hated him at that moment, she also loved him. The book is two voices–Pattyn, and her sister, Jackie, who is left at home to deal with the aftermath.
What was your favorite scene to write in Smoke?
The last one. I almost said why, but that would spoil the ending, so I’ll leave it there. But there are some gorgeous poems at the end of the book.
How long did it take you to write Burned?
Around six months, maybe a little less. I wrote two books that year.
You’ve written several books. Do you have a favorite?
Always the one I’m working on. (See more just below.) That’s because I think each book is better than the last, and I’m a better writer with each one.
What’s next after Smoke? Are you working on anything right now?
The next book, a YA, is RUMBLE. It’s finished and revised and on its way to copyedits. It’s about belief vs. non-belief, and an impossible search for redemption. I think it’s an amazing book, my best by far. It will publish September, 2014. Currently, I’m adapting CRANK to the stage, so writing a script for a play. When I finish that, I dive into TANGLED, my next adult novel, which will publish Spring, 2015.
Up by 6 a.m. Catch up in email and social networking. Get my teen off to school. Then I write, with breaks for exercise (when I’m good) and food (when I’m not). I’ve also founded a nonprofit which helps at-risk youth into safe housing and college. That’s quite political, and time-consuming, especially when planning fundraisers, etc. So I’m spread pretty thin, but that’s okay. My motto is, “Better busy than bored.”
What is currently in your TBR pile?
ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE, and DEAR LIFE, YOU SUCK.
Now for a little fun with some This or That:
Cats or Dogs?
Dogs. Big ones. Especially German shepherds.
Chinese Food or Italian Food?
Chinese. I like Italian, but don’t like how pasta makes my jeans fit.
Greece or Paris?
Greece. I love the water and white sand.
Ebooks or Hardcopies?
I have a reader, but don’t love reading that way. Hardcovers!
Harry or Ron?
Pepsi or Coke?
I avoid soda, but it’s always been Pepsi.
Nashville or Once Upon a Time?
Isn’t that sort of like, contemporary or fantasy? I prefer real, although Nashville pushes the limits of suspension of disbelief.
Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life, but is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?
Release Date: September 10th, 2013