Author Interview: Yawatta Hosby
1. What’s something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
I believe in conspiracy theories. I love to hear outlandish things then research to see what’s true and what’s not. I believe in Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and aliens. In fact, I got arm tattoos of a UFO beaming up a dinosaur, and the Loch Ness monster lol.
2. What got you into writing? Was there a particular life event that inspired you to write?
In the 7th grade, I needed to pick class electives and was stuck. Creative writing jumped out to me without me really understanding what it was. As a kid, I was always drawing comics, so my creative writing class really helped my creativity run wild.
3. What is your writing routine?
I’m pretty old school, so I love writing with a pen and notebook, one small enough to carry in my purse. I can write anywhere—standing in a line, on my lunch break, in the passenger seat, etc. I write my novellas from beginning to end. At times, I write out of order. After I’ve finished that step, I’ll take several days to type everything in a Word document. Sometimes I’ll also use Google Docs. It depends if I’ll need critique partners or if I will just look for an editor after a few rewrites.
4. Do you self publish, traditionally publish, or both? Why do you choose those methods?
For my novellas, I self-publish. My debut book, One By One, came out in 2013. I like being in control of my publishing schedule. I don’t put any pressure on myself. I find my own editors and pre-made book covers.
With my short stories, I tend to publish those traditionally. I’ve been published in some literary journals, on some horror blogs, and in a couple of horror anthologies. I don’t mind the submission process, and I’m definitely not scared of rejections. I just hate the waiting game, but when I get an acceptance, the journey is worth it. I choose to traditionally publish my short stories because my wish is to reach more readers. More eyes are on anthologies and literary journals than on my novellas.
5. Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
My favorite author is Agatha Christie. Growing up, I would curl up in a chair with my blanket and read all of her murder mysteries. I was inspired to write horror and suspense because of her.
I also love Stephen King, Amy Cross, Angel Gelique, and Matt Shaw. They have a captivating writing style and aren’t afraid to write about dark, controversial topics. I must admit that I read more indie books because they are usually more affordable for me. Plus, I’m a firm believer of authors helping other authors.
6. Can you remember a time that a book made you cry or frightened you so much you had to put it down? Which book and what scene?
Oh man, I’m horrible with remembering titles. I usually just pay attention to the author names and book covers. Sorry.
But I remember as a pre-teen I was reading a R.L. Stine book about a kid being haunted by the babysitter. I was sitting beside my grandma on the couch. Before the book was over, I was practically hovering over her, invading her personal space lol. The story had the kid look out the window to see the headless babysitter floating. To this day, I hesitate looking out any window. My blinds are always closed if I can help it.
7. What are some lessons you’ve learned as a writer in terms of writing process, routine, publishing, etc?
I’ve learned to love the crappy first draft. I’d rather see a disjointed story that can be revised later than a blank page that never gets started because of wanting everything to be perfect. I’ve also learned it’s very important to get objective eyes on your stories before you publish them. Look for affordable editors. Look for critique partners and beta readers who like the genre you write in.
I’ve also learned to accept that I self-publish without making any excuses. Some people look down on self-publishing, but I’ve learned to ignore the haters. I’m proud of what I do.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t be afraid to write a crappy first draft. Get your thoughts down then edit later. It’s okay to write out of order, focusing on the scenes that interest you the most.
Please don’t feel that it’s necessary to write every single day. That’s too much pressure. It’s okay to take breaks once in a while.
Last but not least, if you decide to look for a publisher, please research before committing to a contract. Money flows to the author, not the other way around. There’s so many scams out there that look legit. Please research, research, research. My favorite website to get advice from other writers is Absolute Write forums.
9. If you could meet one author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would love to meet Amy Cross. She’s an indie horror author like me. She’s made a name for herself in the horror community. I’d ask her how does she stay motivated to keep her publishing schedule and how does she market her books.
10. In your opinion, what are the most important elements of good writing?
I think it’s essential to write engaging scenes, no matter the genre. Readers want to be shown things, not just told stuff through narrative summary. My favorite books to read tend to be dialogue heavy. I want to see a character with flaws instead of a Mary Sue. I love bittersweet endings even though that’s not the norm.
11. Where can readers purchase your books?
I’m on Amazon: http://Amazon.com/author/yhosby
I’m also on other sites like Kobo, Apple, Barnes and Noble, etc. My website lists every book of mine with specific store links: http://yawattahosbysbooks.wordpress.com
12. Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?
My website: https://yawattahosbysbooks.wordpress.com/
My blog: http://yawattahosby.wordpress.com
Yawatta Hosby resides in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Hosby enjoys connecting with other writers through blogging. With a desire to escape every day life, Hosby creates short stories, novellas, and novels, always having a fascination with psychology and focuses on the inner-struggles within characters. Hosby is an avid reader with these favorite genres: mystery, suspense, horror, and women’s fiction.
Hosby's short stories have been featured in The Write Place At the Write Time online journal (2013), When the Lights Go Out anthology (2015), and Don’t Open the Door anthology (2019).
Written by Sterp
I am Sterp. I write dark fiction and have a very unhealthy obsession with disturbing narratives. I am the author of The Cult Called Freedom House: Sophia Rey Book One. My short story The Lost Tea Cup is in Issue 26 of The Literary Hatchet. I am also a painter.
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