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Shop Talk Tuesday with P.J. Hoover!

Today, P.J. Hoover is in the shop talk chair, woo-HOO!

P.J. is a Class of 2k8 member and the author of The Emerald Tablet, the first book in a middle grade science fiction trilogy about a group of five kids with special powers who think summer is going to be all fun and games until they find out they need to save the world. And to top it off, they aren’t even human!


(My son is SO looking forward to reading this!)

“I loved every minute that I was reading it, and I feel like I want to reread the book over and over again. … While reading the book I kept thinking that in a way it was almost like a myth that was being told and how cool it would be if it was actually true… Fans of Rick Riordan’s PERCY JACKSON series will particularly enjoy this book.” — Teens Read Too

“I enjoyed it as an adult, but I know that I would have adored it as an 11-year-old. In truth, ever since I finished it, The Emerald Tablet has been popping back into my head, as I wonder what’s going to happen to Benjamin and his friends going forward. Highly recommended for later elementary and middle school readers, boys and girls, fans of traditional fantasy or not.” — Jen Robinson, Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Visit P.J.’s website to see the video book trailer, or her blog!

So welcome, P.J.! Grab some coffee, get comfy in the beautician’s chair, and let’s get down to the gossip. Thanks!

First off, what’s the most regrettable hairstyle you’ve ever had? Any mullets? Rat tails?

No question about it. Nine years old. The Dorothy Hamill. Darn her for being such a great skater. Girls like me suffered around the country. Everywhere I went people thought I was a boy. Sure, now when I look at this picture, it just looks like a cute little kid, but definitely not a girl.

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Ah yes, the dreaded Dorothy Hamill! Seriously. I think a good rule of thumb is for everyone to stay far, far away from any hairstyle named after a celebrity. (But the Farah-Do was kind of hot.) Okay, what hair styling product can you not live without?
Does a blow dryer count? I’m not one of those people who looks like a million bucks after dripping dry. My hair is thin, and without the blow dryer my hair drives me to insanity!

What kind of hairstyle did you have in high school? Whatever it was, it contained lots of hair spray. Enough so not a single hair could move in the wind. I’m a recovering hair spray addict, and now I never touch the stuff. I shudder when it comes near me. Hairspray and rain do not mix.

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(See, this is why I love interviewing the Class of 2k8 ladies–they send photos!)

Time for your Hypothetical Questions of the Week:

HQ #1: For one day, time travel is a reality and you have the opportunity to visit any famous deceased author you want. Who do you pick?
Homer. Because then I could go back to the time of The Iliad and The Odyssey. I’d get to meet the gods and the heroes. And see if Helen of Troy really was all that pretty after all. Seriously, how pretty could one woman be? And I wonder if Achilles really looked like Brad Pitt. And did people really have books that long memorized?

HQ #2: If you could hit the rewind button, which book published by another author do you wish you could have written? The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I love this book more every time I read it! Not only is it fantastic, it would have been a blast to write!

HQ #3: You magically find a $100.00 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it?A new shirt or two from Ann Taylor.

HQ #4: If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?
Sitting in a cube designing chips—not potato chips or even Doritos for that matter. I was an electrical engineer until April 2008 when I decided to write full time! It was a great career, but I love writing so much more!

HQ #5: If you could go back in time and make changes to any of your published books, would you? If so, which one and why?
I’d want to, of course! But I’d resist. Each book is part of my journey. If I could go back and change a book, it would be a never ending process; there’s always something to improve upon. And anyway the goal in this job is to keep improving. To work to get better with each book.

The Lightening Round—no more than two words per answer!

Do you . . .

Outline or wing it? Outline!
Talk about works-in-progress, or keep your trap shut? Trap shut!
Sell by proposal or completed draft? Completed draft!
Love to edit or cringe at the thought? Relish it!
Prefer writing a new book or marketing the old? Writing new!
Write better at home or in a coffee shop? Home!
Read your released book or no thanks, I’ve read it enough? Read it!

And finally, what’s your favorite . . .

Time to write? While the kids are at school
Movie? Journey to the Center of the Earth – the original 1959 version
Book? The Lightning Thief
Author? Rick Riordan
Song? Every Breath You Take
Pair of shoes? VANS with skulls
Guiltiest pleasure? Dark beer
Line from a movie? “I’m not here to eat him.” – Shrek 3

Thanks for stopping by, P.J.! I wish you the very best with THE EMERALD TABLET. Go treat yourself to an Ann Taylor shirt, (heck–an entire outfit,) some dark beer and one tiny squirt of hairspray. We won’t tell! 😉

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