Interview With Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Hey guys I’m sooo excited to share this with you. I interviewed Harriet Reuter Haphood the author of The Square Root Of Summer one of the best books ever! She’s so sweet I really like her as a person too because no doubt she’s an amazing author, if you haven’t read this book yet I really don’t know what you are doing. Go read this book guys I’m sure you all will love it !

1. Thank you for agreeing to this interview would you tell us about yourself and your background?

I used to be a fashion journalist, working on magazines in London like InStyle, ELLE and Marie Claire. I was on staff at a glossy magazine for about five years, then I went freelance, which is when I was able to finally start writing my own stuff – I started a little summer YA novel… Right now, I’m working on my second book, then I plan to return to the world of magazines and copy-editing – I also used to proofread YA novels for publishers! What can I say, I like working with words! I live by the sea in a little flat up a big hill in Brighton, where I’m shortly to be reunited with my cat. I pretty much stay home all day writing, doing DIY and reading 🙂

2. What your biggest inspiration to write the Square Root Of Summer And when did you decide to write this book? 

Ooh, it was a few things at once. I knew I wanted to write a book. I loved YA. I love summer books, like Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere and Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty – I find books set in the summer really interesting. I think it’s to do with the time off school, that lack of daily structure and rules, suddenly characters have all this time on their hands and a different mindset, it’s quite dreamy. It was inspired by my grandmother’s death and a heartbreak I had, I wanted to explore those things. But I also wanted to look at the idea of the second heartbreak, the second love, the second coming-of-age – the summer after it all happens. I started writing it when I turned 30 – I felt hideously old and like I HAD to write a book, now or never! Of course it’s not old at all…
  3. Are you a voracious reader, what are some of your favourite books and would you like to reccomend a few of them? 

I read constantly! Books, magazines, back of the cereal box! Some of my favourites are: A Little Love Song by Michelle Magorian, a lovely summertime (of course!) book set by the sea with a ramshackle bookshop… (If you’ve read The Square Root of Summer you’ll see what inspired me!) The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden. Another summer book, this one set in France with a very bohemian family and lots of delicious French food and champagne. On the non-YA side, I adore F Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Michael Ondaatje, and the poetry of Auden, Larkin, TS Eliot, Sylvia Plath. Non-fiction, I’m a big fan of William Fiennes, who wrote a wonderful memoir about growing up in a castle. And this year I loved The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky, and The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter. Oh, and The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith. I’m also really looking forward to Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally, and Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow. Just stop me now or I’ll recommend 100 books…

4. Science fiction is a very interesting genre, what made you choose it? 

Oddly, I think of Square Root as a contemporary book with sci-fi aspects rather than pure sci-fi. I never thought of myself as a sci-fi or fantasy gal, then I looked over my DVD collection and it’s like, Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Doctor Who… I really wanted to write about quantum physics and theoretical mathematics, since my grandfather was a mathematician and the last conversation I had with my grandmother was about quantum physics, truly! So that was my starting point. Then the more theories I researched, the more fascinating I found it all. The universe is a wild and wonderful place, and we know about 0.000000000001% of what’s happening in it. Plus, time travel is fun! Back to the Future is an all-time favourite.

5. What is the best advice you would like to give to the aspiring authors?   

Read! And really think about what you’re reading: look at the structure, how the writer introduces characters, conflict, plot points, gradually through the book. Edit! Leave your manuscript alone for at least three months – you’ll be amazed when you pick it up again, and it’s so much easier then to delete stuff instead of thinking “I just wrote this, I have to keep it!” Nah, delete it. Rewrite it. Make it better. And ignore the internet – for concentration, but also to stop comparing yourself. There’ll always be someone younger getting a hotter book deal or a film made of their book or a cooler cover or more reviews. Ignore it. Do your own thing. Be kind to yourself. I mean, that’s just good life advice – don’t be hard on yourself.

I hope you guys liked this interview. It’s a really big thing for me to interview an author I’m soo Happpyyyyy. Thank you Harriet Hapgood to agree to this interview! 


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