Covering topics from world building to book covers, author Chloe Hodge prepares a guide to become a stronger writer and published author by listening to your inner reader!
In the Author Blog Series, author Evangeline (that's me!) interviews various authors from various backgrounds and genres over the writing process. You'll learn from fellow authors and book influencers about editing, publishing, character development, and far more to strengthen your writing skills!
Let's Meet Our Author
Chloe Hodge was born in Adelaide, South Australia, to New Zealand parents, and a Hungarian heritage. In 2017 she completed a Bachelor of Journalism and Professional Writing at the University of South Australia and proceeded to work for the ABC as a radio producer and news reporter, and thereafter a journalist for a technical grape and wine magazine. She is now the owner of small editing business, Chloe's Chapters, and writes Fantasy and Young Adult novels.
Author Interview Questions
1. If you had a quote from a book you could put on a billboard all over the country for people to see, what would it be?
One of my favourite quotes is from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, which I think we can all relate to—especially writers tackling their WIP’s!
“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish”
2. Editors and readers have the opportunity to view the worlds authors create from a different spyglass. Because of that, you see errors and cliches that authors might no longer notice. What do you wish authors would stop doing in books?
I think this can vary depending on genre, but a common error I see in fantasy books would be cultural references to places and people that don’t exist in fictional worlds.
For example, a world without France cannot have French Doors, Bordeaux wine, or phrases such as ‘touché’. The same can be said for modernisms and technology that don’t belong in olden/medieval style worlds unless clearly outlined.
My advice here is to know the world you’re creating and do the research.
3. Do you have a favorite book (or a favorite book for the moment)? Why did it leave such an impact on you?
My favourite book of all time is The Hobbit!
It’s such a cute and comforting read that speaks of the power of friendship, overcoming obstacles and realising one’s self-worth… Plus it has a dragon so win/win! This book spurred me to become a writer—I just thought I’d be an author!
My favourite book of the moment is the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. Her way with words is admirable and inspiring, and her character development is fantastic. This series left me in awe by how magical and how incredibly strong a story one can tell.
4. Do you have any advice for authors when it comes to getting a great book cover? What makes a good cover and what makes a . . . less appealing one?
Do your research!
There are so many talented artists out there, and everyone has their own style.
What will work best for your book?
What will catch the eye of your target audience?
Does the cover represent your genre?
Many people say “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but in my opinion, covers are the first selling point for your book. It’s what grabs a potential customer’s attention, and it’s the synopsis’ job to drive that sale home.
If you can afford it, spend the money on a good cover, and you’ll see some payback from that later down the line.
5. What kind of book endings resonate most with you? Do you feel a strong pull towards glistening happy endings, cliff hangers, or perhaps the more realistic, if not tragic book endings?
I love a happy ending (who doesn’t love those feel good vibes?) but I’m just as content to read a tragic ending that pulls at my heart strings.
If the author can make me cry, I’ll award bonus marks!
But whichever way a book ends, it needs to fulfil a purpose and answer any questions the reader may have had. I don’t mind a cliff hanger mid-series, but I can’t stand finishing a series only to have frustrating questions that I’ll never know the answer to! I find it a disappointing end that still feels unfinished.
6. Do you have any tips to give writers when they ask for book reviews or peer edits? (e.g. are the authors lazy during the exchange, are they not organized, do they not seem to take the time to edit their drafts enough before sending it over, are the covers cheap?)
Nobody likes those pesky marketing/survey/telecom calls you get from time to time, and it’s the same with cold calls from authors.
My advice is to connect to your audience and develop a rapport with your readers and potential reviewers. If you have a relationship with them, they will be more likely to accept arc’s, beta read for you, peer edit, or review your book.
Before you get to this stage, ensure your work is in its best possible state—professionally edited and formatted—and if you’re sending a physical copy, make sure you proof this for any printing errors before releasing it to the public!
7. If you had the opportunity to tell you favorite author how you feel about their books, what would you say?
To Tolkien I would say:
“Your books inspired me to become a writer and one day produce my own novels. Thank you for giving the world something wonderful and full of magic.”
And maybe, if he were still alive, I’d be so bold as to ask him to dinner so we might cause some mischief and have a few drinks like Merry and Pippin.
Write what you want to write. Be true to yourself and do what makes you happy. And if you love writing and creating worlds? The words in your books will reflect these feelings.
Writing is a beautiful, yet intense craft. If you're nervous to take the leap and start, don't doubt yourself! Ask for support and guidance from your writing community, practice, and read books and articles like this.
Follow Chloe Hodge
Author Page: www.chloehodge.com
Editor Page: www.chloeschapters.com
Buy Vengeance Blooms, Book One of the Guardians of the Grove trilogy! It is available on Amazon, Book Depository, Booktopia, Barnes & Noble, Angus & Robertson, and select Dymocks stores.
Book Two of this series is set to release in August 2020.
For more on the writing process from our bi-weekly author interviews, you can subscribe to my website for weekly updates: click here.