Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soapbox Spotlight: Larissa Hinton

Thank you for joining me on another installment of Soapbox Spotlight!  Today, I'm interviewing Larissa Hinton, who writes both young adult fantasy and paranormal romance.  She's talking about her latest work, Everblossom, an anthology of short stories and prose.

Tell us about yourself, Larissa.

I grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Chesapeake, Virginia.  I now live in northern Virginia, but I always look forward to going back to the sweet smell of the salty ocean. I have always loved writing, since the age of 12, and hasn't stopped since. After many years of writing whimsical tales of romance and fantasy, I am now proud to be a self-published author. When I'm not writing, I teach English at a local middle school.

Outside of the classroom, I love shopping for the next great Wii game, searching for undiscovered treasure (a.k.a. sparkly jewelry) and plucking some fresh fruits (or vegetables, dependent on the year) out of my small garden.

What inspires you to write and why?

Everything and anything is the broad and truthful answer. Since I'm a college student at Hampton University, I walk to class a lot. Instead of plugging my ears with music (I don't want to draw attention to my hideous dance moves, lol), I think a lot about my books and what I can do to fix them. Practically everyday I do this and even though it doesn't sound inspiring, I always come up with a new short idea or a way to fix a problem in my book. Sometimes thinking about my personal life helps and sometimes just walking in somewhat pure silence with nature brings me ideas.

What first attracted you to your genre?

I was first attracted to paranormal fantasy books because it lets me escape boring reality. In reality, I'm limited by my own experience, but, in fantasy, I can be whatever I want and explore new worlds that were never thought possible. That's what I love about fantasy: pure freedom to dream and be what I want to be.

What inspired you to write your first book, and what was it?

The inspiration for my first book was Nickelodeon's Clock Stoppers. I saw the movie trailer, and I thought, "I could write a better story than that."  So I did.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

The most challenging part about writing is putting your idea on paper and making it come across [correctly]. Especially for a novel. It's a long journey from the first page until the last, and to make sure it's projecting the idea from cover to cover from word to word is the most difficult part. As a writer, you have to be consistent, persistent, and have excellent time management to be able to complete a novel with style, grace and sanity. Seriously. Ask some writers if they haven't pulled their hair out over a story that just wouldn't translate from their brain onto the paper [properly]. Ah, the makings of a novel.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?

What I've been told my greatest strength is as a writer is my dialogue. I could practically write pages upon pages of dialogue and develop a whole story.


RJS Book Review


Today, I’m reviewing Larissa Hinton’s Everblossom: A Short Story and Poetry Anthology. The work is a compilation of short stories and poetry with varying themes and topics. The compilation is relatively short and can be read in one sitting. Having written a poetry compilation, and anticipating the publication of an anthology much like Ms. Hinton’s, I was eager to read Everblossom.

I, admittedly, had a hard time enjoying the short stories. Being a lover and writer of short stories myself, I suppose I was expecting Hinton’s stories to mimic the format I’ve seen in short story work before. However, these were decidedly different. Each story embarked with a very intriguing concept, but in presenting her conflict, Hinton never actually resolves one. Her stories are significantly underdeveloped and always end abruptly shortly after they start, leaving the reader questioning what happened and why the story is relevant. It is clear the author’s imagination is teeming with brilliant storylines; however, her execution of those ideas frequently left me unsatisfied.

Now, what shines in this anthology is the poetry. The author dismisses them light-heartedly in her introduction, but it was definitely the prose work that I enjoyed most. Her cadences evoke the mood of the poem distinctly, and each topic she discusses portrays an imagery that is vivid and relatable. I had a mind to list some of my favorites in this review, but there were so many that the list grew much too quickly. The industry is lacking poetic minds, and Hinton definitely has one.

Ultimately, the work had strong moments that kept me reading. Take a look at Larissa Hinton’s Everblossom and decide for yourself.

 2.5/5 suns: not because I hate it, but because it's clear the author is better than what she's given us.

You can find Larissa at the following links:


You can purchase Larissa's books at the following links:

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/80600


Be on the look out for Larissa's upcoming work Angel Diaries!

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