Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- Becca Fitzpatrick interview

1) How did you get the idea for Hush Hush?

The very first inspiration for the story came from an experience in my own tenth- grade biology class. We must have been studying human reproduction, because my teacher asked me, in front of the whole class, to name characteristics I would be attracted to in a mate (uncomfortable? Yes!) I sat next to a really cute boy, and the thought of naming characteristics I might look for in a mate was a humiliation I was not about to subject myself to. But the experience always stuck with me, and when I sat down to write Hush, Hush, that little piece of my history evolved into an
early scene in the book.

2) What was The Call like? Where and when did it happen?

I got the call on September 24, 2008, and I missed it, because I was cleaning all the bathrooms in my house. When I finally got the message and called my agent back, I only had twenty minutes to make a decision about which house/editor I wanted to work with. My agent had promised the editors a decision by 5:00 p.m. EST, and there I was, finally returning her call at twenty before five. But my life is one big fat whirling ball of chaos, so the rush felt pretty natural, and in a way, it was nice not to have to angst over the decision forever. And you know what? That day was seriously one of the best in my life. I've had this dream forever, and I will always remember September 24, 2008 as the day I realized my dream would come true. That's priceless.

3) What are you working on now? Can you tell us anything about it?

I'm working on Crescendo, the sequel to Hush, Hush. In Crescendo, readers will find out what really happened the night Nora's dad was murdered, and how much Patch was involved.

4) What brought you to the YA genre? Have you always been a fan or are you still pretty new to it all?

I've been a fan since I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson in, let's see, I think that was 2003. I guess that makes me a 6-year fan :). After reading Speak, I had to write YA. (Oddly enough, Hush, Hush is nothing like Speak.)

5) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?


6) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?
Fade by Lisa McMann; Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost (I thought this was the first book in the series, but it seems it's not, so I need to stop and go back to Book One – but it's so good I almost don't care if I read the series out of order); Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

7) In your bio, you say that you love to watch crime dramas. Which ones are your favorites, and why?

Law & Order, hands down! Especially SVU. Oh, and I miss the old days when Angie Harmon and Sam Waterston were on together. Sigh.

8) The cover of Hush Hush is extremely stunning and is being talked about by everyone (especially me, as you know!). Was that the first cover they came up with, or were there some previous ones? What were your initial thoughts on seeing the final (and previous, if any) cover? Were you present at the photo shoot for it?

I went out to NYC in March 2009, when my publishing team was just starting to brainstorm ideas for the cover. I remember the original rough draft had a Maine foresty-like backdrop with fog and twisted trees, and then in the foreground was a red feather. I thought the cover was very pretty, but in the end, it didn't last very long. Shortly after I returned home from NYC, I heard there was going to be a photo shoot, and that the photographer, James Porto, had just finished doing a shoot with angels. That got me excited, because right away I knew they were putting Patch on the cover. I missed the actual photo shoot, but my editor was kind enough to email a few teaser pictures of her jumping on the giant trampoline they used to get that angel-falling-from-heaven shot. My initial reaction when I saw the final cover? I screamed! It was so awesome! I think every author feels a special attachment to their cover, but I was in love with mine. It was perfect. I still get the chills when I look at it.

9) In both your book and in Tom Dolby's book Secret Society, the name Patch is used for a main character. I found this intriguing since I didn't know that both books had the same unusual name before selecting them. How did you come up with the name Patch and what made you use it for that character?

How funny that we both used the name Patch! We must have been on the same brain-wavelength thingy while writing.

I don't remember how I originally came up with the name Patch, but his name started out as Patch in the very first draft I wrote of Hush, Hush (way back in 2003) and it stayed that way clear up until the book went to print. Somewhere along the way, I decided his real name wasn't Patch. Patch was a nickname his friend Rixon gave him, because he was always needing to be patched up after fights. Patch's real name will be revealed most likely in Crescendo, the sequel.


  1. Nice interview. I'm reading Hush, Hush right now. Darn it... I thought we were going to find out Patch's real name in this book!

  2. Nice interview and well deserved success.