For this blog tour, we have an interview with Hannah Clark, the author of Cobbogoth.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
The hardest thing about writing Cobbogoth was probably the fact that it was my first novel. A lot of the time I spent on it was simply spent on learning how to write a book in the first place. I’m not sure if it was Orson Scott Card, or Brandon Sanderson that said if you want to be a good writer, write 6 novels, put them on the shelf, and then you’ll know enough to write a novel you can sell. With Cobbogoth, I definitely wrote more than six completely different versions, before I found the one that felt right.
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
I think I relate to Norah, my main character, the most. She’s really the only girl character, for one, and she also struggles with some major fears, which is something I’ve dealt with all of my life. Writing her character really helped me face my own anxieties, and every time I re-read Cobbogoth, it gives me the perspective and courage to continue facing and conquering them.
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
Well, to be honest, there wasn’t really an easy part. I have dyslexia, so the entire thing was a major struggle. But, what I enjoyed the most was building the world of Cobbogoth and, of course, writing the love story. :)
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
Hmmmmm…that’s a tough one. I’ve always imagined Starlight by Muse being the song played during the final scene of my book. Gravity by Sara Bareilles would be the soundtrack at the beginning when the love interest is introduced. The Ruler and the Killer by Kid Cudi would be the theme for my villains. And then, of course, since Norah Lukens, my MC was named after my favorite singer Norah Jones, I’d have to figure out a way to sneak something by her in the soundtrack. :)
Any future books in the works?
Yep. Cobbogoth is the first book in a seven book series. I’m currently working on book 2.
ABOUT HANNAH CLARK:
Hannah L. Clark was raised in the very small town of Oak City, UT with seven sisters and one brother. She spent most of her childhood daydreaming, writing stories, building forts, chasing after boys, and working really hard to earn money. (With six older sisters, her parents were really poor by the time she came along.)
In spite of great learning difficulty brought on by dyslexia, Hannah graduated from high school with honors and was awarded a scholarship in English to Utah Valley University. In 2006 she graduated from UVU with her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and immediately began two of her most exciting adventures yet: Motherhood and writing her first novel.
Five and a half years later, Hannah completed Cobbogoth, a Young Adult Fantasy-Adventure novel, and book one in a seven book series.
She currently lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband Michael, and their son. Hannah actively seeks to inspire kids and adults by speaking about her experiences of becoming an author in spite of dyslexia.
Hannah still daydreams, writes stories, builds forts, chases after her boys, and works really hard to earn money.
Favorite Quote: "Whatever you think you can or can't do, you're right." -Henry Ford
ABOUT THE BOOK:
To seventeen-year-old Norah Lukens, the Cobbogothians were just a myth. But after her archeologist uncle's brutal murder, and being asked to translate one of his old research journals for evidence, she begins a journey to discover the truth for herself.
Chasing the myth her uncle was obsessed with, Norah learns that his murder was a cover up for something far more sinister. If she hopes to save others from suffering the same fate he did--including the peculiarly magnetic James Riley--she must head to Iceland in order to find out the truth once and for all. If she succeeds, she'll gain the one thing she's always longed for. But if she fails, not even the gods can help her.
Book site: www.cobbogoth.comEXCERPT:
Cobbogoth Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cobbogoth/201603626565950
Cobbogoth Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY95wH2YrL8
Standing before me was a woman with tangled hip-length hair—hair the color of blood. Her eyes shone like amethysts. She reminded me of a painting Uncle Jack made for me as a child—the Opalian Eye from the Cobbogothian legends, their prophetess. As her eyes shone down upon me, I remembered her name—Totherma. She watched me carefully. Then, lifting her arm, she pointed to my right. I looked and saw a woman covering her face and crying.
Turning back to Totherma, I watched her enter through a doorway, walk down a corridor, and stop in front of another doorway. I went to follow, but something made me look down. My hands were covered in blood, and the floor sparkled with shards of glass. I smelled something pungent and musty, something burning.
Looking up, I saw the woman pointing into the doorway where she stood. I hurried to meet her when my path was suddenly blocked by people. They wore white.
Angels? I wondered.
They huddled around something, and I knew that whatever it was had caused that salty, burning smell.
I struggled to get by them, trying to see what she wanted me to see. I stood as tall as I could reach, but it wasn’t enough. I looked for Totherma until our eyes met. Understanding, she lifted her arm, and with the motion of her hand, I rose up off the ground. I could see over the group of people into the center of the circle . . .
What I saw made me scream.
“Honey! Honey are you alright?” I was being shaken awake. Panting and sweating I turned toward the dim light, blinking my eyes several times.
In and out, Nor. In and out. I tried to shake the last image from my mind.
As my eyes focused, a pretty woman with blue-black hair and honey-colored eyes began to materialize.
Completely disoriented, I became aware that I was not on solid ground. “Who . . . where . . . where am I?” I blurted out, as I pushed my back against what appeared to be a leather seat.
“You’re on a bus heading toward Boston. Ring a bell?” she smiled.
“Uh, no actually.”
“Give yourself a minute to wake up. Looks like you’ve been through some kind of an adventure recently,” she soothed as she brushed wet hair back from my face.
I stiffened under her touch.
With an understanding look, she dropped her hand. “I’m sorry, it’s just . . .” she reached up and touched my hair again. This time, however, she came back with a handful of debris. “You’ve got something in your hair.”
I patted my head as well. Rather than sleek, smooth hair pulled into a tight braid, like I was used to, everything felt frizzy and matted. “What the—?”
“Let’s see, I’m sure I’ve got a mirror in here somewhere.” The woman dug around in a deep purse, then handed me a palm-sized compact.
As I took it, something caught my eye; a charm attached to a thin leather bracelet dangled from my wrist. I held it up in front of me and fingered the charm. It was a small, circular stone, white and speckled black—merlinite. “Where did this come from?” I mumbled.
“I’m afraid I can’t help you with that one. Hairbrush?” the woman offered.
“Yeah, thanks,” I took the brush. “It’s just, I recognize this stone from my geology final this morning, but I have literally no idea where it came from.”
“I’m sure it will come to you. Don’t worry,” she tried to look reassuring.
Finally, I opened the compact to check out my hair.
“What—what happened to me?” My hair was a ratted cloud, strewn with dead leaves and twigs. There was dirt smudged across my left cheek and my eyes were smeared with mascara, revealing several of the long, white-blonde lashes I worked so hard to hide.
“Like I said, you look like you’ve had an adventure recently.” The woman peeked into the mirror beside me.
“Uh . . . no, I look like I spent the night in the woods!”
“Mmmm . . . true. Let me help you. What’s your name?”
“Norah Lukens,” I said, frantically dragging my fingers through my hair and loosening the rest of my braid. “There is no way I’m letting James see me like this.”
“Calm down, honey. Look, I’ve got everything you need right here.” Again, the woman was rummaging through her purse.
I balanced the compact mirror on my knees and began working on my hair again. I’d just gotten most of the knots out, when I scooped it back into a messy ponytail and caught sight of a long, thin cut just above my collar bone. Strands of my hair were stained burgundy and caked to my neck where the blood had dried.
“Oh my gosh!” Leaning into the mirror, I scoured my brain for how this could’ve happened. For some reason, I was drawing a complete blank on anything after talking with Professor Anderton at my geology final.
A complete blank. That was a first.
“Here we go. Face toilettes and make up—oh dear! What happened to your neck!” the woman cried.
“I—I honestly don’t know.”
“Belmont, Belmont Center Station next.” The bus driver’s voice sliced through our conversation, as we pulled up the street toward my home town.
“Oh no,” I groaned, “this is my stop.” As the familiar buildings passed, my heart jumped into my throat. I glanced out the window looking for any sign of James.
“It’s alright, don’t worry.” The woman patted my arm. “Hold still, and I’ll have you looking glamorous in no time.”
I gave her a doubtful look, but realizing she was my best chance, I collapsed into the seat back. “I doubt the word ‘glamorous’ will ever be used to describe me. I’ve been called ‘ghost girl’ and ‘powder-face,' but never glamorous. Though I do appreciate your help, just the same.”
“What? I think you’re a beautiful girl!” She finished smoothing my hair. “Seriously, women the world over would kill for your porcelain skin, your natural platinum hair, and those eyes! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that color of green before. It’s like peridot, or kiwis.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Gee . . . thanks.”
“Whoever this James guy is, he must be pretty important, huh?”