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Walking angels |

Young Star

Walking angels

Maine Manalansan - The Philippine Star

‘Even if you can’t find a writing class, find a critique group. Just find people you can share your story with.’

MANILA, Philippines - In a sea of dystopian Young Adult fiction, a story about fallen angels and forbidden love tends to stand out. Becca Fitzpatrick’s debut novel Hush, Hush revolves around 16-year-old Nora whose life is changed when she meets Patch, a mysterious boy with a dark and strange past. This New York Times bestseller is never short on romance and suspense and will keep you reading until the final book of the four-part saga. 

Aside from the Hush, Hush series, Becca’s upcoming book Black Ice tells the tale of Britt and her surprising encounter with fugitives while backpacking in Teton Range, Wyoming. The book is expected to be released in October 2014.

Taking time out from her book signing tour in Manila and Cebu, Becca sits down with Young STAR to talk about writing Hush, Hush, life-changing books, and writing at an early age. 

YOUNG STAR: At what age did you start writing? Was it something you loved doing as a kid or did it develop as a teen?

Becca Fitzpatrick: I liked to write stories and writing plays for my classes and the teachers would let us perform it. But I didn’t get serious about writing until I was 24 and that was because my husband enrolled me in a writing class. It was in that class that I started writing Hush, Hush and I was looking to get published.  

Did your writing back in high school serve as training for you?

Yeah! I tell people that. When I meet teens at my signing and they say, “Oh, I wanna be a writer,” I always encourage people to get started as soon as they can. Don’t wait. It is a good training ground. 

Is there a particular book that changed your life or changed the way you see things?

That’s a good question. Maybe when I started reading Sandra Brown’s romantic-suspense. They have had a huge influence on my writing. Just finding a way to tease the reader and not let them know exactly what’s going on while also weaving romance into the story.

Where did you get the inspiration for Hush, Hush? How did it come about?

Our teacher gave us an assignment to write a scene showing humiliation. When he announced that assignment, I was struck by a memory back in high school. I was 16, I was sitting in biology class and we were studying human reproduction because I remember my teacher calling me out in front of the class and saying, “Becca, why don’t you tell the class the characteristics you would want in a mate?” Everyone was laughing and I sat next to a really cute boy and he was poking me in the side saying, “Becca, tell us what you want in a man.” It was embarrassing but there was a scene in the book where Nora was asked the exact same thing by her biology teacher. That was the first scene I wrote. It just kind of sprouted from there, from my own experiences as a teenager. 

So LD Entertainment already optioned the film rights to Hush, Hush. Who would you pick to play Patch and Nora?

I used to think of Steven Strait. He was the guy I had in mind for Patch but it’s been so many years and obviously, he’s aged, so I don’t know who I would choose now. And I kinda don’t want to say if I had someone because then fans would think about that person and I love it when they have an open mind. 

Do you have any advice for teenagers who want to be better at writing?

Absolutely. I would say even if you can’t find a writing class, find a critique group. Just find people you can share your story with. Learn from their feedback. I think that’s really important. I really recommend reading. The more you read, the more you learn how to shape a story. And just be persistent. I received over a hundred rejection letters for Hush, Hush before it was accepted for publication. So you kind of have to develop a thick skin and accept that rejection would come.

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