Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interview with Author Hannah Moskowitz

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Hannah Moskowitz, author of the YA novels BREAK and INVINCIBLE SUMMER. I recap our interview below, in which Hannah dishes about YA, middle grade, music, and her venture into new territory.

Carol: Hi Hannah! So happy to have you visit. I spruced up the place just for you. What do you think of my new sculpture?

Hannah: It’s interesting. When you told me you were putting a third nipple on her, I was concerned, but I think it worked really well.

I'm telling you, a third nipple never fails to wow.

Okay then, in three words or less, please tell us ALL about yourself.

I’m awesome.

Precisely! Now, in ten words or more, please tell us about your next release Invincible Summer.

Invincible Summer is about this kid named Chase and his four siblings over the course of four summers. It’s about the way he finds to connect with them, when there are so many things that get in the way: age differences, his older brother’s tendency to run away, the language barrier between him and his Deaf little brother, and that girl across the street. It’s either pretty or very ugly in all its places.

A beautiful description for an amazing book. I'm curious about what inspired it. The last couple of weeks, you’ve been posting songs from your playlist for Invincible Summer on your blog. Is this something you do for all your books? If so, how much influence does the music have on your stories? Or do the stories influence the song choices?

It’s something I do for all the YAs. And it’s definitely more the story influencing the song choices, at least most of the time--less so with Invincible Summer. But the songs have their say as well. They’re good for giving my ideas for plot points when I’m stuck.

If you were to choose one song to represent Invincible Summer, what would it be?

“Not Just Sometimes But Always” by Idlewild, no question.

Dang, I'm amazed by how well that song captures the spirit of your book--the tone, the lyrics, the rhythm. It's gorgeous. What inspired you to write Invincible Summer?

“Not Just Sometimes But Always.”  And the album Narrow Stairs by Death Cab for Cutie. And I had wanted to write a book with ASL for a very long time.

The use of ASL in this felt so genuine and vivid. I was blown away.

Switching gears--from what I’ve read, you wrote a number of books before Invincible Summer. Out of all the books you’ve written, which would you say has been the toughest to write? Why?

Like ten of ‘em, yeah. There was one that was trunked that was hard just because I went through so many drafts with it. I must have done 15 drafts of that book. I really wanted it to work. I tried everything.

Definitely a relief to know I'm not the only one this happens to. I read you have a new novel coming out at the end of the year, a middle grade called Zombie Tag. What inspired you to write a middle grade? How would you compare the experience of writing it to your experience of writing YA?

Middle grades are often some of my favorite books, so it’s a genre that I absolutely love. And I wanted to branch out from YA. I tried adult, but that didn’t work out so well--I think I need to grow up a little more first--but trying MG was ridiculously fun, and it stuck. Right now it’s still much harder for me than writing YA, because it’s new, but it’s really awesome. I love being able to switch from one to the other. It makes it much harder to get bored.

I think I may never be grown up enough to write adult. Would you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on at the moment? Any new projects?

I just finished a draft of an MG about a boy who is desperate to get to prom and tell the boy he loves that he loves him, told from the point of view of his long-suffering best friend. And I’m slowly working on a YA I love that it is intimidating the hell out of me. It’s a fantasy book, actually, and it’s about how we deal with history and what happens after war. But really it’s a love story. It is such a total love story.

Fantasy. Romance. This feels like new territory for you. LOVE it. Can't wait.
Is there anything in particular you’re hoping readers will take away from Invincible Summer?

I hope that they like it! And that’s really it.

Alright, it’s time for some invasive questions. London or Fiji? Beans or filet mignon? Croissant and cappuccino or biscuits and gravy? Chocolate or Jared Leto?

London, though that’s a tough one. Filet Mignon, and that was not. Biscuits and gravy. Chocolate on Jared Leto.

Mmmm, chocolatey Jared. Lethal combination.

Dude, it’s been so AWEsome to have you here, I want to capture this moment forever with a
picture. Smile.


Hannah Moskowitz is a YA and MG writer. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with too many cats. She's afraid of escalators. Her books feature brothers, sexual ambiguity, and babies. She hates camping and was a very poor Girl Scout. She is an English major at the University of Maryland.

She likes milk more than water. Summer more than winter. Love more than hate.
Visit Hannah's blog about the publishing industry or follow heron Twitter.


Thank you so much for stopping by for a chat, Hannah! It was a pleasure and an honor to work with you.

Thank you to all of you for popping in. Please do say hello to Hannah. Isn't she awesome? Hello, chocolate Jared. I'm SOLD.

INVINCIBLE SUMMER is now available. I've read it. It's unbelievably good. Like, ridiculous good. LOVE. You want to read it.

Also, be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are highlighting this week:

Elana Johnson visits Dark and Hollow Places
LiLa Roecker gets silly over Spoiled
Christine Fonseca has a passion for Possession – with giveaway
Shannon Messenger marvels at Moonglass – with giveaway
Jamie Harrington adores Invincible Summer
Shelli Johannes-Wells is in the grip of Possession
Scott Tracey bathes in Blood Magic
Jessi Kirby praises Playing Hurt
Bethany Wiggins delves into Divergent
Shana Silver presents a Guestanista gushing over Between Here and Forever
Carrie Harris sings out about Shift
Rosemary Clement-Moore applauds Abandon
Sarah Frances Hardy enjoys Me Jane
Matt Blackstone loves Like Mandarin
Corrine Jackson delights in The Duff
Stasia Ward Kehoe discusses Displacement
Beth Revis goes into Black Hole Sun 

ALSO, if you haven't yet seen it, please be sure to check out Ricki Schultz' interview with my agent, the fabulous Vickie Motter on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog. You will see why she's amazing.


  1. LOVE this. So much. If you could hug interviews, I would hug this one.

  2. Awesome! I guess we can all get intimidated by new ideas!

  3. Great interview, Carol. IS sounds awesome!

  4. Umm, hello? How can you mention something as cool sounding as Zombie Tag and not tell us more about it?

    I blame the interviewer.

  5. I've seen the cover around multiple times and this interview makes me really want to read the book! Adding to by TBR pile... :)

  6. I have a review of Invincible Summer up on my blog! check it out

  7. LOVE this interview. Hanna is absolutely charming and I cannot wait to read INVINCIBLE SUMMER.

  8. Amazing interview...loved it! Can't wait to read Invincible Summer!

  9. Invincible Summer sounds great. I read some of Hannah's teasers for it on her blog and was totally hooked.

    Oh, and best chocolate v. Jared Leto answer ever.

  10. Matt, you goober. Yes yes, always blame the interviewer. But I plan on doing a feature on Zombie Tag as we get closer to pub date.

    Tracey, I know right? Hannah is amazing.

  11. I just won a copy of Invincible Summer and will be stalking the mail box until it arrives. Great interview, great author--thanks to two super cool ladies!

  12. Great interview. That's awesome that Hannah is writing YA and MG. And I'm glad I'm not alone in having 10-15 drafts of one manuscript. Good luck with your book. It sounds great.

  13. Hannah sounds so fun! I've read some great reviews for Invincible Summer and have it on my wishlist :)

  14. Awesome interview... the book sound like a fun read.
    I'll add it to my wish list.

  15. Loved the interview. And Death Cab for Cutie. And chocolate on Jared Leto.

    Wait, what were we talking about?

    Oh yeah. Great interview, Carol.

    Nice to meet you, Hannah!

  16. What a fun interview! Congrats on the new release, Hannah.

  17. Chocolate Jared Leto candies.
    Instant Easter hit #youcouldberich. I would buy boxes and boxes ;). I already have been meaning to read one of Hannah's books, but I'm bumping her up on my TBR list (and not just because of the chocolate Jared fetish...she's just plain awesome). And so are you Carol, great interview!!!

  18. Great interview! Hannah is awesome, and I'm glad to hear that she's written 10 books! That makes me feel so much better about myself. Ha!

  19. Awesomely fun interview! I can't wait to read this book!

  20. I think I was writing adult fiction when I was 13. I still haven't grown up yet, though. Not sure what that says about me.

    A lovely interview, good ladies!

  21. That was a fun interview. And she has such a cute smile.

  22. Chocolate on Jared Leto - never considered that one before but great idea!

    Great interview, ladies!

  23. Great interview! Gosh, I'd buy this book just to listen to Idlewild while reading it :-) Seriously, though, it sounds really interesting - love the combination of a family story and a romance.

  24. Love the interview, hehe. And, chocolate Jared. Hmm. Hopefully that doesn't enter my dreams tonight!

  25. Great interview. Can't wait to read Invincible Summer!

  26. Awesome interview, ladies. Very fun! INVINCIBLE SUMMER sounds great!

  27. Fun interview, ladies! I'm reading BREAK right now and I'd love to read INVINCIBLE SUMMER.

  28. Amazing interview. She was so fun!

  29. Oh!! Chocolate ON Jared Leto. YES! What a great interview, you two!! Can't wait to read it, Hannah ;o)


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