Mar 1, 2012

The Weeping Blog Tour: Review & Interview + Giveaway

I am so honored to have debut author O'Dell Hutchison here today on my blog to talk about his novel The Weeping which will be out on March 6th of 2012! You must check this one out it was such a captivating read!




 Interview with O'Dell Hutchison: 



Q.  Hi, before I ask a few questions can you introduce yourself a little?

A. Hi there! First of all, thanks for having me today. This is very exciting. 

Lets see...about me...

Boring stuff: I was born and raised in a small rural town in Idaho (and by small I mean all of 150 people.) After high school, I moved to Eastern Oregon to attended community college, then after two years I attended Oregon State University. I moved to the Houston area in 1997.

Fun stuff: I'm very laid-back, I'm awfully sarcastic and tend to laugh in inappropriate situations. I have a "big boy job that takes up a lot of my time, but I still manage to read, write and blog (booktwirps.com), as well as direct an occasional show here and there for a local theater in Houston.

Q. Was writing something you always knew you would do or did it kind of just spring its self on you?

A. Writing is something I've always done and enjoyed, but never really pursued it until a couple of years ago. Writing a book was always just one of those things I thought I'd like to do someday-kind of like winning the lottery.

Q. Your book will be out pretty soon how you feel about that? It's got to be nerve racking and an amazing feeling all at once. 

A. It's crazy. I self-published a book a year ago, which was a huge learning experience in and of its self, but it was all on my time. This time around things have been so much different. I had deadlines, and proofs to review and a blog tour to prep for all while trying to work a full-time job, do work at the theater, read and review books for Book Twirps and work on my next manuscript. Don't get me wrong-I love it-it's been a little stressful. :)

Q. Where did the idea for The Weeping come from? 

A. I've had a few paranormal experiences at the theater where I work. At first it was very unnerving because i have a highly active imagination and I just knew the ghost was going to climb into the back of my car and come home with me and camp out inside my TV. After I calmed down a bit, I started toying with the idea of writing a book about a ghost haunting a theater; I just needed to find the right ghost. Not long after, Catherine came along.


Q. The Weeping has such a strong and captivating opening to the story. If you don't mind me asking was it always going to begin like that or did it change from the very first draft you wrote? 

A. That was the very first scene I wrote, and I poured over it for the longest time, I'd cut it entirely from the book. I'd been cautioned agaisnt using a preface, as generally they are frowned upon, but the book just wasn't the same without it. My editor and my test readers all agree with me. I'm so glad I put it back in. I, personally, think it adds a lot to the story.

Q. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers like myself? 

A. You probably hear this all the time, but write every day. I used to write all the time and then got away from it for the longest time when the day job took over. It took me a long time to get back into the groove.

Another thing you can do is read a lot. Study an authors prose, and their writing voice. There are also a lot of great books out there on writing. One that I particularly liked, and that helped me a lot was Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark.

Lastly, find critique partners, and be open to criticism. You'll learn so about yourself and your writing that way.

Q. Do you tend to write with music on? If so who are some of the bands you listen to when you write? 

A. I don't always write with music. It depends on my mood. If I really need to focus, I need total quiet. A lot of time I'll turn music on when reading and revising. If I'm trying to capture a certain mood, I'll turn on a song or a band that fits the mood I'm trying to convey.  With The Weeping, I listened to Muse, Garbage and My Chemical Romance to name a few.


Q. Growing up who were some of your favorite authors? Who is your current favorite author? 

A. I loved Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. In junior high I started reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I also read a lot of classics as well as Sweet Valley High. I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on. I don't really have one favorite author right now, but I really enjoy Cassandra Clare, Jordan Dane, Brenna Yovanoff and Laren DeStefano's work.

Q. Was The Weeping always going to be called that or did you have a different title before it became The Weeping? 

A. When I started the book, I only had a concept. I came up with the title after writing the first chapter. The last two words are "She wept". It just stuck.

Q. What's your favorite book cover right now? 

A. There are so many awesome covers out there right now. I would honestly have to say that the covers for Lauren DeStefano's The Chemical Garden series are probably some of the most beautiful covers I've seen. There is so much happening on those covers. They're beautiful and haunting.

Q. What book are you currently reading? 

A. This will probably change before this post goes up as I tend to read a lot since I have so many books in my TBR pile that need to be reviewed. Right now I'm reading Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey and I'm really enjoying it.

Q. Are any of the characters in The Weeping based on anyone you know/knew? 

A. Not directly. I think my characters do have some attributes of people I know, or have known, but none of them were based on anyone in particular.

Q. If your book were made into a movie who would you cast to be in it and why? 

A. There are actually a couple of stops on the tour where I will address this very question. Be sure to check out xpressoreads.com on 2/28 or ataleofmanyreviews.com on 3/13 to find out. :)

Q. After finishing The Weeping I instantly wanted more! I have to know was that it or do you plant to write another book as a companion to The Weeping? 

A. Unfortunately, that’s it. I won’t say I will never revisit these characters again, but at this time, I have no intention of taking it further. I did write one more chapter that didn’t make it into the final book. It just felt like the story was already done, and I was beating a dead horse (for lack of a better phrase). 

I have had quite a few people write asking this very question. We’re toying with the idea of adding this “deleted scene” to the end of the paperback version when it comes out. Movies do it when they are released to DVD, so why not? If that happens, I will post the chapter on my blog/website so anyone who has already purchased the book can still read it without having to buy another copy of the book.

Q. Did you always know how The Weeping would end? Or did the story just kind of develop as you went? 

A. I had an idea for the ending when I started writing, but halfway through the book I knew I couldn't use it. The story had gone in a different direction, and I liked where my characters had taken me.

Q. Are you one of those authors that outlines before you start writing or do you just write and see where the story goes?

A. I didn’t outline at all for “The Weeping”. There were times when I totally kicked myself for not outlining because I would get to a place where I had no idea how to get out. I hate being tied down by a set plan, though. For my next book I did a very loose outline where I plotted out key scenes to keep me on track. It’s worked very well for me.

Thanks, Bailey! This was a lot of fun!

Thanks so much for answering all of these questions! It was great having you here today! I know I loved your book and can't wait for everyone else to get a chance to read it.


My Review of The Weeping:

I need to take moment to wrap my head around how amazing The Weeping was like seriously this book was so good and creepy and kept me guessing the whole time. When I thought I had it figured out something crazy would happen and I had nothing figured out like I thought! The opening for this book-oh my word it was so strong and captivating! I found myself literately wanting to read faster just so I could find out what was going to happen. Usually I explain a little where I heard about the book before I review it but I need to just jump right into the review for this one.

Summary from Goodreads:

Twenty years ago, Catherine Whitley was the victim of a horrible crime. Betrayed by her friends, including the boy she loved, she was left to die when the Rock Harbor Opera House caught fire, taking a disturbing secret with her to her grave.Seventeen-year-old Heath Ingram was driving the night his Jeep careened off the road, killing three of his closest friends. Once a popular, outgoing athlete, Heath now suffers from severe depression and crippling anxiety. His parents decide to send him to stay with his uncle in Rock Harbor, Oregon for the summer, praying that by getting away he will be able to put this awful tragedy behind him.

When Heath starts working at the newly renovated Rock Harbor Opera House, he meets Molly, a young dancer who awakens in him a desire to start over and move on. But, when he begins having visions of a half-burned girl in a white dress, he starts to think he may be slipping even further over the edge as the apparent hauntings become more intense, Heath begins to fear for his safety. With the help of his friend Josie, Heath discovers an unsettling secret that ties the mysterious girl to both their families. When two of their friends die unexpectedly, Josie and Heath realize that something, or someone, is after the children of those who wronged Catherine, and they are next.

The Weeping starts off with a bang and I knew from reading those first few pages that I was hooked and wow was I hooked. I had the hardest time not reading this book. I would keep telling myself just one more chapter then I need to sleep and then something would happen and I would have to read more to find out what was going to occur next! Wow. I'm fumbling for words right now which has never happened for a review before. Needless to say the fumbling for words is happening because of how much I loved it and how that ending is really making me think. Only two possibly things. Which I can't say or it will ruin it but lets just say I'm gonna go with the happier side rather than the not so happy thing that could be interpreted from that ending.


I'll talk a little bit about the characters as I wrap my brain around that ending before I start typing like a mad woman about that ending and going into serious spoiler territory. I'm not sure if I had a favorite character in this book...I really liked Heath the main character of course but when I thought I liked someone something would happen to make me second guess myself. 

I really liked learning more about Catherine, she really intrigued me. She was one of those characters you feel sympathetic for from the start and you love to hate her. But the more you learn about Catherine the more you like her even with all her problems. Maybe it was just me but I enjoyed reading about Catherine and though the ending still has me wanting a second book I loved how O'Dell wrapped up Catherine's story. Loved it a lot actually. Jeez, I have never had such a hard time keeping a review spoiler free as this one! I just had to backspace some stuff for the sack of not ruining this book for anyone who hasn't read it.

The main character Heath really intrigued me too and the more I read about him the more I liked him. He's very screwed up and he doesn't hide that fact. In the end I went from just liking Heath to really liking him and also Molly. O'Dell created characters that made me want to learn more about them to every last detail until the very last page of the book and I really liked that about The Weeping. I also really liked that no one in this book is what they seem. The Weeping keeps you on your toes guessing.


The Weeping's storyline was really well written and not once did I know what was coming which I really liked. I also loved how it wasn't just a ghost story, it went farther than that. I really loved this book and can't wait to see what next book of awesome will be coming from O'Dell Hutchison.

I'm giving The Weeping 5 out of 5 stars for being a chilling, well written and developed ghost story that had me on my toes throughout as I bit my nails anxiously wondering what would happen next. This story is going to stick with me for a while and I am so glad that I got to be one of the people to read an ARC of the this book because it was amazing and I needed this kind of story to add to the many books on my bookshelf's. The Weeping will be released on March 6, 2012. Make sure to buy a copy of this book because if you don't Catherine may just haunt you. ;) In all seriousness though everyone needs a copy of this book because it is a really good story that everyone needs to experience.  



Giveaway:

O'Dell has kindly offered to giveaway a signed hardcover of his debut book The Weeping! You want this book guys trust me on this! It's a fantastic read!! The giveaway starts today and ends on March 7th. US and Canada only! To enter this giveaway all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!


 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for this awesome interview and review!

    I love it when you really connect with a story from the very beginning, and also when you like characters more and more as the story continues.

    And it's awesome when a book is so good, it stays with you afterwards and you keep thinking about it.

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  2. Nice interview, I wanted to treat it like a press conference an interject my own questions but I learnt a lot about O'Dell as a writer and about the book. I completely agree with your review - the characters were engaging and I'm glad I wasn't the only one who was thrown by that ending (in a good way obviously). Great review :)

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  3. Thanks for the interview and for hosting a giveaway!

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  4. I love books that start off with a bang. It leaves me hooked and breathless!

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  5. I really liked the interview and this book sounds so good! Thank you for the giveaway!

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  6. Great post! I liked that the review was listed along with interview and giveaway. Thanks for sharing!!!!

    Danielle
    http://knowntoread.blogspot.com/

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  7. Thanks for the great interview. I have been excited about this book for a while now and I'm looking forward to reading it soon. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  8. I really enjoyed the interview!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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