Hello everybody! Today, I’m really excited to be interviewing Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai as part of the blog tour for their debut, The House on Hoarder Hill. Onto the post!
1. First of all, can you please describe “The House on Hoarder Hill” in 5 words?Magic, family secrets, sleuthing, fun.2. What are some things people might find unusual about you?Mikki: NOT that I’m ‘normal’ … but I don’t have an obvious answer for this one!Kelly: When I was 19, I got a tattoo of JRR Tolkien’s symbol to remind me that I wanted to be a novelist who created worlds.3. If you were to be stuck in a spooky house brimming over with mysteries, which fictional character (other than your own) would you most like to have by your side and why?Mikki: Paddington bear. As he would find a fun and creative way to solve the mystery and I am guaranteed at least half a Marmalade sandwich.Kelly: Sally Lockhart from the Sally Lockhart series by Philip Pullman. She’s clever, persistent, courageous and great at solving mysteries.4. You’re both screenwriters, and this is your first novel. How did you find writing a book different to writing a screenplay?Mikki: Writing a book allows you the luxury of digging deep into characters, giving them little nuances etc. I personally feel more attached to characters in a book rather than those in a script as they are far more developed and you get to ‘know them’ in a different way. In a book you can also go into much further detail re the look of something, someone’s emotions and reactions. In a script you are trusting that the actor will portray the feeling in a scene, where as in a book, you get to control that.Kelly: The other great thing about book writing is that you don’t have to worry about a production budget, so you can come up with settings and action as wild as you like in service to the story. Funnily enough, we sometimes get too dense with visuals and our book editor will encourage us to strip out detail to let readers’ imaginations take over.5. Also on the theme of writing, what’s your writing process like? How do you collaborate, and do you have any unusual habits or quirks?Mikki: Kelly and I live on opposite sides of the world, so most if not all our collaborating happens via email / text / Skype and phone calls. With THOHH, we would both do a brain dump of ideas, decide what we feel would and wouldn’t work, come up with situations and obstacles for the characters, then Kelly would sculpt story into the beautiful words that you read on the page! We had the bookends of the story at the get go, we then just had to then work backwards in figuring out the mystery and then of course creating hurdles.
Kelly loves to joke that we have spent 100’s of days in our PJ’s via Skype, with the odd dog and cat and kids crossing the camera.Kelly: I write very early in the morning before my sons wake up and we all have to get ready for school and work (so, to be honest, Mikki catches me in my PJs more than the other way around). With those morning sessions, I’m strict about writing before checking emails or social media because it’s so much easier to get into the flow. If my mind is too busy to write well, classical music helps to reset me (the “Master & Commander” soundtrack is on heavy rotation!)6. Finally, can you tell us anything about what you’re working on at the moment or what you’ll be releasing next?We’re thrilled to have signed with Chicken House for a Hoarder Hill trilogy, so we’re knee-deep in writing the second book right now. In the second book, Hedy and Spencer will be exploring the world of magic beyond Grandpa John’s house. We’re also working on writing the pilot of the TV show with our Executive Producer, Bob Goodman. So far it’s been a very interesting, challenging and learning process! And we then also have a side project which is trying to nudge its way in.
QUICKFIREFavourite chocolate?Mikki: White chocolate or caramel!
Kelly: Any kind with nuts.Cats or dogs?Mikki: I was a dog person, but now that I have both, I love them both!
Kelly: Dogs, but only by a whisker.Hogwarts house? Mikki: Hmmm I hope to be a little of each… but not too much of Slytherin!
Kelly: HufflepuffFavourite season?Mikki: I love both summer and winter! Summer as I love the ocean and the sun just makes you smile! And winter, as it’s very warm where I love in California, so I love when I am able to wrap up in beanies, scarves and huge wooly sweaters!Kelly: Winter, for skiing!Top 3 reads of 2020 so far?Mikki: I have 6 books by my bed waiting to be read. And unfortunately, our projects have taken up any moment of time where I would have time to read. But I WILL start ..today!Kelly:‘The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock’ by Imogen Hermes Gowar
‘The Secret Commonwealth’ by Philip Pullman
‘Hell or High Water’ (film script) by Taylor Sheridan
Thank you so much for reading! Are you planning to pick this book up? I’d really love to hear in the comments!Amy x