Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Amy Hoff – Amy Hoff is a writer, director, and folklorist specializing in monsters. She spent over a decade on the American road, living out of cars and cheap motels. Her novel, Caledonia, is a combination of Scottish monster folklore and the everyday realities of life in Glasgow, Scotland..
Thanks so much, Amy, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Amy Hoff: Indiana Jones. And I sort of accomplished that.
JSC: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
AH: I started writing when I was around seven years old. Poems, novels, and short stories, but mostly novels. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that there was anything else I could do. So I have always written, but never thought of it as a want, more like something I did every day.
As far as when I discovered I was good at it, I’ll let you know! I think many artists and writers feel that way. One moment you are proud and think wow, I wrote that! And the next, you think what is this garbage?, particularly if you’ve just read something awesome by another writer.
JSC: Describe yourself using… ( a food, a book, a song, a movie, an animal, a drink, a place etc)
AH: Whisky. Cheeseburgers. Muscle cars. Classic rock. The open road. Monsters.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
AH: I write in more than one genre, but most often I write urban fantasy or stories with a supernatural element.
JSC: If I were a Hollywood producer about to put your book on the big screen, who would you want me to cast as the leads? Why? And can we have pictures to drool over?
AH: Well, since Caledonia is already a show and an upcoming film, Caledonia: Burns Night, I can send you photos of some of the actors and actresses to drool over if you like.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
AH: My first published work was Caledonia. It became available on June 23rd in paperback!
Caledonia was a real labour of love. Detective Inspector Leah Bishop is a hardened police officer who suddenly finds herself in the midst of the faerie world. Her bisexual Victorian selkie partner, Dorian Grey, informs her that she has been recruited to help them solve a crime they had previously considered human: the first serial killing of faeries.
Since Caledonia Interpol is in Glasgow, Scotland, it reflects the diversity of a modern metropolitan city. There are characters with various different backgrounds, including class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. The stories are a combination of urban fantasy and gritty Scottish charm.
I also wrote, cast, directed, and acted in a web series based on the novel. The show garnered laurels from festivals worldwide and will now be available on LGBTQ streaming service REVRY on the same day the novel is released.
There are 10 novels in the entire series, with a few offshoot novellas and other supplemental books that will be available. All of these will be published by the same press, Erebus Society.
JSC: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
AH: Alexandre Dumas. I would ask him if he would like to share a bottle of something with me.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
AH: I do not write in a linear fashion. I write the scenes that interest me the most and then link them together. I also do not have an outline or plan, because I find it just as enjoyable to not know what’s going to happen beforehand.
JSC: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
AH: Not sure about research, but I have recently offered to get into a barfight with Joseph Campbell’s ghost along with a fellow folklorist.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
AH: Caledonia became available for purchase on June 23rd. The Connoisseur, a previously-published fantasy novel, will also be available in the coming months. I am currently working on a project titled American Drifter, a memoir about my years on the road. I think it will be available in September.
And now for Amy’s new book: Caledonia:
Detective Inspector Leah Bishop and her bisexual Victorian selkie partner, Dorian Grey, investigate supernatural crime in Scotland’s city of culture.
Amy Hoff is a writer, director, and folklorist specializing in monsters. She spent over a decade on the American road, living out of cars and cheap motels. Her novel, Caledonia, is a combination of Scottish monster folklore and the everyday realities of life in Glasgow, Scotland.