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Author Archive: "Julia Hoban"

Kids’ Q&A: Julia Hoban

Describe your new book.
Willow is the story of a young woman, a seventeen year old girl, who loses her parents in a car accident, an accident for which she was responsible. She is so overcome with guilt, so isolated and alone, that she feels she has no other way to deal with her pain than by cutting herself.

Sounds pretty grim, I know. But while the above may be the bare bones of the plot, the themes that Willow explores are really not so dire. Willow is really about hope, about redemption, and above all, about the power of love to heal. Now, Willow is not the right book for everyone, no question, but I'd like to assure your readers who are a little... let's say, frightened by the sound of it, that many, many people have told me that they found it to be a very uplifting book, a very hopeful book, and above all a very romantic book.

What fictional character would you like to be your friend, and why?
Sherlock Holmes. That's not to say I'd like him to be my friend so much as my mentor. I've always adored Sherlock (I made sure to pay homage to him in Willow) and as with so many readers, he actually seems real to me, he's possibly the most charismatic character in literature. Why would I like him to be my mentor? So he could teach me, of course! He was such a genius, and Conan Doyle was an even greater genius to have created him.

Cutting to the Truth

In the two months since my novel Willow has been released, I have had the incredible good fortune to be interviewed a number of times. In each and every interview, whether I am speaking with a teen-book blogger or a radio host, I am always asked the same two questions: "What inspired you to write a book about cutting?" and, "Are you, or have you ever been, a cutter?" And my answers are always the same.

"But I didn't write a book about cutting!" I protest. And indeed, to my mind Willow is far from an "issue" book . It is a book about pain and loss. Most certainly it is a book that deals with self injury — Willow is indeed a "cutter" — but in the end it is about something other than these themes, something more than a book about cutting.

If I had any inspiration, it was this: we are all self destructive in one way or another. I wanted to take my character from a place of self harm to a place of healing, and, in doing ...

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