Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Today I have the extreme pleasure to welcome PJ (Tricia) Hoover, whose YA dystopian with a mythological twist SOLSTICE just hit the shelves today from TOR books! Full disclosure, Tricia is a fellow Texas writer. I have made her guest room my second home since I seem to be in Austin every five and half seconds these days. She is funny and a fellow Star Trek nerd. She has a kickass collection of nerd t shirts that one day I will STEAL FROM HER CLOSET. If you want to see them, she posts pics regularly. Her family is equally rocking, including the two tortoises. It’s Tricia who decided that a group of us would appear regularly at Austin Comic Con. She is the only one who could convince me to wear an evil mermaid costume for 3 days in a row. She appreciated my geeker joy when I got five minutes of chat time with James Marsters (aka Spike from BTVS). I reciprocated during her photo op with Kevin Sorbo.

BTW—Make sure you read to the end! Tricia’s giving away a signed copy of SOLSTICE!

Tricia’s official bio reads like this:

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013), takes place in a global warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade novel, Tut (Tor Children's, 2014), tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat. For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website

And here is the quick summary for SOLSTICE – which I have read and absolutely adore! Yes, Tricia Hoover has made global warming pretty hot in other ways, too –and yes, I’m thinking of Shayne and Reese the two love interests vying for main character Piper as she realizes that she is a much different girl with a much different backstory than she realizes… and that the increasingly hot temps in Austin are just possibly her fault…

Piper’s world is dying. Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy the Earth. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom. 

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth—her very identity….
An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

Now let’s hear from PJ Hoover herself!

Joy: Your stories and even your blog title have a focus on mythology. Tell us about that.

PJ: I adore mythology. It started back in sixth grade when I read that book, Mythology, by Edith Hamilton, and it never went away. I love those tales of epic quests and heroes. And I find studying and comparing mythologies from around the world fascinating. I guess that’s why I always find a way to use it in my stories. And the blog title? That’s because so many things in our modern society have their basis in mythological beliefs, most people don’t know about them, and that’s just cool.

Joy: Where did the idea for SOLSTICE come from?

PJ: Well, it came about first and foremost from my love of mythology. So many people were writing fairy tale retellings, but as much as I love fairy tales, I didn’t want to jump into that playground. I wanted to hang out in a playground much closer to home. I started thinking about myths. But instead of a retelling, I wanted to write about what came after the myth, and that’s where the idea for Solstice came about.

Joy: Piper is torn between two hunky guys, but those characters have a great purpose than just the traditional love triangle. Can you tell us about Piper's love interests.

PJ: Well, without spoilers, maybe the best way is to contrast them.
Shayne is all about responsibility.
Reese is all about breaking the rules.
Shayne is willing to wait for what he wants.
Reese is likely to grab whatever he wants with no care to what happens as a result.
Shayne has a deep bond with Piper.
Reese can’t control himself around Piper . . . and she can’t control herself around him either.
Shayne has a temper.
Reese understands the value of chocolate.
The guys are so different, and that’s what made writing both of them so much fun in Solstice!

Joy: For those unaware of the story of Persephone, could you give us the quick, down and dirty version?

PJ: Sure! We’ll go with the traditional version.
Girl is very innocent. Girl never leaves her mom’s side. Until (you guessed it) one day, girl’s mom stops watching for a moment. Evil god comes and steals girl away. Evil god takes girl to Underworld. Never wants her to leave. Tricks her into eating food, thus binding her to the Underworld. Mom is mad. Crazy mad. But King of the gods, makes everyone happy, having girl split her time between her mom and evil god. The end.

Joy: How did you decide the near future Austin in global warming details that build the world?

PJ: Why Austin? Because I live here! It’s a great city and one I know well.
Why the near future? Because of the “what happens next” aspect of the myth. There was no other logical conclusion.

Joy: I'm going to meet Piper for the first time and I ask you to tell me about her. What would you say?

PJ: You totally might think Piper’s meek, based on how her mom controls her every move. But give her an inch of freedom, and watch out! All bets are off. Piper will surprise you (and herself) every chance she gets.

Joy: The one or two sentence SOLSTICE elevator pitch. Quick! What do you tell that Hollywood movie scout!

PJ: Solstice is a futuristic story, set amid a global-warming devastated world, about an eighteen-year-old girl who opens a mysterious present and discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed. And then the world really turns crazy.

Joy: What's next for PJ Hoover?

PJ: I have a middle grade Egyptian mythology book coming out in Fall 2014. It’s called Tut: My Life as an Immortal 8th Grader, and it’s about King Tut who is fourteen, immortal, and living in Washington D.C. with his one-eyed cat, Horus, when his crazy uncle from 3000 years ago shows up and is out to get King Tut. I am so excited for it to be published!

 Lightning Round

-- M&M's or Twizzlers?

--unicorns or zombies?
Hobbits J

--favorite guilty pleasure TV?
Star Trek

--book(s) for a desert island?
The Silmarillion

--favorite breakfast foods?
Sunnyside-up eggs and bacon. And coffee. Never forget the coffee.

--wine or whiskey?
Red wine, dark and dry

--fave myth?
Cupid and Psyche

--a song that reflected the high school you?
D’yer Mak’er by Led Zeppelin

 **Joy's note: Zep is the BEST BAND EVER*

Want to know more about PJ Hoover? Check out her WEBSITE

 AND NOW!! Want to Win a signed copy of SOLSTICE? Enter here! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hannah J said...

Oh my gosh I have to read this book! THIS is precisely why my reading list is so long. The Preble blog. I need to go on an Internet ban (ha as if). I love the myth about Persephone and hades! We studied it at school when I was 11 and I've loved it ever since. And at the moment I'm loving stories set in the future, so this is just perfect for me. Hope you do bump into that Hollywood movie scout, because this sounds like it would make a film as big as The Hunger Games!!!

cwexy said...

Joy and PJ are two of my favorite Texas women of letters! I hope I win!!

susanbeamon said...

been reading lots of YA lately, and enjoying them lots. Would really like to add this one to the collection.

Jessica Capelle said...

In addition to the fact that it's set in Austin, I'm looking forward to reading SOLSTICE because of the climate change issues. My sci-fi manuscript is set far in the future after Earth's been pretty devastated by climate change, so it's fascinating to me! Congrats PJ!

Michelle said...

I want to read this book because we are both Star Trek fans.

PJ Hoover said...

Thank you so much for featuring me, Joy! You are the best!

tammy216 said...

I want to read this book because I love that it has to do with global warming and mythology. Two things that I never would have thought to put together. It's sounds very interesting and unique. I just can't wait to get my hands on it :)

Anonymous said...

I want to read this book because I love mythology, particularly Greek mythology. I've seen a few books around recently that feature gods & goddesses. Is this a new trend, I wonder? Solstice looks like it will be a unique addition.