Thursday, June 7, 2012

Andrew Fukuda: THE HUNT

Oh, you guys. This is such a special author interview for me because ... okay, I'm almost hyperventilating with excitement here ... I went to school with Andrew Fukuda in Hong Kong. (Yes, really.)

I ran into his brother down in L.A. and  Andy's HUGE book deal came up in conversation and I was like, "Do you think he'd let me interview him? Do you think he'll remember me?" *nervous star-struck quaking ensues*

I don't know if Andrew remembered me or not, but he did graciously agree to come on my blog. And I'm SO THRILLED.

THE HUNT is out now and it looks amazing!

 
Tell us about your book in one sentence.

Gene, a 17 year old in a bleak world where humans have been eaten to near extinction and who has survived by painstakingly concealing his true species, is chosen to hunt down the last few remaining humans.
Who or what inspired THE HUNT?

The Hunt likely began while watching Adam Lambert’s performance of Mad World on American Idol. The following lyrics made an impression, and stayed with me for days afterwards.

Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me.

From those lyrics, a single image popped into my head: of a boy sitting in a classroom, desperately lonely despite the many students around him, wanting to be ignored. This boy had a secret, I came to see, one so awful that if it were ever made known his otherwise civil classmates would–in a split second–kill him. I pondered what that secret might be. When it came to me, I literally jumped out of my seat: the boy was the only surviving human in a world filled with vampire-like creatures. No existence could be lonelier or scarier than that.
How long have you been writing?

Probably from the time I was thirteen or fourteen. To pass time during interminable classes, I'd write short stories. My classmates were entertained by them, and I began to think maybe I had a talent. I once collaborated on a short story with my twin brother during French class, and it was this sprawling, epic apocalyptic story about how the classroom, then the school, then Hong Kong, then the whole world was taken over by trillions of rabid ants.  I wish I could dig up that story because it really was quite enthralling!

How long did it take you to write THE HUNT?

It took about a year. I wrote it at a time when I was extremely busy with work, with family life, and with my church. I didn't have a lot of free time. But I committed myself to writing 1400 words per week (or 200 per day), which is not a lot, but which will give you a YA-length novel after a year. When the book really started coming into its own, I'd wake up extra early to write before the workday began. But it took a go-for-broke tenacity to get it done!
What's your favorite novel of all time?

NOOOOO!!!!! The one-favorite-novel question! Okay, okay, if I had to choose only one, it would have to be this obscure novel titled Never Let Me Go on The Road to Watership Down on Cold Mountain. The author's name eludes me at the moment, but I think it's something long like Mr. Kazuo Adams Charles McIshiguro Cormac Frazier. Or something like that.
   
 If you had to eat only one food for a whole week, what would it be?
Doritos! For one whole week! Woohoo!
Tell us about your ideal vacation.
I am such a boring person: a beach resort with my family and a great book. And Doritos.
Name the best city in the entire world.
Hong Kong. It's an incredible, awesome city.*

Do you have a day job?

I'm a full-time author! Before that, I worked a number of years as a prosecutor. Like all lawyers, I hated my job and jumped ship at the first opportunity. Just kidding! I actually loved being a prosecutor. But fulfilling as it was, my love for writing ran deeper and truer. After The Hunt trilogy was bought by St. Martin's Press at auction, I was able to quit my lawyer job and write full-time. A dream come true for which I'm daily grateful.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Write 200 words a day. After a year, you'll have a novel-length manuscript. Still, I feel blessed because I know getting published requires so much more than simply writing 200 words a day. Luck, gumption, talent, a great editor, a savvy agent – all, and much more, are needed, and many of these are beyond your control. But there are also things you do control, and 200 words a day is one of them. Now, when people ask me what it takes to get published, I say: start with 200 words a day. And anyone can do that.

Thank you for letting me pry you with weird questions, Andy, and I love your advice at the end. Congratulations and I wish you every success in your career!


*Andy knew he had to answer this question correctly or face my wrath.

19 comments:

  1. Awesome advice about the 200 words/day. I try for a page a day--and it really does get the work accomplished, even though it doesn't feel like it.
    I look forward to finding your book, Andrew--it sounds thrilling.

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  2. Ooo, this sounds SUPER good. Going on my TBR list :)

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  3. My son and I have both read the book. I seemed to have over think the book, asking too many questions as I read. My son, however, can't wait for the sequel.

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  4. Ooh, I hadn't heard of THE HUNT, but I love Andrew's answer about how the initial concept came to him. Sounds really intriguing. Thanks for sharing, Amy!

    (P.S. Do you know who Andrew's agent is? I'm always curious, especially since I like to hound agents for interviews... :) )

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  5. 200 words. A page a day. That's what I try for as well. Seems I'm in good company, with Andrew and Faith!

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  6. I hadn't heard of THE HUNT before, but it sounds cool. I'll have to check it out.

    Thanks for the great interview!

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  7. Excellent interview. I am not usually a fan of these kinds of stories but what he said about his image of the lonely boy in the classroom really intrigued me. I'm down...

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  8. Wow, this is so exciting!! What an inspiration! My son likes dystopian YA, so I'm definitely going to get this for his summer reading (especially since his school isn't giving him a list this summer!). How great that he still loves Hong Kong. An author after my heart!

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  9. That's a fantastic interview. The Why of the book blew me away! Thank you. Small world, eh?

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  10. Thanks for the great interview Amy and Andrew!

    I like the advice on 200 words-a-day. That I can manage. I get nervous when I read about NaNoWriMo and JuNoWrMo 2,000 words a day pace... too fast for me!

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  11. It's interesting how song lyrics can inspire us.

    The Hunt sounds like an awesome book.

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  12. Fantastic intereview, Amy - thanks! I love this author's humour and wonderful advice!
    Jodi

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  13. What great advice! I think I can follow that. And wow, what a story concept. So cool he came to your blog! :)

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  14. This was a great interview, and I loved his advice. Thanks!!

    Andrea

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  15. That cover is great. Thanks for sharing, you two!

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  16. Excellent interview. Great Q&A. Great advice. :O)

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  17. Great questions and answers, but THE HUNT, what an amazing premise for a book and how very, very cool that you know Andrew.

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  18. Dude, he's right. 200 words a day is not a lot to ask.

    Great interview, and best of luck to him.

    How are you, Amy? Have a great week!

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  19. Oh wow! This book sounds UNBELIEVABLE! I mean human almost eaten to extinction?! I've got to read it! Thanks for the great interview!

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