Interview with Mya O’Malley, author of The House that Adelia Built
20 Nov 2017
What can you tell us about your new release, The House that Adelia Built?
I’m so excited for this release. The House that Adelia Built spins a tale about beauty and isolation on a seaside island. This was not only one of my favorite stories to write, but definitely my most intense.
I feel that with this story, the reader gets to enjoy a thriller, mystery, ghost story, and a bit of romance, all wrapped together.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Only five? But seriously, I just love reading so many authors and genres; so this will be tough. Here goes:
- Liane Moriarty: What Alice Forgot
- Nicholas Sparks: The Notebook
- E. Hinton: The Outsiders
- James Patterson – Along Came A Spider
- James Patterson- Kiss the Girls
Who is your favorite fictional character from literature?
I have so many favorite fictional characters, it’s hard to pinpoint my favorite, but there is one who is such a fascinating role model. I love the character of Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. She is an amazing heroine. She’s got it all– Katniss is independent, loyal, caring, strong, and courageous.
Katniss puts her needs to the side for her friends, family, and community. She proves this by risking her own life so that her little sister can have a chance at her own childhood. I like the fact that young people have a role model like Katniss to look up to.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
This would be so amazing. Among the first guests would have to be Liane Moriarty. I adore all of her books. Liane Moriarty has a way of sucking you into her world as if you were right there, experiencing everything as if you were the characters. The way her protagonists think and view the world is so relatable and familiar. Her stories always have surprising twists and characters and plots that stay with you long after the story is finished.
I would love to interview Ms. Moriarty and learn about how she plots out her books and unforgettable characters.
What is a typical day like for you?
During the week, I wake early to go to work. I’m a full-time special education teacher; I love having the opportunity to work with my students and teach them reading and writing skills. It’s so exciting to enjoy some of my favorite childhood stories with my students and break down the different literary elements. It’s like reliving the stories all over again.
When I arrive home at the end of each workday, I typically run errands before trying to fit in some writing time. It can be challenging some days to carve in the time to write, so I do the best I can until the weekend comes along.
When the weekend comes, I love waking early to write, promote my books, and interact with other authors and readers on social media.
Being a teacher means I have the summers off and some chunks of time to dedicate to my writing throughout the year as well. Love that!
If you had to pick one place to vacation for the rest of your life, where would you choose?
I’ve had the chance to visit some pretty amazing places throughout the years; among them Mexico, Costa Rica, Aruba, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Florida Keys, Block Island, and more.
As much as I’ve loved these gorgeous spots, if I had to pick one place to vacation for the rest of my life, I would choose Cape May, N.J.
Why Cape May? First of all, besides being located along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and having beautiful beaches, Victorian homes, and lots of charm, Cape May is also special to me because I grew up vacationing and visiting Cape May every year, sometimes several times a year, even in the middle of the winter.
My grandparents owned a second home in Cape May Point. I have such wonderful memories of time spent with my family and my grandmother, just walking the beach, colleting shells, and building life-long memories.
As an adult, whenever I visit, I’m pulled back in time and I feel like I’m home.
What scene in The House that Adelia Built was your favorite to write?
There were so many scenes I enjoyed writing in this book. The character Hope was so complex, as she had layers of issues that were difficult to resolve and work through.
Hope’s relationships with others suffered as a result of her complexity. Because of her quirks and her fears, Hope led a sheltered, isolated life; similar, yet so different from my parallel character, Adelia, who dated back to the 1800’s.
I loved telling both their stories and weaving them together, but there was one scene in particular that I would choose as being right up there amongst my most memorable.
One of my absolute favorite scenes to write was the climax towards the end of the book. Throughout the book, everything built up to the scene in the lighthouse with Augustus. My protagonist changed during her journey in this book, and what you see in this scene is raw, vulnerable, primitive emotion.
I can’t say much more without spoiling this scene, but it’s something that was waiting to happen and there was no other way around it. This scene was so different for me to write, and I felt that it challenged me as an author, brining me outside of my comfort zone.
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