Prior to hitting the fiction scene in 2009, Kevin Hopson was a freelance writer for several years, covering everything from finance to sports. His debut work, World of Ash, was released by MuseItUp Publishing in the fall of 2010. Kevin has released several other books through MuseItUp since then, and he has also been published in various magazines and anthology books. Kevin’s writing covers many genres, including dark fiction and horror, science fiction, and crime fiction.
His latest book is The Landfill.
You can visit Kevin’s blog at www.kevin-hopson.blogspot.com.
Thanks for coming to the book club today, Kevin! What drew you to the YA dark fiction genre?
Kevin: I grew up loving dark fiction as a kid, so it’s no surprise I started out writing in this genre. However, it wasn’t until recently that I began focusing on a younger audience with my work. I’m the type who easily gets bored, so I like to mix things up every now and then, and writing a young adult piece was a nice change of pace for me. It’s actually encouraged me to write more stories aimed at children and young adults.
Your book, The Landfill, was inspired by watching an episode of Haunted Collector. Can you tell us more?
Kevin: Haunted Collector (in case you’ve never seen it) revolves around haunted items or personal possessions that have some sort of spiritual energy tied to them. Once they’re removed from a house, building, site, etc., the strange activity usually subsides. Anyway, there is a certain item in The Landfill that is tied to this type of energy. I won’t say what it is or how it relates to the story, though.
Can you tell us a little bit about your main character, Billy?
Kevin: Billy is a high school senior and a good kid overall. He’s experienced two very significant losses in his life, including his younger sister. As a result, Billy has battled depression and is looking for rejuvenation, which he seems to find in The Landfill.
Is he a sensible type of kid or full of adventurous pursuits at every turn?
Kevin: He’s actually both, but the adventurous part can get the better of him at times, thus overshadowing his sensibility.
They say every book of fiction has a pivotal point where people just have to keep reading. What’s yours?
Kevin: I think it’s the first time Billy and his friend, Connor, visit the Landfill. The story gets really interesting and moves at a nice pace until the very end.
The Landfill is your seventh book with MuseItUp Publishing. Can you tell us about your others?
Kevin: World of Ash was my debut book with MuseItUp Publishing, and all of the others leading up to The Landfill were important stepping stones for me. When I look back at my earlier works, such as World of Ash, Earthly Forces, and Early Release for Bad Behavior, I can see how inexperienced I was at the time. I think I started to change as a writer with my fourth and fifth books, Three Miles Below and Earth Ablaze, and I can say the same thing about my most recent releases as well. I think we truly grow as writers, and you’re never at a point where you can’t learn more. Each time I write a new story, I feel better about it than the previous one. Sometimes I wish I could go back and re-write a lot of my older works, but I know without them I wouldn’t be the writer I am today. If I had to recommend one of my prior books, it would be Three Miles Below. It’s about three men who are trapped in one of the deepest mines in the world (three miles deep) and have to find their way to the surface. Readers really seem to enjoy this story, but people either love or hate the ending. It can really come out of nowhere and surprise you (good or bad).
What’s next for you, Kevin?
Kevin: I have a sci-fi novella, Shifting Alliances, scheduled to come out this fall by MuseItUp Publishing, and I just finished my first ever dark fantasy (young adult) story, which I hope will see publication as well.