Mentorship Monday: P.J. Hoover


P.J. Hoover

Since we are staring the end of 2011 right in the face, it’s time to think about new year’s resolutions. How about this one? “I resolve to get a professional critique on my fantasy novel.” Look no further than P.J. Hoover, a mentor from the great state of Texas. Check her out at

1. Please share a brief bio of you and your work.

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. P. J. is also a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. 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, takes place in a Global Warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade fantasy novels, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, and The Necropolis, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea.

2. Why did you decide to become a mentor?

I noticed once my MG trilogy was published, I started getting more and more requests for not only critiques but for advice about the publishing world in general. Part of this was from conference attendance, but also, I made myself known online through my blog and other social marketing media. I’d learned a bunch not only about the pros and cons of publishing with a small press but about networking and marketing, and I was happy to share whatever advice I could. So there was no official starting point, but it was more something I eased myself into.

How many writers have you officially mentored?

Because of the casual nature of so many of the exchanges with other writers I’ve had, there is no official number. I’m happy to answer any email that comes my way if I think in some way my advice will help.

What strengths do you bring as a mentor?

My strengths include publishing with a small press, independently publishing through an agency, and marketing. I love looking at query letters and helping rewrite these into something that will catch an agent’s eye. I’m happy to share what has worked for me in marketing. And, since I enjoy public speaking, I love speaking at conferences and workshops about any of my experiences and skills.

Have you been a mentee? If so, what from that experience helps you be the best mentor you can be?

So many writers have been generous with their knowledge. From writers I’ve met at conferences and workshops, to my editor for my MG series, to my agent and agency, to local Austin authors, I’ve been fortunate in having a wealth of knowledge offered to me that I can then share with others.

If you could mentor any writer throughout time, who would it be and why?

Truly, no one comes to mind. I admire so many writers!

If you could be mentored by any writer throughout time, who would it be and why?

I’m going to pick Tolkien. It would have been awesome to be mentored by him back when he was alive and working on the Lord of The Rings and the whole world of Middle Earth. That would have been priceless.

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