Today I’m presenting an interview with my fellow Debut 19 author Reese Hogan. Her novel, Shrouded Loyalties, comes out June 18th from Angry Robot books.
Naval officer Mila Blackwood is determined to keep her country’s most powerful secret – shrouding, the ability to traverse their planet in seconds through an alternate realm – out of enemy hands. But spies are everywhere: her submarine has been infiltrated by a Dhavnak agent, and her teenage brother has been seduced by an enemy soldier. When Blackwood’s submarine is attacked by a monster, she and fellow sailor, Holland, are marked with special abilities, whose manifestations could end the war – but in whose favor? Forced to submit to military scientists in her paranoid and war-torn home, Blackwood soon learns that the only people she can trust might also be the enemy.
I really like the sound of this! Can you give us a teaser of what to expect?
“As she got closer to the leak, where Blackwood was hauling herself up the sides of the torpedo tubes, it was harder to hear anything else. Someone shouted, but she couldn’t make out the words. She did hear the creak of the wheel as one of her deckmates locked the hatch, and knew the five of them were cut off from the rest of the submarine now. She couldn’t see the hole specifically, but it felt like the whole Trievanic Sea was pouring in from above.”
Readers are often surprised at how difficult writing a book can be. What part of writing do you find most challenging?
When I first start writing a new draft, I have all these ideas but I haven’t yet put together a framework for how they’ll work together. There’s a lot of self-doubt about whether I’m starting in the right place, or have too many plot threads or not enough, or whether I should write first or third person…the list goes on. There’s lots of deleting—whole chapters worth—before I start to figure out what the story will look like.
In the plotter/pantser wars, do you have a side?
I write EXTENSIVE outlines, but—like that old military expression about the best plans only lasting until the first bullet is fired—my outlines go off the rails almost right away. That being said, the outlining does help me figure out the key points that I’m most excited about, and I use those as guidelines to keep the book on track.
How do you maintain a writing routine? What do you do to “get in the groove” of your writing?
I write a minimum of two hours a day, and I have to plan when this block will be ahead of time to make sure it actually happens, since my kids’ schedules can vary. I try to get another two hours in the evening, but it depends on how crazy my kids are at bedtime (they are 7 and 5). My husband is very good about making sure I get my needed blocks on the weekends, which is the most challenging time to fit it in.
Who is Reese Hogan when she’s at home?
I live in New Mexico with my husband and two kids (ages 7 and 5). I have been writing for twenty-one years. Shrouded Loyalties is my third published novel, although it is the first from a traditional publishing house.
What’s your favorite bit of writing advice?
It’s from V.E. Schwab, and I absolutely love it: “At the end of the day, there’s one thing to do: Show up. Put in the work. Let go of the outcome.”
Reese Hogan loves nothing more than creating broken relationships in broken worlds. With a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in journalism, Hogan has spent the last twenty years honing her craft by taking classes, listening to podcasts, and attending writing workshops and critique groups. She is passionate about music, especially alternative and punk rock, and adamantly believes that art can reach out in a way no other form of communication can. She lives with her family in New Mexico.
“Hogan writes with tangible energy, capturing the trials of divided loyalties in the midst of global war… Fans of military SF will enjoy Hogan’s fresh take on the genre.”
– Publishers Weekly
“Loyalty, honor, and a dangerous new technology all come together in this unique world filled with intrigue and action.”
– Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Study