Author Spotlight: H. D’Agostino
October 9, 2017 • News
1) How did you get started as an author and what made you want to pursue that field?
I loved reading as a child, but lost interest in it until I became a parent. When I started picking up reading again, I would read anything I could get my hands on. That led me to the world of fanfiction. I was intrigued by the idea that anyone could use their beloved characters to make a story of their own. One day, I sat down and just thought, “hey, I could do this.” I started planning out a short story, and it grew into a full length novel. The readers on the fanfiction site loved it. I got review after review asking for more, so I kept writing. I posted 4 full length stories on the site, and one day a reader left a review saying if I ever wrote a book, to let them know. I thought about it, and decided ‘what the heck’. I reworked one of my fanfiction stories, and published it. That was my debut novel, Unbreak Me. From there it kinda snowballed. Idea after idea came, and here I am, almost 5 years later.
2) What hurdles have your overcome while striving towards your goals?
Time and getting family to recognize that this is a job. I still fight that battle, but not as much anymore. Now, it’s more of dealing with things in the industry such as the amount of drama that seems to circulate now. It wasn’t like this when I started, and I question myself more and more with each release on whether this is worth it now.
3) Which novel has been your favorite to write and why?
Every time I release a book, I say it’s my favorite. I have a couple that have really stuck with me though. I’d say the first was Shattered, the first book in the Shattered series. This book put me on the map. It was the first one to hit Amazon’s bestseller list, and I still have readers talking about it 4 years later. I’m currently working on a spinoff series. After that I would have to say My Broken Angel. I just feel like I have a bond with those characters. Lastly, I would say Walking Among the Cherry Trees. There’s a lot of ‘me’ in that book. No one would notice from the story, but if you know me personally, then you see the bits and pieces of myself in the plot.
4) For those looking to become an author, what advice would you give them?
Just write. There is no perfect plot, or perfect time. Get your thoughts done and then go back and pick it apart. Be gracious and humble when asking for help. Most of the authors, including myself, would offer advice or point a newbie in the right direction, but you have to think about your approach. Invest in your product. If you don’t think it’s worth it, why should your readers. A good editor, designer, photographer, and formatter are worth the money and a book that doesn’t have those will show.
5) Favorite motto?
What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.
6) In one word, how would you describe your writing style?
One word? Really? I guess I would say unpredictable. I can be angsty, colorful, intense… the list goes on.
7) Which author inspires you the most and why?
There isn’t just one. I read…a lot. I have fallen in love with so many series that I strive to just have a piece of what some of these authors have. The author that got me writing… SC Stephens. The author that attracted me to the style I use…Heidi McLaughlin. The author that humored me more than once with a question I may have had… Abbi Glines. It’s like being part of this big family, and everyone helps each other. But like families, if you burn somebody, the whole crew knows about it.
8) What is your writing process like?
I start with an idea and let it grow. Sometimes it happens overnight, and sometimes it takes a few days. I have a notebook that sits beside my laptop that I write ideas and plot points in. Anytime I add something to a story, it goes in the notebook. This helps me keep things organized like dates, last names, relationships, etc. I don’t outline or plan, I just write. I have a small beta team, and they get a chapter as soon as I finish it.
9) Goals for the remainder of the year?
Everything that I’m planning to publish this year is out. I just got a book back from my editor, and I’m writing a first draft of another. I plan to release in Jan, and at least 3 more next year.
10) What new projects are you currently working on?
Book 2 in The Sutter Family series is with a proofer, and Book 3 is being written now. I have plans for a standalone, but it’s top secret. No one knows anything about it, and I’m thinking of keeping it that way. It’s still in the idea phase.
11) Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?
Don’t let a bad review deter you from reading a book. I’ve found so many great books/authors that had terrible reviews. Your taste may not be what that reviewers taste was.