Chanel Hardy talks about her new thriller, writing for marginalized groups and giving back to people in need

SR: What’s your new book, Was It Her?, about?

mock4CH: My Book tells the story of a teenage girl, Amanita, who finds her boyfriend dead in his home one night. She becomes the number one suspect, and desperately tries to clear her name, and find the real killer. In doing so, she starts to learn more about her boyfriend, things she wished she hadn’t.

SR: Was there a specific issue or incident that really motivated you to write this particular story? What was the prompt?

CH: I wanted to shed light on the importance of having a good support system while facing mental and emotional issues. My main protagonist deals with the trauma of seeing her boyfriends dead body, and the harassment she faces from the community who believes that she is guilty.

SR: How do you think your protagonist would respond if aliens landed in the center of town on page 57?

CH: She would most likely run home to her family, to make sure they are safe. Her relationship with her parents is very strong, and she would never leave them in the middle of a crisis.

SR: Your protagonist has to flee the country. Where are they headed to and why that location?

CH: She’s headed to somewhere exotic, that has a beautiful beach. It’s her favorite place to be, and where she has fond memories with her loved ones.

SR: What conspiracy theory is your protagonist most likely to believe in? Roswell? JFK? Princess Diana? What about you? Any conspiracy theories that you think might have some truth to them?

CH: Considering her need to find the killer, she would believe that Tupac was assassinated by the government, or a higher power, like the illuminati. As for me, I do often wonder if Marylin Monroe was killed because of her affair with the president. But I guess we’ll never know… will we?

SR: Is your protagonist more likely to go insane or end up in prison?

CH: Go insane. She definitely reaches her breaking point a few times in the book.

SR: What’s your protagonist’s greatest fear? Why?

CH: Her greatest fear, is never being able to truly move on from her boyfriend’s death, and losing the ones she cares about the most, her family and best friend.

SR: Is there something you hope the reader carries away with them after they’re done reading? An insight or philosophy that you wanted to come through in your work?

CH: I hope that after reading my book, the reader takes the opportunity to check on people they care about. If they suspect that someone is going through a rough time mentally, or emotionally, they should ask how they can help, to be a good support system, or even a shoulder to lean/cry on.

SR: If hell was watching one movie over and over and over again, or listening to one song over and over again, what would the movie or song be for you? For your protagonist?

CH: For my protagonist, it would be watching the movie “Gothika”. For me, it would be watching the movie “Ouija” and for the both of us, listening to “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift.

SR: Carpool karaoke. What would be your protagonist’s song? Yours?

CH: Hers would be “Ironic” by Alanis Morrissette. Mine would be “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas.

SR: Cage match between you and your protagonist. It’s a fight to the death. Which one of you will be left standing, and why.

CH: Oh, she would. She’s a fighter. I can be, if my life depended on it. But Amanita would take me down for sure! She stronger and way taller than I am.

SR: What’s the first book you remember reading that had a huge impact on you? How did that story affect you? How do you think it shaped your desire to be a writer?

CH: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was the first book that I had read outside of your typical children’s chapter book. The story completely drew me in, and I had never read anything like it. I wanted to create fantasy stories like it, that kids like me would want to live in.

SR: What’s the best thing about writing?

CH: Giving your imagination a platform to shine on.

SR: What’s the worst thing about writing?

CH: Losing the inspiration to write. It can be days, or sometimes even weeks. My first manuscript sat on a thumb drive for nearly four years.

SR: What detail in your writing do you obsess over the most? Character names? Locations? Description? Dialogue? Research?

CH: Making sure lose ends are tied up properly and sticking to character names without changing them a million times. Also, remembering the name changes when I do!

SR: Are you drawn to things that are really popular or wary of them? Do you find it helps you to market your work if you’re familiar with what’s currently selling or do you ignore all of that and focus on what you’re interested in?

CH: I am very open to things that are trending. eBooks are not my preference, but I was aware that they are really popular, especially among young readers, who happen to be my target audience. I’m always willing to adapt, but I never do anything I am not comfortable with. If I don’t feel something is a good fit for me, I will not go forward with it.

SR: What’s your personal life motto?

CH: Mind your business and do what you have to do.

SR: Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Katniss Everdeen or Arya Stark? If you could be any fictional character for a day who would it be and why?

CH: None of those people, but probably Effie Trinket from Hunger Games. She gets to wear cute outfits, travel, and eat all that delicious food at the capitol.

SR: What movie or TV world do you wish you could live in? Why?

CH: Harry Potter of course. Who wouldn’t want to live in the magical world of witchcraft and wizardry? It’s all a girl like me would ever want. Plus, Ravenclaw is my house. The sorting hat is never wrong! Lol.

SR: Everyone needs an outlet to help them recharge. What hobbies do you have outside of writing?

CH: Cooking and I love to craft things. I made my own bookshelf using crates. Painted them myself.

SR: You strike it rich. What charity are you going to create or support?

CH: I’m creating a charity for low income or homeless people who need clothes, and other important materials for job seeking/interviews. A few years ago, I volunteered with Dress for Success, and really enjoyed it.

SR: What factors influence you when you’re choosing a book to read?

CH: Nothing in particular. Just whatever sounds good at the time.

SR: Do you have any special events coming up? Where can people catch up with you in person or on a podcast?

CH: I have a blog tour coming this summer. I don’t have the full details yet, but to keep up with everything I have going on, follow Chanel Hardy Publications on Facebook, or follow @chanelhardypub on Instagram or Twitter!

Chanel Hardy was it her bio

Don’t forget to check out Chanel’s writing space in her Author’s Corner feature!