AGA: What made you decide to not only pitch Hanna as bipolar but also biracial and bicultural?
DR: There's no reason Hanna is biracial and bicultural--she just came to me that way. I wanted a girl who would be out of place in a small Texas town, and boom, Hanna. As for her being Finnish, that came about because I didn't want that part of her to be bland and generic. It bugs me that "multicultural" always refers to people of color, as though white people don't have just as many cultures. Another thing I knew right away about Hanna is that she hallucinates, and so I had to research what mental illnesses caused hallucinations. I narrowed it down to schizophrenia and bipolar, and chose bipolar because it fit Hanna's dual nature the best.
AGA: Was there any particular reason you chose green and purple as the main colors for your book?
DR: Anyone wearing color in Portero is immediately marked an outsider because Porterenes, for the most part, only wear black. So when they see Hanna in her purple clothes, they immediately know she doesn't belong. There wasn't any particular reason I chose purple for her, but I chose green for the Mortmaine because green is a nature color, and the Mortmaine are in charge of protecting the land.
AGA: Given Hanna's mental instability, did you have a hard time getting into her head to write from her perspective?
DR: No. Does that scare you? Ha! Hanna is bipolar, sure, but that doesn't automatically make her complicated. She only wants one thing--to win her mother's love. Everything she does and thinks revolves around that one thing.
AGA: What was the hardest part of the book for you to write?
DR: The action scenes. You have to slow down and draw those out to get the full effect, and I suck at drawing things out. I just like to hit it and quit it. So that's something I have to really work on.
AGA: If you could pair Hanna with any character from any book, what would your pick be?
Maybe Pollyanna. Hanna would have been SUCH a bad influence on her. ;)
AGA: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
I know a lot of people are afraid to read my book because of all the unwholesome scenes they've heard rumors about. So if you're one of those terrified people, I say follow your gut and don't read it. Once you step to the dark side, children, you can never step back. Mwahahaha!
Thanks for that colorful interview, Dia! And to those of you terrified to read the book because of some sex and killing... shame on you. You're definitely missing out!
Want to know more about Dia and the world she's created in Bleeding Violet? Stop by for the chat session on my book forum tonight at 8 CST (that's 9 pm for all you east coasters since it never fails that at least one of you shows up an hour early and very confused)! You'll need to register for the forum but I promise its very quick and very worth it! You just have to do it once for full access to the boards as well as the author chats! To register, go here. See? I've even made it easy for you. Click that link and there ya go.