Authors and Publishers

Dear author's and publishers. I would love to review and/or display your books on this blog. For more information visit my Policies/Contact page.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Author Interview: Hillary Frank

My encounter with one Hillary Frank began during fall of 2009. One of my best friends (who did not really like to read) had asked me to get her a book. At the time we were in school library and I did not readily have a book in my possession that I was not reading, so I randomly extended my hand into the stout shelf of the bookshelf to my right and produced a book with a rather interesting cover. Being an artsy person I was rather drawn to the cover, however I did not read the summary and simply handed the book over to her. Later that same week, I had been browsing around my public library’s in the stack they had for sale when I found a rather new copy of the book. Lo and behold I took this as a sign so I bought the book for a messily $0.50. How sad that such an amazing book was put to the wayside. I probably would have paied $100 to own a copy of this book! It is rear that I find a novel that is not filled with mystical creatures that completely envelop my thoughts. One such book: Better Than Running At Night. I loved loved loved this book and I am so grateful that Mrs. Frank has taken the time from her busy schedule to answer a few questions.

Hillary Frank is a freelance writer based in Montclair, NJ. She is the author and illustrator of the novels Better Than
Running at Night (Houghton Mifflin 2002), I Can't Tell You (Houghton Mifflin 2004), and The View From the Top (Penguin 2010). Better Than Running at Night was named a Top Ten First Youth Novel by Booklist and a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. In 2010, Booklist selected The View From the Top as one of the Top Ten Romance Books for Youth.

Q: What inspires you to write?
A: Overheard conversations. I'm a big eavesdropper. Sometimes I'll be on a train or sitting in a coffee shop and I'll hear something that I have to write down. And then later on a version of that conversation will show up in a book or radio story. Sometimes those conversations even inspire an entire plot. My stories on This American Life's Babysitting show and Promised Land show are both the product of eavesdropping.

Q: 3. Are any of your characters similar to you or anyone you know?
A: I think there's a little of me in every single character I write. Even Nate from Better Than Running at Night.

Q: Which do you prefer when writing or reading- first or third person?
A:I much prefer first person. I try to do something new with the format in each book I write. For me most recent book, The View from the Top, that new thing was writing from the POV of seven teens in the third person. I thought that third person would allow me to keep a consistent voice throughout the book. But in order to maintain empathy, I also wanted the voice in each chapter to reflect the thoughts of the main character of that chapter. If that makes sense. So in a way I was still writing in different voices. What I learned from the whole experience is that I feel more deeply attached to characters when I write in their voices.

Q: Can you share with us a little of the work that is yet to come?

A: I don't have a book in progress at the moment. But a year ago I launched a podcast about surprising struggles in early parenthood called The Longest Shortest Time. You don't have to be a parent to listen. You might even learn some stuff about what it was like for your mother when you were a baby. I actually interviewed my own mom, thinking it would be our comedy relief episode, and she wound up crying and apologizing to me for not being able to breastfeed me.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
A: Edit. Edit, edit, edit. And then edit some more. The first drafts of all three of my novels are absolutely embarrassing. As are the following three or four drafts, probably. On every single book I did massive rewrites, in which very little of the first draft made it to print.

Random Question:

Q: If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?
A: An onion. But not because of all the layers. Because it's the food that entertains my two-year-old daughter most. She likes to unpack them from grocery bags, watch them simmer in oil, and pick them out of food and devour them as if they were raisins or chocolate chips or something.

Find Hillary Frank:
Author Website
Twitter: @HillaryFrank

I would like to thank Mrs. Frank for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. I look forward to reading more of her novels and enjoying them all the same! Lastly, congratulations on her new baby!

1 comment:

  1. I like the onion answer lol Great interview and thank you so much for sharing my button