I'm honoured to be joined today by the wonderful Hilary Weisman Graham, author of the funny and extremely entertaining YA contemporary novel, Reunited.
1. Welcome to Bookish Hilary! Thank you so much for being one of the guests during the Contemporary Fiction Month feature! Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Here are the main details, in no particular order: In addition to being a novelist, I’m also a filmmaker and a screenwriter. I live in the middle of nowhere and I love it, but I used to be a city girl and I still go stir crazy if I go more than a few months without going into Boston or visiting LA or New York. People know me by my big, wild, curly brown hair. As of this month, I’ve been married for nine years. I have one son, and he loves to joke and make up funny stories, just like me. ;)
2. You debut YA novel, Reunited, features three ex-best friends, a broke-up band, and a disastrous road trip! Sounds like just the perfect summer read! Could you tell us who or what inspired you to write it?
I had a friendship break-up of my own freshman year of high school, and even though my story is very different than Alice, Summer, and Tiernan’s, the feelings around that break-up always stuck with me. For most 14-year-old girls, their best friends are the most meaningful relationship they’ve had at that point in their lives, apart from their family, so I thought the idea of ex-best friends reuniting at the end of high school, when they’re older and wiser, would make for an interesting story.
3. Could you share with us your favourite quote from Reunited?
“Fortunately, the boys were both deeply entranced in a game that involved a fork, a balled-up straw wrapper, and Toad’s open mouth.”
4. Have you always wanted to be a writer? At what point in your life did you decide that writing is something you want to do?
I spent most of my career as an indie filmmaker and TV producer, but writing was always a big part of my job. Even in my free time, I found myself participating in poetry slams, or composing humorous essays to share with my friends. But for a long time, I considered myself a “filmmaker who wrote,” as opposed to a writer.
Then, in the summer of 2007, I was selected to be a contestant on the Mark Burnett/Steven Spielberg-produced On the Lot, which, if you never caught it, was like American Idol for filmmakers, and aired on Fox for only one season.
It was there, in Los Angeles, competing head-to-head with seventeen other talented filmmakers on live television that I suddenly realized it was the writing part of filmmaking I’d always enjoyed most. After that, I made it my goal to become a working screenwriter and novelist—and that dream has now come true!
5. What's next in line for you? Are you working on a new book now?
I’m currently working on a new contemporary YA novel and I’m also writing a movie for The Disney Channel.
6. Is there a band or singer you're so obsessed with that you'd travel 2000 miles to see them play?
My new musical obsession is Andrew Bird. It’s hard to believe I’ve been on the planet for this long without listening to him.
7. Which three of your favourite contemporary books would you recommend everybody to read?
1) 13 REASONS WHY by Jay Asher. 2) THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER by Sarah Dessen 3) HARD LOVE by Ellen Wittlinger
8. Summer is (almost) here and we're all prepared to tackle our enormous summer TBR lists (To-Be-Read), can you share with us what's on your reading pile this summer?
Right now, My bookshelf is super crowded since I just got back from BEA (Book Expo America) in New York. Currently, I’m reading an ARC of LEVEL2 by Lenore Appelhans. Next up is an ARC of SKINNY by Donna Cooner THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green, ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and THE GIVER by Lois Lowry (which I'm ashamed to admit, I've never read).
9. If your book had a soundtrack to accompany it, what songs would be on it?
Anything and everything by Level3. To listen, go to www.level3theband.com where you can download two of their hit singles -- “Heyday” and “Parade” -- for free!
10. Do you have a favourite contemporary fiction character/couple?
They’re not a couple, but I love the friendship between Tiny Cooper and Will Grayson from WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by John Green and David Levithan
Hilary, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us here today! I'm looking forward to reading Reunited - sound like a perfect summer read!
About the author:Hilary Weisman Graham is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, and novelist. She lives in rural New Hampshire with her husband and son, roughly thirty minutes away from the nearest grocery store.
Hilary Weisman Graham has generously offered to give away one finished copy of Reunited.OPEN TO: US/Canada onlyEnds: July 14thTo enter:Be a follower of this blogEnter via rafflecopter below:
This Interview + Giveaway was posted as part of the Contemporary Fiction Month feature. Click on the picture for full schedule.