Debut author, Hilary Wagner, arrives on the scene with a wonderful new fantasy for mid-grade readers. NIGHTSHADE CITY has been praised by critics and peers alike, and opened to accolades from Kirkus Reviews and author Rick Riordan of ‘Percy Jackson’ and ‘The Red Pyramid’ fame. The launch has pulled Hilary this way and that, so we’re fortunate to snag her sleeve for a look behind the curtain at how it all came to be.
We’d like to thank her for taking the time to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.
AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?
Hilary: NIGHTSHADE CITY, Holiday House Books, October 2010
AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.
Hilary: Well, my latest release is my first release, NIGHTSHADE CITY. It’s about an underground colony of super-intelligent rats, you could call it a classic good versus evil tale, but mostly the book is about never letting a few decide the fate of many. Sometimes, in life, you have to stand up for what’s right and this book is about one of those times.
AuthorScoop: Aside from your own hard work, who (or what) else do you feel has contributed to your success?
Hilary: My husband for sure. He read several early drafts of the manuscript and was wonderful to bounce ideas off of. When he read the first draft, he said his biggest fear was needing to tell me he didn’t’ like the story or he didn’t like my writing, luckily that didn’t happen!
AuthorScoop: At what time of day or night do you do your best writing?
Hilary: I have my best breakthroughs very early in the morning. I think that’s when my brain is at its peak, although the pot of coffee I’m inhaling at that time doesn’t hurt either. I also write well late at night. At that time, I don’t have to think about anything but my manuscript and things just seem to flow. Believe it or not, I sometimes think being overtired is helpful too. When I’m lacking in the sleep department, my brain comes up with the best, if not the craziest ideas!
AuthorScoop: Finally, what advice would you give to new or unpublished writers?
Hilary: Gosh, that’s always a tough one. I would have to say, don’t ever put yourself in the mindset that you’re not good enough. Finding an agent and/or getting published is incredibly hard. Don’t let even a hundred rejections take away your end goal. Many of today’s bestselling authors received scores of rejections from both agents and editors. Now, they sit back and laugh about it! You have to remind yourself, it only takes one YES!
NIGHTSHADE CITY is available now in bookstores and for delivery from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com – and just in time for the holiday gift season. I’ve got mine!