Hi! I’m Hilary.
My manuscript, HERE AND THERE, is a YA-retelling of OTHELLO in the vein of TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU. It’s told from a different perspective each of the four years of high school. Peter (Othello) shuns music and his girlfriend, Mona (Desdemona), when his best friend (Iago) tells him a lie. It’s a decision that leads him away from the things he loves and into a mental health battle.
HERE AND THERE includes:
- Show choir drama
- A love story
- Swim meets
- Mental health struggles
- Awkward bus rides
- Trailer parks
- A controlling boyfriend
- Water slides
- Racial prejudice
- An unabashed love for movie musicals
- Quirky minor characters that one only finds in rural Indiana
Books that I think are similar:
- Julie Murphy’s DUMPLIN’
- Jennifer Niven’s ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES & HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE
- John Green’s LOOKING FOR ALASKA
- Rainbow Rowell’s FANGIRL
Information about me:
I aim to be myself even when it gets weird. I once put a joke in a cover letter about pooping my pants. That is the kind of person I am. At the risk of a major #humblebrag, my cover letter resulted in an interview for Conan, which only encouraged poop-joke behavior.
I also try hard. In 2013, I attended the Big Sur Writing Workshop. I was a second-year grad student in screenwriting, but writing a book still felt like an impossible task. When two friends and fellow writers convinced me to go, I did what any sane person would do: I wrote a MG book in five weeks. (I had no idea what I was doing.)
When the very kind agent who ran my workshop informed me that my first ten pages were total crap(!), I knew I had a decision to make: bring in ten other pages (that were largely written the same way as the total crap ones) or rewrite the beginning of my manuscript overnight. So I did something I never do: I stayed up late.
When I brought in my new beginning the next morning, the agent loved the pages, but she also loved that I tried something new overnight. I learned never be afraid of a revision just because it was going to be hard. I learned that I am a person who goes for it completely, fails big time (usually in memorable and embarrassing ways), and gets back up to try again.
Since that workshop, I’ve written four more manuscripts and several screenplays. Earlier this year I queried a YA manuscript that had several full requests from agents. I’m so close. But I’m not there, and I need a mentor’s help.
Even after five years of being critiqued in grad school and by my LOVELY writers group, getting my pages ripped apart isn’t my favorite thing. It sucks, but it’s also completely necessary. As a writer, I’ve learned to pick myself up again. I know that failing in front of people is survivable. I love writing enough to get better, and for that, I inevitably need help. That’s where a mentor comes in. I promise to be open and to work hard, to participate fully in making my manuscript as good as it can be, and to be the kind of mentee who isn’t afraid of a poop joke.
Oh, what? This was supposed to be ten words long and I just wrote seven paragraphs? Well, you see why I need your help then.
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