I know I keep saying this, but I am really excited to bring you yet another amazing author for I Read YA Week on What A Nerd Girl Says! I have another OfTomes sibling with me today, the fantastic Hilary Thompson! She is new to the crew so I’m just as stoked to learn all about her as you are! Plus she wrote a fantastic guest post about YA AND there’s a giveaway at the bottom of this post.
It really doesn’t get any better than this. Lets jump in!
ABOUT HILARY THOMPSON
Taken from Hilary’s website:
I’m Hilary, and I used to be such a practical girl. Then I let the stories out.
Now I create worlds, people, and problems that are grounded in real life, if you accept that real life has magic around every turn.
I was born to parents who made a habit of taking roads less traveled. But I was also a first child, and an independent, willful child, so I’ve made a habit of taking a few roads on my own.
Now I teach Creative Writing, English, and AP Literature, write whenever and wherever I can, and read as much as my eyes can handle. I play superheroes and dress up games and read books in bed with my own independent, willful children and play at homesteading and world traveling with my wonderful soulmate of a husband. I tend to ignore laundry and dirty dishes.
You Can Find Her:
I’m actually going to skip this section. I know, I know, I’ve been talking ALL about it on the other authors. The only reason I’m skipping it is…okay there’s two reasons. One, Hilary has been self-published before, which I admire so much. Not an easy road to take AT ALL. And two, those books are going to be revamped and republished under the OfTomes header. I am so insanely excited about this and I’m going to give all the honors and hype to OfTomes for all that. But in the meantime, all of her links are above and I encourage you all to check it out and enjoy :)
HER GUEST POST
To be honest, I went about everything backward. In high school, I obsessed over Shakespeare, lost myself in Voltaire, was entranced with Plath. And this doesn’t even touch the school-assigned lists. My guilty pleasures were musty copies of Pynchon and O’Connor and Kerouac I found in odd used-book sales. Eclectic, yes, but always solidly in the realm of Literature, capital L.
College was no better – an English major’s nightstand is covered in esoteric essayists and Important Works. I plowed through Milton, Shaw, Chopin, Hemingway, Rushdie, Dostoyevsky, and so many more.
I loved them with all my heart, but none of them broke my heart.
Each of these writers twisted my mind and forced me to question my mortal morality, but none of them wrung a tear from my soul.
For a long time, I was afraid I just wasn’t getting it. Oh, I could hold my own in literary discussions and write the crap out of a thematic essay. But as much as I loved these stories, I felt like there just had to be more out there. Surely the book life wasn’t always so…serious.
Enter YA. I was in my late twenties and tired of reading – I had no idea what to do. So one day I wandered into the teen section at the library and picked up a few random pretty covers.
And there wasn’t any wow moment – not yet. At first, I was reading Meyer and Collins and Roth. Solid stories, but predictable. Not even close to the poetic language I’d been used to. But there was something in those stories that sent me hunting for more.
On to Laini Taylor, Leigh Bardugo, Maggie Stiefvater, and of course J.K. Rowling. These stories were more layered, the language often more intense. And that something was still there.
Now, many years later, I can identify it. Over here in the “teen” section we don’t worry about Literature, capital L, and that’s a good thing. Over here, we have something better – hope. Hope that evil will somehow be defeated by good; hope that humanity isn’t quite as broken as we think; hope that whatever failings our relationships have now, they can get better.
There is hope that despair is fleeting.
And this, my friends, is what high schoolers should be reading. Perhaps everyone, really. Because despair finds everyone and makes its way into every story mankind tells. But not all stories find their way out of that pit, and not all people can, either.
I read YA because I want to believe in possibilities.
Not always happy endings for everyone, mind you. And plenty of characters will die. (Roth, I’m looking at you.) But just like a young person with their whole life before them, YA offers a promise.
I read YA because I have promised myself that I am not broken. I have hope that no matter what despair is lurking in my life, I will be strong enough. I will find the perfect weapon. And I will have a true companion to back me up when I need them most.
So come on over to our section. Don’t worry about the capital letters. We have something better than the prestige of brokenness. We have the grit to fix it.
Thank you SO much, Hilary, for being a part of I Read YA Week and welcome so much to the OfTomes family. We are so glad to have you!
Don’t forget everyone! Tune in all week to make sure you don’t miss one moment of all the interviews and guest posts happening here on What A Nerd Girl Says!
And also head to my instagram to enter my giveaway where you can get your hands on two YA ARCs AND a ton of signed swag from authors such as Marie Lu, Jenny Han, Morgan Matson and more!