Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kick A** 2011 Debut Author Spotlight - Tess Hilmo: With A Name Like Love


Today I'm joining several other bloggers in spotlighting a 2011 debut author. To see the others, click here.

I've chosen to spotlight Tess Hilmo. Tess's debut novel, With a Name like Love, launched just a couple of weeks ago. Tess's writing is beautiful and her characters are amazingly vivid. There are five daughters in the Love family, and I am certain I could identify any one of them just by a line of dialogue. The language is rich and descriptive; the plot is full of mystery and tension. I don't normally read MG or historical, but I loved every minute of this incredible book.

To celebrate the release, I've asked Tess to join us today for a short interview.
When did you first get the idea for With a Name Like Love?
1. With a Name Like Love came from an original song I had written titled Lead Me On. It is patterned after the classic Southern spritiuals, written in a pentatonic scale. I adore those old classic songs! Anyway, my mom heard the song and said, "You should write a story to go with that song." This novel is that story. The song is even featured in it and is the background music in my trailer!
How long did the process take from idea to publication?
2. Five months from idea to first draft. Another year of revisions. Two months of submissions to agents. One month of edits with agent. Four months of submissions to publishers. Twenty two months from contract with publisher to pub date. So, let's do the math: 5+12+2+1+4+22 = 41 months or just about 3 1/2 years! (But I've been trying at this whole process for a total of 9 years)
What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors?
3. Believe! Endeavor! Endure!
If you were stranded on a desert island with only one book, what book would it be?
4. Easy peasy. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. That novel started my love affair with historical fiction.

Thanks for visiting with us today, Tess! And because a book like this is too good not to share, I'm giving away a copy of With a Name like Love! To enter, just leave a comment and include your email address so I can notify you if you win.

Have you read any debut 2011 authors? Which one(s)?

25 comments:

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Yay for Tess! Since I have not been to a bookstore yet to pick up my copy, I'm going to try again to win one. :) I know there's not much chance since I'm the first commentor, but you never know!

Congratulations again, Tess! Wonderful interview. Thanks for the timeline, btw. I've been wondering about that lately (whether I'm just weird or if this is normal). *grin*

Amy
a2sonnichsen(at)gmail(dot)com

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Excellent interview! I particularly like the answer to #3. Believe. Endeavor. Endure. So true :)

Oh, and all the best to, Tess.

Old Kitty said...

Good luck to lovely Tess and her wonderfully titled book!!! Hi Susan! Take care
x

Creepy Query Girl said...

Thanks so much Tess for sharing your journey and thanks Susan- loved learning more about With A Name Like Love!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Oh, it's MG. I saw it showcased on someone else's blog, and thought it was an adult book. My bad. ;)

The math is scary, which is why I try not to dwell on it.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I'm so excited for Tess! My copy arrived while I was on holiday. It's beautiful! I can't wait to read it....

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for highlighting Tess's book.

I haven't read The Witch of Blackbird Pond, but I own it... somewhere. Now I want to find it.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great interview! Love the Believe! Endeavor! Endure! answer. :)

Christina Lee said...

Hi Tess!!!

How cool is the story behind the book?

Thnaks for joining us today!

Anne N Kenny said...

This is another one that sounds to good to pass up! Thanks for the interview!

kanonei at gmail dot com

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great interview! I absolutely love the cover of this book!! :-)

Patti said...

Awesome interview - I loved how she put in how long it took her. Just goes to show how slow this industry is.

Nas Dean said...

Great interview. Thanks for highlighting this book.

Good luck to Tess!

Kristin Rae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin Rae said...

How awesome of you to include an interview and a giveaway!

I've read quite a few debut authors this year, favorites being Veronica Roth and Beth Revis.

forgot my email address the first time! kristinrae023(at)gmail.com

Lynn said...

Great interview! I especially enjoyed reading the time line and backstory to the book!

Al said...

I have read almost no fiction this year.
It is so sad!

Carolyn V said...

I just finished Tess's book. It was an excellent read! Loved it.

Nisa said...

Speare is a great role model for historical fiction. I fell in love with The Bronze Bow when I was a kid. I can't wait to read With a Name Like Love! :)

Medeia Sharif said...

Great interview. And I love The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

I look forward to reading Tess's book.

Tess said...

Thanks for hosting me today Susan -- for your kind words about LOVE (so SO happy you enjoyed it) and for all these people who dropped by! what an amazing community writers are :D

Margo Berendsen said...

I love MG historicals and can't believe I haven't read the Witch of Blackbird Pond. I loved the compliment about being able to identify each of the characters by the dialogue!

Shelley Sly said...

I've heard of her book and it sounds incredible! Wonderful interview, too! Thanks, Susan and Tess!

DL Hammons said...

Tess is awesome! I just saw the pictures of her launch party and her smile says it all. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Just stopping by to say hi. Hi!