Author Interview & Book Giveaway: With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

Welcome to Author Tess Hilmo.


I am a mother of three, wife to my college sweetheart, and subject of the Great Daisy (a poodle who pretty much rules our household). I grew up in the suburbs of Southern California with a mom who liked to go camping on the beach and sightseeing in the desert. We spent many nights looking up at the stars and singing songs around the fire. In fact, I spent my very first birthday on the beaches of California. My mom fed me chocolate cake and then promptly washed me off in the waves!
After high school, I traded those sunny beaches for jagged mountains and attended college at Brigham Young University. I graduated in Communications and worked for a local television station’s marketing department. About that time, my sparkling new husband got accepeted to medical school back in California — so we went back home for eight more years (did I tell you he was also from California?).
While he was in school, I kept busy by working for an insurance company. When I was put on bed rest with our second child, I got really REALLY tired of television and started getting back in touch with that part of me who loved stories. I read and read and read and read….. I started writing my own stories and pulling out the poetry I had written as a teenager.
I decided to attempt writing a novel.
That child is now twelve years old! So, it took me a long time to learn how to write a novel for national publication. I had to be patient. I had to be willing to learn from others. I had to take critique and make changes and, most of all, I had to keep believing in myself.
What’s the point?
Excellent question! My point is this …
Dreams take time. They require a lot of effort. But, if you are patient and open yourself up to learning and never quit believing then they will come true.
It is a great and glorious thing.

What is one book everyone should read?
The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak. Hauntingly beautiful, that book.

Why we should read your book in one sentence…
You will cry, you will laugh, you will think about the characters long after you’ve finished reading.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Without a doubt, it is hearing people tell me that the novel moved them on some level. When a reader contacts me and shares how they cried for Jimmy or wanted to hug Reverend Everlasting Love or even wanted to slap the horrible Mrs. Carter, that is so meaningful. These characters lived in my head for years and are very real to me. Having others connect to them is the best feeling in the world.

Favorite book as a child/teen:
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. That novel started my love affair with historical fiction!

Is there a theme song you could list for your book?
I love this question! The book is set in the south and full of old southern gospel music. One of the songs mentioned is Amazing Grace. The line “I once was lost, but now am found” fits the book perfectly. Not found in a spiritual sense, but more in a friend-in-need sense.

What is one piece of advice you could give to aspiring authors?
Believe! I once heard someone say, “Writing is not a race, it is a marathon and there is room for everyone at the finish line.” I think that is true.

What is your favorite quote?
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters when compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Broadway star with a fierce passion! Then I realized I couldn’t carry a tune and had to let that dream go. Picky producers.

Favorite Candy
chocolate covered cinnamon bears.

Which authors have influenced you?
My favorite middle grade authors include Gary Schmidt, Patricia Reilly Giff, Lois Lowry …. their characters are so darn real!!

With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent, and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to stay in town, how can two kids free a grown woman who has signed a confession? Ollie’s longing for a friend and her daddy’s penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny town where everyone seems bent on judging and jailing without a trial.

Giveaway Details:
1 signed Hardback + swag (candy & bookmarks)
Open to US & Canada
Ends 11/11/11

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