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INTERVIEW: Hilary Grossman Always Wanted to be an Author


Welcome to the Tuesday Author Interview with Christina Boyd for the Who, What, When, Where, and Why.


I became a fan of Hilary Grossman after reading her first book Dangled Carat back in 2016. I think what I found so remarkable was that it was a memoir; it read as well as fiction. Since then, I've read her contemporary romance novels, and I feel privileged to have since worked on a few of her projects too.


CHRISTINA: When did you first think you had a book to write and how did you start? 


HILARY: I always wanted to be an author. When I was in high school, I had a box stuffed with scraps of paper filled with book ideas. After college, I started my “first” book, but I didn’t get too far… Then years later, I read Jen Lancaster’s memoir, Bitter is the New Black. This motivated me to start a blog and get into the writing groove. I began drafting my first book, also a memoir, about a year later.


CHRISTINA: Bitter is the New Black must be one powerful memoir to inspire a blog and then a new career.


What comes first, plot or characters?


HILARY: None of the above. I’m an odd one. I usually come up with a title first. The characters and plot come later…


CHRISTINA: You do have some catchy titles!


Is there one of your characters you most identify with and why? 


HILARY: All of my characters have elements of me in them… But if I had to pick one, it would be Sydney Clayton, the main character of Go On, Girl. With the exception of being bullied to join the PTA by the mean mom, so much of Sydney’s story was my story. We shared the same type of job, both were home renovation junkies, and both accidentally sold our homes.


CHRISTINA: Yup, I can totally see Sydney in you.


What is your latest release?


HILARY: I released a three-book small town, romantic comedy series in 2022 (Cop a Feel, Cop an Attitude, and Cop a Plea).


CHRISTINA: You know I love that series.


Do you put people you know, or their characteristics, in your books?


HILARY: Yes! All the time. I try to change it up, so it isn’t too obvious (like making a man a woman). My non-reader husband, who helps me do a final proof of my books, always figures it out! Ironically, there are a lot of “characters” in my life who are dying to be in a book.


CHRISTINA: That would be fun to find yourself as a character in a book...maybe. If it's a character you liked.


Which of your own novels is your favorite?


HILARY: It’s a toss-up between Go On, Girl and Cop a Feel. I love the petty parental politics in Go On, Girl, but I love the chemistry and the steam between the characters in Cop A Feel.


CHRISTINA: What’s more difficult to write: a love scene or a love letter?


HILARY: A love scene, which is ironic, because I love to read them. When I try to write one? Ugh! I stare at the blank screen as if I was still a virgin. I literally feel like I forget everything about sex. And when I finally work up my nerve to start typing, my fingers fly over the keyboard super-fast because I want to get it over with as quick as humanly possible. And when I’m finished with the scene, I’m also done for the day. I can’t write more after the “traumatic event.”


CHRISTINA: Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am. “Traumatic event.” I feel like I should offer you a cigarette. That's hilarious.


So far, what is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?


HILARY: I have two. First, that I’ve written and published twelve books – I still sometimes don’t believe that tidbit. I seriously thought I was one and done after I wrote Dangled Carat. I never dreamed I’d be so prolific. Second, following my blog posts about my experience during Hurricane Sandy, I was invited to be the guest blogger on the Katie Couric Show. I spent all day in the green room with one of the producers and got to chat with Katie. The show ended up being a giveaway for victims of the storm and since I was one, too, I received all the prizes as the audience.

Katie Couric and Hilary Grossman stand next to each other on the set of Katie.
That time author Hilary Grossman was interviewed by Katie Couric after Hurricane Sandy, 2012.

CHRISTINA: Wow! I didn't know that. How cool. Not the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, but the Katie Couric part.


Best advice for new writers:


HILARY: Just write. Don’t worry about publishing or marketing. You’ll be able to figure that all out later, but first you need a draft. It is so easy to talk about how one day you’ll write a book, but actually sitting down day after day and writing is very difficult.


CHRISTINA: Yes, I agree. The discipline to write daily is a vital part of building craft.


Thank you, Hilary, for taking time for my Tuesday Author Interview. I know you've been juggling a lot of plates in real life, but as always, I'm hoping you are finding time to write. Or at least, sketch out some titles.


Smiling woman with long brown hair wearing black blazer.
Hilary Grossman, author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hilary Grossman is a recovering corporate executive. She spends her mornings and weekends hanging out with her "characters." She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She's been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball - she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on Long Island.

To find out more of what Hilary is up to check out her Facebook page or find her on Twitter/X.

3 Comments


Loved 'meeting' a new to me author.

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Fun interview, and I'm impressed with Ms. Grossman's commitment to writing!

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Replying to

She juggles a lot of plates and I’m always impressed with her work ethic.

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