Thursday, April 7, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library: Hillary Homzie

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hillary Homzie will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

That’s such a tough question but in a good way. Okay, I’m shutting my eyes and trying to see the book that comes up for me and made the biggest impact. It was probably A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle. After read that book, I had to read everything that L’engle wrote—and I discovered that her books were all connected—characters, themes—it all fit together. As a kid I loved the merger of authentic character yearnings of socially awkward female protagonists (I related) with a fairly high stakes plot. Then you get to throw in a cool mix of science, some fantasy and even a bit of spirituality and romance. Ahh, so wonderful! Big sigh of contentment.

What is your favorite book today?

My favorite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen is the gold standard!!!

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

A social media-addicted tween learns to live in the moment.

What are you reading right now?

Just finished Susanne Colasanti’s City of Love (YA romance) last light. And I’m also reading Anne Patchett’s The Magician’s Assistant as well as the middle grade Love That Cat by Sharon Creech, which is an incredible novel-in-verse that really appeals to reluctant readers as well as strong readers. I’m listening to Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park as a book on tape.

What books do you have on hold at the library?

I definitely want to put Lost in Love by Susannne Colasanti on hold. She’s got an incredible ear for dialogue and does YA romance very well! And I’m planning on reading Jennifer Nielsen’s A Night Divided really soon. She’s a wonderful upper middle grade author. I LOVED her False Prince series.

Do you have any bad book habits?

When I love a book too much I read it too fast, and start to speed read/skim. I have to pinch myself in order to get myself to slow down.

E-Reader or print? and why?

Print because I love to hold the book in my hand and feel the paper against my fingers when I turn the page. But when I’m traveling nothing beats my Kindle.

One book at a time or multiples?

Multiples. Always, although I read them at different rates. I’ll have a guilty pleasure book which I will inhale in one sitting and a book with gorgeous writing that I will digest over days, even weeks.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

Neither. I just remember where I left off.

When do you do most of your reading?

In my bed, with giant pillows propped up and with my down comforter pulled up to my waist. Books to me = relaxation and a feeling of comfort. I like to feel secure. Oh, books are just the best, aren’t they?


Like everyone at Merton Middle School, Karma Cooper’s smartphone is almost another body part. She’s obsessed with her LIKES on Snappypic. When her parents shut down her social media account and take away her smartphone, Karma’s whole world crumbles. She has to figure out what she actually likes and how to live life fully unplugged. This book will jumpstart conversations about how social media is changing the ways tweens are growing up.



“So we’re come up with a new punishment,” says Dad. “Something that will get your attention.”

Dad looks at Mom and Mom looks at Dad and I can tell that they are a united front against me. “We’re going to close your Snappypic account,” states Dad.

“What?” My stomach dips as if I’ve just dropped from highest part of a roller coaster. I want to flop against the nearest car in the parking lot. “You can’t do that. It’s my account. It’s private. You can’t.” Every day, I get smiley faces and hearts and balloons and LIKES. All of the time. Waking up and not being able to se what my followers are up to? Being totally cut off like that? My parents might as well send me to Antarctica because I’m going to be frozen out of everything. “This must be some kind of hallucination,” I say. “The parents I know would never do this to me!”

“Karma, I’m sorry,” says Mom. “But I think you are over-reacting. You knew the rules.”

“Please.” I clasp my hands together. “Please, please. Please. I’ll do anything. I’ll babysit Toby as much as you want. I’ll clean the house every single day. I’ll make dinner I’ll—”

“It’s a final decision,” says Dad.

“But I’m like… a professional. I have more followers than some companies.”

“Exactly our point, Karma,” says Mom. “You’re not a company. You’re our daughter and still a kid. And I don’t really love this obsession of yours.”

The parking lot is practically spinning. “You just don’t want me to grow up!”

I fling up my arms. “Please,” I beg. “Don’t do this.”


Hillary is the author of the tween novel, THE HOT LIST (Simon & Schuster/M!X) which Booklist says “captures the angst of young teen friendships and fragile identities.” She’s also the author of the middle grade novel, THINGS ARE GONNA GET UGLY (Simon & Schuster/M!X), a Justice Book-of-the-Month, which was just optioned by Priority Pictures, and the forthcoming QUEEN OF LIKES (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin M!X, April 2016), which is about social media, as well as the humorous chapter book series, ALIEN CLONES FROM OUTER SPACE (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin), a Children's Book-of-the-Month Best Books for Children. Emmy-nominated Suppertime Entertainment developed the books to become an animated television series and it was sold to ABC Australia. Hillary’s young adult fiction has been published in TEEN MAGAZINE and anthologized (MUDDVILLE DIARIES, Avon Books). She has sold non-fiction and fiction projects to Klutz Press/Scholastic Books, The Learning Company and John Muir Books. With her frequent writing partner, Steven Arvanites, she has had film projects developed by Brooklyn Weaver’s Energy Entertainment. Hillary got her start performing and writing sketch comedy Off-Broadway, and was a Heideman Playwrighting Award Finalist. Hillary holds a master's degree in education from Temple University and a master’s of arts degree from Hollins University in children's literature and writing. Currently, she’s a visiting professor of children’s literature and writing at Hollins University.


Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, or BAM

A link to the song QUEEN OF LIKES which was written just for the book. It’s a wonderful song. Here’s that link:


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  1. What three things do you think of the most each day?

  2. Oh my gosh. I SOOOOO have to buy this book for my kid.

    1. That makes me smile. It's definitely a timely book I think. At least judging from my own kids :)

  3. I enjoyed the interview. I also prefer a print book. There's nothing like the feel of a book.

    1. Rita,
      I know. Not only the feel of the paper, but the physical act of the page turn and the weight in your hands and...Oh I could go on :)

  4. It's a great premise for a book!


  5. I enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a really good read. Entering under the name of Virginia

    1. I'm a fan of the name Virginia. It's where I grew up!

  6. I enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a really good read. Entering under the name of Virginia

  7. Great post - I enjoyed reading it! Thanks for sharing :)

  8. I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you!

  9. Sounds like a great read, thank you for sharing!