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Interview with Elin Hilderbrand plus a Summerland giveaway

June 19, 2012

It isn’t summer without a new book from Elin Hilderbrand!  Her newest book, Summerland, will be released on July 10, and it’s one you’ll want for your beach bag.  I’d like to thank Elin for taking the time to answer a few questions for me.

Why do you continue to write your novels in longhand?

I write in longhand because that is how my mind works.  I would be scared to try it any other way.  My process involves some kind of mystical flow from mind to hand to pen.

Do people recognize you when they see you writing on the beach?  How do they react?

It’s true, I have started getting recognized at the beach and elsewhere.  In general, people are respectful.  My favorite story is the little girl who brought her mother’s book over for me to sign while her mother was in the water.  The mother was too embarrassed to approach me herself.

The beach, and Nantucket, seem to be such a big part of who you are.  If you could no longer live there, where would you choose to live?

If I couldn’t live on Nantucket, I would live in either Fremantle, Australia or St John USVI.  Both of these places have certain salient things in common with Nantucket…but honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever live anywhere but Nantucket.  I want to die and be buried there.

I know you love exercising and sports.  What’s your favorite sport?  Team?

My favorite sport is football and my team is the Philadelphia Eagles.  Now, that said, I also have two sons who play Little League baseball, so there is A LOT of baseball over the course of my summer.  And I love it, and when this period of my parenting life is over, I will be quite sad.

What do you hope people take away from your books?

I want people to close the book feeling like they connected with my characters.  I put a lot of time and thought into character development, and into exploring a range of human emotions on the page.

Your newest novel, SUMMERLAND, deals with a graduation night tragedy.  How much research did you have to do to get the emotions right?

Well, who knows if a writer can ever get the emotions “right.”  This book is about teenagers, and since my children are not yet teenagers, I really had only one place to draw on for emotional verity, and that was from my own experience growing up.  Fortunately, I still feel like I’m seventeen (in some ways, I think everyone feels this way).  The world is very intense at seventeen, emotions are high, and your sense of self is being born.  It’s a great age to try and transcribe on the page.


A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. But what begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver of the car, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny’s boyfriend Jake and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt – but the emotional damage is overwhelming, and questions linger about what happened before Penny took the wheel.

As summer unfolds, startling truths are revealed about the survivors and their parents – secrets kept, promises broken, hearts betrayed. Elin Hilderbrand explores the power of community, family, and honesty, and proves that even from the ashes of sorrow, new love can still take flight.

Thanks to Hachette, I have three copies of Summerland to give to three lucky readers!!  To enter to win a copy of SUMMERLAND, by Elin Hilderbrand, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open to those in the US and Canada – one entry per person, please.  I will use to determine the winner. Contest ends at midnight EDT Saturday, June 30, 2012.   Winner will be announced on Sunday, July 1, 2012.  Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. sandynawrot permalink
    June 19, 2012 6:59 am

    I’ve always really liked the way about her when I read her interviews. She seems so down to earth and REAL. She really is the perfect summer read, and gives her stories a great sense of place. (And man does she look like a childhood friend of mine!)

  2. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    June 19, 2012 7:40 am

    Even though I wasn’t a fan of Silver Girl, I would give this author another shot because it wasn’t her writing/voice that I had a problem with, just the characters! Loved the interview!

  3. June 19, 2012 8:17 am

    This book really intrigues me, maybe it’s because I have teens, but it sounds like a great read. Thanks, and great interview, makes me want to run of to Nantucket myself.

  4. June 19, 2012 8:19 am

    I picked this up in New York not even knowing what it was about because it was by Elin Hilderbrand! Now I think this one will be my guily pleasure read and by that I mean it will push its way to the top and hopefully I will get to ig into it over the upcoming weekend.

  5. June 19, 2012 8:58 am

    I haven’t read any of her books, but I would love to give her books a try. I love summer reads.

  6. bookingmama permalink
    June 19, 2012 9:45 am

    Great interview! I really enjoyed this book and agree that one of my summer rituals is reading an Elin Hilderbrand book.

  7. June 19, 2012 10:20 am

    Great interview Kathy! I love that she still writes her novels in longhand. I didn’t know anyone did that any more!

  8. June 19, 2012 11:45 am

    what a great interview! Elin Hilderbrand appears to be so down-to-earth and approachable! And oh to live at Nantucket forever!

  9. June 19, 2012 1:08 pm

    To me it wouldn’t be summer without a new Hildebrand novel. The Nantucket locale and the great stories are a must read — especially on the beach! Wonderful interview!

  10. June 19, 2012 1:08 pm

    I’ve never read any of Hilderbrand’s work but I’m interested to!

  11. June 19, 2012 2:16 pm

    It’s so true – it wouldn’t be summer without Elin Hilderbrand! I’m looking forward to Summerland, thank you!

  12. June 19, 2012 3:19 pm

    OMG…I know it is really summer when I read an Elin Hildebrand book!!!

  13. June 19, 2012 4:24 pm

    SO excited. I’ve read all of Elin’s books and always look forward to the new ones!

  14. June 19, 2012 5:46 pm

    I like how her alternate places to live are near the water. I love summer books with substance.

  15. cherylmash permalink
    June 19, 2012 6:53 pm

    Loved your interview!! Great questions. I was surprised that she actually pens a novel in longhand. I read Summerland and loved it!! Can’t wait for her next book.

  16. June 19, 2012 8:21 pm

    This is a perfect summer read! I was so disappointed that we ran out of time and could not visit Nantucket! I hope to go back soon.

  17. litandlife permalink
    June 19, 2012 9:21 pm

    I really need to add a Hilderbrand book to my summer reading – especially if we end up on a beach for vacation! Great interview!

  18. June 20, 2012 2:24 am

    I read the book already and loved it. It’s interesting that she writes her books in longhand. I find typing vs writing to be a different mental process… for me anyway. Writing requires more concentration.

  19. June 20, 2012 3:52 am

    Lovely interview. Great story about the little girl and her mother on the beach. And I liked that Elin talked about the importance of character connection too. Summerland looks like the perfect beach read.
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  20. Literary Feline permalink
    June 20, 2012 12:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing the interview! I have a lot of admiration for an author who can write out her book by hand initially. Does the author keep the copies? Imagine what a find that would be 100 years from now!

    I haven’t reading anything by Elin–yet–but I am really drawn to her statement about her focus on the characters and their development. Character development is very important to me as a reader. I will definitely be giving this author a try!

  21. June 21, 2012 12:02 am

    Beautiful post…love the separation with the gray area.

    I love her books…great post.

    My review is up for June 26…stop by to sign up for my giveaway if you like.


  22. June 21, 2012 12:03 am

    Good comment about the handwritten copies. I could NEVER handwrite a book…typing is so much easier for me.

  23. June 21, 2012 2:41 pm

    Very good interview Kathy. I like your questions – so personal.

  24. June 23, 2012 1:38 pm

    I haven’t read any of her books yet but I really do want to. Maybe I’ll win the giveaway then I will have no choice but to read the book! 😉

  25. June 26, 2012 9:42 pm

    I wanted to read this book before but now I’m itching to get my hands on it. I’ll have to wait and see if I win 🙂
    I loved the little girl at the beach story. So cute.

  26. June 28, 2012 7:34 pm

    This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!

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