You all are in for a treat today! Hope Bolinger is a literary agent and multi-published YA novelist who has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. She’s an inspiration for young writers (and “young at heart” writers too), and today, she shares about her latest release in her modern-day Daniel series.
Q: What prompted you to write a contemporary fiction series on Daniel?
It all started in a college class. We were going over the Old Testament in a semester, and during the unit on Daniel, the teacher said, “Daniel and his friends would’ve been 14 or 15 when they were taken into the Babylonian captivity.” That always struck me. I’d thought of them as being 20 or 30. But these teens are standing strong in their cultural identity and are thriving. I wanted to see what that looked like now.
Q: Danny and his friends deal with serious drama and trouble from the schools they attend. Did any of your own experiences shape some of their situations?
Legally, I’m not sure how much I can spill on this, but in short, yes. One of the schools I attended, which shall remain nameless, contributed a great deal of content in the book. It’s so funny because when I talked with high schoolers on the book, they asked, “Legally, how is this possible?” And I said, “Actually, a great deal of what goes down happened on some level in my own experience.” All three books in the trilogy have a kernel of truth in what I experienced at said school.
Q: Who is your favorite character in this series and why?
Oh, Hannah. She’s basically Tumblr and Hot Topic meets Christianity. She never minces words and is everything I wish I could be if I didn’t have a filter.
Q: What do you hope readers will take away from this series?
I hope they walk away with some form of a discussion. This series tackles relevant topics from cyberbullying to school shootings to mental health. I know I don’t go easy on readers in this series, but teens deal with this stuff every day. If we don’t talk about the problem, the problems will never get fixed.
Q: What advice would you give aspiring young writers?
So many things I could put in this answer! The most obvious is, obviously, don’t give up. You’ll be surprised just how many steps it takes from writing that first draft to getting it in front of readers.
And second, learn everything you can about publishing. I started querying at 17 years old, only having written books for a year, and I did NOT know what I was getting myself into. It takes a lot of time, a lot of practice, and a lot of learning.
Q: In addition to Den, releasing this week, you have another book scheduled to release next year. What can you tell us about it?
Yes, ma’am! So I have a superhero chat-fiction “Dear Hero” releasing with INtense Publications this September 2020. It follows the story of a Hero and Villain as they meet on a Nemesis-pairing app. Basically Tinder for heroes and villains. They fight, but they don’t expect to fall in love.
The sequel for that is projected to come out in April of 2021, and if the publisher gives the green light, the final book in the Blaze trilogy should release in August of 2021.
Meet Hope Bolinger, a multi-published novelist and literary agent whose Modern-Day Daniel series challenges young adults to confront the lions in their own lives.Tweet
About the Author
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent and multi-published YA novelist (Blaze, Den, and Dear Hero). When she isn’t busy racking up 60+ bylines, she loves to connect with readers at hopebolinger.com
About DEN: If You Don’t Want to Die, Don’t Sleep with Lions
Danny Belte barely survived his sophomore year at King’s Academy, having to deal with horrible initiation practices, stomach-churning cafeteria food, and the constant threat of arson.
His junior year doesn’t start off much better. Facing a series of mysterious suicide attempts that begin on day one–and a disturbing pattern that appears to connect them–Danny has a feeling something far more sinister is at play. He tries to narrow down a list of suspects as those closest to him disappear, one by one.
Can he protect his friends from a possible murderer on the loose? Or will he find himself trapped in a fate worse than a lions’ den?
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