If you’re a fan of YA literature, today’s for you! Hope Bolinger writes and represents young adult fiction, so it’s not surprising to see which books influenced her the most (though her fictional character dinner date is a little surprising).
Hello, and welcome! What was your favorite picture book as a child? What did you love about it?
I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I like the twist my dad put on it: The Jester Lost His Jingle. My dad got so fed up with reading the same book every single night that he changed the story and killed off all the characters. I think that’s where I got my morbid sense of humor.
What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
The Legend of the Storm Sneezer by Kristiana Sfirlea. I absolutely love the humor. I’ve never found such a wonderful writing voice in middle grade, and I can’t wait to see what other books she creates.
Have you ever had a book recommended to you that you didn’t like? No names, but what didn’t you like about it?
Ohhh, yes. I feel like the book was over-hyped. It was by a popular author but was definitely not up to par with her other works. It felt like she was trying too hard to be something that she was not.
If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?
Okay, don’t judge me, but honestly Loki. It’s probably because Tom Hiddleston plays this part really well, but I want to see what makes him tick. You can’t trust him, so dinner would be an interesting affair.
If you could visit any fiction place, where would you go?
I’m torn between Hogwarts and Narnia. Probably Hogwarts because it’s such a fun and complex world. And who wouldn’t like candy shops full of magical sweets?
Who’s your favorite author?
This is incredibly hard, but I think I need to throw this to C.S. Lewis. He writes incredible fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. He was a renaissance man, no doubt about it.
Which do you prefer: character-drive fiction or plot-driven fiction?
I’m all about high concept. This usually means plot-driven because I’m looking for something Back to the Future-esque or something that hasn’t been done before. This isn’t to say that character-driven stories can’t do this, but it usually takes me longer to get into character-driven books.
Den, a modern-day Daniel set in high school.
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?
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent and has had more than 700 of her works featured in publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to crosswalk.com. She is the author of the Blaze trilogy (IlluminateYA) and the Dear Hero duology (INtense Publications).
You can find me at my website: hopebolinger.com
Or follow me on social media @hopebolinger