When did I first met Hilary Grossman? It seems we’ve known each other for years. We’re virtual friends; part of SheWrite.com and BlogHer.com and we exchange Tweets. This month I learned more about her by reading her “Chick Lit that happens to be true” book, Dangled Carat. Over the weekend, I got a chance to meet Hilary face-to-face. Well, sort of: we FaceTimed on Saturday morning, she in her beach-house in Long Island, me in my frosty office north of Chicago.
Dangled Carat is an Indie book about the love of Hilary’s life, Marc: How they met, fell in love, and well, how the Carat dangled for both of them.
Hilary always wanted to write, but it was a small BlogHer conference about turning a blog to a book that energized her and set her plan in motion. She hired the author of Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline, to edit her book. Hilary also hired an artist to take her vision of the book cover from concept to reality. These are both tips Guy Kawasaki gives in his book, APE. (An author can do many things, but not all things, so get somebody else to do some things.)
A painfully shy little girl, Hilary loved to paint and draw. An only child, she was comfortable doing things by herself and was very close to her parents. By high school, Hilary kind of dropped out socially. She was alone with her father when he had a stroke. Three weeks later, he was gone. At just fifteen years old, Hilary’s life changed forever. She no longer had patience for typical high school stuff: who’s dating whom, which girl or boy is the coolest, which teacher is freaky, and all that other “crap.” She couldn’t relate anymore. She felt responsible for her mom and tried to take care of her. Because she was alone with her father when he had his stroke, Hilary worried about her mom being alone. Consequently, she went to a local college, and lived at home. Thinking back, Hilary believes she was such a wreck that her mom probably wanted to be around for Hilary, too, which might have been why her mom never remarried or even dated.
Writing and publishing a book has made life a little more “crazy” for Hilary, and a lot happier. “Dreaming of doing something, and making that dream come true is exhilarating.”
Hilary confesses that selling and marketing a book is a lot harder than writing the book. No longer the shy girl, she’s outgoing and ready to tell her life story to anyone who will listen. Her advice to young people is to “work not at the job you have, but at the job you want to have. Lots of times people get pigeonholed. You need to make your own destiny. Anything is possible; you just have to show someone else what you can do.”
Hilary is working on her next book, this one fiction. It’s about the evolution of a mother/daughter rocky relationship as the two plan the mother’s wedding. Based on fact? Well, the experts advise to write what you know!
In the meantime, Hilary is keeping her day-job at a mid-size liquor import business. As CFO, she gets to help shape where the company goes. She’s been there as the company grew from very small (ten employees) to over a hundred strong. Designing reports, saving money, generating revenue engages her creativity.
Dangled Carat is available electronically for Kindle, for Nook, and through Apple’s iBooks app. If you’re interested in finding out how Hilary romanced the stone, please leave a comment. She’s agreed to gift one lucky reader with an electronic copy of Dangled Carat.
Oh, and don’t forget, you can visit Hilary anytime at her blog, Feeling Beachie. Don’t you just love the title of her blog? I’m feeling a little beachie today. Too bad it’s so cold.