Meet Tess Hilmo during Book Blogger Appreciation Week

You haven’t met Tess Hilmo yet?  Well, let me fix that for you.

She’s a writer!  Tess is currently revising her Middle Grade novel, With A Name Like Love, so her agent can begin submitting it.  Her blog is all about her journey to publication.  The agent is a new addition to her adventure.  After you read the interview you can read the words of Tess for yourself at


Amber: How did you find out about Book Blogger Appreciation Week?

Tess: A thoughtful and sneaky writing friend nominated my blog for an award. I still don’t know who it was but will take this opportunity to give a shout out of thanks.


Amber: Do you have one or two books about writing that you recommend to all of your writing friends?

Tess: There are so many wonderful craft books out there and, honestly, I have friends who write in all genres so it is hard to choose one that is applicable to everyone.  My favorite instruction has come from conferences and from reading other writing blogs.  That is one of the best parts about blogging, we all share our ideas and insights and help one another stumble along this path toward publication.


Amber: A lot of published authors advise reading as a way to learn how to write.  Are there any authors or genres you like to read?

Tess: I read all things Middle Grade.  If you are unaware, Middle Grade fiction encompasses ages 7-13. Great novels such as The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Island of the Blue Dolphins and even the earlier Harry Potterbooks are considered Middle Grade.  Some of my favorite Middle Grade authors include (but are not limited to) Kate DiCamillo, Patricia Reilly Giff and Richard Peck.


Amber: Looking at your blog I found out you’ve spent six years sitting in your chair and writing.  Getting the writing done is often the hardest part about writing.  Do you write novels and short stories?

Tess: I write middle grade novels.  I have written three novels, but the blurb for my novel currently on submission is:

With A Name Like Love is a middle grade murder mystery set in Binder, Arkansas.  In the early summer days of 1957, Ollie’s daddy pulls their green and gold teardrop trailer into town with the intent of offering a three day revival.

On their very first day, Ollie meets a boy whose mother is in jail for murdering his father – and who asserts her innocence.  But, even if Ollie were to believe the boy, could she convince her daddy to stay long enough to help him?  And, if the Love family did stay, how could two thirteen year olds free a woman who has admitted to the crime and signed a full confession?

If you want to take a peek, I have a book trailer up on my blog for this particular novel.

Amber: This is the year you became represented by an agent.  Is it anything like you imagined?

Tess: It’s wonderful to have someone who believes in your work and who has the ability to help you toward the goal of publication.  Steven Chudney is my agent and he is fantastic.  He is communicative, insightful and encouraging.  Acquiring representation has been a true blessing.  But, it has also been a lot of work.  The saying goes no rest for the weary, but I think it should be no rest for the aspiring author!


 Amber: What is your favorite tomato salsa recipe?  (I am up to my ears in friends’ tomatoes and could use a good recipe.)

 Tess: I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you 😉


  1. Thanks, Amber! And, I’ll e mail you that salsa recipe…

    Happy Book Blogger Appreciation week. How wonderful to have an opportunity to celebrate books and book bloggers in particular. It was a pleasure meeting you 🙂

  2. Nice interview Amber. I’m looking forward to reading your book reviews. I usually do one of those a week. I like the idea that they are a good way to help you remember what you’ve read. Tess, thanks for sharing Amber with us over on your blog. I should have know that Peck and Giff were 2 of your favorite authors. I love them too.
    .-= Lois´s last blog ..The Bruschetta and a birthday =-.

  3. You’re right bluestocking – but I got the recipe from a gal who makes it as a business – so I can give it through e mail, but not across the web. She wouldn’t be thrilled. If you are serious about wanting it, e mail me at tesshilmo(at)comcast(dot)net 🙂

  4. Great Interview. I love middle grade, youth, and young adult fatnasy fiction. I get ARCs for those age groups in the mail every week, so I tend to review them fairly frequently. Best of luck publishing your novel! I’ll look forward to hearing more about it when the time comes.
    .-= Lisa Damian´s last blog ..Wooden Bagel =-.

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