A Bell of an Author

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How do authors get their inspiration? “Mostly, I’m arguing with someone in my head,” says critically acclaimed novelist Hilari Bell.

How do authors get their inspiration? “Mostly, I’m arguing with someone in my head,” says critically acclaimed novelist Hilari Bell.
A junior high teacher “planted the seed,” but she says that it was not until she had begun her career as a reference librarian, which ended in 2005, that she considered becoming a writer. During this time, she developed a huge respect for picture books when she prepared for the library’s Story Time. “All these books just flowed through my hands, and some of them were just masterpieces of writing,” she says. Thinking, falsely, that creating picture books would be easier, she did not consider writing novels until an idea for one came to her as her inspiration for picture books began to fail. She gave it a go and found herself finished within just six short weeks- far exceeding her goal of one year.
Her first novel, “Songs of Power” was conceived when she sought to correct a sci-fi author who stated that nothing larger than an elephant could possibly exist. Eventually, from this argument, a story was born in which an underwater laboratory that held the last Inuit shaman was being attacked by magical whales. This unique idea began a lifetime of novel writing.

A Colorado native, I found Hilari Bell to be fascinating, delightful, and slightly long-winded, which even she admits. She answers questions the “long way,” regarding her work as a Young Adult sci-fi and fantasy author. I discovered “The Shield, Sword, and Crown Trilogy” about a year ago, and she soon became a favorite author. She has also written “Songs of Power;” “The Farsala Trilogy;” “The Wizard Test;” “A Matter of Profit;” and the “Knight and Rogue” series, the fourth book of which she is currently working on.
Her advice to young writers? “Just read copiously.” Also, while Lloyd Alexander’s novel “The Book of Three” is perhaps the thing that ensured her career as a fantasy writer, she says that she tries not to compare herself to fellow authors because, “The only thing I can do is be the best Hilari Bell that I can be.”