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Hill mentors aspiring writers
Author Bonnie Hill will be at Saturdays Great Valley Bookfest. - photo by Photo Contributed

Bonnie Hill, the author of nearly a dozen books, has a simple answer as to why she writes.

“I write because I can’t not write,” she says simply.

And although she wrote four books for young adults, her subsequent tomes have been mostly “suspense novels connected to causes I care about – women and body image/weight loss, younger women/older man, hearing impairment, foster care,” she explains in an interview conducted via email.

“I write books I cannot stop thinking about,” she adds.

Two of her recent books are titled “Intern”, “Killer Body”, and “Last Words”. She has also recently co-authored a how-to book with Christopher Allan Poe titled “Digital Ink”.

Next spring, expect to find her book, If Anything Should Happen, in bookstores and online book outlets. It will be published first in the UK and then in the U.S. four months later. The book “features true crime blogger Kit Doyle and her search for her biological mother,” says Hill, giving a brief synopsis of the story. It is the first in a series, with the second book, “Goodbye Forever,” telling the story of how Kit tries to “solve the mystery of two teens who appear at different times in the same neighborhood – both with the same goodbye note.”

Expect to also see in film one of Hill’s early novels, which is a story set during the Delano Grape Strike of 1965. The book has been optioned for film and is currently in pre-production, she says.

When she is not writing, she is mentoring would-be writers. She travels all over the country speaking at conferences as well.

“My passion is writing and mentoring writers,” she says. “It really is my life. Every Saturday, I host a critique group at my house, and three of the members drive from Los Angeles and back – abut a three-plus-hours each way – in one day.

“I have mentored many successful writers who wanted to move to the next steps in their careers, and doing so makes me view my own writing with a fresh eye. As I tell them – and myself – we can fix anything but a blank page. Just get those words down without judging or editing or listening to the demon editor in your head.”

As to what have inspired her stories, or where she gets the ideas for her books, Hill says, “The ideas kind of tap me on the shoulder. I can’t conjure them. I might speak with a writer friend, drive home a different way, or even take a bubble bath. All of a sudden, the idea shows up, and it soon owns me.”

While writing is her life’s passion, along with mentoring aspiring writers, Hill confesses that she loves to cook. “I am what most would call a health nut.”

Books and love of reading have always been a part of her life. Among the first books she read growing up were novels written by Nancy Drew and Shirley Jackson.

“Joan Didion was, and is, one of my favorites. My maternal grandmother lived with us and taught me to read at an early age. My mother promised to give me her fairy tale books once I could read them, so I grew up, from a young age, reading those pretty scary tales. Yet I always wondered about the people in those tales – who did they love? What were the holes in their lives? So, in a way, I was reading character-driven fiction into those stories even as a child,” Hills says.

Hill will be one of the more than 60 authors who will be at the third annual Great Valley Bookfest set for Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley, also known to many as the Bass Pro Shops Center. The day will begin with a family parade – costumes are welcome – with members of a local high school band among the musicians participating. Admission is free and the public is welcome.