Summer Love Stories from Nantucket Island
Hilderbrand has been with the publishing house, Little, Brown and Company since 2007. Prior to each four-book deal she signs with the publisher, she makes sure she has four solid ideas in mind. She writes her stories out in longhand before ever pulling out a computer. And with three active children—Maxwell, 15, Dawson, 13, and Shelby, 9—busy with school, sports and other extracurricular activities, one might wonder where she finds time to write at all. “I have to find the time,” she says. “Knowing that keeps me focused.”
In 2014, Hilderbrand faced a different kind of challenge when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A double mastectomy followed, as did full breast reconstruction. In her recovery, she shared what she was going through with her family, her friends and her readers. “Telling everybody what was happening really helped,” she says. “Everyone was extremely supportive.” Her children even created the social media hashtag “#mamastrong,” when talking to their friends about her condition.
Ironically, in Hilderbrand’s book The Matchmaker (2014), which the author completed prior to her diagnosis, she attempted to put herself in the shoes of her character, Dabney Kimball Beech, who is diagnosed with breast cancer. In preparing for the book, the author spent many months asking herself some vital questions: What would it feel like to find out you had cancer? How would you react? Would you do things differently? Would you do things the same? Since her diagnosis last year, Hilderbrand has completed two books during her recovery. Today, she is cancer-free, feeling healthy and very busy.
In October, the author’s next book, Winter Stroll, is scheduled for release. It is a sequel to Hilderbrand’s bestselling novel, Winter Street (2014), a Christmas-themed story in which, following a tragic year, the Quinn family gathers on Nantucket for a holiday filled with surprises. In Winter Stroll, the Quinns once again return to the island and to their inn on Winter Street, ready to celebrate a great year, when drama unfolds.
This fall, Hilderbrand will tour the country to promote the new book, making appearances at bookstores and other venues in Boston, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Brooklyn. Following that, she has no plans of stopping—writing, working, or living the dreamy beach life she promised herself so many years ago. “As long as I stay focused,” she says, “writing is a great lifestyle.”
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