Good morning Hilary, and welcome to My Book Addiction and More today…

MBA: Hilary, tell our readers a little about yourself?


HT: I began to write at the age of fifteen, and was very surprised to hear this confident narrative voice stepping out of my pen.  I’d never heard it before because I wasn’t the sort of child who told stories, though I listened a lot.  Apparently the storytelling instinct was only bottled up and waiting to emerge at the right time.
Writing books is a hobby for many relatives on my father’s side of the family, exactly the way some people knit or garden.  A couple of years ago my uncle startled me by mentioning something I’d never known, namely that my grandfather had written a manuscript about his life in China.  I thought to myself, this could only happen in my family—my grandfather wrote a book and no one ever thought it was important enough to mention except in a casual remark.  In any other family, it would be a big deal.
I didn’t bother taking English courses in college, because writing fiction is a skill you have to teach yourself.  College English courses are geared towards producing English teachers, not writers, and they train you to produce academic papers instead of fiction. Your average college usually offers nothing more than a single creative writing course, and often it’s not  particularly rigorous.  I majored in Anthropology instead.  I feel strongly that if you want to become a writer, learning about people and society is far more useful than finding all the metaphors in Moby Dick.


MBA: What, if anything, made you decide to write “A Will to Murder”?

HT: I was interested in the discipline that the mystery novel imposes.  In a way, mysteries are like writing sonnets.  Gore Vidal once remarked that he only learned the craft of writing when he was producing mysteries.  In a mystery, plot is supreme, and you must tie up all loose ends.  When you’re producing other types of fiction, you can become so emotionally involved with the work that you balk when it comes time to edit.  Cutting out or changing passages can feel like you’re erasing yourself.  But in a mystery, the book’s ideas are more important than your feelings, and you’re forced to conform to the demands of plot if you want to make the story work.  Mysteries also make you look at your writing with your brain in charge instead of your emotions.

MBA: What were some of the challenges in writing “A Will to Murder”?

HT: Everything has to fit together perfectly.  I’ve got scenes with a dozen characters all interacting at once, and they require a lot of coordination and thinking about probable outcomes.  In a way, it’s like watching subatomic particles bouncing off each other according to their own internal logic.  Mysteries also have to be clever enough to fool the other characters—and the reader—long enough to sustain suspense until the end.  You also have to come up with good explanations for why the characters are deceived for so long.

MBA: What is something you would like to accomplish in your writing career?

HT: Though fiction comes naturally to me, and I really enjoy producing it, eventually I’d like to tackle some nonfiction.  I love well-written essays, and I read a lot of history.  My next book requires historical research, since it’s going to be set in the 1820s.

MBA: What are some of your favorite books, movies, authors, passions, interests, and hobbies?

HT: I have way too many favorite books to list.  In my teens I read a ton of science fiction and fantasy, and didn’t care for nonfiction.  Now that I’m older, this has switched around, and I read far more nonfiction than I used to.  As I mentioned above, I love history, mainly because history is simply a different type of story–true story.  I also love travel books, memoirs, and biographies, though for a long time I wasn’t keen on biographies because the main character always dies in the end.


As for movies, I’m that rare person who doesn’t care for them.  I grow impatient watching films and keep thinking, ‘I’d do it such-and-such instead of so-and-so.’  When I do watch movies, I like them with plenty of comedy, explosions, and car chases.  My tastes are fairly populist.  Occasionally I’ll make myself watch a classic film because I feel I ought to educate myself.  I do admire Frank Capra and Stanley Kubrick.

Favorite authors?  Too many to list.  Tolkien is at the head, however.
Music?  I like the sort of rock that would clear a room.  I used to be a fanatical record collector and would buy LPs out of publications like Goldmine, but the passion has died down.  For a long while I felt it was an absolute necessity to own every good song in existence. Fortunately I’m somewhat picky, or I’d be broke.

MBA: Hilary, if you could change anything in the world, what would it be and why?

HT: You don’t want to know.  I’d be the most obnoxious and intrusive social engineer ever, which is why people like me should be kept well away from the levers of power.

MBA: Hilary, with the holidays over and a new year approaching, what if anything are some of your New Year resolutions?

HT: To edit some of my older manuscripts, and get started on my ‘Novels to Write’ list, which is far too long.  I’m one of those authors who has more ideas than I know what to do with.

MBA: Now, Hilary tell our readers where to find you and where your books may be purchased?


Barnes and Noble:

The Pongid Press:




Thank you. Hilary for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit with My Book Addiction and More and our readers today…




Publisher:The Pongid Press; First edition (November 14, 2011)



Book Description: (from the publisher)

When wealthy and eccentric patriarch James Boyle dies a peculiar death, District Attorney Fowler declines to investigate, convinced that the victim died of natural causes. Yet even the police are stunned when members of the Boyle family gather for the reading of James’ will–and begin to die, one at a time. Only when long-lost relative Bradley Smith appears, along with reporter Eric Maxwell, do the mysterious deaths finally receive a proper investigation. Even so, no one is prepared to hear the truth, or can comprehend the depth of the lunacy that hides beneath the mansion’s bizarre facade.


Thanks to Hilary, we are offering an e-book copy of “A Will To Murder” by Hilary Thomson.**This giveaway will be via an Amazon or B&N gift certificate** Giveaway to run from today January 10 until January 17,2012.



**Visit for “My Thoughts” on “A Will To Murder” by Hilary Thomson**




  1. This looks like an interesting book. I also like the cover – kinda creepy looking!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. You sound like a fascinating person to sit down with over a cup of coffee. I loved what you said about teaching yourself to write fiction. I am a teacher and the one thing I was not taught was how to teach writing. Like you, I think you just have to do it to get to be good!

  3. Hi Hilary! I really enjoyed your interview and I especially liked your comments about writing mysteries – using your brain instead of your emotions. It made sense! A Will to Murder sounds like a pretty interesting read.

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