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An Interview with Bonnie Hearn Hill

Author of Intern


Interview by Jenny Dressel of Also read Jenny's review of Intern.

Intern by Bonnie Hearn Hill MF: It is fairly evident that your book "Intern" is based on actual events. Did this happen on purpose or was it coincidence? Did this story evolve in your mind after the events, or did you do research?

BHH: I started the book several years ago because I wanted to write about women and power. It's not based on actual events in my own or anyone else's life, although it's influenced by both. It began as a what-if question. What would you do if you woke up one day and realized that your entire life was a lie and you were married to a stranger? It's about women claiming their own power--and in the case of the intern, feeling the only way to get power is through a relationship with a powerful man.


MF: April is extremely haunting in your novel. Did you find she needed a voice after you started writing the novel, or was her voice a major character from the start?

Bonnie Hearn Hill BHH: Hers was the first voice I heard. The last section of hers in the book was actually the first I wrote and was the book's prologue for some time. I don't know where that voice came from, but it haunted me, and I had to get it down.


MF: Your character, Rich Ryder, the newspaper reporter comes off as pretty sympathetic. Was this intentional? Do you find the media sympathetic in situations like this? Does the 24 hour news coverage help or hinder investigations, in your opinion?

BHH: I hope that he's sympathetic. I didn't want "the media" to be one person. I wanted to show, as I see every day, that reporters are as different and conflicted as the rest of us. Their job is to cover the news, but if you'll recall the scene with the television interview in the book, everyone is different.


MF: This is the first book of a three book contract with Mira Books for you. Do you intend on doing other novels based on "unsolved mysteries?" Can you give us a hint on your next novel?

BHH: My interest in contemporary culture and my theme of empowerment keep pulling me in that direction. I don't rip my stories from the headlines exactly. I seem to write them before the headlines. The weight-loss industry is the setting for my next novel, KILLER BODY.


MF: I noticed you are a teacher for online writing courses. Do you prefer teaching writers or actually writing? Why?

BHH: I also speak at many writers' conferences and lead a private workshop in Fresno, Calif., where I live.

I love teaching writers almost (but not quite) as much as I love writing. I had no mentor and know what a scary, solitary existence that is. My students have enjoyed great success with major publishers and large sales (One just received a six-figure advance.). Teaching is exciting and rewarding, but no high tops writing.



Read Jenny's review of INTERN at