HL: I've been writing since as early as I can remember. My first short story was about a girl named Kelsey (because I thought that was the coolest name ever) whose babysitter was killed by a man named the Peanut Butter and Jelly Murderer. Every time he claimed another victim, he would eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at their house, then leave. So, yeah. I was a weird kid.
HL: Tempus is about a high school senior named Chapel Ryan who has grown up having hallucinations. Chapel has been made to believe that her hallucinations are a result of the PTSD she suffered from after her father was murdered. But when something about her hallucinations changes, Chapel begins to question her diagnosis. What follows is a story of mystery, friendship, and, yes, love. (Cue mood music: I'm thinking something off the Dirty Dancing soundtrack?)
BBB: What do you think readers will like most about your book?
HL: Almost every reader who emails me mentions how much they like the characters of Tempus. Chapel has a hilarious, nerd-ish friend named Timmy who wears shirts that say stuff like "Smart Mass" on the front. Then there's the wildly inappropriate friend named Erica who lovingly calls Chapel "Steel Magnolia" and encourages her to flirt with cute teachers (bad idea, FYI). And, of course, there's Isaiah Zay Halstead, who is handsome and smart and witty and (sigh) funny. I set out to write a story about people, not about a specific plot. I think people's enthusiasm for the characters of Tempus reflect that!
HL: Chapel Ryan has grown up with a secret--she suffers from hallucinations where it appears to her that she's freezing time. Even her two best friend--Erica and Timmy--don't know about her episodes. So even though she's a warm person, outgoing and sharp-tongued, she's always felt like a bit of an outsider.
My least favorite thing about Chapel is that she weighs some decisions too heavily and others she can be impulsive about. She doesn't know when to trust herself, or when to trust others. My favorite thing about Chapel is her loyalty. Once you're in with her, you're in. Kind of like the Mafia.
BBB: Are you currently working on another book?
HL: I am working on the sequel to Tempus. I hope to release it before the end of 2014!
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