Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Guest Post: Author Hollis Seamon

Chemo, radiation, a zillion surgeries, watching my mom age twenty years in twenty months: if that’s part of the Big Dude’s plan, then it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Somebody Up There Hates You.

SUTHY has landed me here in this hospice, where we—that’s me and Sylvie—are the only people under 30 in the whole place, sweartogod. But I’m not dead yet. I still need to keep things interesting. Sylvie, too. I mean, we’re kids, hospice-hostages or not. We freak out visitors; I get my uncle to sneak me out for one insane Halloween night. Stuff like that. And Sylvie wants to make things even more interesting. That girl’s got big plans.

Only Sylvie’s father is so nuclear-blasted by what’s happened to his little girl, he glows orange, I swear. That’s one scary man, and he’s not real fond of me. So we got a major family feud going on, right here in hospice. DO NOT CROSS line running down the middle of the hall, me on one side, her on the other. It’s crazy.

In the middle of all of this, really, there’s just me and Sylvie, a guy and a girl. And we want to live, in our way, by our own rules, in whatever time we’ve got. We will pack in some living before we go, trust me.
First, let me say thanks for the interest in my new YA novel, Somebody Up There Hates You. 
Working with the editors and staff at the brand new AlgonquinYoung Readers (AYR) imprint has been amazing.  I’ve really enjoyed meeting the writers of the other books in this imprint, too, as we get together at signings and events.  It’s a great bunch of people and an absolutely stunning group of books.  Take a look at all of the AYR books at .
And thanks to all of the book bloggers who read and write about YA books.  There’s an incredibly lively and enthusiastic community of YA readers out there and I appreciate, so much, everything you do to promote books and reading.  You guys are a writer’s best friends!  I also love to meet readers in person; my upcoming events are listed on my blog at
I’ve been touched by the response to Somebody Up There Hates You, from traditional reviewers—starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews! ( and )—and from bloggers all around the globe.  This novel is close to my heart; it grew from years and years spent with my young son at what was then called Babies Hospital in New York City, part of the huge Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.  This was a long time ago and my son, happily, has grown up into a writer himself ( ).  But, through the years, the faces and voices of so many of the seriously ill kids in that hospital have stayed with me.  The teenagers, in particular, made
a huge impression.  No matter how sick they were, they remained funny and rebellious and tough.   They flirted and partied; they disobeyed doctors’ orders and drove everyone around them crazy.  They were very much alive—and fighting like mad to stay that way.  The characters of Richie and Sylvie in my novel are entirely fictional, just like everything that happens to them, but they were created from my memories of those incredibly brave teenagers.  The nurses at my fictional Hilltop Hospital, too, are based on the real-life, heroic caregivers that I came to know and admire.
And, last, one more bit of thanks:  to my students.  I’ve been a teacher for a looooooong time at the College of Saint Rose in Albany NY.  I teach writing and literature and performance to bright, funny and energetic young adults who keep me in touch with their world.  May we all stay, in Bob Dylan’s words, forever young. 
About the Author:
Hollis reads, writes, cooks, and gardens in Kinderhook NY. She teaches writing and literature at the College of Saint Rose in Albany NY and the MFA in Creative Writing Program of Fairfield University, Fairfield CT.

Her newest novel, SOMEBODY UP THERE HATES YOU, is one of the inaugural YA books to be published in Fall 2013 by Algonquin Young Readers. Her collection of short stories, Corporeality, was published in January 2013 by Able Muse Press.

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