Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hillary E. Peak - Wings of Hope - Author Interview & Guest Post

About the Book

The letter said he was dying, that’s all Jules Weinstein knows when she leaves her life in San Francisco and moves to New York City to be with her father. She goes for the remarkable opportunity to really know her father. She never dreamed he had liberated a concentration camp, dealt cards to Bugsy Siegel or saved the life of a Black Panther. Wings of Hope is a road trip through the memories of a man making peace with his life. Little does she know that by getting to know her father, she will find herself. While her father struggles with whether his life was meaningful, Jules discovers that her father’s last gift to her is the ability to reach for her dreams. Her journey teacher her that “the goodbye” is sometimes the most heartbreakingly beautiful part of life.

Author Interview

1. Why did you choose this setting?
This story is a tribute to my father. He grew up in New York City, so I picked that as my main location. I chose to have my main character from San Francisco because I love that city. They travel to Switzerland and France because my father actually went to medical school there.

2. How is it a fundamental part of your overall theme?
This is a book of both looking back and learning to move forward. It is in visiting these places with her father that Jules learns who is he and why. It is going to Paris where she begins to find her true self and take steps to becoming who she really wants to be.

3. How challenging was it to write about?
I've been to all the places, so it wasn't too difficult. I did do some quick research to make it feel authentic.

4. How did you develop your setting as you wrote your book?
This sounds silly, but I close my eyes and try to imagine it. Then, I work on writing it down so that someone else could see it too.

5. How do you transport them there through your writing?
It is actually really hard for me. I have to keep going back and making my descriptions more real and vivid. It takes me multiple re-writes to get my readers there.

6. How do you introduce them to an area they may not be familiar with?
I try to place myself there for the first time, remembering how I saw it and what was exciting and interesting to me about the location.

7. How do you go about making the setting come alive for the reader?
For me that is in researching the place, learning the history, adding details about it. Also, I have a much keener ability to describe what I eat and drink. I also remember a lot more about what I eat and drink. So in each location, there is a lot of descriptions of the food and the drinks. I think this helps the place become more alive for the reader.

Guest Post

Formulation of Setting

For me, a place is more than sights and sounds, it is tastes and feelings. I generally use places that I have been. Mentally, I return to those places to formulate my setting. I think of my visit or visits. What did I like? What did I not like? How did I feel? In answering these questions, I begin to put together a place for my readers to travel to. For example, Paris was wonderful bread, the best French fries I've ever eaten, tough steak, creamy desserts, tables that were so close you might as well have been dining with the people next to you and watching the fashions go by on the Champs Elysee. New York is delis, take out Chinese, bagels and constant noise.

I'm not great at long descriptions, but I do remember these details, which is what makes a place feel authentic in my writing. Then I start researching. One of the most interesting things I found out about Lausanne Switzerland is that there used to be pirates there! I try to integrate places of interest, things a reader would see if they were actually in the location. I even research restaurants and menus to give as much authenticity to the places as I possibly can.

It is my hope that the reader feels connected to the story through the tastes, sights and sounds of my settings.


Wings of Hope can be purchased at:

Price: $9.99 paperback, $2.99 ebook
ISBN: 9781466312197
Pages: 226
Release: December 2011

About the Author

Hillary Peak is a recovering idealist. She became a lawyer to change the world and is still somewhat shocked that didn't occur. Now, her goal is to retire from practicing law and write novels that people love. She is currently a practicing attorney in the District of Columbia. She lives with her family in Alexandria, VA.

Connect with Hillary:
Web Site
Tribute Books Blog Tour Site


  1. Victoria, thanks for hosting Hillary today :)

  2. Thank you for having me! Hillary (PS, I actually tried to post this yesterday, but was having problems with my computer. I apologize for being late!)

  3. Thanks so much for having me! Hillary (PS, I tried to comment yesterday, but seem to be having problems with my computer. Sorry!)