HOCD Questions?

Out of the OCD sufferers I hear from, 9 out of 10 are battling HOCD.

In the past, a friend “Hannah,” who has come out on top of HOCD, has been happy to answer questions about her hocd questionsexperience with HOCD.

Hannah’s 1st Interview
2nd Interview
3rd Interview

If you have HOCD-related questions for Hannah, please read the above interviews first to see if she has already answered them. If not, you can anonymously submit your question(s) for Hannah by clicking here.

Once I collect a handful of questions for her, I’ll send them her way and post the answers!


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Book Review: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

goodbye strangerI don’t read a lot of middle grade books, but I adore Rebecca Stead.

(Note: the term middle grade refers to the audience [for the middle grades, ages 8-12], not the book’s quality. I mention it because a lot of people simply don’t know that.)

Goodbye Stranger is a lovely book about seventh-grade Bridge, her long-time friends Tab and Emily, and her new friend Sherm. It’s about changing relationships and the staggered rate at which kids mature. It’s about walking that awkward line of caring about someone as more than a friend but not being ready to date.

Plus there is an anonymous second-person voice every few chapters dealing with her own issues. It was fun to try to guess who the person was … and I figured it out (eventually!).

Everything just came together in such a lovely way that feels customary to a Rebecca Stead novel, and it was very satisfying and the epilogue was perfection.

This would be a great novel for, well, anyone— but especially for kids on that cusp of junior high, students who are 10-14. A beautiful book that has me thinking a lot about the novel I’m writing!

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Interview: Jackie Lea Sommers on her novel, Truest

Jackie Lea Sommers:

A little interview with incredibly thoughtful questions from the lovely Mariella Hunt …

Originally posted on life, literature, & coffee:


When I was sent a review copy of Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers, I was immediately captivated by the poetic writing. Not only that, the plot was beautiful–so many sad and joyful feels! It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year so far. You can read my review here.

I’m excited to have spoken with the author, getting the opportunity to ask about Truest, her writing process, and many prominent themes in the novel.

Laurel has a peculiar illness that warps her sense of reality. It’s intriguing and looked difficult to pull off. What does it take to get an illness like that “right?” Was she the most difficult character to handle?

In the novel, Laurel Hart struggles to draw a line between reality and dreaming. You would think that this would be the hardest part to write about, but in reality, it came quite naturally because solipsism…

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2015 Creative Goals: Third Quarter

An update on this year’s goals … starting to cross some of them off the list … while also realizing that a couple are simply not going to happen.

2015 creative goals third quarter done

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Dear Diary: September 2015 (Five Truths About My Novel’s Debut Month)

dear diary sept 2015

  1. It was a watershed month. I crossed that invisible line from “writer” to “published author.” It was a turning point in my life, and I’ll always remember September 1st, 2015, when my dreams became reality.
  2. It was amazing. Everyone was so happy for me. I got to celebrate with nearly 200 people, most of whom have walked this incredible journey with me and love me dearly. I cannot explain to you the way it felt to go into three bookstores that day and to see my book on shelves at every one. Especially that very first time. Cindy and I were searching for it and couldn’t find it; then from a row over, I heard Cindy say, “It’s here.” And there it was. A published book that I wrote. Characters that I had breathed into life. Even the booksellers at all the bookstores were so excited for me, had me sign copies, displayed them proudly.
  3. It was scary and hard. It was a supernova of action … and then the silence of space. It’s hard to go from having EVERYONE talking about your book to basically radio silence. It’s this tremendous build up and an explosion of interest and then, relatively, nothing. It’s terrifying. You start to wonder, “Did I spend four years of my life on something that people cared about for fewer than three weeks?” You start to compare yourself to the other novels that debuted the same day (one of which rocketed up to #1 on the NYT Bestseller List almost immediately). You start to cry.
  4. It was a month where kind words at the right moment made all the difference. In the midst of fear and negative reviews and dead air, people spoke up at the exact right moments and each one was like a miniature rescue. A sweet comment, an enthusiastic review, an excited tweet … these mattered this month when I was teetering on the edge of hopelessness. Please never underestimate how much your kind words mean to the authors who write the books you enjoy. It’s like an instant battery-recharge. It’s the strength to continue. It’s, as I said, a miniature rescue mission. Tell artists when you love their art.
  5. It was step one. Sometimes I, in my ultra-dramatic ways, felt like, with the debut day come and gone, that it was all over. But I’m wrong: everything has just begun.


Filed under debut novel, debut novel month, debut novelist experience, debut novelist fears, jackie lea sommers dear diary september 2015, the first month of a novel, truest, Truest Jackie Lea Sommers, truest the first month

Book Review: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

everything everythingMadeline is allergic to everything. In fact, she hasn’t left her home since she was about four months old. She spends her days with Carla, her nurse, and her evenings with her mother, who is a doctor. Everything in her life is sterilized and according to a strict routine. She’s not unhappy– this is just the hand she’s been dealt, and she has a good attitude about things.

Then Olly moves in next door, and suddenly Madeline wants more.

Olly is adorable. So is Maddy. Their IM conversations are hilarious and flirty and fun. I just love them!

Initially, I didn’t want to read this book because– looking at the book description– I thought, “There’s no way this can end well.” Then I read a review that essentially said, “Just trust me. Read it. It will be okay.” So I did.

And I’m so glad I did.

I really loved the characters in this one (obviously), though I was a little put-off by Maddy’s selfishness in some situations– but I gave her grace because she’d been unselfish for her whole life, ya know? Early on, I guessed the twist. Then, stuff happens and I thought, “Oh, I guess I was wrong.” But I was right in the end.

All in all, this was a great, happy, interesting, sad (at times) novel that I really enjoyed reading! If you’re nervous about the ending, don’t be. Just read it.

I’ll be interested to chat in more depth in the comment section with anyone who has read it! (So AVOID THE COMMENT SECTION if you don’t want SPOILERS!)


Filed under book review, everything everything by nicola yoon

Confession Time

Okay, friends. Confession time: I need your help. I’m floundering in a lot of different areas. I’m not too proud to say so, and I’m not too proud to ask for your help. Please take THIRTY SECONDS and read through my list of needs and sign up if you think you can be a resource for me. I deeply value this brilliant community.

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