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Friday, March 16, 2018

Including a bit of yourself

“All the characters in my books are imagined, but all have a bit of who I am in them - much like the characters in your dreams are all formed by who you are.” – Alice Hoffman

Born in New York City on this date in 1952, novelist and young-adult and children's writer Hoffman is perhaps best known for her 1995 novel and film Practical Magic, one of many of her books with magic or magical realism as their basis.

Hoffman’s first short story, At The Drive-In, was published in Volume 3 of the literary magazine Fiction when she was just starting her studies at Stanford.    American Review editor Ted Solotaroff was so impressed by the story that he contacted her and asked if she had a novel.  She didn’t but was inspired her to start writing Property Of, her first bestseller and first of 27 adult novels and 12 more written for children, Tweens and Young Adults.  In a “coming full circle” aspect to that first novel, Solotaroff published a section of it in his magazine and last year Hoffman wrote a prequel The Rules of Magic, also a best seller. 

Among her many writing awards are a New Jersey Notable Book Award and the prestigious Hammett Prize (for Turtle Moon).  Her advice to writers is not to be intimidated by the process.   “No one knows how to write a novel until it's been written,” she said.     “I never plot out my novels in terms of the tone of the book. Hopefully, once a story is begun it reveals itself.”

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