Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A Busy Year and a YA Retelling of Daniel with Hope Bolinger

This week we welcome Hope Bollinger to the Diamond Mine. The second book in YA retelling of Daniel is coming later this month. 

A Little More About Hope

Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 800 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids to HOOKED to She writes about 250-300 articles a year. Her modern-day Daniel, “Blaze,” (Illuminate YA) released in 2019, and they contracted the sequel “Den” for July 2020. Her superhero romance she co-wrote with Alyssa Roat releases from INtense Publications in September 2020. Find more about her at

Follow Hope on Social Media: @hopebolinger

SW: Now that we've gotten the short bio, let's dig deeper.

I always like to warm up with a few would you rather questions, but don’t worry, none of them are disgusting.

Would you rather be forced to sing along with or dance to every song you hear?

HB: Oh this is hard. How did you know I was an avid singer/dancer when no one is watching? I'd probably choose singing, because I'm a terrible dancer. 

SW: Would you rather be chronically underdressed or overdressed?

HB: Overdressed. I've worn prom dresses to McDonald’s before. 

SW: Would you rather lose your sight or your memories?

HB: Tricky. Probably sight. Although memories can be painful, I can't imagine life without them. 

SW: You are an author, literary agent, editor, playwright, and more. How do you balance the roles and what are the best parts of each?

HB: Besides crying and eating lots of ice cream? It’s a lot of spreadsheets and to-do lists, to make sure I don't let anything fall off the wagon. It's hard to choose a best part, because each one has something I love. I’ll try to break it down in a list.

1. Agent - I love it when a client gets a contract. Years of hard work finally pay off, and they get to hold their book baby.
2. Editor - I love helping writers hone their story. Most writers have excellent stories that just need to be brought out of their shells a little more. 
3. Author - When a reader tells you they enjoyed your story. You know that hours of writing, rewriting, editing, and marketing did not go in vain.
4. Playwright - Dialogue!! It’s so fun to get two opposite-personality characters hashing it out on stage. 

SW: What trends are you seeing, or would you like to see, in publishing?

HB: There’s a lot that can go here, but in my specific niche (MG/YA) I'm seeing more friendship stories, more diverse representation, and non-western settings. What I would LOVE to see is more neurodiverse characters and characters with chronic illnesses. In high school, I didn't see many books with characters who looked like me. I want to change that. 

SW: You have had (and will have) a full year. Can you share a little of what you’ve got going on? And what’s coming up?

HB: Ohhhh boy. Yes, I can! In addition to have eight books on submission, and having written four of them in this year alone, here are what the next 18 months look like in my life.
July 2020 - I release Den, the sequel to my modern-day Daniel trilogy 
September 2020 - I release my co-authored superhero chat fiction Dear Hero 
April 2021 - The sequel to Dear Hero titled Dear Henchman releases
August 2021 - The final book in the trilogy, Vision, gets published 
In addition to that I’m balancing podcasts, blog tours, conference speaking engagements, publishing 250-300 articles, entering contests, and doing five or so jobs. I definitely don't know how to relax. 

SW: Tell us a little more about your upcoming July release.

HB: Certainly! The trilogy essentially takes the Book of Daniel and sets it in a modern boarding school. We pick up, in Den, during Danny's junior year. A series of suicide attempts are shaking up his school. He suspects foul play, and that a murderer may possibly be on the loose. Maybe he's paranoid, or maybe he's the next victim on the hitlist. 

SW: How can we pray for you?

HB: Thank you for offering this! Definitely being able to keep my head above water. I’ve only released one book traditionally before this, and now I'm doing two back to back. It’s a lot, but hopefully, come mid-September, I can finally breathe!

SW: Thank you for spending some of your precious time with us today and congratulations on your upcoming releases.

Readers, we'd love to hear from you. Share how you relax during stressful or busy times.

More about Den 

Danny Belte barely survived his sophomore year at King's Academy, having to deal with horrible initiation practices, stomach-churning cafeteria food, and the constant threat of arson.

His junior year doesn't start off much better. Facing a series of mysterious suicide attempts that begin on day one--and a disturbing pattern that appears to connect them--Danny has a feeling something far more sinister is at play. He tries to narrow down a list of suspects as those closest to him disappear, one by one.

Can he protect his friends from a possible murderer on the loose? Or will he find himself trapped in a fate worse than a lions' den?

Available July 27, 2020. Preorder Here

And Don't Miss Book One

If you can't stand the heat, don't walk into the fire.
Danny knew his sophomore year would be stressful . . . but he didn’t expect his school to burn down on the first day.

To make matters worse (and they were about to get a lot worse), he — and his three best friends — receive an email in their inboxes from the principal of their rival, King’s Academy, offering full-rides to attend the town's prestigious boarding school. Danny wants nothing to do with King’s Academy and says no. Of course his mother says yes. So off he goes to be bullied and picked on for not being part of the popular and rich "in crowd."

From day one at King’s, Danny encounters hazing, mocking insults from girls at the "popular and pretty" table, and cafeteria food that, for such a prestigious school, tastes as if it were purchased from a military surplus supply warehouse. If he survives, Danny will have to overcome his fears of failure, rejection, and loneliness—all while standing strong in his beliefs and walking into the fire.


Jackie Layton said...

Hi Hope,

Congratulations on Den! It sounds like a great book. I'm going to share this with my nephew who is a youth pastor. Thanks for sharing with us.

Hope Bolinger said...

Thank you so much, Jackie! And this absolutely made my day. Thank you for sharing it with your nephew!