To write a novel is impressive at any age. To do so, after graduating from Yale, earning a living as a working journalist in the heart of Los Angeles and writing screenplays for feature films that have since been produced, all before you turn 30, is almost as unbelievable as most fiction. That is, unless you are C.T. Hillin.
And so begins yet another exciting chapter of her prolific life as Santa Monica-based Taryn Hillin, pen name C.T. Hillin, adds published author to her burgeoning resume with the release of her debut novel, The Imati, a beautifully descritive novel that revolves around a three-century-old Imati with the face of a seventeen-year-old girl.
Available at www.theimati.com and on Amazon as well as other online retailers and as an eBook, The Imati is an original entry in the highly popular teen-to-young-adult Supernatural and Paranormal Romance arenas.
“I originally was inspired to write The Imati because I wanted to turn the Young Adult / superhero formula upside down so to speak. A lot of classic YA fantasy books are about an ordinary teenager becoming extraordinary (gaining a superpower, finding out they hunt shadows, learning about vampires, or becoming a wizard),” said Hillin of the novel she describes as a mix of fantasy, mythology, romance, adventure and historical fiction. “I wanted to explore a character that was already extraordinary (in this case an immortal) and what would happen if she became ordinary again?”
Creatively blending Hillin’s love of history and propensity for world travel, much of The Imati is told through flashbacks, placing the lead character, Alastrina Byrne, back in the 1700’s, 1800’s and 1900’s as well as in present day. Both lending significant authenticity to her writing, Hillin is able to incorporate a reference of first-hand experience and knowledge of various locations throughout the world into her work. Among the places she has visited are Paris, Thailand, Italy, Japan, China, Turkey, Ireland, the Czech Republic and more.
“I took places and events in history and shaped a lot of the book around that,” continued Hillin. “I put her in situations like The French Revolution so we could see, through a teenager’s eyes, what it is was like to live back then.”
While historical references are a bonus for readers, Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy fans can rejoice that The Imati is set in a highly-imaginative and visionary world of immortals, Souljumpers, Seekers and ancient prophecies.
The Imati, which Hillin refers to a “coming of age story at its heart,” takes readers on an entertaining and thought-provoking journey that demonstrates how the decisions we make in the past, have consequences in our future.
Fortunately it was a positive decision for Hillin to pursue her passion for writing. In addition to being an author and writing screenplays, Hillin works as a journalist for The Huffington Post.
“I’ve been ‘writing’ since I was a kid. Short stories. Poetry. When I went to Yale I wrote a bit for The Yale Herald and a couple student magazines. I graduated in 2007 and in my off time from work, I would come home and write plays, short films…it’s LA after all,” laughs Hillin with a signature quick wit that is evident throughout The Imati.
On that note, Hillin shares that not only does she plan to turn her novel into a book series, but there are already talks of a The Imati screenplay in the future.
“We’ve been talking with production companies about making a movie,” said Hillin, whose feature film writing credits include the action-thriller A Stranger In Paradise, starring Colin Egglesfield, Stuart Townsend and Oscar nominated Catalina Sandino Moreno and the soon-to-be-released horror flick Pernicious. “The Imati is written very cinematically.”
With her usual determination and dedication to her craft, Hillin plans to continue writing for all mediums and is currently working on another YA novel about time travel titled
The Record Keepers.
Wearing her many hats at the same time may be a bit difficult at times but her advice to other aspiring young writers is not.
“Write…just write. Write and write some more,” said Hillin. “The more you write the better you get.”