Young Author Makes Her Debut

Despite the stress, boredom, and fear Ava Bellows ’17 experienced during the lockdown, she was able to channel her creative energy into completing a novel that is set to be released by HarperCollins in Spring 2022 or Spring 2023.
Writing has always been central to Ava’s life, but it wasn't until she joined Glen Hirshberg’s creative writing at Campbell Hall that she started sharing her writing. “Hirshberg has acted as a guide, a mentor, and a manuscript editor for me ever since, and he is the reason that I can now call myself a soon-to-be-published author,” said Ava. “Hirshberg helped me find my voice back in high school and now I am extremely privileged that he is helping me strengthen and maintain it.”

What is your book about?
The book is about Maggie Hoyt, a struggling actress who is dealing with the stages of grief after her boyfriend, a heroin addict, dies of an overdose. In her grief, she meets Rob, a charming, kind tattoo artist who just so happens to be married. As the two of them try and fail to ignore their connection, Maggie chronicles the love story for Ingrid, Rob's wife. This is a book about grief, loss, guilt, connection, and the complications that arise when you fall in love with "the wrong person."

What inspired you to write this novel?
I was inspired to write this novel when Glen Hirshberg started his Zoom workshops last summer. I signed up with one of my best friends, Antonio Stefan ’19, and realized I had nothing to share with the workshop, so I just sat down and started writing this, not knowing if it would be a screenplay, a short story, or just some word-vomit. It wasn't until Hirshberg told me that what I had presented could be a novel that I really sat down and finished it.

What are your future writing plans?
I have adapted the novel into 10 1/2 hour episodes of TV and am also working on a few other screenplays and the start of a new novel, though I'm in the editing process right now, so my other projects are coming along a little slower than I'd like.
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