About Hilari Bell

The reason I say that I write “ethically ambiguous” SF and fantasy is that I’m generally not interested in good vs. evil dilemmas. Every villain is the hero of his own story, and the people who do the most harm in this world almost always start out with good intentions.

Someone asked me once why my books tended to about “shades of gray” instead of black and white. I could have said that good vs. evil is boring—because it is. What self-respecting protagonist is going to choose evil over good? Good vs. good is harder…and evil vs. evil, with no way out of the choice, is much harder. And what about when good and evil are inextricably intertwined? But the answer I gave, the one that’s honest, is that when I write SF and fantasy I try to make it true. True to the way people really are, to the way the world really works…and in the real world, for real people, it’s all shades of gray. It’s flawed people, making the best of the available bad choices for good reasons, because there is no simple solution. Which makes writing about them a lot more fun.

My personal life? I was born in Denver in 1958—you can do the math. I’m single and live with a family that changes shape periodically—right now it’s my mother, my niece, and our little Chihuahua mix, Ginger. I used to be a part time reference librarian for a mid-sized public library, but in the beginning of ’05 I achieved a writer’s dream and quit the day job. Librarian turned writer is a very schizophrenic state—when I try to urge people to buy my books, I have to beat down a lifetime of professional reflexes demanding that I tell them to check them out at the library instead.

I enjoy board gaming and fantasy gaming, both table top and live. But my favorite thing to do is the decadent version of camping my mom and I practice. We have a pop-up trailer with a fridge, a sink, a stove and (if electrical hookups are available) a space heater, heating pads and a toaster. Our motto is “No unnecessary work.” We don’t cook, we don’t wash dishes, we don’t…you name it. What we do is spend all day, every day, reading and hiking and reading some more. Camping is the only time I can get in enough reading. Well, I take that back—when it comes to reading, there’s no such thing as enough.

Contact Opportunities

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(This is my personal page and it will include political opinions—if you’ve read my books, you can’t be surprised I have them. I’m also a sucker for cute pet videos and have been known to write the occasional haiku, so consider yourself warned.)

Find me on GoodReads

Or simply email me, HilariBell@HilariBell.com


Finally, my friend Anna-Maria and I are notorious in our critique group for rewriting everyone’s story structure, so we figured we might as well turn our favorite vice…ah, all that expertise, into a small side business. Check it out at: PlotDoctors.com

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