Talia Hibbert is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who lives in a bedroom full of books. Supposedly, there is a world beyond that room, but she has yet to drum up enough interest to investigate. She writes steamy, diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalised identities need honest and positive representation. Her interests include makeup, junk food, and unnecessary sarcasm. Talia and her many books reside in the English Midlands. Visit her at www.taliahibbert.com/ or on Instagram @taliahibbert
Girly Book Club: How did you get into writing and what inspired you to write your first book?
Talia Hibbert: The summer before my last year of university, my health was in a really bad place, and I knew I needed to find a career path I was physically capable of following. I was still trying to figure that out when my great-grandmother, who I was very close to, passed away.
That was kind of a kick up the backside for me. I’d always loved writing, but I’d never been confident enough to believe I could truly be a writer. Then, all of a sudden, I was confronted with how short life is. (I mean, my grandma lived a long time, but it still felt short to me!) She had such a go-getter attitude and I wanted to honour that, so I decided to take a leap and publish a book. The rest is history!
GBC: What makes a book great, in your opinion? What elements does a great story possess?
TH: It definitely depends on what you’re writing and who you’re writing for. In my case, I love romance novels because they’re safe, they’re emotionally driven, they explore human nature and human connection. So to me, great books need richly drawn characters with real flaws, hopes and dreams. I also love books that revolve around conversation and interaction rather than description.
GBC: What are you doing if you’re not writing?
TH: Reading! I am a typical bookworm. I think a lot of writers are. Aside from that, I love taking walks and listening to music. I’ve also gotten into crafting, lately.
GBC: Name your favourite bookshop in the world.
TH: Tragically, my favourite bookshop in the world is now a supermarket. When I was a kid, my small town had this huge warehouse full of discounted books. In the summer, my mum would give me a packed lunch and a pound coin, and I’d spend the whole day in there. I’d usually hide in the stacks and read a book, then I’d spend my pound coin on a different book. I’m now realising I was a total word-thief, but I thought I was just being economical.
GBC: Physical book, e-book, or audiobook? – and why.
TH: E-book all the way! I have trouble with my hands sometimes, and e-books are way easier to hold than paperbacks—or worse, hardbacks. You might think I’d be an audiobook fanatic for similar reasons, but I’m not great at concentrating on the sounds.
GBC: What was your favourite book as a child?
TH: I always remember this one story about a girl who lived in a castle with a polar bear, but really he was a cursed prince and she had to fight some goblins for him or something. If anyone knows that book, please tell me the title because I’ve been searching for years. I also used to love The Princess Diaries and The Mediator series by Meg Cabot. Actually, I still love those. They’re epic.
GBC: We’re always on the hunt for our next great read. Recommend us a book to add to our TBR pile!
TH: I just finished The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon and it was a riot.
GBC: What is one movie, TV series, or podcast that you’re loving right now?
TH: My boyfriend and I just discovered New Girl (years late) thanks to Bolu Babalola’s Nick Miller thirst tweets. It’s hilarious and fabulous and I’m in love with Winston Bishop.