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Hawthorne’s History: A Certain Sandy that Walked our Halls

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/

Alexander Nadirashvili, Editor

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In 2014, Hawthorne  found itself high on the list of the most boring places to live in New Jersey. It seems as if since then, the town has been incapable of shedding such a reputation. After all, as everyone in New Jersey always says, nothing ever happens in Hawthorne! However, the town has an undeniably rich history which is too often overlooked by its citizens; which is why The Clarion now features the Hawthorne’s History series, which tells some of Hawthorne’s most fascinating tales. With this edition, The Clarion is going to once again explore the artistic world of Hawthorne, and how it was the birthplace of a successful author, Sandy Hall.

 

Sandra Jean Hall, better known as Sandy Hall, was born and raised in Hawthorne, New Jersey, and she now works as a full-time author for Swoon Reads, having written numerous young adult novels throughout her lifetime. Before she embarked on her journey as an author, Sandy lived most of her young adult life in Hawthorne, the little town which we all call home. During her high school career, Sandy even attended Hawthorne High, being a part of numerous clubs such as the Yearbook Staff, Culture Club, S.H.A.R.E., and more. It was when she graduated from high school in 1999 that Sandy left Hawthorne and further pursued her education at Rutgers University.

With a Masters Degree of Library and Information Science under her belt, Sandy completed college and continued her stay in New Jersey, where she began to write novels. It was on August 26, 2014 that Sandy’s first novel, A Little Something Different, was published by Swoon Reads. The novel revolves around a heartwarming tale of young romance, often being praised for its ability to work with numerous perspectives, none of which are the main characters. The book’s popularity is evident in the fact that Goodreads, a popular website for book reviews amongst all readers, has nothing but positive reviews for the novel, along with a nearly four out of five stars as its rating. Since her first novel, Sandy has released four other books, each, at its core, being about a young romance, though each also unique in its own way.

It was only last year that Sandy came back to Hawthorne High School for the annual Creative Writing Club Author Visit, which was hosted alongside the GSA Club for Sandy’s Been Here All Along, which focuses on an LGBT+ romance. The visit was a great success, and many students left with a signed copy of the novel.

Wanting to know more about her life in Hawthorne, journey as an author, and much more, The Clarion reached out to Sandy and she generously agreed to an interview.

 

 

The Clarion: How is your life different today than you would have expected in high school?

Sandy Hall: In high school, I liked to write but I didn’t LOVE to write. I was a diligent journal keeper and I didn’t hate writing essays for school, but I never wrote fiction. I loved reading books, but I certainly never planned to write any. So the fact that I’m now a full time author would have amazed the high school me. I think 17-year-old Sandy would be super impressed. This life was definitely beyond my imagination in high school.

 

The Clarion: What is your fondest memory from our little town?

Sandy Hall: The first thing that came to mind was when I was seven and my Brownie Troop dressed up as presents to march in the Santa Parade. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I remember marching past my family and waving at them like I was a celebrity.

 

The Clarion: Do you ever draw influence from Hawthorne in your writing, such as including settings which resemble popular places in the town?

Sandy Hall: Anytime I write about a high school, I always imagine the interior of Hawthorne High School. I’ve been in plenty of other high schools over the years, but I always imagine my characters walking the halls of HHS. Especially the third floor for some reason.

 

The Clarion: When did you realize you wanted to become a writer? Did any of your teachers or classes inspire this passion?

Sandy Hall: I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was an adult, so I can’t say any of my high school classes or teachers inspired this passion directly. They inspired me in other ways, but not my career as an author.

 

The Clarion: Do you have any new projects coming up which you are excited for and would like the students of Hawthorne High to know about?

Sandy Hall: I have a book coming out on April 24 called A Prom to Remember, which is about the senior prom, of course. I think most high school readers would definitely enjoy it.

 

The Clarion would like to thank Mrs. Hall for agreeing to an interview and we would like to let her know that she is still greatly loved here at Hawthorne High School. Make sure to check out her newest novel, A Prom to Remember!

Clearly, Hawthorne is not as bleak as it seems, as a successful author has come out of the same halls you walk today. Who knows, the next Sandy Hall may just be sitting beside you in class at this moment.

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Hawthorne’s History: A Certain Sandy that Walked our Halls