Beth Hilgartner


I grew up in Rochester, NY, where I started school long before there were personal computers (much less cell phones). I discovered reading and books at a very early age, but it wasn’t until I was in 5th Grade that it ever occurred to me to wonder about where all those amazing stories actually came from. (If I’d been asked where books came from, I would probably have rolled my eyes and said, “The library.”) But once I figured out that someone had had to write down those stories I found so compelling, it was only a very short step to deciding that I could (and should) do that myself. I promptly started writing my very first book: The War of the Sun and the Moon — the first book of a trilogy (I'd discovered Tolkien by 5th Grade, too); and I was off and running.

Now, many decades later, I live on a dirt road in Orford, New Hampshire, with my husband, three very spoiled felines, and more gardens than I can reasonably take care of (though I have a great time trying!). We're a little more than half a mile from pavement, and while we have electricity, running water, central heating (well, and a wood stove), and fiber optic, there's no TV reception, radio reception is spotty, and there's no cell phone service. And I'm still writing.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first book when I was in 5th grade. It was terrible, but I had so much fun doing it that I was completely hooked. I worked on my craft throughout high school and college, and had my first two books accepted for publication by Little, Brown & Co. during my senior year in college. I've continued to write pretty steadily, though for me, the publishing has been more erratic.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love my characters. They show up in my head (usually without much of a plot, and maybe only the hint of a setting) and start agitating for me to write their story. When details begin to come together, I start writing -- usually a long time before I know how things are going to turn out. When my writing is going really well, it feels like the characters are doing it themselves, and I'm just reading what happens off the computer screen. When it's not going well, it can be a bit of a slog; and first drafts are lots more fun than revisions -- for me -- though I've learned to be very diligent about rewriting, since when I'm rocketing along in the adrenaline high of the first draft, I can leave a lot out. My revision process usually involves a phase of adding everything I left out back in, and finally, pruning out whatever turns out to be more information than the reader needs.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Beth Hilgartner online


These books are set in the decadent Empire of Bharaghlaf, and deal with the vicious Court intrigues surrounding the Scholar King Khethyran, and what happens when a close-knit band of Slum dwellers are unexpectedly drawn into the power games and plotting of the nobles. Ferret (a thief) and her friends show a surprising aptitude for intrigue and a formidable gift for enlisting unlikely allies, as they set out to beat the nobles at their own ruthless game.

A Business of Ferrets

Price: $3.99 USD.

A Parliament of Owls

Price: $3.99 USD.
These books are set in the world of the Loom, and deal with the adventures of Alexandra Scarsdale (Zan) and her friends. Though these books were originally published as YA Fantasy, they contain timeless themes and can be enjoyed by fantasy readers of any age.

The Feast of the Trickster

Price: $3.99 USD.


A Business of Ferrets
Series: Bharaghlafi. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,260. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
A Business of Ferrets is a dark fantasy full of magic, intrigue, and the honor among friends that develops when you must band together and fight for what's yours. When the beggar Owl disappears, apprentice-thief Ferret and her friends set out to learn his fate. As they come closer to the truth, the friends are drawn into the vicious intrigues of the powerful Council Houses.
A Parliament of Owls
Series: Bharaghlafi. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 141,800. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
The Seer Owl's return to the Bharaghlafi Court, after a six-year absence, sets in motion a lethal series of events. Intrigue at the Court never ends, but now, an ancient evil magic has arisen giving new weapons to the Emperor's enemies. It will take all of Owl's hard-won training, and the combined efforts of his old friends and new allies, just to survive the vicious traps and schemes.
A Necklace of Fallen Stars
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 51,580. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
Unconventional, story-telling Princess Kaela flees home to escape the marriage arranged by her father. She meets up with the minstrel Kippen, and together, they make their way toward a distant country—a journey that becomes perilous when her father sends an unscrupulous sorcerer after her. Kaela's tales, told along the way, are strung together by the adventure and romance of the larger story.
Colors in the Dreamweaver's Loom
Series: Dreamweaver. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 59,400. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
In the shock and grief of her father's sudden death, Alexandra Scarsdale stops her car on the Interstate and walks into the Vermont woods—only to find herself in a magical land, where she discovers she is a Stranger with a destiny that will require her to challenge her own fears, and forge a small band of misfits into a group that can survive a dangerous quest and change their world.
The Feast of the Trickster
Series: Dreamweaver. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,470. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
In the world of the Loom, the very fabric of Fate is threatened as the Feast of the Trickster approaches. Zan—Alexandra Scarsdale—must be found! Her five companions are sent across the void to a very strange place known as Earth, to find her and bring her back. But the greatest contest is still ahead, when Zan, once found, has to make a decision that could change the pattern of the Loom forever.
Cats in Cyberspace
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 61,510. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
The great thing about the Internet, for Fluffy and PKP, is that no one knows they are cats. So they embark on an epic project to achieve financial independence for their wage-slave Two-Feet companions (mostly, truth be told, so the people can stay home and produce snacks on demand). It's not as simple as they thought, and their misadventures make for a great story with lots of laughs.

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