Imagine balancing writing and publishing a novel with maintaining a full course load and a social life at the College. To some, this may seem like a nightmare, but Nate Hirshberg, senior general business major, is living the dream of being a published author at age 21.
Hirshberg is a fiction writer who, with the help of his publishing company, published his first book titled “High School Reunion” late last year. The book centers on the reunion of two male friends and their adventures as they embark on a road trip across the country. However, the story takes a dark turn and the two friends find themselves trapped in a web of crime that leads to madness.
“They do illegal things,” Hirshberg said. “They rob a diner; they start experimenting with different ideas and fall into a negative lifestyle as they progress across country. Towards the end of the book, they start going crazy from the memories of all the terrible things they did.”
Although the book is fiction, Hirshberg said much of his inspiration comes from real-life experiences and “things I learned about over time.” Because of some of the mature themes in the book, Hirshberg recommends the novel for young adult to adult readers.
Hirshberg admits that the writing of the book largely stemmed from the abundance of free time he had over summer break. He used the vacation to start the novel, and after four months of writing, Hirshberg finished the novel and decided to shop it around to publishing companies.
PublishAmerica, a publishing company that focuses mainly on the works of new, undiscovered authors, agreed to publish his book and made “High School Reunion” available to the public.
In a press release, PublishAmerica explained its goal and promise to the authors that it sponsors.
“Like more main-stream publishers, PublishAmerica pays its authors advances and royalties, makes its books available in both the United States and Europe through all bookstores and never charges any fees for its services,” Holliann Russell, of the company’s public relations department, wrote.
Although this is Hirshberg’s first novel, he is no stranger to seeing the Hirshberg name in print. His process of publishing the novel follows in the footsteps of his father and sister, who have both written books for different publishing companies.
Originally from Hackettstown, N.J., Hirshberg first became interested in writing because of his family’s success in the profession. He also acknowledged his voracious passion for reading, causing him to consider the idea of writing a novel of his own. Despite this, he largely treats writing as only a hobby that he has been slowly perfecting over time.
For now he is focusing on his business major. He is interested in getting a job in the business world and eventually attending graduate school in that field. On campus, Hirshberg is a member of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which demands large amounts of his time. Hirshberg said, however, that he is open to possibilities after graduation this spring. Depending on the success of his book, he may choose to leave business behind and make writing his career.
He has already started writing a second novel. Hirshberg is quick to say that it is not a sequel to “High School Reunion,” but a fiction novel on a different topic. Through this second book, he is also looking to refine his writing style.
“On the first book I experimented with a lot of different writing styles,” he said. “I hope by writing this book that I seem a more experienced author.”
The book “High School Reunion” by Nathan Storm Hirshberg can be purchased on amazon.com, publishamerica.com and in many bookstores around the country through special order. Hirshberg also has 50 books available for anyone at the College who is interested in reading his novel.