By Nathan McIvor Contributing Writer

   Novelist Hannah Binder is a freshman in the Creative Writing program who has published her first novel, “Why We Don’t Wave” under the name Hannah Paige. The novel is an ode to sisterhood and family.  

   Binder describing the novel in an email interview, said that the plot concerns four sisters who “grow up scattered across the U.S. unaware of each other’s existence .. [and] the trials that come about when four lives try to converge.

   Binder wrote the novel in “the lowest point I’ve ever been in my life so far,” crediting her older sister with spurring her improvement. “When I started writing, I wanted to dedicate this book to her. [The novel] was really a project to try and depict the importance of having a sister and it was an ode to her for all that she has done for me.  The four sisters in the novel all depict pieces of who my sister is,” Binder said.

   Binder began writing at six years old and finished “Why We Don’t Wave” at sixteen. Binder said that she enjoys “creating characters and establishing a story that I hope many people will be able to connect to” through her work.

   When asked about the publishing process, Binder replied, “My age was most likely the biggest hurdle to surmount. I was sixteen and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was not about to let my age keep me out of the publishing world, so I held myself to the same standard that writers twice my age do. I edited my manuscript as best I could and started submitting.”

   Despite rejections, the UK-based Austin Macauley accepted her manuscript. Much to her surprise, Binder had to ask for a modified contract, ”I needed a place for my mom to sign as well, they had no idea how old I was.”

   As a freshman, Binder appreciates “close-knit” campus. A native Californian, Binder had “a bit of a culture shock … but the Creative Writing program and the professors … are exactly what I’d hoped they would be.”

   She continues her craft and has already written another novel. Austin Macauley recently accepted “30 Feet Strong.” Binder hopes to have the book released this year. “Writing is a huge part of my life and who I am as a person.  That process of finding the perfect word, of composing a page of text that evokes so much emotion or just paints an especially effective image is exhilarating. It’s everything to me.”