Hilary Duff comes of age

Hilary Duff may be a married woman of 23, but as far as books go, she’s not quite ready to grow up.

“I love reading young adult books even though I’m a little older than the set demographic for YA [Young Adult],” she told the AP. “I love adventure. I relate to girl characters, love, finding yourself and breaking out of the mold that peo- ple put you in.” And so the actress/singer decided to write her first novel, Elixir (Simon & Schuster Chil- dren’s, $17.99), for the younger set. Duff might have a feel for her reading audience from knowing her viewing audience: She played Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel from 2001-2004.

Elixir is about a young photo- journalist named Clea Raymond whose photos sprout new images that weren’t there originally. Then her father disappears, and Clea sets off to unravel the mysteries.

“This idea just kept coming to me and building in my head. I thought ‘What am I gonna do with this? Am I gonna write a script or pitch the idea? Have someone else write it?’ And then I thought, ‘I’m open for a new challenge. I’m going to try to write a book.’ ” Duff has had a busy year. She also wed pro hockey player Mike Comrie in August. Publishing deadlines can be more stressful than planning a wedding, she says.

“[The editors] were very good to me during the writing process and very lenient with dates and stuff until the very end. Then it got hectic. I was planning the wedding, and there’s deadlines with that, too, like getting the location and getting your dress at a certain time. I tend to do everything at the last minute. I couldn’t even choose which one is harder. I guess I’d say the book.”


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