Andrea Portes: Full Speed Ahead

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A Nebraska teen named Luli (Chloë Moretz) runs away from her alcoholic parents, bringing along a pistol. After she is taken under the wing of grifter Glenda (Blake Lively), who uses her in cons and makes her an accessory to a robbery, both their lives are threatened by an erratic drifter named Eddie (Eddie Redmayne).
Photo Credit: Phase 4 Films
August 20th, 2012

Andrea Portes: Full Speed Ahead

With her 2007 debut novel "Hick" skyrocketing to bestseller status, Andrea Portes has become a respected novelist overnight. Not many writers have accomplished such an impressive feat, showing her true talent and potential, as well as a glimpse of what is yet to come.

The edgy novel "Hick" tells the tale of Luli McMullen, a 13 year old from a broken home seeking a new life for herself. The story is rough, raw, and honest, making it a gem for those seeking a gritty read that exposes life's dark side. The novel received critical praise for its accurate portrayal of a young girl's voice, as well as its controlled nature that allows the reader to truly get into the mind of Luli without distractions.

Fans of the novel enjoy the ability to relate to a character that is so different from themselves. Despite her wild ways and grandiose dreams of being a sugar baby, there is a bit of everyone in Luli. Behind her abrasive exterior and bizarre aspirations, there lies familiar hopes, dreams, wants, and desires.

The success of the book caught Hollywood's eye, and the film adaptation, "Hick," was released in 2011, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, and Rory Culkin. While the honor of her novel becoming a film was great, Portes was further gifted with the job of writing the screenplay for the movie.

Hoisted from new writer to screenwriter in four years, Andrea Portes has come a long way in a very short amount of time. As her successes continue to grow, audiences and readers miss out on the story behind the writer. Andrea herself offers a fascinating tale and perhaps a view of what else she has to offer fans.

Life in Motion

Andrea Portes spent much of her early life moving from place to place, including various states within the U.S. and even cities in Brazil. Her life floated from Nebraska to California to Illinois and beyond, and her experiences now serve as inspiration in her work. For "Hick," Portes used her memories of Nebraska to intricately describe the area, truly painting a crystal-clear image for readers. With the numerous places she's lived, she has the ability to describe many different locations in stunning detail.

Life coasted into place for Portes when she attended Bryn Mawr College on a full scholarship, Portes majored in English literature and successfully graduated cum laude. Portes's educational aspirations didn't end there, and she went on to earn a Master's degree from the University of California San Diego.

Unfortunately for Portes, after college, she fell into a pattern of trouble. Life was slipping by, and she was getting nowhere fast. With two impressive degrees and immense talent, Portes let life float on as it had in her earlier days. Miraculously during this directionless time, she began penning "Hick."

Finding Solid Ground with "Hick"

As Portes wrote "Hick," she pulled inspiration from her own life. With her unfocused ways and nomadic existence, the main character Luli has similarities to the younger Portes. Future writings may also include a bit of Portes's life experiences sprinkled throughout the pages.

"Hick" brought devotion and direction back into Portes's life, as she poured her heart and soul into the book over a solid month to complete revisions for a deadline. Nothing could stand in her way, and all distractions were avoided or eliminated, including a boyfriend.

In interviews, Portes isn't painfully serious about "Hick." In fact, she's quite relaxed and comical. From this, it's obvious that "Hick" was a pleasant experience for her, despite the long hours she put into the process. "Hick" may have been a form of therapy for Portes, offering an outlet for her life at the time.

On the Horizon

With the raw emotion of "Hick," Andrea Portes clearly demonstrates that she is a writing force to be reckoned with. From harsh, straightforward dialogue to intense scenes readers can feel in their guts, Portes has the power to convey emotion in an open and honest fashion that connects with the audience.

Portes just finished her second novel, "Why Then You Left Me." While little is known about the novel, readers can rest assured that it will be well-written coming from the chambers of Portes's mind.

Fans of Portes will also rejoice in additional projects on the horizon. In interviews, she's hinted at two projects that she calls "super secret." While the wait for more information has just began, it is well worth the anticipation of what Portes has in store.

The future is bright for Portes, as she recently signed with ICM Partners, a huge talent agency for television, literature, movies, and more. This solidifies her place among the talented writers of today and looks forward to a bright future.

Tags: Hick