Thank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today, Holly!
Thanks for having me Felicia!
You’re one of our northern neighbors. Where in Canada do you live?
I grew up in Southern Ontario farm country but now I call Toronto home.
Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?
Married with children. I have 3 kids (17, 15, & 12) and they’re only annoying when they interrupt my writing!
Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?
I’ve been published by a small press, but now I’m a self-published, independent author, working with my own imprint, Three Birds Press.
Are you a full-time writer or do you also work outside the home?
I started out as a stay-at-home-mom/author, but since my kids are older, I’ve dropped the stay-at-home-mom bit and kept the author.
How long have you been a writer?
Forever. Doesn’t everyone say that?! But I’ve been published since 2013.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
Not that long, surprisingly, since I wrote it back in 2002 when my daughter was a baby. I would write during her naps, and I’m very grateful that she was a good sleeper! It just took a while for it to see the light of day.
Pantser or Plotter?
Maybe a bit of both? I usually have an idea where the book is going, and how’s it going to end. But there’s been lots of times that I’ve been writing and then all of a sudden realize we’re getting close to the end.
What’s your greatest strength as a writer?
I think I’m good at dialogue. And I know I can write a good action scene.
Do you have a writing pet peeve?
That’s a good question. I don’t think there’s anything. I’m pretty laid back. I might have to come back to that one.
Do you believe writers should write every day?
I know I need to write every day. I get twitchy if I don’t. But no, I don’t think you have to write every day, although I do think you need to do something with words, whether it be writing or reading. It goes without saying that writers need to read a lot.
What’s the longest you’ve sat at your desk getting words onto paper?
I’ve had a 14 hour day before. There were little breaks for food, but that was the longest. My usual is about 6-8 hours, but that might involve the business of writing as well as getting words onto paper.
Would you rather edit your WIP… or join the military?
Ha! You know, my favourite part of the process is the revision part, and editing is kind of part of that, so I don’t really mind it. My main hatred is The Blurb!
Ugh, The Blurb! I’ve yet to meet an author who enjoys writing them.
What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?
I write in a variety of genres, and I’m not sure I can pick a favourite. It depends on my mood! I write women’s fiction/chick lit/rom-com, which all goes together. But I’ve also tried my hand at kid lit. I also write erotic romance under a pen name. Because I just finished Hanging On, which is women’s fiction, I’m going to have to say it’s my favourite today!
Favorite book or character from your published work?
I can’t pick a favourite book, that’s like picking a favourite child! But a few favourite characters are Pippa McGovern, from my Charlotte Dodd action chick lit series, Cat Skatt, from Coming Home and Hanging On, and Brit, who is the best frenemy you’ll ever want! She’s from Unexpecting and Unexpectingly Happily Ever After.
Do you ever have those days when you’ve had it and walk away from your work to clear your head?
Um…today? I don’t know if I should admit this, but I’d just finished my book – literally typed in THE END – and I was hit with the worst case of self-doubt I’ve ever felt. I had to leave the house, not just my work! I’ve had other moments where I need to step away and come back with a fresh view, but today was the worst.
Finish the sentence, “If I didn’t write, I’d ___________.
Work in a bookstore. I actually did have a job in a bookstore, but gave it up when the writing took off. I loved it
Where do you get the most writing done?
Here is my little ‘office’. I need tape on the floor to show my walls, ala Les Nessman. (Am I dating myself?!)
OMG! Les Nessman! The Thanksgiving episode with the turkey drop is iconic! 😀
Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?
I lost my cat Sebastian a few years ago and I still miss him. He used to sit by my chair in a block of sunlight. We have Nikki visiting for a few weeks, so let’s get her in this, along with Spyro, my son’s dragon. He’s really cool.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Favorite author?
I read a little bit of everything; historical fiction, YA, romance. I’ll read anything by Sarah J Maas, Christina Lauren, Emma Chase, to name a few.
What are you reading now?
The Gown, by Jennifer Robson. She’s a fellow Canadian!
Netflix, yes or no? Favorite show?
Netflix, yes! I just finished watching The Scandal and looking for something new to distract me.
Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love it that I stay connected with my family and friends but I hate how I get sucked in. And all the ads! Ugh!
What’s the inspiration behind your latest release? Who’s your favorite character?
Hanging On is a sequel to Coming Home, about a family of five sisters living in small town Ontario. Coming Home was inspired from my relationship with my sister. With Hanging On, I looked to the relationships between my aunts. When I told my aunts that I was writing a sequel to Coming Home, they wanted to make sure no one thought they were the characters in the book! They ARE NOT the characters in the book, okay, Aunt Joan!?
What’s your next project or release?
I’m excited about this one. I’ve joined together with other chick lit writers to write a series. The first book, which will be mine, is coming out in May! It’s about love on a cruise ship.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Ask for help when you need it. Never think you should publish without someone you trust looking over your work. That means critique partners, beta readers, editors. Be as professional as you can. And find a support group. This is a solo gig and it’ll drive you crazy if you don’t have backup once in a while. And always, remember you’re doing it because you love it!
Thank you, Holly! Continued success to you!
Find Holly Online
Hanging On (Sisters in a Small Town Book 2), Holly’s newest book released TODAY! Check out the blurb (there’s that word again!) and links below!
It’s been eight months since Maggie’s husband died and she’s doing fine–if you don’t count the urge to jump over the grave at the funeral, the weekly chats with Mike’s ghost, and the possible assault charge from the woman she punched in FoodMart.
Her sisters are there to help, but as the oldest, Maggie is used to being the one they lean on, not the other way around.
And then comes the week that changes everything. Grown daughters with babies and boyfriends. Wayward sister Dory is home, looking to make trouble. There’s even a new man in town who thinks Maggie’s ready to move on. And why now does Maggie decide it’s time to find her real mother?
What does it take for Maggie to realize that she’s not fine–she’s barely hanging on?
But she has her sisters to help out–if they don’t make things worse.
Meet the Skatt sisters for the first time in book 1 – Coming Home (Sisters in a Small Town) for ONLY 99¢, but hurry, the Kindle Countdown is ending soon!
(NOT AVAILABLE ON ALL AMAZON SITES – PLEASE CHECK PRICE BEFORE DOWNLOADING!)
Things to remember when coming home:
-DON’T make your favourite sister so angry that she kicks you out, especially when the only other place Brenna has to go
is the family home, where youngest sister Cat lives with their mother’s ghost
-DON’T kiss your ex-boyfriend, who is now in love with Cat
-DON’T have a knock-out, drag down fight with Cat
-DON’T meet sexy men in a bar – well, one of them was a good thing
-DON’T believe your father isn’t the hero you always thought he was, unless you have no choice
After her perfect life explodes, Brenna comes back home and isn’t ready to to deal with any of it – the sisters who have become like strangers, the well-being townsfolk who love to nose in her business, and the family quirks that drove her away in the first place.
Is coming home the best thing for Brenna? And can sisters become friends?