About Holly as an author
What inspired you to write your first book?
The birth of my first daughter. Not only did I have the story planned out in my head, but she was a really good sleeper, so I had lots of time to work on it. The book was Unexpecting, which is about a women who really, really wants to have a baby. I ended up using some of my pregnancy experiences, including my doctor telling me to snack on celery because I was a bit chubby! Horrid woman!
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
This is the big question. My style is very chick-lit, but sometimes the stories aren’t. I’m calling my Charlotte Dodd series action chick-lit, which means I’m kind of making up my own genre! But my other books are more rom-com (Unexpecting) and women’s fiction (Coming Home). Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder is chick lit, but with a twist because the ending is much darker than the usual cheery chick lit.
How long does it take you to write a book?
This past November, I wrote a draft of a book in three weeks for NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, it’s going to take some time to fix it up to where it’s publishable. If I really pushed myself, I could get something ready in 8-10 weeks. But I usually find myself distracted with other ideas and other stories I’m working on. I write under a pen name as well, so most of the time I have a few things going on at once. So, the short answer would be I write a book in 3-4 months.
What is your favorite scene that you’ve written?
The scene in The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd where Charlotte jumps from the helicopter onto the roof of the hotel and eventually gets caught in the kitchen. The fight scenes were so much fun to write!!
I have to add that my second favourite was another fight scene in Coming Home, which is about relationships between sisters. Brenna and Cat go at it in the kitchen while Cat is baking a cake. So much fun to write!!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read as much as you can. And make sure you know your characters because it’s really hard to write for strangers.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Please keep reading my books!! 🙂
How do you beat writer’s block?
Take a break and try not to stress out. Or I work on another project. When I do go back, I try to find out more about my characters before I start writing. I make more of a backstory for them, give them more conflict and that usually helps.
Are any of your characters are based on you?
I find that almost every one of my characters has a little part of me. Maybe it’s what I like to drink, favorite movie, or that I hate conflict, but there’s a little part of me in them all.
About THE BEST WORST FIRST DATE EVER
What is the book about?
The Best Worst First Date Ever is the second in the Charlotte Dodd series. Tenley Scott is a single mother on a first date with Colin Darcy. From the moment that Colin’s ex-girlfriend calls Tenley during the first ten minutes of their date, nothing goes right. Tenley gets sucked into a secret Canadian spy organization and has the memories of super agent Charlotte Dodd embedded into her mind, making Tenley into insta-spy. Chaos ensues.
How did you come up with the title?
To be honest, it’s probably not the best title, but it’s what stuck in my mind throughout the writing of the book. It’s honestly both the best and the worst date Tenley has ever been on.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m looking to entertain, to let the reader escape into this world where women kick butt and Canadian spies are the best in the world!
About Holly as a reader
What book are you reading now?
I’m about to start Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. There’s been so much hype on this book that I had to pick it up. Before that I was reading The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I think the books that I read as a child really influenced me to become a writer. Nancy Drew, the Mallory Tower books by Enid Blyton, Gordon Korman. Books that I’ve read over and over again have certainly played a part – Pride and Prejudice, Jilly Cooper’s novels.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m trying to read more chick lit lately, and I read an advance copy of One Way Ticket by Melissa Baldwin and Kate O’Keeffe. I’ve read Kate before, but Melissa is new to me, and I’ll be reading more from her.
Because Karan is random
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love watching movies. I also like to garden. I have three kids so a lot of my time is spent with them. We watch/play a lot of baseball. I coach my daughters’ baseball teams, watch my son play. We’re a bit of a sporty family!
Which question are you most sick of answering in interviews?
Having to pick a favourite book, either one I’ve read or one I’ve written. I really can’t pick just one!!