Thursday, September 30, 2010

Author of Color of the Flame-- Ileana Holder

Scribal Love Welcomes Ilena Holder

Ilena Holder is an author of IR romance and Contemporary romance.  Her newest work “Color of The Flame” is available from Red Rose Publishing.

What inspired you to write this book?

Quite frankly, I write for the market.  Wendi Felter contacted me about a manuscript submission (not this one) and I asked her what did Red Rose specifically want?  She told me IR romance was hot and I took that idea and ran with it.  I had some success with contemporary romance and thought I would attempt IR.  I was of course pleased and thrilled when she accepted my finished manuscript a few months later.  I think a writer should always challenge themselves to investigate new avenues.  

Do you have a specific writing style? 
I keep my style simple and to the point.  I do try to put in symbolism even if no one catches it!  I try to create believable dialogue.   My one problem is with voice.  It is difficult for me to make each character sound different. I feel that I am finally understanding the concept of voice after six novels. 

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title?
I don’t let out much information about current works in progress.  Somebody is always out there stealing ideas, believe me!  These same people steal baby names also!  I will say that it is another IR romance set in Panama City, Spain, Morocco, and Michigan.  I am from Michigan and like to promote my home state when possible.  It has the word “Sand” in the title. 

What is Color of the Flame about?
It is about an African-American woman with a mixed-race son.  She is newly widowed and finds love again with a former Mob bodyguard.  It is one of those romances where you find love in an unlikely place, like a U-pick Michigan blueberry farm.  I tried to put in some different elements so the story wouldn’t have such a cookie cutter style.

What books have most influenced your life most?

You know, when I was a child, I never visited the town library since I was a country kid.  I only checked out books from the school library and the selections were very censored and limited.  I think book censorship is a real shame in America.  I get hooked on certain authors and then read their entire back list.  I’ve done this with James Herriott and Dr. Joyce Brothers.  Currently I am on a Stephen Benatar kick.  I’ve just finished “The Man on the Bridge” and am working on “When I was Otherwise.”  I am going to write him a fan letter soon!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Louis L’Amour, James Michener or Robert E. Howard. .  Might as well pick some big ones!  Also Zetta Brown from LL-Publications in Scotland, she’s a bold woman. .

What book are you reading now? 
I always have a big TBR shelf.  I’ve recently purchased “Teach Me” by R. A. Nelson.  Then “The 2nd Lie” by Tara Taylor Quinn.  I’ve got “The Covenent” by Michener on order, it hasn’t arrived yet.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I am thinking of starting the “Sookie Stackhouse” series by Charlaine Harris.  I just finished watching Seasons one and two on DVD this summer. 

What are your current projects?
Presently I am finishing up the final editing for “Fade To Grey” a time travel romance set in 1865 Michigan and Chicago.  It will be a re-release for a New Zealand publisher.  Then I have started an outline for another IR romance which will be set in Michigan. You always have to keep two or three projects on the burner at any time I feel.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Red Rose Publishing as far as selling my current romance, not to forget their great editing, cover artists, and promotion.  I also belong to ROMVETS, which is an Internet-based group of female military veterans who write romance.  Lastly I belong to EPIC AUTHORS.  I encourage any ebook writer to join them.  They have world-class reputation, plus fantastic yearly conventions. I also lead a professional writing group in my community.

Do you see writing as a career?
Yes!  Hopefully it will be a long career.  I was first epublished in 2005 and haven’t looked back since.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would say no.  But my first book, yes.  I put that one down as a learning experience.  Everyone needs to finish that first book and move on from that.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I always loved the creative writing assignments in school.  And book reports were my favorite.  I wish we had been given skills tests to see where our real interests were. We all need life experience to be good writers.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
First off is completing the initial outline.  Then it is all downhill from there.  Oh wait!  Point of View is difficult!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
You had better create believable dialogue or the editor will call you to task.  And grammar and punctuation are still important in this day of texting and chat rooms.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write one page a day and by December 31, you will have an epic length manuscript. Don't bother with agents and huge New York publishing houses—at first.  Start out small and work your way up.  Epublishing is a fine way to break into the market and get established.  Dream up a creative pen name, please!

Where can we find you on the web?

Facebook and Myspace I am under the name
ColorOf Ilena and The Flame Holder.

Thanks for dropping by!

You are welcome.  :-)

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