Friday, April 1, 2011

Interview with Author Ann Holly-- 'Strings Attached' is Her Newest Release!

Scribal Love Welcomes Anne Holly!

Anne Holly is a Contemporary Romance Author.  Her New Book 'Strings Attached' is Available from Wild Horse Press.

Tell us about Strings Attached, your first full length release?

My first full length release comes out in 2011 from Wild Horse Press, and is tentatively scheduled for May 2011. The novel is a contemporary romance set in Manitoba, Canada, and in Australia. It revolves around the themes of loss and healing, and the risk in having a marriage end badly and deciding to try again. And, of course, about irresistible attraction, and the power of love to force us out of our protective shells. Josie, an optimist, must bring the damaged Theo back to life, and the results are often funny and often poignant. 

What inspired you to write it?

It started when I read an article on postpartum psychosis one summer, which is a theme in the book. I wanted to look at the long term impact of the problem. That summer, I was also thinking about applying to grad school in Australia, so that, along with Canada (my homeland), became the settings that fascinated me at the time I wrote the first draft. Also, my love of animals, which plays a big part in the story and the lives of the characters.

What did you learn from writing Strings Attached?

That loving your characters yourself is a great first step to making a good romance. Also, that you need both funny and poignant to make a love story work, and that even though everyone assumes romances will have a happy ending, they still need to maintain a tension of uncertainty in the characters. It also taught me the value of test audiences, or “beta readers.”

And, finally, I learned that it is perfectly fine to follow your own ideals and moral compass when writing a romance, even though it’s considered “pop fiction.” For example, I am very concerned about animal cruelty and the protection of the rights of children and the environment – I felt comfortable making those concerns in the book, as well, without making it preachy. I just wrote from my own heart, obeying my own ethics, and it still made for an enjoyable novel.

What does being published mean to you?

Being published is a dream come true. I’ve published some academic stuff, and some poetry as a kid, but publishing a full length novel… This has been a life goal since I was a child. It means a lot. I got the shakes when I got the acceptance! It means someone likes my work enough to take the chance on me, so it makes me want to write more. I am not dependant on external validation to enjoy writing, but it does mean a lot for my continued enthusiasm. I can’t wait to see reader responses!

How important is the support and friendship of other writers?

Vital! Especially when you are new, there’s so much to learn it can be overwhelming. Other authors can help you navigate all that, with their advice or even just their example. Further, there’s a camaraderie there that you can’t always find with people who, even if they love you, can’t really understand what you are going through if they don’t write. It’s a community, and I love working with other writers – especially my fellow Wild Horse Press authors.

What new projects are you working on these days?

Right now, I am just finished a paranormal erotic story, so I hope that will come out soon, and a Christmas short story or novella that’s more similar to what I am used to – contemporary sensual. I wanted to broaden my name recognition, so I thought some short pieces would be a good idea. I am also planning on doing NaNoWriMo in November 2010 to do another full length contemporary, about single parents in the university environment, a place I understand very well.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write. No matter what is going on, just write. Make a daily or weekly word goal, and meet it. Don’t just wait for the mood to strike. Treat it like a job, in a way, and meet your quota. It’s too easy to procrastinate and never finish a project if you waffle.

Tell us a little factoid about yourself that we don't know.

My pupils are about 3 millimeters too big, which I guess I inherited from my mother’s side of the family. This makes my eyes incredibly sensitive to light, but it gives me great night vision. That’s an exclusive for you! J

Current Location: Ontario, Canada
Upcoming release: Strings Attached, Wild Horse Press, May 2010

(Excerpts, photos and more bio info, etc, can be found on Facebook, blog and website.)

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