Monday, May 17, 2010
Interview with author L.J. Holmes
Today, my guest is author, Lin Holmes, writing as L. J. Holmes. Her ebook, Santa is a Lady, will be published by Muse It Up Publishing in December, 2010. (http://museituppublishing.com/)
1) Tell me a little about your book.
Santa is a Lady is about Angie, a young woman seriously injured in car accident right after 9/11 who is finally able to walk with just a cane. Her best friend Beck, owns a confectionary store and five days before Christmas her Santa is arrested for child pornography. Beck has to scramble to find another Santa, but all professional Santas are working elsewhere. Desperate she begs her friend Angie to be a pal and step in. Cameron Drayton has finally gained custody of his half Iraqi daughter, and wants to give her the perfect first American Christmas. Stepping into Beck’s confectionary store, Cam expects to give his baby the perfect “Tell Santa What you Want” experience, but Fate has something more in store for Cam, his daughter, and Santa Angie.
2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?
Right before Christmas 2009 one of the men in my area who’s been a career Santa was arrested for having child porn on his computer. This story came about because of a question that popped into my mind. What would a store owner do if its Santa was the one arrested and so close to the big day? How would the store owner replace Santa during the crunch time?
3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I write when my muse wrestles me out of bed, forces me to grab pen and paper and commit what my muse is showing me into concrete form. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your point of view, my muse is proving its got a lot to say, so sleep is something I am waving at from time to time.
4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I loved listening to my Grandmother and these two lovely octogenarians who lived two houses down from me when I was about seven. The tales they told about their lives enchanted me so much I just wanted to enchant others. I started with my dog, a beautiful German Shepherd when I was about 13. She’d join me half way down our two acre property, stretch out as my warm, happy pillow, and listen to me tell her tales about the clouds drifting by above us.
5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
That miracles happen all the time, and when you least expect them.
6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
This is a Holiday romance done in modern times, but I also love to play with Ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome, and Pompeii via Time Travel stories. I have a paranormal story forming in the background starring a half-human-half-Leprechaun, but all of them are, at their core, romances. As for what do I prefer…cats! I love adding cats with attitude to some of the stories because I fashion them using my own two cats. It’s an extra bonus having my kitties co-starring where I can add them.
7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Self-doubt is the hardest element for me. I can’t gauge the effectiveness of my own writing. Is it funny where I want it to be funny? Does the heroine’s pains, doubts, and struggles come through as I want them to? I never get over that, so I ask my daughter, sister, nieces and other beleaguered family and friends that I can lasso in when they aren’t looking, to please, please, please read it for me and tell me what you think!
8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
As mentioned in #1, one of our local Santas was arrested in 2009…also my brother was a Lieutenant Colonel with the Army Corps of Engineers who served quite heroically in Iraq, so I borrowed his thunder a little in creating my hero. Thanks Eric, love you.
9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
She’s a great deal like me. I was involved in a serious car accident eleven days after 9/11. Unlike Angie, though, I haven’t found my Cam—yet!
10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
I scoured through tons of Christmas catalogues for decoration descriptions to use for this story. I also viewed many Christmas Wonderlands so I’d have a vast treasure trove of Christmas décor to draw from.
11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
Yes to the violence. I don’t do violence stories at all. It depends on the type of sex. I avoid writing about the more non-traditional sexual practices. My reasons are private. Some day I may change and be more willing to delve into the darker aspects of the world, but probably not.
12) What about your book makes it special?
Besides it being my first ever contracted book? It’s a genuine feel-good Christmas tale, and the first in a three-part series under its series banner CHRISTMAS MIRACLES.
13) What is your marketing plan?
I’m in touch with the people at my County Library system. I’m also advertising on my blog, Facebook page, and will have my family round the country giving out bookmarks with my book cover and all pertinent information on how to buy it when it is closer to its release date. We have several free newspapers here that deliver to the entire State in your mailbox. I ride Para-transit and am enlisting all the drivers to also hand out the bookmarks, talk to their friends and pass the word around. I will be placing flyers at all the grocery stores in the area as well.
14) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
My blog would be the best place since that is where I do most of my sounding off about many things. There’s a short story…a really short story…like two paragraphs with graphics…posted there on a previous posting about Doug a fire hydrant who aspires to be a Fire Dog. I’ll be adding other short stories…ones too short for contracting, but powerful in their own way, to my blog throughout the upcoming summer, that will tell you all a lot about who I am. My daughter is Kat Holmes, herself a published author, and she also blogs about me. My blog address is : http://linsownblog.blogspot.com My daughter’s is: http://katluvr130.blogspot.com
15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
Check the publishers for their submission requirements and genres they are currently accepting from new authors, each one is different. Other than that, write, write, write and do it with joy. Never give up on your dream, no matter how long it takes. It has taken me ten years from my first submission…but it was well worth the time! Believe in yourself and one day, today, next week, next year, or like me, ten years form now, your dream will come true.
Lin, thank you for being my guest today and sharing a bit about your writing life.