Monday, February 21, 2011

Interview with MuseItHot author, Lin Holmes

Today my guest is L. J. Holmes, MuseItHot author with a number of books to her credit, including Forever with You, release date February 1st, and The Pendulum Swings, release date March 1st.

First I want to thank you for your generosity in inviting me to visit you here at your blog. I was here last year shortly after I got my first contract with Muse It Up Publishing and had a lot of fun.

1.    Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? I’ve always been uncomfortable talking about myself…tooting my own horn. I usually slip into the shadow and observe the rest of the world but I’ll try. I’m a Mom, I’m the contented pet of two kitties…gosh that almost sounds like Grace Allen when she’d talk about Carnation and their contented cows, doesn’t it? I’m a retired Special Ed teacher…oh…yeah, and I’m an author! What genre do you write in and why? Another tough question. I’ve got eleven contracts so far with the Muse Publishing House and I don’t think there is a common theme running through any of them. I write whatever my inner voice, Nudge, tells me to. If I DON’T write what Nudge wants me to write, she overrides me. The inner Nudge can be a demanding task mistress.

2.    Tell me about your current book which you are promoting. Actually I have two. The first one, Forever With You was released Muse It Hot on February 1st. This is a very short story, but powerful one. Coryne, a family court lawyer, has come into some real money recently and wants a very special cabin built on some lake front land she owns in the mountains, and she wants it done very quickly. Keith Patterson owns Patterson Construction, but the minute Coryne lays eyes upon him she isn’t sure he can handle the job, but she’s also not too happy that his masculinity makes her ache with needs she’s long buried. There is a surprise ending to Forever With You that has left everyone who has read it so far, deeply effected. The Second Book, The Pendulum Swings is coming out on March 1st. This one is sort of a Time Travel. The Heroine wakes up in a hospital that is unlike anything she’s ever seen before. An angry man enters her room and his scowl and coolness of tone confuse her. He calls her “Joanna”. The name does not ring true, but she cannot remember her “other” name? She has to be someone else, because if she really IS this Joanna, she is hateful. There’s a very erotic and sensual marble mantle in this story; that the hero gets very up close and intimate with. 

3.    How long have you been writing? I didn’t actually start putting anything down on paper until I was in middle school, but I spent a lot of time lying in our back yard, we had two acres, with my dog looking up at the sky and telling Heidi ad lib stories about the adventures I’d see in the clouds.

4.    What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book? Did I mention before that I’m shy? Everyone thought I was stuck up, but I was painfully shy. By the time I got to middle school, I tried very hard to disappear into the woodwork to avoid the nasty taunts of others. I began putting my stories down to escape from my reality and create a perfect one. One day one of the “Popular” girls snatched my notebook from me, began reading it out loud, and before I knew it they were begging me for the next chapter. I wrote the original and two sequels with those characters. She was a lovely Hawaiian teen who greets new arrivals with leis and then Hula dances at night…her name was Katana Lee. He was a bit older, greets the female arrivals and dances the fire dance at the luaus. The things I put those two through…but for a while I was popular.

5.    Do you outline before you write? I don’t actually write. Nudge channels through me. I’m just the wielder of the pen, and yes, when Nudge starts nudging, I write is all out longhand. I don’t have a clue what Nudge has poured through me until I transfer it to my word processor. If not, what’s your initial process? I try to ignore Nudge, but she won’t have any of that, so I let her ramble, wait till she’s done, promise to transfer it, then sleep for the next twelve hours. Nudge takes a lot out of me. <g>

6.    What comes first: the plot or the characters? It kind of all comes at once and rarely with warning.

7.    Which of your characters do you love? I love Coryne, the heroine in Forever With You…She is an amazingly strong woman, who is vulnerable at the same time…/hate…I hate Irene Carrington the villain in my second Christmas Miracles book The Christmas War coming out December 1st, 2011. I fashioned her after my former mother-in-law. Having her in that story allowed me to give her the comeuppance I’ll never be able to give her in real life… /fear…the father of the young witch in the current story I am writing. He hasn’t been named yet, but he is the evil she must soon defeat…/pity the most and why?  Trish in Beyond Yesterday…she is about to learn why she was forced to grow up in a ramshackle house with her parents and two sisters while her grandparents moldered in that big mansion right back there.

8.    What was the hardest part of writing your book? Keeping the ice pack firmly secured around my neck when I had to transfer Nudge’s rapid scrawl into the Word Processor. My head was bopping like those dogs with the bouncing heads you see in the back windows of the cars ahead of you.

9.    Did your book require a lot of research?  Some do. I had to do some research for The Pendulum Swings. I needed to know some of the history surrounding Julius Caesar, Pompey, and the Egypt of Cleopatra. How long does it take to write a book for you? Eight of my eleven contracts were written in less than a year, and one of them is over 375 pages long. Once Nudge has the bit between her teeth, she won’t let us stop until she’s done. That 375 page contract, Echoes From The Past, was a story Nudge would channel no less than three chapters to me a day. Even while I was trying to sleep, Nudge would be regurgitating scene plots into my subconscious.

10.    What are some of the challenges in your writing process? I’m not sure what you mean. Sleep, certainly…eye and neck strain when I transfer from long-hand to word processor, and remembering to eat.

11.    Describe your writing space. My bed usually, with pen, notebook, and Nudge taking over.

12.    What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I never learned how to knit, but recently, (two years ago) found knitting LOOMS at Walley World. After a few learning curve snafus I have become really good at it. I have a sister who’s a minister in Montana. I send her about ten pounds worth every month. What she and the rest of the family don’t claim for themselves, is give away to the needy. I never thought I’d knit, let alone learn how to do produce a finished product others would covet.

13.    What books or authors have influenced your writing? I don’t know how to answer this. Nudge writes, I step aside and observe, then so the slave labor of transferring, but there are authors that heave taken center stage inside me for various reasons. Glenn Kleier wrote a book called The Last Day. I came across his book while I was fighting cancer. His story allowed me to escape the agony of chemo and radiation and kept me sane. I don’t know if he influenced my writing, but he DID influence my life. My daughter Kat Holmes is a Best selling author, but I don’t think she’d say she influenced me, since I began writing long before her, but love is always an influence…she loves me and I love her. I enjoy J.D. Robb’s In Death Series. Placing her series in the near future, 2060, I think was/is brilliant…also her heroine, Eve Dallas’ hubby Roarke is real swoon-material.

14.    What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books? E-books are the future. Hard copies are going to disappear with one exception…those who like to feel that texture and smell the tang of print on paper will still have Print On Demand to feed that lust, but e-books will become the mainstream.

15.    What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release? I think I answered this earlier, at least for the two I have out this month and the one coming out next…but if you want the full list of what I have out and what will be coming out then you’d better sit down and get comfortable. This could take a while. (ONE.) Santa Is A Lady released from Muse…and ALL of my books are coming out from Muse…on December 1st, 2010. 2(TWO) Forever With You released on February 1st, 2011. (THREE.)The Pendulum Swings releases on March 1st. (FOUR) Twilight Comes releases in May 1st. (FIVE.) In From The Cold releases on June 1st. (SIX.) This Time Forever releases on August 1st. (SEVEN) Beyond Yesterday releases on September 1st. (EIGHT) Champagne Afternoon releases on November 1st. (NINE) The Christmas War releases on December 1st. (TEN) She’s Gone releases on February 1st, 2012 and finally, (ELEVEN) Echoes From the Past releases on April 1st 2012

16.    What is your marketing plan? I’ve thought of doing a Lady Godiva and run naked through the streets, but I want people to be able to read my books, so burning their retinas with such a vision doesn’t seem like a good plan. Instead I am visiting blogs like yours, talking on Kat’s Blog Talk radio, handing out business cards to anyone who can’t run away fast enough, plotting contests, pleading on bended knee to every member of my family…just inserting myself and my books into conversation when no one is looking.

17.    What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? To write always write with passion. YOU have to feel the character’s emotions. Also research. Never sign a contract without checking out the publisher through Predators and Editors, Piers Anthony, or Writer’s Beware. Talk to the authors before committing your precious work to anyone. This is like any other business…there are excellent publishers, but there also those who are not.

18.    Where can people learn more about you and your work? I am at the Muse It Up Website and Muse It Hot I also have a lot of blog spots because I do cover blogs…think of them as “stationary trailers” for Muse authors, myself included at I have another for Muse’s YA authors Non Muse authors and Muse authors with books out from other publishers I promote using cover blogs at  And you can e-mail me at


  1. Great interview. Lin, I dare you to do the Lady Godiva! Double dare you!

    Emily and Nancy

  2. Hi Roseanne, thanks for stopping. Glad you liked the interview.

  3. OMG. Lady Godiva? I DARE YOU!!


    Always a pleasure to read about Lin and her books.

    Excellent interview, ladies.

  4. Hi Lea, thanks for stopping by. Are you joining the Godiva parade, too?

  5. Hi Penny - Hi Lin - excellent interview - I'm a late comer, so glad Penny re-announced your interview, Lin.
    I read Forever With You - great story, and yes it has quite the twist ending. Highly recommend it if your looking for a fulfilling, touch-the-heart, short, kind of read.

  6. Kay Dee, thanks for stopping by. It's great to hear from someone who has read and enjoyed the book.

  7. Great interview. Did Nudge help you with the answers? Wish I had a Nudge. Downloaded Forever with You and it will be my next read...Eleven contracts? You rock, Grrrrrrrrrrrlll!

  8. Janet, glad you could stop by. I'm sure Lin will be thrilled you downloaded the book.

  9. Aldrin, thank you for taking the time to look over old posts and for the compliment.