Monday, May 30, 2011

Interwith Muse author L.J. Holmes

Today my guest is L. J. Holmes, also known by many as Lin Holmes.  She's got a number of stories coming this year from both MuseItUp Publishing and MuseItHot Publishing.
  • Please tell us about yourself?
First I want to thank you Penny for inviting me to visit with you. It is always a thrill spending time with you and your followers.

My name is Lin Holmes, but I write using my initial L.J. Holmes at Muse Publishing, Inc.  I’m a Mom, which is actually my favorite role. My daughter, Kat Holmes, is also a Muse Publishing author, and since we live together, it can get crazy around our home. When you have so many new characters being added to your conversational world, sometimes you have to wonder if you are in your world or off mining icicles in Kat’s created world of Artica.

I started writing, secretly when I was a kid. (My parents frowned on egg-heady endeavors, and I, to their chagrin, was a natural born egg-head.) I did, however, have my maternal grandmother, herself a story-teller who understood and encouraged, behind the parents’ backs, my flights of fantasy.

I took time off to raise my precious offspring, weaving stories only for them at bed time, or to entertain when they were too sick to feel anything but relieved with Mom taking their minds off of the bugs dancing the evil Tango in their bellies. Their friends also became possessive of the story weaver in me as well, so becoming a teacher just seemed like the natural next step.  I earned my Masters Degree in Special Education and began teaching children born with Down Syndrome. What an appreciative audience for me and my flights of fantasy.

Now I’m here at Muse Publishing, Inc. creating flights of my fantasy for a whole new audience. It’s scary, so out of my comfort zone, but thrilling as well. 

Tell us your latest news?
My first full-length novel ECHOES FROM THE PAST is coming out next year in April. I always thought I was JUST a short story weaver. I doubted my inner voice, which I sometimes with affection, call Nudge, didn’t have the attention span to write anything lengthy. Finding out Nudge and I could weave a BIG story and actually get CONTRACTED, was like being handed all the Christmas Presents in the entire Universe. 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
March 29, 2010 when I got my first contracted. Before then I was a story-teller only.

What inspired you to write your first book?
 My first contracted book? 

I must blame and thank my daughter, Kat Holmes.

She was already published and dared me to write something new for submission. SANTA IS A LADY is actually the second new manuscript I wrote. My first IN FROM THE COLD is a cougar story, but just as I was finishing it, the publisher Kat used to write for, closed that genre. Taking it as an omen that I should stick with the “story-telling” I was ready to go back to what I did best, but Kat wasn’t having any parts of that. She challenged me to write something in the genre’s still open. 

Bondage didn’t entice me nor did M/M. The only thing left was HOLIDAY theme. SANTA IS A LADY was the result, and before I finished it, we learned Muse was opening, and sent Muse Publishing SANTA and well…here I am.  IN FROM THE COLD is being released in June 2011, so both my new manuscripts are being published. May I just say WOW!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I have twelve contracts with Muse Publishing so far. Each of them has a message somewhere within the story. SANTA IS A LADY and my February 2011 release FOREVER WITH YOU, the message is about how much more lives within all of us beneath the shell the world sees.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)

The hero in SANTA IS A LADY is based on my brother, and yes, he knows it. Keeps telling me I should give him some of the royalties. He’s funny, intelligent, and a multi-decorated military hero that I was proud to fashion Angie’s hero after.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Glenn Kleier’s first book THE LAST DAY helped me get through cancer treatment. 

I found it on the shelves at my library and it so powerfully impacted me, I bought a hard cover and paperback copy…the hard cover because it’ll last….the paperback because I reread this story often. He has a new book coming out in July, THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, and I am on the pre-order list for it. 

In high school our English teacher had us read GONE WITH THE WIND. That changed my attitude about saga stories and gave me a permanent love of richly presented stories.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Glenn Kleier. 

His writing made it possible for me to leave the reality of pain and nausea caused by chemo and radiation and step into a world that could enchant. I hope my writing can give that kind of a gift to others.  I was over-the-moon when Glenn Kleier reviewed my first book and said he thinks it should become a classic Christmas Movie. 

He LOVED my story…that meant so much to me, even more than taking fifth place in the Predators and Editors Poll in my genre less than two months after its release.  (I probably shouldn’t admit that, should I?)

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
I just finished reading J.D. Robb’s recent IN DEATH title TREACHERY IN DEATH. I love the Eve Dallas series and how Eve has evolved, but I don’t understand why she gets away with so much head-hopping. 

I also just finished reading Fern Michaels HOME FREE. I’m really worried about this, her Sisterhood Series. I don’t know how it’ll work having the sisterhood be replaced with ONLY the elderly members continuing on as the vigilantes.  I hope it works because I LOVED that entire series. What the sisters came up with to punish those who’d wronged them…loved it, loved it, loved it.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Chrystalla Thoma’s DIOSCURI captivated me.

 I love my daughter, Kat Holmes’ ARTICA LIGHTS SERIES, her first FROZEN  just came out this month. The world she created amazes me. 

I’m also pretty fond of her GODS AT WORK SERIES, the first WORKING UNDER COVERS is coming out in June. I love the idea that even the Gods on Olympus are feeling the financial crunch we are all enduring and must do something to continue supporting their existence on their OWN! So far she has given us Aphrodite, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Apollo, and just finished Artemis. 

Delilah K. Stephans wrote a wonderful vampire book, THE ENVOY, and it was fantastic. I really hope there will be sequels to this book. Her GHOSTLY PASSIONS, her first MUSE title is also a keeper.

Krista D. Ball’s book HARVEST MOON is really good, but I hope there will be a sequel so we know if the miracle happens.
  • What are your current projects?
I have already subbed the first book, but am writing the sequel even though I have no idea if the first one is going to be contracted.  They’re called SUC-U and SUC-U TOO.
Our publisher asked us to write some more books for the HOT side of Muse Publishing…these two are my current results.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The one coming out in May, TWILIGHT COMES or the one just released in March, THE PENDULUM SWINGS? 

The one in May is a darker story with no HEA, but that’s what the story needs. It’s not a comfortable story, and a hard one for me to talk about, but there’s power in that story, and yes, a strong message, I hope.

The Pendulum Swings was fun to write, and I LOVED adding the amorous fireplace scene. So no, I don’t think I would change anything.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Sitting at my Grandmother’s feet listening to her tell her stories; although I don’t think I actually connected the story-telling aspect then to writing. My Grandmother told the best stories, and I was her willingly captivated audience.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
When Nudge tells us into a corner then doesn’t immediately have the solution so we can finish the story. I have a full length novel ¾ of the way done manuscript but I am stuck with how to get the hero and heroine to the point of actually doing the deed thanks to Nudge.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
The above answer is my block, and I’ll let you know when I figure out how to get through it. How do you get a guy to do the deed with a woman he hasn’t even kissed when he is carrying the essence of her grandmother inside him yakking at him? He needs to pass granny into granddaughter for the upcoming battle with evil, but the only way to do that is for the hero and heroine to do IT! Having Granny talking inside him is not exactly conducive to getting all hot and bothered. 

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I assume writing includes the cover blogs I do for others too?

Kat and I have two kitties; both have managed to end up in our books, so we serve them like the royalty they are. 

On Sunday nights I watch ARMY WIVES, Tuesdays NCIS and THE GOOD WIFE, coming soon LAW AND ORDER CRIMINAL INTENT is bring Goren and Eames back and on Thursdays BONES.
I knit. My sister is a minister in Montana. I send about thirty pounds of winter scarves and hats out in all sizes for her to give to the needy. 

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Glenn Kleier. 

THE LAST DAY is based on the premise that Jesus has been returned to earth…this time as a woman Jeza. Will today’s population treat God’s messenger any better today than mankind did 2000 years ago?

Glenn  also placed the advent of this new Jesus around the turning of this century when the Y2K bug was the big threat the world was fearing.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The writing is easy. Editing and then promoting…THAT’S the hard part.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That I am not the best judge of my own writing voice. I think I write boring drivel…others are impressed and complimentary.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, write, write.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
 Thank you for BEING my reader. I am honored.

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
I’m a retired teacher because I was in a car accident eleven days after 9/11. I am very active here on the Internet, but  limited beyond that.

  • Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
Muse Publishing, Inc. Both the Muse It Up Side and the Muse It Hot Side.

My daughter’s Editor, Carrie Ro submitted SANTA IS A LADY to Muse Publishing instead of my daughter’s previous publisher, and both Kat and I are grateful to Carrie for guiding us here.

  • How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

My e-mail address is
I have authors pages on both sides of the Muse Publishing House
Muse It Up Publishing
Muse It Hot Publishing


  1. Lovely interview. Thank you for allowing us into your world

  2. Lin is an amazing woman and I'm thrilled to have her here today. Viviane, thanks for commenting and I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

  3. Very nice! I've "spoken" to Lin on the boards, and it was so nice to hear more about her experiences. She sounds like such a brave, fun, wonderful person. :)


  4. are one unique and special artist in many ways. Penny thank you for hosting such talent. Can't capture what all this writer is in a single setting but the impact from one visit remains far after the interview is done.

  5. Adriana, I have to agree. Lin has become one of my special cyber friends, too.

  6. Karen, thank you for the lovely comment. I'm sure Lin will appreciate your kind words.

  7. Way to go, Lin. Great interview.

  8. I KNEW your interview with our Goddess of Cover Blogs, (er what is your latest title now, Lin?)would be delightful. What a multi-talented lady with so much wit and wisdom. Thanks, Gals, for this treat.

  9. Jim and JQ, thank you both for stopping by and reading Lin's interview.

  10. Lin I love it that you knit on top of everything else you do! And for a good cause no less:) Congratulations on all your books, and I'm wishing loads of success too!


  11. Sara, glad you could stop by and visit with us today.