That would be with my very special guest Anne Holly – a talented writer and a great friend. Let’s say hello on this festive day.
How did you get started writing?
We didn’t have TV as a kid, so I first started storytelling and drawing, and then writing as I learned how, as a means of entertainment. And reading, too, of course. Then, as my teachers started to notice my “talent” they encouraged me more and more, and I loved being recognized, so I kept working at it. I started out with some contests and such, but then it kind of petered out when I got to university. I started writing fiction professionally after I finished school. I remembered how much I used to like writing, and I had some old manuscripts, so I decided to see what they could do.
What inspires you the most?
My love of the genre. Romance is a community that I enjoy being a part of. A few of my story ideas have come from chit chatting with other authors. Others come from just thinking about story elements. Otherwise, life itself, I guess, and relaxing with my son.
Are you lucky enough to write full time or do you have another job?
I do have a job. I teach at a university. My writing is far from paying the bills at this point, and may never, but I’m okay with that. I love teaching.
What genre/s do you write in?
Romance. My main love is contemporary romance novels, but I’ve done a short paranormal erotic, and a handful of short erotic romances, and one contemporary romance novella. I also write academic non-fiction under a different name.
What’s another genre you’d love to try writing?
I am working on a fictionalized memoir relating to a family event, and have a historical romance in the works, as well. I have been working on a biopic screenplay for about fifteen years.
What do your friends and family think about your writing?
A lot of them don’t know, really. The ones who do are supportive. My mum is thrilled, because she’s a huge romance reader.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a writer?
Many of the people I talk to about it have the initial reaction of, “That must make you a lot of money!” I just have to laugh at that. Writing is often a labour of love, it seems. Very few authors make enough money to match the amounts of work they put into it. Most of us do it because we love it, and it’s part of who we are. Royalties are great, but usually not worth the effort if you aren’t totally besotted with the craft, especially when we’re just starting out.
What do you love and hate most about writing?
I love the fact that when I am finished my work, something exists that didn’t exist before I started, if that makes sense. I still have a magical sense of, “I made that!” when I see one of my books. It’s very gratifying. And when I hear from people who’ve read that thing I made, I smile all day. As to hate… I used to say promoting, and it’s still not my favourite part, but I think I’ve softened there. See, I hate the idea of selling things. It doesn’t come naturally to me, and it feels impolite. But, now that I think of it more as “reaching out” or making connections with readers and other writers, promoting is rather enjoyable. I just have stopped worrying about the sales bit and am concentrating on meeting people.
What are you currently working on and what’s coming up for you?
I just finished a novel in draft, so I’m taking a little break to work on my production notes for future projects. I have a short I want to finish once my marking is finished for the term, and then I’ll be doing an RCMP short for Rebel Ink, I think. I just contracted a novel for summer release, as well.
What experiences have you had working with your publisher/s?
Good! I’ve been very fortunate. The worst experience I’ve had was I had a publisher go out of business on me, but they were on the level with returning my rights immediately, and I was able to place those books elsewhere right away – so, that really turned out okay. I’m still learning about publisher quality and profile, which varies widely in the ebook business, but I’ve enjoyed the companies I’ve worked with.
Some fun questions…
Do you write to music and if so, to what?
Not usually. I find the lyrics distract me while I’m actually writing. But I keep a playlist on standby for breaks or lulls, and I listen to a lot of music during the production phases – which I keep filed all the way through, until the book is published. That way, I can keep my moods consistent through planning, writing, and editing. The actual music depends a great deal on the book. It depends on what the atmosphere of the book is. For example, while writing my New Years NYC glitzy book, I wrote to a lot of 70s-80s music focusing on night club life. It kept my energy up, and kept the sad/glamourous feel alive.
What type of movies do you enjoy and hate?
I watch pretty much anything once. I love silent and classical era films. 80s comedies are great. I enjoy a lot of Canadian cinema, as well. My academics are in film, so I watch a lot of movies.
Do you have a ritual with writing?
Nope. I find treating it as a job leaves me less room to procrastinate. So, I show up, and I work.
Who is your favorite character you’ve written and why?
I have a handful of favourites, so it’s kind of mean to ask for just one! Kale, from Unwrapping Scrooge, is likely my favourite. Daniel from V-Day comes close. Though, I tend to think in terms of couples, not characters, like Ian and Raven from Like Magic.
What’s something you can’t live without for writing?
Coffee. I can’t live with out it, full stop.
Favorite color and does it suit your personality and why?
Depends on the day. Black, green, red are big ones. The rainbow suits my personality, I guess. I’m too busy to pick just one!
If you had to use a food or drink to entice your love, what would it be and how would you use it?
I once seduced someone with my fantastic salsa scrambled eggs, so there you go.
What’s your favorite seduction song?
Depends on the person and the moment. “Cry to Me,” by Solomon Burke is very appealing to me. If I’m feeling playful, The Dominoes’ “60 Minute Man” is always a fun time. I have to admit, Cat Stevens is likely my favourite for any occasion. That might not seem all that sexy, but try it – very good for letting your hair down.
What would you consider to be the most romantic place on earth and why?
Anywhere, as long as you’re with the right person. But lots of natural beauty is a bonus. Seas and forests are wonderful.
What male star do you consider the hottest and why?
Hard to say, since there are so many. Johnny Depp, naturally, since he’s so very pretty and seems fairly sweet natured. I also have a weakness for Robert Downey Jr. since he’s so wild and talented.
Are you afraid of the dark?
No. But I’m slightly afraid of what might be in the dark.
Favorite family tradition?
We don’t have a lot of family traditions. I enjoy the little shared habits I have with my son, though, like grapes on New Year’s Eve.
Red or black?
They look awfully nice together, I think.
Soft or hard?
Both, in the right measure.
Candy Kisses or Twizzlers?
Twizzlers. I like a good (licorice) whipping.
Kinky or romantic?
Again, everything in balance.
Blurb and an excerpt from BUBBLY, my new erotic romance for New Years:
Beth’s had the best of everything and the worst of everything.
From the outside, a poor little rich girl, hounded by the press, but, on the inside, bruised by dark memories. When she seeks escape from her suffocating world on New Years
Eve, she accidentally gets a taste for how the other half lives. Rough bartender Tig Riley offers her a whole new outlook on life in his arms and maybe even a brand new future, if only she can trust him.
Can he really help her heal herself?
When she emerged, she was wearing the white camisole and boxers that she wore to sleep, since the rumpled cocktail dress seemed silly and there were no other clothes in her washroom. Tig was lying on her bed. He’d removed his socks and shirt, and he looked relaxed and utterly delicious.
“I found this,” he said, holding up a little vibrating muscle relaxer that she used when she’d been drawing too much. His smile was wicked, and his brows were raised.
“I have a problem with tension in my neck,” she said.
“I figured it was something like that, since it was laying in plain view. Really, though, I think you may be the only woman I’d believe who told me her vibrator was only for massages,” he said with a grin, flicking the on switch.
The humming sound filled the room, and she had to duck her head out of embarrassment at his implication.
“Do you know that grown women who can still blush are incredibly alluring?” He touched the vibrator to his own shoulder and held it for a moment. “You know, there’d be nothing wrong with it if you did use it in some other way.”
“I don’t do that sort of thing.”
She just gaped at his question, not knowing how to feel about this whole conversation. On one hand, he’d just performed for her the most intimate act she’d ever experienced but, on the other, people just didn’t talk about such things. Did they?
“I mean, it’s only natural. Most people do something to relieve their tension, sometimes,” Tig said, his voice quite calm and matter of fact considering what he was saying and holding. “It’s good to know how to please yourself. Otherwise, how can you ask your lover for what you want?”
“I haven’t had to worry about that,” she sniffed, feeling the pit of her stomach start to tingle. Beth was surprised that she was aroused and not ashamed by Tig’s talk about masturbation. What she did feel was intensely curious, curious enough to push past her awkwardness. “I mean, I guess I did that a little as a teenager, but it’s not something I’ve thought to do since.”
“Huh,” Tig said, running the little vibrating rod down his chest. “It’s funny how they make these gadgets for women. I hardly ever run into things like this made for men. Aside from blowup dolls, I guess.”
Her mouth went dry as she watched the humming pink wand circle his navel.
“I wonder.” He started to run the vibrator along the seam of his trousers, and laughed. “Okay, so maybe they aren’t designed for men. Luckily, we come equipped with hands.”
His eyes met hers as he placed a hand where the instrument had been, and rubbed himself slowly. She wanted to watch, she realized. She wanted to see him hold his own cock, wanted to know what he could teach her about his own body. As the bulge grew and rose, she licked her lips, almost ready to ask him to hurry up. She shifted where she sat and put her folded hands between her knees.
“Help me?” he asked.
Learn more at: http://annehollyholiday.webs.com/newyearstales.htm
Anne Holly is a Canadian writer of romance and erotic-romance, as well as a mother and teacher. She has been published by Wild Horse Press, Decadent Publishing and Rebel Ink Press, and in 2012 by Pink Petal Books. You may visit Anne at her blog or website, or find her on GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter (@anneholly2010).
Sign up for her newsletter here. Email her at email@example.com.
Thank you so much for being a part of my world!
Happy New Year – Kisses xxx