Interview with USA Today Bestselling author Emma Holly

edenskeeper April 27, 2012 0 Interviews
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BLVR: You recently had some BIG news. (http://www.emmaholly.com/latestnews.htm April 2011) You’ve gone indie! And since your announcement several other authors have announced indie projects, too. What made you go indie?

EH: The news might have been big, but the reasons were mainly a lot of small frustrations with the traditional New York system. Since making the change, I’ve been happier than I expected. I love being the boss of myself, and I love the technical side of the business too. Figuring out the different formats, learning how to make a decent cover, even things like deciding which comma fashion I want to follow satisfy my inner control freak.
I’m also making an actual living – which never hurts! 

BLVR: Since going indie you’ve published several works including your latest HIDDEN DEPTHS. HD is set in the world you established in your last book HIDDEN TALENTS or rather the underwater counterpart to the magical city of Resurrection, NY where Supes live out in the open. I love Resurrection and its mythos in so many ways. Will you be setting more books there?

EH: I do plan to revisit Resurrection and some of the characters from HIDDEN  TALENTS. Because I am my own boss now and free to follow inspiration, I  can’t predict exactly when that will happen. Soon is my plan, but we’ll see.

BLVR: HD is also the first time I can recall you using a married couple with a grown child as your lead characters. What attracted you to that idea?

EH: Sometimes I’m attracted to things precisely because I haven’t tried them before. Part of the fun of writing fiction is projecting yourself into the shoes of characters who are somewhat different from you. Hopefully, that’s part of m readers’ fun as well.

BLVR: Can we talk about happy endings? Why are they so important to you?

EH: You might as well ask why my eyes are brown. I suspect I’m wired to like HEA’s. Plus, there are plenty of feel-bad stories in the world. I’m content to leave them to folks who enjoy creating them.

BLVR: I want to focus on your BDSM and M/M/F or M/M/M/F works for a moment. There are two things that seem to connect them all, imho, the way you portray the women and the men. The women are all nurturers and the men are all protectors. Am I off base, here? How would you describe it?

EH: The men in my stories probably are mostly protectors. Some are alpha protectors and some are beta protectors, but I confess that’s an appealing type for women to read about – myself being no exception. I’m not sure there’s a huge divide between nurturing and protecting. I’ve written heroines who were extremely brave in their men’s defense. When a hero or heroine is in love, it’s dramatic to think they’d lay down their life for the person they care about. Olivia from HIDDEN DEPTHS is a nurturer, but she’s physically brave as well. When she and James have their Thelma and Louise moment, they’re both putting everything on the line. For me personally, James is as much a nurturer as Olivia in that book. Ty and Anso are the more wounded souls, and I thought they needed that kind of match.

BLVR: I’d like to ask your indulgence because I want to take a stroll down memory lane and visit some of your past works. Are you game?

EH: Shoot.

BLVR: The Upyrs! The MIDNIGHT SERIES, CATCHING MIDNIGHT, HUNTING MIDNIGHT, HOT BLOODED (ANTHOLOGY), AND COURTING MIDNIGHT. This series is PNR and revolves around an extended group of long lived Vampire shape  shifters, called Upyrs, set in the past and divided into two groups – one that has stayed away from society and another has embraced it. And – your Uprys kinda sparkle. *g* The series is highly romantic and thoroughly entertaining. Gillian, who we meet in CATCHING MIDNIGHT is my favorite character out of this series. Gillian’s story is that of a an Upyr who feels out of place with the expectations set upon her by her clan and breaks away in order to find her truth. Looking back on this series, what place does it hold in your heart?

EH: Yes, my upyr do sparkle, but since they pre-existed Twilight, I won’t apologize for that *g*. CATCHING MIDNIGHT was my first big fat ambitious story and my first paranormal, which was what I craved to write from the start. I suspect it got a bit too big for its constraints in places, but I’m pleased with what I did bite off and manage to chew. The section where Gillian mind-melded with a baby falcon still tickles me.

BLVR: The Upyrs lead us to another series, The Fitz Clare Chronicles – with a family of Uprys living in 1930s England. Many things stand out in this series comprised of KISSING MIDNIGHT, BREAKING MIDNIGHT and SAVING MIDNIGHT; but three things in particular stand out for me: Nim-wei; your attention to detail; and, the relationship between Sally & Ben. Nim-wei was originally introduced in the MIDNIGHT SERIES as the leader of the Upyr group that has chosen to integrate into society. She is beautiful, powerful and very intelligent. In The Fitz Clare Chronicles she is written as the nemesis to Edmund Fitz Claire’s hero. The Fitz Clare Chronicles give us Nim-wei’s background and it is fascinating! She is such an intriguing character! Is it hard to have left her behind for now?

EH: Nim Wei fascinated me – no nurturer there! I loved how unapologetic she was and enjoyed revisiting her with the Fitz Clares. I’ve had many readers ask if I’ll give Nim Wei a romance of her own, but the longer I go the more I doubt it. To me, she’s an eternal seeker, an eternal seizer of life. I don’t think I’ll ever want to tame her enough to have her settle down.

BLVR: The attention to detail in all your books is one of the great things I enjoy about your story telling. In The Fitz Clare Chronicles, your description of 1930’s England includes elaborate architecture, the music, and even the clothing of the day to the point where I can imagine myself feeling some of the materials you are describing! Do you enjoy researching for your books?

EH: I’ve enjoyed that a lot. Researching takes time and I don’t wallow quite that much for every book, but when I do it fills my imaginative well. I enjoy disappearing into the world of my stories as much as some readers do.

BLVR: Ben & Sally are adopted siblings in these stories. Their relationship actually evolves into a romantic one and they eventually have a child together. Were you worried about how that story line would be received by your readers?

EH: I was a bit concerned. I just didn’t let it stop me. At heart, I’m a rebel who wants to write what she wants to write . I always hope my readers will enjoy the tale I’m telling, but there’s simply no way to suit them all every time. I decided early on not to make myself crazy trying.

BLVR: By far, one of my favorite books is BEYOND SEDUCTION the story of Merry Vance who runs away from her title, privileged family and the social expectations of the ton to have a scandalous affair with a tremendously talented painter. The reason I am so drawn to this book is that you did such a wonderful job of describing the creative process in a character that is most probably bi-polar. Additionally, your heroine Merry is really unlikeable & selfish at points. What were you trying to get across with this book?

EH: I’m glad you enjoyed it! I never wanted to put a label on Nick. Readers can if they like, of course, but I had no particular message I wanted to send with that. I wanted him to feel real and complex, and that’s the way that he came to me. I do think Nick had his unlikable moments the same as Merry. (I notice readers are sometimes harder on heroines than they are on heroes. Not sure why that is!) Looking back, my point was probably the same as I make in many of my books. When you love another person enough to accept them, flaws and all, that’s pretty damn special.

BLVR: In THE DEMON’S DAUGHTER your story takes place in a world that can almost be described as cyberpunk with demon elements. A Victorian style London with technology that allows Inspector Adrian Phillips to enhance his abilities but makes him an outcast. Would you ever write a cyberpunk story?

EH: I’ve heard it called Steampunk now and then. I’m not sure I could pull off cyberpunk. I’m not enough of a technogeek!

BLVR: STRANGE ATTRACTIONS – how in the world did you decide to turn particle acceleration into an erotic ménage a trois? I loved this book! It was like erotica for science buffs! (http://public.web.cern.ch/public/)

EH: I don’t remember how that came about exactly, but the book that inspired the concept was a work of (very) speculative nonfiction called TIME STORMS by Jenny Randle. Sometimes I have odd reading tastes!

BLVR: Perhaps – my favorite of your works is FAIRYVILLE. I had only read a few of your short stories when I picked this up. It was a shocker for me as I had never even known that M/M/M/F existed.  But there is one scene in particular that has stayed with me – Alex and the scandal that evolved from his relationship with his high school coach. Unlike stories on the evening news where a teacher has seduced a child – in your story the child seduces the teacher who has been hiding in the closet. Further – we eventually find out that Alex is not a normal child but a fairy changeling and that answers the questions regarding his insatiable sexual appetite. In fact – Alex was so in love with his girlfriend Zoe, he wouldn’t have sex with her for fear of turning her into a nymphomaniac. There are so many aspects to this story that resonate for me on many levels. What role did FAIRYVILLE play in your journey as a writer? What role does it hold in your heart now?

EH: MENAGE was my first MMF story (and my first published novel) so, for me, FAIRYVILLE, doesn’t feel like a big sea change in my career. What sticks in my mind is how playful parts of it were and how much I enjoyed writing them.

BLVR: Now that you are indie – how do you manage the demands on your time? It is difficult enough to find time to write when you have FB, Twitter, Newsletters, and promo events. It must be even more difficult now that you are a one woman writer/editor/publisher/PR firm, etc. How do you find time to write?

EH: I know some people will be surprised by my answer, but I’m SO much more productive writing-wise and feel so much less weighted down by worries. Certainly, there are pressures/anxieties/demands involved in being indie. I don’t recommend it for authors who need a lot of hand-holding or who can’t motivate themselves to write without a deadline. As for FB, Twitter, newsletters – believe you me, traditionally published authors do all that too if they want their careers to flourish! No sort of publishing is suited for lazy folks.

Dolls: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for us, we appreciate it and wish you the best!

EH: Thanks so much for the interview. I appreciate your interest! 
Anyone who wants to keep track of me in my new multi-hatted guise is welcome to join me on facebook and twitter. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emma-Holly/61323632462?ref=ts) (http://twitter.com/#!/EMMAHOLLY1) I also send out newsletters that often include coupons for new books. People can sign up for them and enter my latest monthly contest on the same page. (They can also enter just the contest and skip the newsletter, whichever they please.) (http://www.emmaholly.com/contest.php) I’m very generous with excerpts on my site, so if people want to sample before they buy, that’s an easy place to do it. (http://www.emmaholly.com/)

This interview also appears on http://paperbackdolls.com/?p=8063

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