Welcome to my blog, Holly! Tell us a little about yourself!
Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation--she hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls. She was born in Utah but moved around a bit, living in Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii where she studied marine biology. She's now back in Utah--"happy valley". She's married to a wonderful husband, James, and they are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, creating Halloween props, and spending time with family.
Where are you from?
I was born in Utah but moved around a bit—living in Utah, Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii. Hawaii was my favorite place to live. I absolutely adore the ocean and would love nothing better than to live close to the shore again, but alas I’m back in landlocked Utah—but my husband and I have aspirations of someday buying a winter home in Fiji.
When and why did you begin writing? It’s funny, but I’d never considered writing fiction until nine years ago—when I started writing my first “practice novel”—I actually wrote three of those. And no, they will never see the light of day. That ship has sailed. Why did I begin writing? Well, I’d always been an avid reader, but it never crossed my mind that I could write a book myself. Then eight years ago, I read something Stephenie Meyer wrote. It was rough, it was unedited—it was a scene her publisher cut from Twilight. When I read it, I thought it was horrible. And then the thought struck me. I bet I can write better than that. That moment, I opened up Microsoft word and started writing. I didn’t think it over. I didn’t plan it out. It was an impulsive thing. But then, once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. And when I wasn’t writing, I was imagining scenes in my head, thinking out characters, and basically spending my time in the world I was creating. And this is how I live even now—always with one foot in the real world, and one foot in the world of my imagination.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer when I started writing. I think people put too much stock into what it means to be “a writer”. To me, if you write, you’re a writer—end of story.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was a mishmash of everything I’d been reading. But my first published book, Rising, was something special. I actually got the inspiration for Rising from a picture. It was a picture of a mermaid, but this mermaid’s tail was unlike any I’d seen before—it was flesh colored. And it got me thinking, what if a mermaid was born on land, but she didn’t know she was a mermaid? She simply thought she was horribly deformed. That day, I started writing.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m a pantser—which means I don’t outline, I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve tried outlining; in fact, I spent a lot of time outlining Avenging—the third book in the Rising Series. I hoped that it would speed up my process. It turned out to be a complete waste of time for me. I couldn’t for the life of me, stick to it. It felt constrictive and unnatural, and it actually slowed me down—a lot. I ended up abandoning it and just wrote. I just let the story lead me, and often I’m just as surprised as my readers when something exciting happens or when secrets are revealed.
What books have most influenced your life most?
This is a really hard question! I simply love books—paranormal, fantasy, contemporary, romance… there are just so many. It’s easier to say what authors have influenced me. My favorite author is Amy Harmon. She writes mostly contemporary and a few paranormal. Her books are powerful! I’ve never read an author who has more heart than Amy Harmon! With her books, you laugh, you ball your eyes out, and you become so involved with the characters, that you literally feel you are inside the story. Some of my other favorites are J.K.Rowling, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Julie Garwood, Janet Evanovich, Stephenie Meyer, Brandon Mull, and Rick Riordan.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Actually, I consider a Facebook group my mentor. I’m a member of The Author’s Think tank. There are many amazing bestselling authors—including New York Times bestsellers—who are active in that group. I would be lost without them. Any question I have related to writing and publishing, they can answer and have. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
With all the authors I associate with, it’s hard to pick just a few. There are many talented upcoming authors. My favorites are the authors from Clean Teen Publishing. CTP has an amazing eye for spotting a good book. I’m continually amazed at the caliber of the books they release. Of course, I may be biased seeing as they are my publisher, but they really have a treasure trove of talent!
What are your current projects?
I’ve got two projects right now. I’m currently working on a new book called Cursed, by the Fountain of Youth. It’s a paranormal romance with a crazed, murdering lunatic; ghosts; forbidden love; and the curse of eternal youth. And then next book introduces a twisted version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This one comes from my love of all things Halloween. It’s a spooky story with witches, headless horsemen, severed heads, and a Beauty and the Beast-style romance.
What would you like your readers to know?
For those who are aspiring authors, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. I heard it all myself—even from close family members. I heard I would never get published, and that I would never write anything people would want to read. I didn’t believe it, and you shouldn’t either. Use criticisms as a spring board. Prove those naysayers wrong! It’s not an easy journey, it will take time and a heck of a lot of writing under your belt to get there, but you can. If you just move forward and never give up, you too can become a published author!
In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea--humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou--the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean--is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there's one small thing he needs to do... kill a beautiful young woman in a wheelchair.
Killing her doesn't start out as part of his plan. He entrenches himself deep in the human world. Aligning with his enemies, he prepares to send them to Triton to face their punishment. Then Sara Taylor rolls onto the scene. Xanthus knows at once she's a criminal. And her crime? Being born. She's a human/Dagonian half-breed, an abomination. Killing her should be an easy job. All he has to do is break into her apartment, slit her throat, and feed her body to the sharks. Simple, right? Wrong. If only she weren't so beautiful, so innocent, so sweet..
Saving the world may have to wait. It appears Xanthus has a woman to save. But protecting her may cost him his own life.