Today's Interview is with Peggy Holloway - Author of the Southern Mystery Novel Greed - released in June 2012.
Peggy Holloway is a retired geophysicist, math teacher, and counselor whose love of books has led her to try her hands at writing, something she always wanted to do. Now that she tried it, she loves it and thinks she should have been writing her entire adult life.
Greed is Peggy Holloway's tenth book and her ninth novel. She is currently working on Time and Time Again, the sequel to her book, 3037, which is a science fiction/fantasy novel.
Interview with Author Peggy Holloway
Peggy Holloway: I used to write plays for the neighborhood kids to put on for the adults. That was my first experience of writing for fun. The writing assignments I did in high school, in English class, were read to the class as one of the best stories about 80% of the time. In college, I wrote research papers for my undergraduate degree in geology. I got my first masters degree in math so I didn't have any writing assignments there, but when I was working on my second masters degree in psychology, I had to write many research papers.
As a geophysicist, I wrote technical papers for a major oil company. When I switched my career to counseling, I had to write summaries for the psychological evaluations I had done on juvenile justice kids. I had to also write letters of recommendation to the judges as to where to place these kids for help.
It wasn't until I retired that I decided to write for fun. I had always wanted to write a novel. A had a book that had been in my head for years just waiting for me to have time to put it on paper. I wrote that book in a few months. It's called Blood On White Wicker. I thought it was going to be a one time thing, something I always wanted to try. But once I finished that one I couldn't quit. I was like an alcoholic with a drink. I became addicted.
Who are your favorite writers, your favorite book, and who or what are your writing influences?
There are so many good writers out there and I'm finding even more Indies. I would have to say that my very favorite author is Nelson DeMille. My favorite book is one of his entitled Up Country. I've read it twice and am thinking about reading it again one of these days. The one thing that has influenced me the most is reading. I used to devour books, reading one or two a day. I've slowed down now that I'm writing. I now read about three or four a day. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
I promised myself that when I retired I would no longer have a routine. Also, writing is such a creative process that I could never lock myself in a box with it. I know some writers have a regular routine but I can't write that way. I may go for a few days not writing and then all of a sudden my characters are screaming to be heard. Then I might write for 15 hours straight and forget to eat. I'm also an artist and I paint the same way. The main problem I have is when I need to write and paint at the same time. That gets confusing.
"I'll tell you a little secret..."
What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
I'll tell you a little secret. I don't write these books, my characters do. I just type as fast as I can and hope to keep up while the ideas are flooding me. The hardest part is that my characters sometimes won't leave me alone when I need to rest.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I never really thought about writing as a career. I knew I wanted to write a novel one day. I figured I would write a novel, get it out of my system and then move on to something else. Now that I've started writing, I wonder why I didn't make this my career in the first place instead of all those other things I did.
Peggy, please tell us a little about your novel 'Greed'.
Greed is about a young woman who had lead a very sheltered life in a small town in Georgia, in a very fundamentalist religion. She's never been anywhere or done anything but go to church, date boys from the church, go to school and later go to work in a local dress shop. A romantic hunk of a man wonders into town one day and she falls in love with him. She will do anything for him and ends up helping him run a scam. A very wealthy woman in Savannah is dying and wants to see her long lost granddaughter whom she hasn't seen since the granddaughter was five years old. I will purposely leave you hanging here, so you'll want to read it.
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
What inspired you to write the book?
When I was a much younger woman I was addicted to the Gothic Romance of that time. I read everything Victoria Holt, Daphne Du Maurier, and Dorothy Eden wrote. I read most of these many times. My latest novel, Greed is an experiment in a way. I wanted to see if I could write an old time Gothic romance but in a modern setting, if you can call the fifties more modern.
Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
This is definitely a woman's book. I think women who are a little older and likes to read the old fashioned Gothic romance novels. The Gothic romance novels of today has vampires in them. This book is from a much earlier era. The book is available for kindle, nook, on smashwords, and in paperback on lulu.com.
How would you describe the success of your book so far?
I've had a few downloads but no reviews yet.
How long did it take it to write the book?
It only took about three months. I was in the middle of writing the sequel to 3037, my science fiction book when this one started calling to me. I had to put the other one aside and get to this one. Because it had been bothering me for some time, it went very fast.
Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
I have ten books published for kindle, nook, and smashwords as e-books. I also have them in paperback, in large print on lulu.com.
How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
If you know a lot about computers it's so easy it's laughable. I had trouble because I was from the old school and had been using a Brother typewriter at first. When my sister gave me a laptop, I had to teach myself to use it and I didn't understand so much. Formatting was so difficult for me, but I finally figure it out and now it's really easy.
Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
I had someone design the covers for both Greed and Monroe Beach. All the others I designed myself by painting them and then scanning them. I didn't know how to use the programs to put together covers.
"Just go for it!"
Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
Honestly? I don't see how you could possibly write if you don't read. You will get ideas about how to write as well as how not to write. I learned both from reading best selling authors. As far as self-publishing goes, what do you have to lose? Just go for it! You will learn as you do it.
Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
The book I'm writing right now is entitled Time and Time Again. It is a sequel to 3037, my first attempt at writing a science fiction/fantasy. It involves time travel and reincarnation. You find out they are one and the same in these books. Both books are full of metaphors and are very metaphysical. The first one, 3037 was an experiment. I wanted to see if I could to it. It was so much fun, I decided to write a sequel.
Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to have one of your next books to be traditionally published?
Are you kidding me? I wasted over a year after writing my first book trying to get an agent, an editor, or a publisher to read even one sentence of my book. They had their chance and they blew it. Besides, I like working for myself.
"If Stephen King had started writing today, he would not have bothered with a publisher."
Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I think e-books are a wave of the future. I think as more and more people become more educated about e-books, no one will want to collect those dust catchers, paperbacks. I think that if Stephen King had started writing today, he would not have bothered with a publisher. I read somewhere that he wrote 16 books before he got anyone to read any. Book stores will be a thing of the past, publishers will be out of work, and the general public will learn that they don't have to be told what to read. I'm hoping they will read what they want instead of reading something that has been publicized and a lot of money spend to advertise.
Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I am retired and write when the mood hit me.
How can readers connect with you?
Via my website or Twitter. [See Links below]
Thank you so much for the Interview, Peggy.
About the Book - Southern Mystery: Greed
Growing up in a hick town in Georgia, in a hell, fire, and brimstone religion, she was ripe for the picking. When suave, handsome Adam came into town and offered her love, wealth, and excitement, she agreed to pretend to be the long lost granddaughter of the wealthy Miss Gracie Boston of Savannah, who was dying and wanted to see her long lost granddaughter one last time.
But what price will she pay for wealth and excitement?
Click here to Read an Excerpt
Links to the Author and the Book
Link to Peggy Holloway's Website
Connect with Peggy Holloway on Twitter: @authorpholloway
Link to the eBook Greed on Amazon with Excerpt