Lin Holmes - Just as Prolific and Persistent

Hello everyone!  Today on Dreamspring we welcome the absolutely lovely Lin Holmes!  She’s graciously giving away copies of Her Last Day, Life’s Journey, She’s Gone and The Hidden Glade!  Comment to win one of these awesome stories!

I want to thank you Marion for inviting me to visit your blog, but more than that, OMG, the magnificent cover you created for my short story THE HIDDEN GLADE. I set that story in a place I spent a lot of time when I was growing up. What you captured in the cover, blew me away! It’s almost like you crawled inside my head and saw the actual place, as I remember it! Brilliant and powerful.

Marion:  Aw!  *blushes*  Thank you!  I had so much fun with the cover and it always gives me a little thrill of happiness to know that I’ve made an author happy!  Tell us about yourself, Lin!

Now a little about me—My name is Lin Holmes, but I write using my non-creative initials L.J. Holmes, (Making it easy with my memory is a GOOD thing.) J I was born on a gurney right next to the nurse’s station because my mother said I have an aversion to playing by the rules. Since I was the first of her four kids, (number three) to actually BE born in the hospital, how was I to know anything about rules? Personally, I think I was just eager to start observing life, and allowing my inner demon, known affectionately as Nudge to spin wicked stories around what I observe. My timing was perfect for that!

Marion: What was the first book you ever read that really blew your mind, that you couldn’t stop thinking about after you’d finished?

Gone With The Wind. I was in eleventh grade when our English teacher decided she didn’t like us any more and took off for Spain. (I think there was a matador involved, but that’s between us.) Bring in Mrs. Whitney, thank God! She didn’t think we should spend the next month bored to tears reading some long in the tooth bad stuff. Instead she assigned GONE WITH THE WIND. Mrs. Whitney will go down in the annals of all time as my absolute favorite teacher! I loved, loved, LOVED  this classic by Margaret Mitchellso much so I sat in my family’s front living room and read it through in just one weekend. Naturally I got a pile of “A’s” when Mrs. Whitney gave us pop quizzes. J Another reason to absolutely love Mrs. Whitney.

Marion: How do you start thinking about a book?  Is it the characters that first pop to mind, or the setting, or the plot?  Where do you usually start?

It really depends. When I was in college, at the ripe old age of thirty-something, and driving home from my Creative Writing Class around ten o’clock, the prof would give us the theme for what he wanted written for next week’s class. It’s a good thing we lived in the country and I drove nothing but back, back roads, because I’d be there with these snippets playing out in my head, Nudge demanding I write them down and the car requiring I give it a MODICUM of attention. I learned how to write on a sketch pad beside me with my right hand, steer with my left and bounce my head back and forth between the sketch pad and the road. I had to drive with the overhead light on. That was a lot of fun…not! Our local cop happened to be the pig farmer. By this time at night, he was fast asleep so at least I didn’t have to worry about him zipping out of some concealing bush ticketing me for acting weird while driving while flapping my jaws at Nudge and bopping my head around.

Marion: If you could invite five writers, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?

Oh WOW! I LOVE this question. Hmmm who would I invite…other than my daughter, author Kat Holmes, who’d be there automatically, so I don’t have to invite her? Another five then!

My most favorite author of all time, a brilliant man, who’s very much alive would be International Best Selling Author Glenn Kleier. This man’s writing may not have saved my life, but it gave me the courage to fight for it…again. I was engaged in my second battle with cancer, and vowed to never go through chemo and radiation after my first war…then I found Glenn’s debut best seller, THE LAST DAY. Powerfully Dazzling! I’m lucky I’ve gotten to know Glenn since then, and this man’s mind is so well rounded, so smart, and so wise beyond my imagination. Having him there would keep the conversation snapping.

Second…Agatha Christie…another brilliant mind. Her ability to lay out clues so they’re there but casually so you don’t pick them up on the first read through…Imagine what she could do with that mind tackling solutions to today’s complex world issues?

Third…hmmm…Nora Roberts but in her J.D. Robb frame of mind. I love her IN DEATH series. I used to read her books written under her own name Nora Roberts, but since I found her J.D. Robb writing persona, I can’t go back to Nora.

Fourth…is probably obscure to many Anne N. Reisser. She only wrote a few books  back when Candlelight Romances still existed. She could turn a phrase in such a way, her books became keepers, that I re-read all the time. What I would not give for the power behind her writing voice!

Unknown cover art, if you know,
please tell me!
Finally…this is probably going to sound strange…and trust me I’m not including her because she’s my publisher…but Lea Schizas. I’m a retired Special Ed teacher. Lea, along with her partner and friend Litsa Kamateros wrote an amazing book of helpful guidance about Autism called AUTISM EPIDEMIC SHAKING THE SYSTEM. These two women are more than mere publishers. They care about us, their authors, but also the community we all belong to here on Planet Earth.

Marion: When was the last time you just had to write, and what inspired that feeling?

I guess that would depend what form of writing you’re asking about. I was pretty much raised by my grandmother. She and her sister wrote letters back and forth to each other every week. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a biological sister, so I adopted one of my friends and made her my sister. This past year, this woman I met on Face Book, thanks, BTW to Glenn Kleier, has become my writing buddy and the sister I’ve always longed for…someone who’s walked a similar path and understands and enjoys my quirks. I feel like I’ve come full circle…the avid kid Nonnie shared her letters with, and the grateful adult sharing my world with my sis, Rosebug.

Marion: When you’re writing, what game do you most often play during “breaks”?
Hoyle card, board, and word games on my computer. I will also do some Hidden Object games not timed. With these old eyes timers are not my friends. :-)

Marion: Have you ever tried to shake up your writing routine?  Writing at a different time? Writing in new places?  Writing nude?  *waggles eyebrows*

My routine, such as it is, is controlled by Nudge. When Nudge wants me to write, I’d better write or there’s no peace inside Lin’s (L.J.’s) head. Trust me…it can get really ugly in there.

Marion: What’s your worst writing habit?  Something you know you shouldn’t do, but just can’t seem to stop?

Never thinking my WIP is “perfect” enough to submit. My daughter rolls her eyes at me when I argue about this little thing or that little thing needing just a teeny tweak.

Marion: What’s the one thing you wish you were good at, but just can’t seem to master?

Singing. Kat threatens to pinch my ear HARD if I even think about singing.

Marion: How do you ‘get into character’?  Are their certain characters you find it harder to write than others?

I’m not sure I do. Every time I think I know where my characters are heading, Nudge sends us down a side road. **Come Closer**Shhhh** I’ll never tell Nudge this, she’s usually right. The side road makes it a better story. Can’t afford to let her head swell too much, though.

Marion: If you could choose one writing related question you never, ever wanted to hear spoken again, what would it be?

Why aren’t you making real money? Okay I’m not making a fortune…yet, but even a frigging penny is “real” money!

Marion: What’s your favorite book title?

Oh Dear…other than the ones I’ve already mentioned? I love the title my daughter gave Book Two in her Artica Lights Series; REFLECTIONS OF ICE.  If you’re asking about my own titles I also love my short mystery-like story SHE’S GONE.

Marion: What project are you currently working on?

I’m working on a witch/warlock story, THE CALL OF THUNDER and co-writing a third collaboration with Kat tentatively called FOOTPRINTS IN TIME.

Marion: About how long does it take you to get from first draft to polished manuscript?  What does that process look like?

I’m a fast writer. It depends on the length of the book. A 3-6000 word story takes about two hours. I wrote a 75,000 word story in two weeks. Add another couple days to a week for polishing…when I’m not re-tweaking that is. :-)

Marion: Wow!  Be careful not to burn through your keyboard!! What’s your best book-related memory?  Your worst?

Best…receiving the contract for my first collab with Kat, HER LAST DAY.  Worst…the same book because we had to go through four rejections and rewrites before it made it. We both loved this book so much, we weren’t going to give up on it.

Marion: What did your “favorite” rejection letter say?

Favorite? Rejection letter? They’re nobody’s favorite. But the most confusing was also for HER LAST DAY. It was rejected for head-hopping, but it’s only told by Daria, the heroine of the story. We were very careful about that so it was really confusing.

Marion: Name a book that, if you find out someone likes it, you know you will get along with that person.

There are so many books I love. I really can’t think of just one. I know I love Glenn Kleier’s first book THE LAST DAY.I reread it all the time and every new reading enchants and empowers me just as it did the first time around. I’d eagerly spend days talking about it with another fan.

Marion: Is there a writer whose style or talent you envy?  What is it about their writing that draws you in?

I wish I had the patience to write like Glenn Kleier. This man’s mind, his attention to and willingness to do painstaking research boggles my mind. His ability to weave together so many sub-themes…WOW! I so want to be like him when I grow up!

Marion: Any parting words?

I am a huge fan of authors. To me they’re the real celebrities in today’s world. Without them we’d all be locked in a world of facts with no colors to explore “What If”.

What if this one detail was a tad different? Writers can and do bring to vivid life those “What If’s” They’re my heroes and now incredibly I’m one of them. That to me is the best gift the world could have bestowed upon me. That I can weave a story another might enjoy is such a privilege and I’m honored Muse It Up Publishing, and those who’ve bought and read my books allow Nudge and me to do so.

Again I want to thank you Marion Sipe, and tell you I look forward to being the proud owner of more of your covers in the future. You’re magic!

Marion: Thank you so much for being here, Lin!  And for your generosity in giving away so many of your wonderful stories!  Remember readers, comment to win one!


Arlene said…
Hi Lin,
Just checking up on one of my favorite Muse authors. You keep writing, and I'll keep reading. And yes, I think Marion makes the most perfect covers, it's magical.
Lin said…
Thank you for dropping by Alrlene. I love the cover MArion did for The Hidden Glade. I used to go there when I was a kid and teen growning up. There's a bridge there I'd sit on and watch the sunlight twinkle off the water and polished rocks in the bed below. That palce was so magical for me, and Marion caught that magic ibn the cover. I really do love. This is between us. I actually printed up two copies of it. One for my living room display wall where all our covers are, and one for our bedroom wall, where only our absolute favorites are.
Anonymous said…
Hi. A very nice post. I enjoyed it. I wish you the best in your writing career, as well as in life.

(MIU author)
Marie Laval said…
What a lovely interview, Lin and Marion. Lin, I really envy your imagination and ability to write so fast! Marion, the cover for 'The Hidden Glade' is indeed beautiful.
Susan Royal said…
Loved visiting with you on Marion's blog, Lin. Love Marion's vision for The Hidden Glade as well.
Jim Hartley said…
Very nice interview, Lin. And that cover for "The Hidden Glade" is really lovely, too. But then, all Marion's covers are great, I'm proud to have four of them on my books.
Dropping your comment about real money.
Glenn Kleier said…
I came here today to support my dear friend and colleague, Lin Holmes, whose work and soul I much admire. I did not anticipate her hugely kind sentiments. She is gracious to a fault, and I thank her for her generosity. I'm very moved.
Thank you, sweet lady.
Lin said…
Thank you all for stopping by and leaving so many comments. Writing is more than a hobby. Over the years it has been a life line...and Glenn...thank you for being a man of honor, grace, generosity, inteligence, support, encouragement, and love. I don't know if I'll ever actually meet you, but every one should be lucky enough to have a Glenn, a Lea, a Litsa, A Marion, a Rosebug, a Kat, A Suzanne, a Ginger, a Gail, A Ro, a Jim, a Kevin, A Brad, my list could go on forever. You're are intergral and I thank each and every oen of you for the place you have inside my heart.
Leona~Author said…
I enjoyed your post very much, Lin. I admire all you've done, both alone and with your daughter.

I got a laugh from your Gone With the Wind comment since I mentioned it on yesterday's interview here. The school I attended at the time would not have allowed it as a teaching tool.Times have changed, that's for sure.

Marion, the cover is awesome. I hope you design mine for Hemphill Towers.

Lin, I'd love to be able to type that fast.
Alix Richards said…
As always Lin, I enjoy what you have to say. Gone With the Wind, you too? I will say this, my high school lit teacher promised we wouldn't have to read it. I wasn't happy, he instead handed us To Kill a Mockingbird...I honestly can't remember what it was about, but I must've read it. I passed. LOL
Cyrus Keith said…
Hey, check out all these colors! Nice blog ya got here, ladies! And an awesome interview with my friend Lin. Happy Sales, sis! And thanks for sharing.
Wendy said…
Marion, You've done it again. Such a magical cover. So suggestive of memories, imagination and secrets. No wonder Lin loves it.

Lin thanks for sharing. I agree with you about fiction writers colouring our world and am also grateful to MuseItUp for bringing your wonderful stories to the reading public. Long live Nudge. :)

I've heard you mention Glenn Kleier many times. I'll bite the bullet and look him up.
Marion Sipe said…
Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by and thank you all for the lovely comments. I had a lot of fun making this cover and I'm so proud that Lin loves it the way she does!

Thanks for visiting, Lin!
Anonymous said…
I'm totally late...been away, but I'm back a catching up and see that Marion has interviewed Lin...well, I definitely had to check that out:)

Marion, you've got a great place here...and Lin, I'm always learning something new about you at every interview. Congratulations on your newest release;) Hugs, and keep up those great have a never ending lead with your 'nudge';)

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