There is many things I liked about this interview with Meredith Holmes. First, that she used the term “chocolate and peanut butter,” then that she gave fantastic advice to authors and what they should expect, and finally, that she coined a new acronym (“BICHOK”) for getting down to some serious writing business. I know you’ll going to love the rest of what she has to say.
Enjoy this interview.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
I’m from Southeast Texas, just outside of Houston actually. I’ve been writing for what seems like my entire life but “professionally,” only a few years. Unseelie is my first published book though I’ve had a few short stories come out in the past!
What type of writing do you do?
I write fantasy fiction with a romantic bent. I tried pure romance, and pure fantasy, but the two kept merging together like chocolate and peanutbutter!
What’s the best thing about writing?
I get to exercise my overactive imagination!
Share some of your writing goals.
Right now, I’m expecting my first child so my goals are to set up a dedicated writing space and time and stick to BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keys). I know that’ll have to be very flexible after the baby comes but it’s good to get into the habit now. I also set myself word count goals. I may not keep all the words I write in one day, but I try to hit at least 2000 words, if not more.
Is there a specific time of day you like to write?
Right now, I like writing midmorning to early afternoon. Sometimes I hit another round at night, when I get my second wind.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
That’s really tough. There’s so many that I can’t just pick one. I would count Neil Gaiman’s and Lois McMasters Bujold’s books among the most interesting. Same with Jim Butcher and Kelley Armstrong, too.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Oh, when I was young. Maybe around 9 or 10!
Neil Gaiman, Lois McMasters Bujold, Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, Lisa Kleypas, Jayne Anne Krentz… I have a long list!
Book you’re currently reading.
Right now, I’m reading a few Regency romances (The Abduction of Julia and Mr. Cavendish, I Presume) as well as the latest Harry Dresden book by Jim Butcher
Any type of writing ritual you have?
I have to have sound when I write—if it’s silent, I get distracted. So when I sit down, I have my tea, my noise (either the tv or some CDs) and lately, I have my footstool or something to put my feet up on (for the kid, ya know). I also re-read the last chapter I wrote before starting the next.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?
Definitely believe in it! I don’t have a set method to get past it but since I usually have a few stories going at once, I’ll put aside the one I’m blocked on and go pick up another and fiddle with it. If that doesn’t work, I walk away from the blocked story, go do something creative (sewing, choreographing dance routines for the belly dance troupe I perform with, et cetera) and see if that gets the juices flowing.
What’s the measure of a successful writer?
In my opinion, it’s not how many books they sell but rather if they enjoy writing. A lot of people get into writing thinking they’ll be getting “Stephen King” sales numbers and that writing is so easy, but those are the ones that tend to get disheartened the quickest. If a writer is happy and loves what they’re doing, they’re successful.
Advice for other writers?
Don’t get discouraged when you get rejected. And don’t, no matter how tempted you are, snap back at critics. Accept it for what it is, opinions and advice, and take from it what you can.
Where can we learn more about you ?
Anything else you’d like to add?
Visit my face book page too! www.facebook.com/meri.holmes I have a few manuscripts I’m getting into Drollerie asap so hopefully you’ll see more books from me soon!