The Writing Life of: Holly Willow
This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author Holly Willow. Holly will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘Postcard From Paris‘, which was released on 15th October 2018 and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.
Holly Willow has lived her life on the move since her early childhood. She grew up in stables in the Middle East and South East Asia, surrounded by horses, philandering polo players, and wonderfully oversharing expatriate housewives.
Currently, she’s bouncing around Europe. Growing up, if she wasn’t on horseback, she had her nose in a book. Characters in novels were her best friends. And ultimately she started creating her own.
1) As a child did you have a dream job in mind?
No. To be honest, I just wanted to be a kid. I didn’t like the idea of growing up. I never knew what to say when adults asked me what I wanted to be or do when I grew up.
2) Who was your favourite childhood author (s)?
Without a doubt, Enid Blyton. My mother and I read all of the Famous Five novels together. Good memories.
3) Was there a particular point in your life that you realised you wanted to be a writer?
As a child, I loved books. Escaping into magical worlds far from reality was my favorite pastime. That didn’t change when I grew up. Books and the characters in them have been some of my best friends for as long as I can remember. And I’ve been writing stories since I was nine years old. But I didn’t publish any of them until last year.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any special routines, word count, etc?
I write in bed, wearing my most comfortable pajamas, with the laptop parked on a pillow in front of me. Typically, I write two hours per day. On good days, I manage to write a thousand words during those two hours. On bad days, I manage merely a few paragraphs. Bad (writing) days happen. The most important thing is to start over the next day and give it my best shot again.
5) How many books have you written? Any unpublished work?
Postcard From Paris was the first full-length novel I wrote. Soon after I finished it, I started working on Love By Chance and One Little Lie. They’re all complete stand-alone stories but they share a theme: finding out what you want in life and working up the courage to try and make it happen. Oh, and there’s romance too.
Right now I’m working on a novel about a divorce lawyer who falls in love despite her best efforts to stay away from romance and relationships. My goal is to finish the story before the end of this year. I’m actually having a great time writing it so far!
6) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I used to be a pantser. Now I’m a plotter.
Concerning your latest book:
Pages – 250
Release Date – 15th October 2018
Format – ebook
When Poppy finds a postcard from Paris, sent by an aunt she didn’t know existed, she books a flight to France to investigate. Just days after arriving in Paris, she accidentally lands herself a job thanks to a case of mistaken identity.
To complicate matters further, she soon starts to fall for her new boss. Falling in love with your boss is never a good idea and she knows it. But when he makes her an offer she can’t refuse, her heart just might win the battle against reason and logic.
7) How did you go about researching the content for your book?
As the title so obviously implies, Postcard From Paris takes place in Paris. My mother took me to Paris for the first time when I was five years old. I’ve been irrevocably in love with the city ever since that first visit. The architecture, the history, the ever-present air of romance, not to mention the food, never fails to thrill and enthrall me. So, in terms of location, I didn’t have to do much research. I could rely on my memories of previous visits. As for the rest of it, I used my imagination.
8) How long did it take to go from ideas stage to writing the last word?
I like to take my time with my stories. So it took me about a year to get from the ideas stage to the last word.
9) How did you come up with the title of your book?
A postcard from Paris sends Poppy Parker, the main character in the book, on a life-changing journey, hence “Postcard From Paris”.
10) Can you give us an insight into your characters?
Poppy Parker thinks she knows exactly where her life is going because she has it all meticulously planned out. But she gets thrown for a loop when the promotion she has been promised for two years is suddenly given to someone else. Meanwhile, her fiancé accepts a job offer in Hong Kong without consulting her and postpones their wedding. So when she finds a postcard from Paris with a message written by an aunt she has never heard of, she can’t think of a reason to not book a seat on the next flight to France.
She has worn the dutiful daughter and supportive sister hat for as long as she can remember, the loyal employee hat for her entire professional career, and the patient fiancée hat since she started dating the man she is supposed to marry, a man who is already married to his job. It’s time for her to try some new hats on for size.
11) What process did you go through to get your book published?
I self-published my book.
12) What’s next for you writing wise?
I’m going to keep working on my fourth novel.
1) If you could have any super power for the day which would you choose?
I’d love to be able to fly. People do say I tend to have my head in the clouds. I think this has something to do with me being a hopeful romantic.
2) Do you have any pets?
I have a Yorkshire Terrier. He’s a wonderful companion. But he does not approve of my daily two-hour writing routine. He does everything he can think of to voice his displeasure, including trying to push my laptop off the pillow I park it on.
3) If you decided to write an autobiography of your life, what would you call it?
The Constant Globetrotter. I have two great passions – writing and traveling. Thanks to my parents, I grew up on the move, bouncing from one country to the next. I’ve lived in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies. I have an insatiable wanderlust, a deep desire to see more of the world and experience all it has to offer. And I tend to write stories set in places I have been to or would like to visit one day.
4) Your book has been made into a feature film and you’ve been offered a cameo role, which part would you choose, or what would you be doing?
I would turn down the offer of a cameo role. Cameras make me very uncomfortable. But, if my wildest dream did come true and my book was turned into a film, I’d make sure all the props and sets were properly organized. I’m very meticulous and detail oriented.
5) Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Do I really need to say it? Paris, of course!
6) A baseball cap wearing, talking duck casually wanders into your room, what is the first thing he says to you?
Quack. What else would he say? Wait. Is it a New York Yankees cap? In that case, he say, “The Red Sox suck.” His words, not mine.
I would like to say a big thank you to Holly Willow for sharing with us details of her writing life and for a wonderful interview.