Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Holley Trent. I was born in New York and raised in rural eastern North Carolina, but now I live on the Colorado Front Range. Most days, I consider myself a Southerner. Other days, I prefer to keep folks guessing.
Writing is my day job. My night job is watching Netflix like I’m getting paid.
I’ve got two kids, two cats, and a husband who works in a small enough field that I won’t mention it here. (No, he’s not a politician.)
What made you want to write? Have you been writing since you were little, or did you come to it as an adult?
I’ve always been a writer. For a long time, I thought it was a gig like any other where people got steady paychecks. I think middle school cured me of that belief. I settled into writing as a gig, though, simply because of household needs. I’ve got a husband who works unpredictable hours and children who still are required by law to have adult supervision.
Do you have a book that lives under the bed? One you wrote, but will never see the light of day? If so, tell us a little about it.
I have too many of those to count. Mostly, they’re abandoned magical realism and women’s fiction projects I put away because my author voice just wasn’t right for them. I may try again some day.
The dreaded question: where do you find your inspiration?
Oh, I can build a plot around pretty much any bad joke. Doesn’t take much for me. I know most folks don’t create content the same way—they need more congealed ideas to work with. I fly by the seat of my pants and let the ridiculous happen.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Honestly, finding out which buried and obscure jokes and references readers pluck out of my books.
What’s your least favorite thing about writing?
Reading my own books, which is something of a necessary evil during the editing stage.
Where / when do you write best?
I’m a creature of habit. I add to existing wordcount every day, Monday through Friday, but I have to write first thing in the morning when my brain is fresh. I’ve got an office downstairs (supposed to be the dining room, but we’re not classy) and I really am most productive when I’m at my desk.
Can you give a few suggestions for readers who may be new to you – a good place to start with your contemporary romances?
I always ask folks what they’re in the mood for before making recommendations, but in general, I tell them that if they want:
LOL funny – read Sold as Is
Gasp-inducingly dramatic – read Teaching the Cowboy
Too hot to read on the bus – maybe Three Strikes
I also like to warn folks that I don’t write traditionally sweet romance heroines. I write heroines who tend to have too much mouth (and heroes who have the right stuff to handle it).
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Work with a bunch of different editors if you can. I don’t mean on the same project, but in general. You’ll learn something from every one, and your work will become more bulletproof over time, even from the editors whose notes you side-eye the hell out of.
Also, fail a lot. You really can’t improve unless you get knocked back on your butt every so often. All of us get stuck in ruts (again, the “work with a bunch of different editors” thing helps).
Where can folks find you this year?
I’ll be at the RWA National Conference in San Diego in July. If you see me, come say hi. I may not look approachable (thanks, resting bitch-face phenomenon), but don’t let that deter you. I’m fun to drink with, and also great to have on hand just in case you need someone to watch your tote bag while you run to the bathroom.
I’d like to thank Holley for playing along (especially with the short notice I gave her — OOPS!) and I hope you enjoy her writing as much as I do!