Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Monday, June 07, 2010

Welcome L.J. Holmes

Today I have L.J. Holmes stopping by for an in-depth interview. And, as she is my mom I can get away with asking her things other people can not. So, without further ado, here's my interview with L.J. Holmes.

1: Thank you for being here. Would you tell us a little bit about you?

I’m your Mom, so you know all my deep dark secrets, but if you think I am going to blab them all here…HAH! With that aside, I am a mom…yep yours and your brother’s…oh and I suppose we should toss in the two kitties, Mama Bear and Spatz too. I have a MA degree in Special Education and used to be a Teacher of the Handicapped, specifically I worked with children born with Down Syndrome; they have such an amazingly cheerful way of looking at life despite the many limitations life has forced upon them. But I’m retired. My job now is to be the burr in your saddle and may I say I am thoroughly enjoying it. Giving you reasons to roll your eyes at me, give me the raspberries, or just groan rather dramatically takes a lot of work and forethought on my part.

2: I have to ask the obligatory question. What inspired you to begin first writing?

Now you want me to get serious…Okay. You know the story, but those visiting your blog don’t, so here goes. I was lucky enough to grow up with my Grandmother living with us and acting as my primary parent 95% of the time and two incredible 80 plus year old ladies, Katie Sickle and Mary Powers living two doors away who regaled this rapt little girl with the many stories from their lives. I was hooked. If only I could weave tales half as well as those three women did, I knew I would be one step closer to heaven.

3: Is there anything you do to get ready to write, any specific thing you need to get in the mood?

Curse my muse because she’s usually yanked from a deep sleep and is dancing around eager to speak and won’t wait until it’s a decent hour. Naturally I have to grab pen and paper and try to write without my glasses on and in the dark. It’s always crooked, by the way, but she doesn’t care. All that matters to her is that I didn’t ignore her, like she’d let me, and I’ve committed her words to hard copy for sprucing up after I put my glasses on and turn the lights on.

4: When you are not writing, whom do you enjoy reading?

Hold on a minute while I go dive through our crates of books for the names of all the authors. You expect me to remember them all? Me? With my stellar memory? You know me better than that. (Play some music here while I dive away.)

Okay, I KNOW I am going to leave out hoards of those that I adore, and to them I ask your forgiveness…believe me I buy and read your work all the time. First, Glenn Kleier, author of one of the most incredible stories I have ever read THE LAST DAY…Glenn thank you for finally coming out with your next book. I can’t wait for February and Amazon to put it up on the pre-order list. Dame Agatha Christie. No matter how many times I read and reread her works I am astounded by how many clues are woven right there for you to catch throughout the body of her writing, if you were smart enough to pick up on them. J.D. Robb’s IN DEATH series. Do you think we will really be flitting around off planet the way Roarke does in 2060? Lynsay Sands…ah the Argeneau Vampires, especially Marguerite, I LOVE that Vampire! Mary Janice Davidson’s King Al. I adore King Al’s Alaska and MJD we need you to give us more of King Al. And although I have only read snippets so far, I am so looking forward to reading many of my fellow Muse authors up and coming works. The Alvarez family intrigues me. The dust cloud with the menacing face swirling within it, the bishops atop a checkerboard playing field and one of them is bleeding, dragons, witches, warlocks, and poor guys lost in the 15th century.

5: What do you do for fun?

Besides teasing you? Hmmm…let me think. I love playing toss with a crinkle ball and Spatz, our youngest cat, and giving the oldest one the evil eye when she sits on my electronics and sucks the heat right out of them. What I want to know is why MINE and not yours?

6: What is the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

I love my daughter and more than anything else I don’t want to embarrass you but always make you proud of me. No matter what I write, it has to pass the Kat test first because ultimately your opinion matters most.

7: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I think Montana so we could meet all the members of our new family in person. Until 2008 it was just you, your brother and me against the world, and now we have tons of family…and that’s such a blessing to cherish.

8: You are now multi-contracted with both MuseItUp and her hotter sister MuseItHot. Can you tell us about how many books we can look forward to from you starting in December and going all through 2011?

I received my SEVENTH contract on June 3rd.
1. Santa is a Lady-the First in my Christmas Miracles series; release date 12/1/2010 from MuseItUp
2. The Pendulum Swings; release date March 2011 from MuseItHot
3. Twilight Comes; release date May 2011 but I don’t know which side that will come from.
4. In From the Cold; release date June 2011 from MuseItHot
5. Beyond Yesterday: release date September 2011 and I’m not sure which side it will come from either.
6. The Christmas War; release date December 2011 the second Christmas Miracles from MuseItUp.
7. This Time Forever: I don’t have a release date or the side it will come from yet.

9: What advice would you give to a new author?

Never give up your dream, no matter how long it takes, and write, write, write.

10: Your first book, coming out December 1st of 2010 is a Christmas story, first in a series. What inspired you to create this story?

One of our local Santa Claus’s was arrested a few days before Christmas last year and I couldn’t help wondering what a store would do as the crunch time comes and their Santa is arrested. All the “professional and male” Santas will be working, so if you are a woman with a confectionary shop, who do you call on to help? Your best friend and of course because she’s your best friend you know how to push her buttons so she can’t say no to you.

11: There is a very cunning cat in your story. Can you tell us a little bit about the cat who inspired the character in your book?

You do know it is very wicked of you to ask this question don’t you? Now everyone will know I am NOT creative at all. {lowering my head in shame, my shoulders drooping too.}

I admit Mama Bear in the story is our very own Mama Bear, the eldest of our two cats and the things she does in the story are all things she does in real life. Is that plagiaristic? Do I need to get Mama Bear to sign some kind of a release contract? OMG...given how much of a Sarah Bernhardt she is when she gets a paw wet…(Mama Bear has caused Kat and I few heart attacks over the years when she comes out limping on three paws while holding her front fourth at an angle before her…why is she doing this? Because the offending paw is WET.)…can you imagine how she’ll be if we ask her to dip her paw in ink and sign a contract?

12: What was the driving force behind your creation of both the hero and the heroine for your tale?

You are nosy, daughter of mine. Angie, the female is very loosely based on my own history. I was the one in that car accident and the one who endured the years of rehabilitation. You are not Beck though…you’re much nicer than Beck.

Cam is loosely modeled after your uncle, the bringer of all that new Montana family I spoke of earlier. Your war hero uncle Eric, who served several tours in Iraq and served with the Army Corp of Engineers, has the blue eyes, the buzz cut and the height and brawn that I gave to Cam.

13: Would you please share a brief blurb about what Santa Is A Lady about?

I’m just working through my first edits, so I don’t have anything yet that I can take and quote from the actual manuscript, but I can give you a sort of a synopsis.
Once Santa is arrested, Angie’s best friend Beck coerces her into donning the red suit, but Angie still needs a cane to walk with and is never going to be 100% stable on her feet.

Children high on sugar and the expectation of Christmas are rambunctious. Angie’s body is still fragile. Disaster is bound to happen, and it does.

Cam, who has finally managed to gain custody of his half Iraqi daughter after nearly two years, wants his daughter to have the perfect American Christmas. A lady Santa is not his idea of the perfect Christmas and when his little girl reveals the lady behind the beard, he is enraged.

Little Jo unveils Santa but not before calling Santa “Mama” What does the child know that the adults do not?

14: The beautiful cover for Santa Is A Lady was done by the very talented Delilah K. Stephens. What was your first thought when you saw the completed version?

Oh My God I’ve been blessed by a Cover Art Goddess!

15: Thank you so much for being here today. Lastly, is there anything else about you or your writing that you’d like people to know?

Writing is a joy for me. I love seeing my words come together, but once I have written them I forget them and they get buried in the depths of my memory. Weeks, months, years later when I locate them again, pull them out and read them I shake my head in awe that I actually wrote them. That’s what I hope my readers will feel when they have finished reading my stories.

One other thing…I have been asked what genre I write and I have to answer that I don’t know if I even have a genre. There is romance in many of my stories, but in others there is darkness that leaves no room for romance or even happiness. So do I write romance, fantasy, paranormal, dark, suspense, or do I write it all? I really don’t know and I’m not sure I want to pigeonhole myself that way. I write whatever my muse sends to me to write. Sometimes the stories come so quickly I don’t really know what it is the muse is channeling through me until it is done and I go back and read it and wonder, “Where did that come from?” I only know writing is part of the beat of my heart and the blood flowing through my veins. It is who I am, and who I have always been. I cannot suppress it, but I’m glad because in the final analysis I think my Grandmother, Katie Sickle and Mary Powers are all in Heaven nodding their heads in approval of the storyteller I have become.

Thank you so much for being here. This was such a lot of fun. If you'd like to learn more about L.J. Holmes feel free to visit her blog. And check her out on the MuseItUp website!


Laurann Dohner said...

What a great interview! It made me smile!!! You're both terrific!

Kat said...

Thanks Laurann.:-)

N.J.Walters said...

What a wonderful interview! Mama Bear sounds like quite the diva. lol And your story sounds wonderful!

Kat said...

You'd have to meet the actualy cat. She's definitely a diva and so funny. I love her to pieces.

Viviane Brentanos said...

Great interview. Can you interview me, please, pretty please?

Lea said...

What did I get from this interview besides that Lin loves to write?

That she's got an amazing relationship with her daughter. While she was tooting her horn you can see the love pouring out of her for Kat.

Nicely done, ladies.

Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

Very nice interview. Both of your personalities shine through and I feel like I know you both a little better. Seven contracts! I'm jealous.

Marsha A. Moore said...

That was great and left me smiling from ear-to-ear. I'm close to my mom and I love to see others having those relationships -- it's worth everything.

And, Lin, I admire you for using your retirement time to chase your dreams - writing AND growing closer to Kat. Just wonderful! :)

Paul and Karen said...

Great interview, Kat and Lin! Congrats on your contracts!


Kat said...

Thanks everyone. And Viv, aren't you already set up for one for next month? I haven't slept yet so I'm loopy. I'll check my schedule after I get up but I'm pretty sure you are.

Isis™ said...

What a great interview!


Lin said...

Thank you all for your wonderful words. They mean more to me than I can express.

Like Kat I was a bit loopy by the time we sent out the word early this morning and of course I did one of my typicals, I made a mess of Kat's url and directed the masses to katluvt instead of katluvr. Sorry Sweetie. I think I was crosseyed a bit too.

I JUST finished my first ever edits, and Kat will tell you that I am the role model Murphy designed his colloquialism about, "WHATEVER CAN GO WRONG WILL GO WRONG!" My poor editor is shaking in her nanobytes and will probably refuse to ever work with this walking mine field again. It's pretty bad when you make your editor's Track Changer fritz out.

I do want to thank Kat. It's beyond nice to have someone always in your corner no matter what, and she is that and more.

Thanks Babe. Love you, and on that note I need to get my fanny back to polishing up my first huge manuscript before my editor recovers and decides to get even!

Kat said...

Thanks everyone for coming by. And thanks Mom for the fun day. Oh and I checked my calendar Viv. You are set for the 28th of July already as I thought.:-)

Trailowner said...

Sounds great to have writing in the family -- or should that be family in the writing? Either way, a good warm interview.

Chris H.

Cheryl said...

Great interview ladies. Have you ever worked on a book together? You have great chemistry.

Best of luck to you both.


Kat said...

Thanks Chris.

LOL Cheryl we'd probably end up killing each other.:-)

Lin said...

No, I wouldn't kill her, but I'd probaly smash all of her keyboards.

Actually we already DO work together, sort of. Nothing I write and nothing she writes goes any further without the other one reading it and making suggestions,and/or corrections. She is my cheering squad,and I hope I am that for her too.

My world would be a much darker, emptier place without her and I am blessed not to have to face such an eventuality.

I want to thank my daughter for giving me this opportunity, and the rest of you for stopping in, checking our day out and leaving so many warm and wonderful thoughts behind. You're all the best.

Christine London said...

Wow...mother looking to daughter for inspiration and approval. You are a woman ahead of her time and must be the most awesome mom. My mom passed away almost three years ago but lived long enough to know I had become published. She wanted to buy (print) books for all her friends when they were avaialble. Not of the internet generation (nor were her friends), she never got that chance (as my books were then only in electronic format), but I know she was so very proud.

Your daughter is a lucky lady.

Congrats on your river of contracts. Well welcomed and deserved, I'm sure. Best of luck at Muse.

Christine London

Lin said...

Thank you Christine. As mom's go, I got lucky which makes being a mom easy.

Glenn Kleier said...

You have an amazing sense of humor, Lin, thanks for the smiles. And i congratulate you on This Time Forever--your SEVENTH novel! I'm so deficient. But I thank you for yet another generous mention. You are always so good to me. Wishing you the greatest success--


Lin said...

Okay, the truth is, Glenn Kleier goes to bed with me. Shocking I know, but there you have it. I absolutely LOVE Glenn Kleier and reread his book THE LAST DAY all the time. I am rereading it right now, so it is in my hands, in my bed, when I finally get so tired that I place my bookmark, tuck it securely beneath my pillow and drift off into a peace filled sleep. I know his new book will join THE LAST DAY beneath my pillow with me in my bed too. So thank you for your kind words, Glenn. Your creative genuis inspires me every day.