Thursday, October 11, 2012

Behind The Words // Steena Holmes

I first met bestselling author Steena Holmes about two years ago when she and I connected on the web. Since then, she's been a wonderful supporter of my writing. And this year, she published a novel called "Finding Emma" which has won the Indie Excellence Book Award and has become an Amazon bestseller. And guess what? She continues to support my writing and the work of other writers as well!

So, Steena. In your own words, who the heck are ya? 

I'm a sassy but sweet Canadian girl with a love for chocolate. I love books and especially love to read them. I love the sensation of losing myself in a story. It's probably why I love to write them as well.
Hmmm... well, I have a bestseller that's won a few awards, if that's what you mean. Finding Emma. I also landed an agent and a publisher deal (2 book deal) because of this story. It's amazing what happens when you write a story from the heart that touches other hearts.

Describe your writing space. Is there a sheep grazing outside your window?

Sheep? I wish! Especially if it was a black lamb. When I was 16 I traveled to Scotland with a drama team and fell in love with all the little black lambs that dotted their 'hills'. I even have a few figurines lying around of black sheep - they aren't that easy to find you know.

Writing space - depends on the mood. I love to sit on the couch or in my big comfy chair with my laptop and write. But I keep getting in trouble from my chiropractor so I try to write at my desk. Which I love (my desk). It's a beautiful secretary desk that sits in our living room. I have a scentsy candle going beside a large vase that houses a fish (amazingly, watching a fish swim around and around and around is quite entertaining and helps when I'm trying to figure out a scene). I must have a cup of something hot. Preferably coffee with hot chocolate but I've been craving tea lately, so I image that will be my beverage of choice. I have a really cute little cup a friend of mine made for me with a quote from Finding Emma that I love to use - or a Tim Horton's cup (Canadian girl at heart).

Music - I love listening to music when I'm writing emails, checking out facebook, wasting time on twitter etc ... but when I'm writing, I need silence. I get annoyed when there's noise around me (how odd is that). I've tried writing at a coffee shop and that SO does not work for me.

What are you working on these days? Barring a meteorite hitting your roof, when will it be out?

I always have a few stories on the go. So currently, I'm in the middle of edits with Emma's Secret - the sequel to Finding Emma. I have a fabulous editor with Amazon Publishing (who bought the book) and I'm really excited about where this story is going. And then I'm working on a really short novella to coincide with Emma's Secret - I plan to put it out around Christmas and then I have another novella that I work on here and there when I'm stuck on one of the other stories. I always have a story on the go - just depends on the day which one I'm writing :) Samples ... that might be a good idea actually. I should see about doing that :) LOL.

Emma's Secret will be out in Spring 2013.
Finding Jack - part of the Emma books will be out Christmas 2012
Unnamed title story (I suck at titles) will be out in January 2013.

Now to the tools of the trade. Do you use a computer? Quill and cow's blood on parchment? 

I love to use Scrivener. I do better when I have a brief outline and can write in scenes rather than chapters. I have a daily word count that I like to beat (I'm a tad bit competitive with myself). I use a laptop. I've tried the whole 'jot down notes' in a notebook type deal - doesn't work too well for me.
I write daily. Unless I can't. Like when I'm engrossed in a book or plan some coffee dates with my girlfriends. I'm a fast writer and I prefer to edit as I go. Once I'm done with a book, I'm done - so it's better if I edit as I go so that I keep the passion flowing.

What does your family think of you being a writer? Do you get the space you need to do the writing you crave? Do they bring you chocolate cake to keep you out of their hair?

Well...the thing about writing...its a lonely world sometimes. My husband hates it when I lose myself in a book - cause I tend to focus my energy solely on that and burn dinner, forget to make it, ignore a messy house ... that type of thing. But I'm very thankful that he's so supportive! I was able to quit my full time job in July so that I could write - how awesome is that! I've done well as an indie author - I made more this year writing than I ever have working full time and now that I have this book's awesome to be a writer and do it for a living. Plus I have a chocolate addiction so I had better make money doing this .... 

We have a small house and my desk is in the middle of our living room ... so space is hard to find. But I write during the day when the kids are at school or I go and hide up in my bedroom when they're not.

My youngest is very intuitive ... she is always providing me with chocolate when I'm writing. I tend to just drink coffee (or tea) when I'm lost in my story so she'll make sure I never go hungry. She even knows where my stash of chocolate covered almonds are and sneaks me a few (and for her too I'm sure).

Where can readers find you, Steena?

Facebook: - I tend to like giving free books away on my author page (hint hint if people want to like my page)
Finding Emma:

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