For this seventh episode of Writer’s Spotlight, we have Kari Holloway – another member of the Scribes’ Circle whom I have gotten to know quite well over the past year. She is also in the A Haunting of Words anthology with me, due out in July 2017. Her vast knowledge on numerous facets of the publishing industry and extremely prolific story writing ensure she will go quite far! I’ve read her Cracked But Never Broken, and I was surprised by the depth of the characters, the surprise twists, and most of all that a romance book could draw me into it as much as it did.
Give us a short introduction to you.
I’m a southern pain in the ass, if you asked my mom. It was all in good jest. Born and bred Georgian native, I graduated from Lee County High and achieved my Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus Ga. I’ve got two girls, Thing 1 and Thing 2/Demon and if you are a fan of my Instagram.com/lunanara87 they pop up regularly.
How long have you been writing, professionally and/or as a hobby?
As a hobby, elementary school. I remember hiding it and feeling like writing wasn’t an “honorable” thing in the family. We were a bunch of hands on people. Professionally, I started in July 2015 but didn’t realize it would become a career until 2016.
In what genre(s) do you write?
My main wheelhouse is Southern Fiction, stories with main characters or cultures from the south but they can be any genre. I have a contemporary romance and a fantasy series that are very different but both are Southern Fiction.
Do you outline your stories ahead of time, or do you let the story grow as you write?
I don’t know much past the next paragraph. Sometimes I have an idea of where it’s going, but like Cracked But Never Broken proved, even that can change by a single action.
Which authors have influenced and inspired you the most?
Every author I’ve ever read has influenced me in some form or fashion. Stories become part of our identity and while we can’t detail where we picked it up, it lingers, shaping our ideas and notions on some level.
Do you write in other ways, such as poetry, songwriting, technical articles, etc?
I haven’t touched poetry in many years, not since high school.
How has your life experiences affected your writing?
Every experience no matter how big or how little, just like reading books, affects us. I can’t tell how it affects it, but I do know that occasionally I can pinpoint a part and go “that reminds me of XYZ” but it doesn’t look anything like it did in real life.
What scene that you’ve written has moved you the most, and why?
Cracked But Never Broken had a few scenes that were just amazing. Damien at the kitchen table, mad at the world and he doesn’t have a clue why. Lexi standing up for herself at the Mistwood ranch. This girl has had it and refuses to be “genderfied” and seen as weak. On the Mistwood ranch again, in the kitchen, and the total breakdown of expectation versus reality and that no matter how desperate we are, we can’t control everything.
Beta Readers – Yes or No? Why?
I’m starting to dip my toes in the water with beta readers. My Laughing P series doesn’t need it. But fantasy is a genre that somethings need to be explained because you don’t know if they read Brent weeks or Kim Harrison, or you might be the first fantasy book the reader ever picks up.
What inspires your story ideas?
I really don’t know. My aunt told me one time, if you’re bored, you aren’t being productive. My mind’s always looping through something. It might be writing or it could be the next great Hearthstone or Pokemon TCG match.
Do you belong to any Writing Groups?
I’m a member of a few groups but only active in Fiction Writing (25k members), Scribes’ Circle, Writing without Drama (Admin), 20booksto50k, For Love or Money and each provides different things. No one group can provide all the answers and they shouldn’t.
Tell us about all of your works in progress (include your favorite snippets).
You’re asking for a lot.
I just finished formatting Forgotten, the first in the Devil’s Playground series. Weddings should be the happiest time for a couple. In the city of New Orleans, they are anything but. Something is wrecking havoc and it’s up to Alex and her team of Guardians to get to the bottom of it, but who is hunting who?
I finished the draft of Never too Late, the final novel in the Laughing P trilogy. It’s currently in pre-editor phase. Darien Payne is determined to win the girl next door until death do they part, but just as his life seems to be going great karma throws a curve ball. A death hangs over the happiest day of his life, his brother is missing, and some unsettling news about a certain blonde has him worried that the two are intertwined.
I’ve got a few ideas cooking, Shipwrecked or Switched at Birth, and until I know which way I’m leaning I’m not giving any hints on either of those. I may dig out a short story to help disengage myself from writing in 1st POV before tackling the rewrite of Cry of Gold.
Have you been published?
The list is incredible long. I’ll link it to my site where everything is at your fingertips. Instead of all, I’m going to highlight the latest news.
A Haunting of Words is the 3rd installment of the Of Word series by Scout Media. 365 submissions. 31 stories chosen. Gunpowder & Wool made the short list and to make that victory even sweeter, I landed a marquee spot on the cover. An incredible feat to say the least.
Coming summer 2017, the only promise I can make is that every page will leave you haunted.
How can readers follow you?
KariHolloway.wix.com/fiction will keep you up to date.
Join my newsletter, through my site, my facebook.com/k.l.holly page, or https://goo.gl/forms/unvopp0ej5ROGCtv2.
Twitter and Instagram are @Lunanara87
Google plus is https://plus.google.com/+KariHolloway
Is there anything else you want readers to know about you?
I prefer vanilla ice cream.
Thanks, Kari, for taking the time to share a little piece of you with us!