Holley Trent writes paranormal and contemporary romances. She had won several awards including a CIM-RWA Abalone Award for her contemporary MY NORA, and a RomCon Reader’s Crown finalist for her paranormal romance A DEMON IN WAITING. Holley is also a three-time Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist.
RK: What gives you inspiration for your characters?
HOLLEY: Real life, honestly. I’m a people watcher and I listen far more than I talk. I build from the interesting tidbits I glean, and develop characters as I write. I’m a chronic pantser, so it’s very rare that I’ll know everything about a character before I start a story. I tend to throw them onto the page, force them into some conflict, and make them tell me who they are.
RK: You write contemporary and paranormal romances. What attracts you to the genre of paranormal and how would you define it?
HOLLEY: I tell people who aren’t familiar with the subgenre that paranormal romances are just “weird” contemporaries—at least the way I write them. They’re grounded in the real world and set in places that are familiar, or at least relatable. I weave in mythology and magic to amp up conflict and to give characters a little something extra to complain about.
I was initially attracted to paranormal romance because it was a natural progression from urban fantasy. I root for strong, sassy heroines who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty, and I love “happily ever after endings.” Being able to squash the two together gives me everything I want from a book.
RK: Are there any other genres you would like to try your hand at?
HOLLEY: One of these days, I’d love to write a historical—possibly post-Civil War set in North Carolina. I’d need to carve a wedge into my schedule to do some research, but I have a general idea of what the story would be.
RK: What is your writing routine? How do you balance writing life with family and other obligations?
HOLLEY: I try to get up an hour before my kids and get down the majority of my day’s wordcount goal. Once they kids are out the door for school, I continue to focus on fast-drafting until I meet my count. In afternoons when my computer time is a bit more fractured, I work on revisions, edits, and do admin stuff. I work every day out of necessity, which isn’t ideal, but I hope to be able to taper down my schedule a bit once both kids are in school fulltime in the fall.
RK: Would you like to share any upcoming projects?
HOLLEY: I’ve got two new stories coming out the first of June. They’re in different, but connected, series spun off from my Afótama Legacy world. Beast is a paranormal romance novella that’ll kick off the Norseton Wolves miniseries and will be offered exclusively in the First Bite bundle for a month. Prince in Leather is a fantasy romance (urban fantasy style in a rural setting) that’s first in the Hearth Motel series. Look for that in the Masters of the Hunt boxed set, and also as a stand-alone release.
and for some fun questions…
RK: If you woke up one morning and discovered aliens had invaded, what would you do?
Learn to grovel. FAST. Chances are good I’d get blasted within five minutes. I’m not much of a diplomat.
RK: Which magical creature would you like to have at your command-a pegasus or a mermaid?
HOLLEY: Well, I live in Colorado at the moment ,which is obviously a landlocked state, so I’d make a pretty poor master to a mermaid. I could probably find a nice stable around here for a pegasus and a cowboy to keep an eye on her, too. I can’t exactly keep a winged horse in my garage. My homeowner’s association would have a cow if they found out.