Name Holly S. Roberts
Where are you from
I’m an U.S. Army brat and I’ve travelled throughout the world. My father was a military artist and we were stationed in some great places. A U.S. wildlife preserve was one of them and my father’s company gave him a baby bear. Yes, I even have pictures with me and Smokey. It was an interesting life for a child. I was born on a U.S. Army Base in Alabama but the base is no longer there.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My new book HEAT which is book I in the Hotter Than Hell Series is now available. I’ve started on book II Sizzle and can’t wait to share it.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was a police detective and worked sex crimes and homicide. Writing was my therapy and was actually suggested by my therapist. Yes, I know, tough cops shouldn’t have therapists but I saw some things that kept me awake all night, almost every night, and I finally decided I needed someone to talk to. She suggested writing after several visits. I owe my start to her.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That would be the first piece of fan mail after publishing my first book which was about my experience at the police academy during my mid-life crisis. A simply amazing letter and it gave me the courage to continue writing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to remember the great days of my law enforcement career before child molestation and senseless murder took over my life. Writing humor did that for me.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My style has developed through the years to a place I’m quite comfortable with, now. I write by the seat of my pants and allow my characters to lead the way. They talk to me and argue and make me laugh. I develop the storyline in my head and then let the characters take over.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Write what you know and for me, that was Phoenix, Arizona, USA. I lived there for 25 years and it’s one of the hottest cities on earth. Heat, as the title, was appropriate.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In life, there is a lot of grey. I dealt with an alcoholic, Stewart, who would get crazy mean when drinking and cause endless problems. He was violent and dangerous. I had a long talk with him one day when he was sober and his past affected me. Several months later, on Thanksgiving Day, I was in the dispatch call center when a call from the next county came in asking for information on Stewart. They found him dead that morning. I cried. Stewart had a good heart and I wanted my readers to feel that about the bad characters in my book.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I’ll be in trouble if I say a lot so I’ll just leave this question alone.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think in large and small ways, everything I write is based on something in my life. My life breathes life into my books and that is very important to me.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
My mother gave me the gift of reading. She was also the first woman to graduate from Columbus Tech with a degree in technology in the 1960’s. I had a different path but I was the first woman hired as a police officer by my agency. My mother will forever be my hero.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Outlaw’s Vow: Grizzlies MC Romance (Outlaw Love) by Nicole Snow. It’s very naughty and I’m loving it.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I read many new authors and Nicole above is new to me. Recently I’ve enjoyed Hannah Peach, Gemma James, and Jade West. If you’ve read any of these authors you will see a trend… I like them dark and dirty.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Sizzle, Book II Hotter Than Hell Series. Ten, a mystery/suspense written under my penname Suzie Ivy, and Stick, Book VI of my Completion Sports Series (this one’s hockey).
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I owned a bookstore in my twenties and thirties. A special customer helped me out when I had my third child. We’ve remained friends for over thirty years. Linda is an avid blogger (Below The Salt News) and pushed me to start my first blog. Without her help, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
YES! It’s my career, it’s a business, and it supports my family. I wouldn’t be successful if I saw it any other way. Many times, I need to tell the artistic side of me to move over.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest book, no. I’m very good at learning from my mistakes and now have 30 books to my credit. The first ones, though… most definitely.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Read, read, read. I always knew I would write. When LaVryle Spencer retired from writing in 1997, I decided I needed to write books like hers because I had no more of her books to read. That’s a laugh today because I write nothing like her. No one ever will. She is romance at its best.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
You meet Alex Gomez in Heat. He’s the enforcer for Moon’s crime syndicate and he is hot and yummy. He’s started a debate about Team Moon and Team Gomez. Just wait, though. Sizzle sets up an entirely new definition to bad boy and fans will be screaming another name. My lips are sealed.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Most definitely interruptions. My husband has a question, the dogs need to be let outside, social media calls my name. My best writing is when I can force the outside world away and allow my imagination to run wild.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Besides LaVryle Spencer because she no longer writes, I would say Katy Evans. I just love her books and characters. Her men are hotter than hot and her women kickass. Katy I beg you, write faster!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I attend several book conferences a year and I also speak to writers groups about law enforcement. I bring all my gear and give them an inside view. This year I’m only attending one conference in another state so I can focus more on public speaking.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I have several cover designers but my favorite is Fantasia Frog Designs. She has designed all my paranormal covers (writing as D’Elen McClain) and also the Hotter Than Hell series covers. I love her work!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Funny, but I don’t really have one. If something isn’t working, I move to another book and let my subconscious mind take over to work out the problem. I love the creative process.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn all the time. My character reference sheet for Sizzle is much more in-depth than any of my previous work and I began the characterizations while writing Heat. It’s paying off in a big way.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I know every aspiring writer has heard this a thousand times… WRITE! There will always be a thousand excuses not to. I worked more than fifty hours a week at a dangerous, high stress job when I wrote my first fifteen books. Just write.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
The idea for Heat took root in my brain because the popularity of Sons of Anarchy among cops including myself. They were the bad guys. The ones we worked very hard to put behind bars. Cops loved the characters. Heat is about bad men with good hearts given the right situation.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Absolutely: Pippi Longstocking and next was Anne of Green Gables and don’t forget the “e”.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Animals and babies every time. I’m a complete pile of mush. Give me a baby’s laughter and I’m a goner.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Edgar Allan Poe. I would love to sit for hours and dissect his thinking process when he wrote the incredible books I still love today. Simply genius.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
She was a nice person. (I know this is boring but we need more nice people in this world and it’s the best compliment I can imagine.)
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I garden organically, make organic soaps and lotion and organic wine. My local writing friends received organic apricot brandy for Christmas. The apricots came from our orchard.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Big Bang Theory, Mom, and Survivor. In that order. I simply love chick flicks and anything that makes me laugh. Or, I go the other way and like gruesome and gory like The Walking Dead.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love food and we eat Paleo so many will find our diet unappetizing. My favorite paleo dish is sweet and sour chicken. I’m a fan of purple but love bright colors in general. My music tastes run from Adele to Buck Cherry. I simply love all types of music even some rap.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
An astronaut but I haven’t given up on my dream to go into outer space. Some day.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Author Page:
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0165WFX2Q
Amazon CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0165WFX2Q
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0165WFX2Q
iBooks – http://tinyurl.com/gmczv4u
Nook – http://tinyurl.com/goeec5g
Kobo – http://tinyurl.com/hbk7hja