2/16/14

Holly Lauren Interview Special

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Book: TEMPUS
Genre: New Young Adult Sci-Fi/Romance
Blurb: Eighteen-year-old Chapel Ryan finally discovers the truth behind her frequent hallucinations, propelling her on a quest of justice, truth, and love.
Links to TEMPUS: Find TEMPUS by Holly Lauren on Amazon.com
Video of dream cast: http://youtu.be/DsZq69Ye56c

What item are you giving away? A signed paperback edition of TEMPUS.

First why don't you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Holly and I live in a small town in North Georgia. I like to take baths, eat sour candy, and stay up late watching HGTV. Yeah, I live on the edge.

Newest release? 
TEMPUS is my first published novel. I still can’t believe it’s happening!

What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance, sex, blood and guts? Though I like a good zombie story, there will be no guts in TEMPUS. There will be, however, blood. And definitely some action scenes—hand-to-hand combat, the odd kidnapping. And, of course, there will be romance, friendship, and a myriad of relational complications. The topic of sex certainly comes up, but to find out more, you’ll have to read it!

Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?
This is such a difficult question! Of course I appreciate different values and aspects of all the characters in TEMPUS—even the “villans.” I love Chapel because she tries hard to be strong, is loyal, and smart. I love Erica because she’s sassy, passionate, and a fighter. I love Zay because he’s … well … Zay. One character that I especially love writing scenes for is Timmy Valentine. Timmy has a sharp tongue, but a soft heart. The best thing about Timmy is that he’s comfortable in his own nerdy skin (and terribly cheesy shirts). He isn’t trying to be someone else. That makes him fun and fearless.  

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you? Again, a challenging question.  There is a certain character who bullies Chapel—Brandy Miller.  I experienced a little bullying in school, so I drew on real life when writing Brandy. It wasn’t always pleasant, reaching back to some of those painful memories. But, it’s a valuable thing to do with pain—recycle it to your own benefit. And, while the girls in my high school were probably just insecure, Brandy Miller has her own reasons that—you guessed it!—you’ll have to read to find out!

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
Fun Fact #1: There are scenes in TEMPUS that are semi-autobiographical. I’m always interested to see if people can tell which ones are real and which ones are fiction.  
Fun Fact #2: My sister read (and heavily weighed in on, as sisters do) Tempus from its inception. If not for her, the book would never have been finished.
Fun Fact #3: I named the protagonist’s best friend, Erica, after my childhood best friend. Almost thirty years later, we’re still BFFE.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Tell their friends and family, of course! They can also give me a shout out on social media, or simply just follow me for updates about the sequel.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published? This is the one everyone says, but it’s really hard to do: don’t let rejection keep you down long. TEMPUS is my first published novel, but definitely not the first book I have written. I have queried three others that never got published. Also, you have to work at writing every day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t write something. Unless you’re independently wealthy, there’s rarely hours in the day that you don’t have obligations. I wrote TEMPUS paragraph by paragraph, carving out time wherever I could. A lot of TEMPUS was written in the car while my husband drove when we were both commuting to work. 

Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?  
I would probably read assembly instructions written by Cassandra Clare. She’s funny, for one. And her books have an interesting balance of romance, friendship, and action.

Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable? When I was eight, I wrote a newspaper called Sunny Dayz News. It was memorable because it was probably the worst thing added to paper since its invention. I still have a copy. It keeps me humble.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
When I hit a creative wall, I go see a movie, listen to music, or read another book. When I do this, I always try and pay attention to what makes me feel. Then, I go back to writing and try to recreate those feelings.

 Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share?
I have a cat named Cupcake. He’s a boy, only we didn’t know it at the time that we named him. (I’ll save you the anatomical details.) He’s actually a really terrible cat, who demands a great deal of attention and treats. Now that I think of it … are any of you in the market for a new cat?

Favorite places to travel or visit?
I actually love being at home, or anywhere my family is. The cutest place in the world to me in Dahlonega, GA. That’s where TEMPUS was written, and that’s the city Bennett Park (TEMPUS’S setting) is loosely based upon.

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:
From Chapter One of TEMPUS (and shortened for your quick perusal):

Using her desk for support, Chapel struggled to her feet. Her insides swirled, and her neck felt useless beneath the weight of her head. She shuffled over to Timmy. Her forearms trembled with the effort as she pushed his desk level to the ground.
She pulled her white tank top away from her chest and blew down the front, shaking her head at Timmy. “And you think I’m high maintenance,” she said.
Chapel jerked to her left before she understood why. She had heard a noise. It was a whoosh, soft and quick, like an exhale or a laugh. Her eyes fell on Isaiah Halstead. He was sprawled in his desk like he owned the place, a lazy gaze on Timmy, his lips closed over the lid of his pen. And he was just as handsome as everyone said—black-haired and shadow-jawed.
…"Isaiah?" The name sounded dread-soaked. Had he sighed? Had he moved? Something about him definitely looked different.
… Then three things happened at once. One, her insides gave a heaving quiver, signaling the episode was coming to an end. Two, she moved her knee to get closer to Isaiah and it popped against the tray of his desk. And three, Isaiah Halstead flinched.
… Then, like a faucet going from a tiny trickle to a roaring flow, time resumed, and Chapel found herself breathing heavily, knee smarting. Timmy’s desk kerplunked safely onto all four legs as if he’d never leaned back too far to begin with. And her head felt like she’d taken an extended ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl.
… "I—. Did you?" The space between her brain and mouth was malfunctioning.
Isaiah stood and slung his book bag over his shoulder. A thousand questions filtered through her mind. He'd been breathing. And moving. No one had ever moved before. 
But all she could manage was a hoarse, "Isaiah?"
He leaned over to her, his rough cheek catching at her hair as he whispered, "It's Zay. You can call me Zay." Then he was gone.

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