Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Interview with Meredith Holmes, author of Unseelie

One of my first independent reviewers, Christina Whitcher, is now the PR coordinator for a small speculative fiction publishing company called Drollerie Press, and she recently contacted me about one of her authors. Meredith Holmes lives and writes mostly in Southeast Texas. Unseelie is her first published novel and she hopes there's many more to come.
Today I'm interviewing Meredith about her debut novel, an urban fantasy/romance titled Unseelie.

1. Meredith, welcome to The Write Type. First, how did Unseelie get started?

Unseelie began as an exercise for NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org). A local shop had a display of greeting cards including one with this absolutely beautiful faerie prince on the front and the image just stuck with me so when it came time for NaNoWriMo, I began by writing about this prince, whom I decided was named Cadfael (from an old word meaning "battle prince"). Alfhild came soon after, and the story just grew around the characters.

2. Did you research mythology and legends before writing Unseelie or did you make a lot of it up as you went?

Most of Unseelie was researched in terms of mythological origins of names (I have a "thing" for names!) and stories about ancient heroes and the like but some of it was made from whole cloth or "inspired" by old legends. Take Jenny Greenteeth, for example: in the legends, she's nothing like the character of the same name in Unseelie outside of a few key similarities. Characters like Alfhild and Cadfael aren't based on any historical or legendary characters pre se but I was definitely inspired by some ancient stories when creating them!

3. Is Unseelie a romance?

Yep, but that's not the sole focus--there's a war, conflict between humans and supernaturals, self-discovery... It's pretty complex!

4. Did your background prepare you for writing or is it something that just "happened"?

I never went to school for creative writing though I did consider it! I was always making up stories about imaginary friends as a kid and later writing them down, at the encouragement of my mother and grandmother. I remember making little books at my grandma's house, stapling them together to "bind" them and giving them to my grandparents for the bookshelf! Writing just grew out of that early fantasy life and the support of my mom and maternal grandmother.

5. What's your next project?

Other than finishing grad school? I have several stories in the works right now but the one in the home-stretch is the first of a trilogy about demons and some pretty ancient alliances that carry into the modern world. It's another supernatural-romance story but much different in tone and characters than Unseelie. It's more of a mystery than not but it's definitely supernatural romance.

6. You work on more than one story at once then?

Definitely. I get ideas and have to start writing them out before I lose them. Some authors keep notebooks of plot ideas or characters, I keep files on my hard drive (backed up to the moon and back--I'm super careful about that!). I have snippets of stories, some all the way up to their fifth and sixth chapter, waiting in the wings. I tend to work on the story whose characters are most insistent on getting written first.

7. How does writing impact your life outside of the process?

Oh, it's pretty much in every aspect of my life. If I'm not doing it, I'm thinking about it and it's become a very big part of my life. It's gone from me poking at a NaNoWriMo story to getting published by Drollerie Press. Unseelie is my first book (I've had short stories in ezines before, and they are now on Drollerie) so of course I was really excited during the entire process. Now that Unseelie is out and available since December on Drollerie's site, Mobipocket and Fictionwise, the excitement is still there but it's getting spread out to my WIPs as well because now I know what it's like!

Email Meredith at: meri.holmes (at ) gmail (dot) com

Thank you again, Meredith, for sharing your inspiring journey with us. I wish you the best in success! ~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author of Whale Song


Azurevixen said...

I love this book and couldn't put it down. Lately I have not been as big of a reader as I have been in the past but when I got a hold of Unseelie, I read it in a matter of a couple days. If you love the Fae realm and mystery, you will LOVE Unseelie!

Meredith said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to interview with you! I'm really excited to see it up here! This was lots of fun.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author said...

You're very welcome, Meredith. I enjoyed learning about you and your novel. Congrats! And happy writing!


Leon Basin said...

Hey, this was a great interview. Thank you for sharing.