Jan 01

HAPPPPPPpy New Year!

Goodbye and good riddance 2014, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Hello 2015, I have a good feeling about you!

I didn’t finish the rock star contemporary by the end of the year as I’d hoped. I was doing really well til I ran into the abdominal surgery in July. I’m not making excuses; I’m sure Nora Roberts would’ve pounded out 12K words a day while in the hospital, even with an NG tube up her nose. And I’m sure she’d keep pounding the wordcount after she got out, even while having extremely painful stomach spasms lasting days due to an excess of scar tissue.

I really wish I were more like Nora.

But. The rock star WIP is preceding and Nick and TJ’s plot is almost halfway done – which is all I need to start writing.

Have I ever explained the difference between plotters and pantsers? Pantsers just sit down and write – they don’t know what’s going to happen until they write it.

This horrifies me and freaks me out. It’s like driving your car through fields and forests instead of on an actual road. I have to drive on a road, and I have to have a general idea of where I’m going. I need a plan, a map. The map doesn’t have to go all the way to my final destination, and I can change my route a little as I go, but I have to have a general idea of what’s going to happen in the book before I can start driving.

One last writing metaphor: even if you’re only driving a couple miles a day, you’ll still eventually get where you’re going.

One of the ways I’m forcing myself to write steadily is by rewarding myself with some books I’m reading and loving. I always read  more than one book at a time. Right now I’m reading Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and the second book in Barbara Hambly’s James Asher series.

Gravity’s Rainbow is set in London at the end of WWII and features, among many other characters, a guy who gets a hard on right before a V-2 rocket hits, and whose many sexual trysts seem to predict where the rockets will land. This in no way begins to describe the plot; it’s such a dense and weird book that guides to it have been written. I’m trying not to use one – I’m an English major, I should be able to handle this.

Barbara Hambly is SUCH a good writer. Lush, lyrical narrative, interesting characters, and when she’s writing historicals, just enough period details (technology, grooming, cultural practices) to make it engrossing but not so much that it detracts from the story. Her James Asher series is set in Edwardian England. Asher is a retired English spy and a professor at Oxford; his wife Lydia is a doctor. After discovering that vampires exist, James and Lydia get sucked into their intrigues. The Asher books are normal novels, with a beginning, a middle and an end. This makes them a nice change of pace from a Thomas Pynchon novel.

Incidentally, another of Pynchon’s novels, Inherent Vice, is now a movie starring Joaquin Phoenix. I loved the book and I expect to love the movie.

There’s another author I love that you might too – Tom Holt writes some of the funniest books I’ve ever read. My favorite one is Barking, about a sad sack London attorney who is unwittingly, and unwillingly, turned into a werewolf. He’s written dozens of books and I’ve never found one that didn’t make me laugh out loud like an idiot.

Anyway. I can’t let myself read as much as I’d like or I’d never write. So I reward myself with a couple of chapters every time I’ve written three or four pages.

If you hang out on Twitter, I invite you to follow me – tell me you’re a reader, and I’ll follow back. (I don’t auto follow.) Same with Facebook – I love talking to readers. I’m very active on Twitter (I totally understand if you decide not to follow me, because I do tend to talk a lot.)

Here’s to all of us having a safe, prosperous, stable, happy 2015.

novel won't write itself

Dec 09


Just plotting right now.

Nick’s an asshole. No matter what I write, he still ends up being an asshole. TJ can totally handle it, but it’s gonna take a while for her to fix him. Also, I don’t know if I’ve written this out loud before, but I’ve decided to quit second guessing my plotting and just write what I want. If people think it’s too convoluted or whatever, they can give the book bad reviews – but it’s my book and I will write it my way.

Also – I was reading Kiss and Kin again recently – I needed to find the passage where TJ and Lark get drunk and talk about Lark and Taran’s relationship – and I ran across something about Nick that I had forgotten I wrote and it’s really gonna help me with the book.

I’m still working on the rock star WIP. I really want to skip ahead and write the first sex scene but I’m forcing myself to go sequentially. Once I get through the first sex scene I’m going to send it off to the second round of beta readers – I forget who y’all are, but I’ve saved your names in my mail so it’s all good.

Want to see what the hero looks like?

Izzy black and smoking hot












I will send a free copy of this book when it comes out to anyone who can tell me who this guy is.

In non-book related news, I turn 51 next Tuesday. That kind of sucks. But it’s better than the alternative.



Nov 29


No Sebastian Bach references. The 80s are sacred to me but I do have to allow for readers who are younger and older and, honestly, I think mentioning too many brands or bands from specific eras can date a book very quickly.

But still. The heroine has phenomenal hair.

Sep 18

My Hero Just Realized The Heroine’s Hair Looks Just Like Sebastian Bach’s

Young Sebastian, of course. SO happy that happened because when the Samhain art department asks for ideas about what the hero and heroine look like, I’ll send them this and say “make her look girlier.”

NOTE TO THE YOUNGSTERS: He did not look girly. It was the 80s. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

(The H/H both have Amazing Hair. Everyone else in the book remarks on it.)


Sep 17

Just Write The Story You Want To Write

So I’m writing the rock star story but I’m also plotting Nick and TJ. (I am terrified. Have I told y’all I’m terrified? Because I am. Terrified.)

And I have a pretty good idea of the plot but there are things I’m thinking of that cause me to second guess myself — “Oh I can’t do this. That’s too much.” “Whoa. Too many characters.” “Really? It’s all going to be connected like that? Can I do that?”

And finally I thought – screw it. I have to write it the way I want to tell it. Everyone says that all the time, but you don’t really think about what it means til you get to a book that makes you question everything you’re thinking.

Just to be safe, though, I’m bombarding Vickie with plot notes.

Sep 04


Just ran across this in Tumblr:

Darling minion
I love me some Minions. My phone case is a Minion and I have several Minion tshirts, my favorite being this one:

minions have the phone box

I’ve been thinking about Nick and TJ recently and I was up late last night doing plot notes. So when I saw this GIF today I suddenly remembered that Nick calls TJ “Minion.” I’m gonna have to work the Old English definition in there, aren’t I?  It’s too bad TJ wouldn’t be caught dead in a Minion tshirt.

Aug 31

If You’ve Been a Beta Reader, And Even If You Haven’t, You Might Like This

My buddy Robin Rotham wrote this poem in December 2012 and I’d never seen it. She tweeted about it tonight when some people were talking about losing documents or big chunks of manuscript.

The Night Before Deadline

’Twas the night before deadline, when all through the land,
Not a muscle was stirring but those in my hands.
The dishes were stacked in the sink without care,
In hopes that I’d notice them moldering there.

The children were quiet—I hoped in their beds—
While scenes from my manuscript whirled in my head.
And Papa in our bedroom, since I was still gone,
Was doomed once again to have sex all alone.

When low on my screen there arose an alert.
That gave me a massive adrenaline spurt.
I sprang to my browser and then to my emails,
Clicked open my inbox to get all the details.

And what to my dry gritty eyes should appear
But a note from a friend that confirmed my worst fear.
The draft that I’d sent her, to read and to crit,
Was what I’d suspected—a huge pile of shit.

The much-needed truth of her kindly meant words
Gave a luster of tears to my eyes as they blurred.
For a moment I saw only looming calamity—
Abysmal reviews and resultant insanity!

More helpful than ever, my crit partners came,
They parsed out my problems and called them by name—
“Not sexy! Too boring! The opening drags,
The characters cardboard, the middle, it sags!

From the opening hook, to the very last line,
Rewrite it! Just do it! You still have the time!”
As dry heaves that before the real puke starts to fly,
When I met with disaster, I started to cry;

But to the first chapter, my fingers they flew
My brain full of terror, and fortitude, too.
And in just a few hours, my book became lean,
With the slicing and dicing of each awful scene.

As I sunk in my head and was digging around,
Down the pike, my sadistic muse came with a bound
He was finally ready to share what he knew
But had kept to himself just to see me unglued.

A string of ideas began to attack,
And I wrote like a demon and never looked back.
The sex, how it sizzled! The conflict, how frazzling!
The humor so quirky, the emotions so dazzling!

When I dared to delete all the back story dumps,
The pacing began to improve in great jumps.
I carved out the details the flab had concealed,
And the heart of my story was finally revealed.

It had a fine plot, and two drool-worthy heroes
Who, after I fixed them, were no longer zeroes.
’Twas a little less kinky than most on my shelf,
But I squirmed when I read it in spite of myself.

The words of my crit partners after they’d read
Soon gave me relief from the feelings of dread.
They offered me kudos for all my hard work
So kindly, I felt a bit less like a jerk.

And after an edit that gave it a shine,
I had it formatted and put it online.
I dropped into bed to catch up on some sleep,
The dishes could wait and the promo would keep.

If there’s one thing I learned from this very close call—
Christmas books should be written long before fall!

That’s just pure genius right there.

Aug 24


If any of you take meds for ADD, I’d love to hear about it. What you take, how it makes you feel, etc. Please share.

Aug 24

Hi. I Need Help. From My Readers. If I Have Any Left.

Ok, yes, it’s been 3 years since I had a release. Yes, I had a very bad block — it’s over. But I also have ADD and that will never get better. Unless I get drugs, which I don’t want to do.

But I am writing. I’ve decided to stop kicking myself and imagining all the things that might happen before I ever finish another book because that just makes me crazier. So I might die, or the world might blow up, or something else might happen before I finish another book but that has nothing to do with whether or not I’m writing.

So, I’m writing. I have 50,000 words in one story, and 13,000 of them are in good, tight form. I think.

But I’m an anxious, insecure, nervous wreck of a writer (in other words, totally normal.)

Some writers have critique partners, I don’t. And some writers have beta readers, who read their books after the books have been written.

And that’s my problem. I need a beta reader to read what I’m writing it as I’m writing it.  Someone to say “yes, this is good” or “no, this sucks” because if I’m spinning something that sucks, I want to know about it before I finish it, right?

And it needs to be a non-writer. I have an excellent writer beta reader, but she’ll give me writer feedback — what to fix, where to tweek, etc. I need a reader, someone to just say yeah, I like this, or no, I fell asleep.

So. I’m looking for 2 beta readers. My only requirement is that I already have you in my contacts list – and you’re in my contacts list if you’ve ever emailed me or left a comment here.

If you’re interested, email me at kinseyholley@gmail.com – I just need 2 people. It’s a rock star/country music star contemporary and it doesn’t spend a lot of time on the glitzy rock and roll lifestyle – it’s mostly them, and it mostly takes place in Texas, although some of it’s in California. And this is the beginning. And it might suck. I don’t know. That’s why I need beta readers.


Vickie – this does not let you off the hook. But you can’t carry the burden yourself.

Jul 25

It’s Hard to Type When You Have Staples in Your Stomach

surgeon I thought I had a belly button hernia. (Technically, an umbilical hernia, but I like belly button hernia better.) One of my doctors  said I didn’t have to do anything about it unless it got bigger or started to really hurt.

The week we were supposed to leave for a few days’ vacation in New Braunfels, it felt bigger and became extremely painful and my stomach had red streaks. So I thought I’d see a surgeon recommended by a friend before I left town, just to make sure. He looked at it, said “That’s not good – we  need to fix that right away.” It was a Friday, he scheduled surgery for Monday, and we had to cancel New Braunfels. Diva handled it like a reasonable teenager – disappointed but fully understanding.

So I went in Monday morning the 14th for a 30 minute surgery that should have seen me leave by 3 or 4 at the latest. And I ended up leaving one week later, on Monday the 21st.

The surgeon found when he looked inside that I didn’t have a hernia at all, but adhesions and other not good things happening because the 12.5 year old sutures left over from my hysterectomy were messing up my intestines. Had it gone on much longer, I could’ve been in serious trouble. (His explanation of what happened was much more detailed than that, and when I get back to work I’m going to research it in Pub Med just for interest’s sake.)

Apparently my problem was very weird. The surgical resident who assisted is going  to write a paper about it.

So I’ve been home five days and I’m definitely feeling better than I was, but I still hurt. (I hurt even worse today after my first post-op appointment, where the doctor poked and prodded and took out some of my staples.)

I’m trying to write. I mean, I have days to sit around the house with nothing to do, so I’ve been trying to write. Problem is it hurts to sit up straight at a desk, but sitting on the couch with the laptop on my legs – my normal writing posture – hurts too, because I can’t keep my arms from hitting my stomach. This kind of blows.

It’s played sheer hell with my schedule. The rock star romance is supposed to be finished Aug. 31, and I was on track but now I’m behind. I’m supposed to get back into Seth and Evie September 1 so I can be done by November 30.

I’m going to have to double up or something.

Stronger drugs – that’s what I need. Much stronger drugs.

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