Author Interview&Scavenger Hunt: Steena Holmes

Today I’m pleased to introduce Steena Holmes, author of Finding Emma. She’s currently doing a blog tour managed by Women on Writing and running a scavenger hunt–for which the grand prize is helping her create a character for her next book! Luckily for us, she took the time out of her busy schedule to tell us a little bit about who inspires her and who she admires. Even luckier, you get the opportunity to participate in the scavenger hunt organized by Women on Writing at the bottom of the page.

1. Can you tell us a bit about how you conceived the idea for Finding Emma?

Would you believe me if I said that Emma’s story flashed before my eyes? It’s true. My children were playing in our front yard and one moment my youngest daughter was there and the next she was gone. The fear that took over in those seconds as I waited for her to appear seemed like a lifetime. All these scenarios played in my head about what could have happened and it wasn’t until I saw her again (she was on the other side of our neighbors hedge) that I realized I knew what my next story was going to be.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?

I think it was my husband who actually realized it first. He started to notice a pattern – when I wasn’t writing I became very…grumpy. He was the one to suggest I start writing and make it a steady routine. The more I wrote the more I realized that it was a passion I had never really allowed myself to acknowledge. I had people ask me where I saw myself in 5 years and I always said – as a full-time writer. And here I am.

3. How much planning does it take before you’re comfortable starting a novel?

I try not to get too comfortable with a story at first. I start with the general idea and then build upon that, I plot it out in a rough form then I begin to write. I love it when the novel flows in a way that I never expected or imagined.

4. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you, and how do you make it easier for yourself?

The plotting is the hardest for me. It’s like walking through a house of mirrors at a carnival and not sure which way is up or which body is really yours. It usually takes me a while to really get the plot down in my story, to really understand what is happening and who my characters are.

5. What did your path to publication look like?

Here’s what I love about this journey towards getting published – it’s different for everyone! My journey started by winning a writing contest with my very first book. But it took me five years after that win to publish another story.

My first story was a christian romance, my second published piece was an erotic romance – talk about two very different genres! But it worked for me. I was in the middle of querying a novel and feeling unsure if I could write anything when I had a novella picked up by a epublisher. It wasn’t until my seventh novella that I realized that indie publishing was the road I wanted to take. So I pulled my novel from the agents who had it and self published it. Finding Emma became a bestseller within two weeks and just won the 2012 Indie Excellence Award for Fiction.

6. Who are some of the authors you admire most?

There are so many and the list keeps growing…

7. Who are some non-writers you admire?

Mothers who sacrifice daily for their families – women who serve our country, women who day in and day out give their all and all to ensure their children grow up to be strong adults.

8. How much influence would you say the people you admire have on your writing?

A lot. My dream, my goal, my passion is to be a strong woman. I need that strength in my daily life – as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a writer. I like to surround myself with strong women – whether it’s knowing them personally or reading about them, studying – it all matters.

9. What do you enjoy most about being a published author?

What do I enjoy most? Being able to live my dream! Knowing that I can do this full time, that I can provide for my family, that I can live my passions daily – that’s that I love the most!

10. What are you working on next that readers can look forward to?

I’m currently working on Emma’s Secret – a follow up to Finding Emma. Once again I’ve fallen in love with my characters and I love where this story is taking me. After that I want to lose myself in a small town series – where life is real and heartfelt and poignant. My goal is to help my readers lose themselves as well!
Thank you so much for hosting me and allowing me to share a little bit about myself!

Emma has invited all of us to the carnival for a Scavenger Hunt!

We’re on the hunt for all things related to carnivals.
At each stop along our Finding Emma tour there are clues. These might be words hidden in a guest post or a “word for the day” at the bottom of a book review. Each time you find a word submit it on Steena’s Scavenger Hunt page. http://www.steenaholmes.com/wow-scavenger-hunt/

Each entry equals one ticket to win.
Please enter only one “clue” per entry. Each entry earns another chance to win.

Prizes:

First Prize: Work with a Bestselling Author.
Our Grande Prize winner will help create a character for Steena Holmes’ next book!

Second and Third Prize Winners will each receive a signed copy of Finding Emma and a journal.
Contest runs June 4 – July 7. Open to U.S. and Canada. In the case of an international winner prize will be an eBook copy of finding Emma. Three winners will be chosen at random. Winners to be announced on July 9th. Winners will be posted on Steena Holmes’ website, in the comments section of this post, and notified by Steena Holmes via email.

For even more fun, visit the Carnival Board on Pinterest.
Steena (and Emma) love the Carnival. Come see their pictures of favorite memories of summer fun and fairs and pin up some of your own! (Hint…the pics will give you a clue to the word for the day) http://pinterest.com/steenah/summer-carnivals-childhood-memories/

Link for Scavenger Hunt on The Muffin
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/2012/06/emmas-scavenger-hunt.html?tw_p=twt

Link to Steena’s tour launch on The Muffin
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/2012/06/steena-holmes-author-of-finding-emma.html?tw_p=twt

To purchase your copy of Finding Emma, click here. To check out Steena Holmes’s website, click here.

Bio: Author of the new heart wrenching story “Finding Emma”, Steena is a woman who
believes that ‘in the end, all things succumb…to the passions of your heart’. Steena’s
life revolves around her family, friends and fiction. Add some chocolate into the mix
and she’s living the good life. She took those passions and made them a dream
come true by pouring her heart into each of her stories.

Finding Emma has quickly become a bestseller. Proceeds from each book will be
donated to The Missing Children’s Society of Canada – an organization dedicated to
reuniting families. Visit http://www.mcsc.ca for more information.

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About Dianna Gunn

I am a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. My first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is available now through The Book Smugglers Publishing.

Posted on June 20, 2012, in Author Interviews, Reading Related and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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