Our guest today is Holly Kerr. Holly is the author of the women’s fiction, Coming Home, a story about sisters who can’t get along and living in a small town, two things she knows more than a little about! A self-professed geek, she loves anything to do with Star Wars, super heroes, Joss Whedon and Harry Potter. She also enjoys running, playing in the dirt and sharing a glass of wine with friends.
Thank you for this interview, Holly. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
Sure, and thanks for having me! I’m happily married, mother of three and live in Toronto, Canada. I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to movies, which my son loves because I want to see the same movies he does! I just recently quit my part-time job, which was working in a bookstore and means I’m going through withdrawal from not being with books all day! I’m thinking of putting in some book shelves around my computer to make me feel better.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
Coming Home is about learning to get along with your sisters. It’s the story of Brenna and Kat, the youngest of the five notorious Skatt sisters who grew up constantly fighting and with nothing in common except they both loved the same boy. After her life implodes, Brenna returns home and she and Kat are forced to live together in the family home, facing family dramas together, being watched over by their older sisters, the entire town and the ghost of their mother.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I think it found me. My style of writing and my stories centers on female relationships and really suits women’s fiction. There’s romance, but the stories aren’t focused on the romantic relationships, which I think is the difference between romance and women’s fiction.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
I decided to go with 2 POV’s for Coming Home – Brenna and Kat. I found that there was so much about Kat that Brenna didn’t know about, and couldn’t, because I was writing the book in first person. So when I was about halfway through writing the book, I started adding alternating Kat chapters. That was a bit of a challenge!
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
I was lucky enough to find Etopia Press, who said they would publish it for me!
Was it the right choice for you?
I think so. I self-published my first book, Baby! Baby? Baby?! and I was happy with that, but still wanted the validation of having someone other than me and a few readers, think my book was publishable! I went through the rounds of query letters with no luck before I thought of trying a small press. I’m glad I did!
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I signed up for a blog tour, which means I get to talk about myself and my book to lovely bloggers like you! I also write a blog, which lets my readers get to know me a little. I'm still unsure about some of the social media sites out there, but I'm taking them one at a time, teaching myself how to best promote myself. I've got my Facebook site, I'm on Twitter now and I've been checking out Tumblr. I'm trying to get my name out there.
How is that going for you?
Okay, I think! It's one of the biggest challenges I find as a writer - you need to spend so much time promoting yourself, which means less time to write. And the best way to get people to buy your book is to write another one.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
Well, I haven’t seen my numbers yet, but when I was working at the store, I talked my books up to everyone I could, so I really hope at least one of the customers went on line and bought a copy!
Do you have another job besides writing?
I was working part-time in a bookstore but I recently gave it up to write fulltime. Wish me luck!
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
I am not the right person to do that! I’m sorry, but there is so much advice out there and so much of it is contradictory. I’m learning too. Maybe in another year I could feel established enough to give advice, but not yet. Some authors like to flood social media with images of their books and where to buy them. I want to connect with my readers, one at a time, and listen to what they say and feel. I’m not sure what works better!
What’s next for you?
I’m working on my next book, called Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder. It asks the question, how far would you go for a friend?
Thank you for this interview, Holly. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
Of course! Check out my website http://hollykerr.ca/.
Coming Home is available at Amazon.