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Holly James Interview - How One Day Can Change Everything


Nothing But the Truth
Holly James PhD

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A Novel


July 2022
On Sale: July 12, 2022
Featuring: Lucy Green
304 pages
ISBN: 0593186508
EAN: 9780593186503
Kindle: B09JC35GSZ
Trade Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Holly James PhD:
Nothing But the Truth, July 2022
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What inspired you to make this story with a “make a wish-life changed overnight” theme?

I think the urgency created by a story that unfolds in twenty-four hours makes for a compelling, page-turning read as well as shows us how one day can change everything. As a reader, these are some of my favorite types of stories and from a creative perspective as a writer, I find it a really rewarding challenge to condense a full story into such a short time period. From the start, I knew Lucy would make a wish that would change her life, and I decided to set the story over the course of a single day when I started thinking about all the things women have to lie about in a twenty-four-hour period—from their appearance, to relationships, to life at the office. The fact that there was enough to fill a day from start to finish basically made the story write itself!

 

These kinds of stories can range from humorous to drama and angst oozing out of every pore. How would you describe NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH?

I aimed to strike a balance between humorous and serious. I’ve jokingly referred to the book as a feminist tirade disguised as a comedy, and I think at its core, it truly is. While I approached the heavier topics such as harassment and discrimination with thoughtful care, I aimed to portray Lucy’s experiences with day-to-day hassles (uncomfortable underwear, makeup sweat, dietary expectations) in a way that highlighted how absurd they are to put up with. Whichever elements of the story readers find themselves relating to, I hope they find themselves laughing along the way.

 

Except for the magical bits, are any characters or situations in this book based on events or people in your life?

I tried to make Lucy’s experiences as universal as possible. I took a poll on Instagram of things women put up with but never talk about, from periods to harassment to makeup sweat, and incorporated it all into the story. I also took inspiration from my own life and experiences of women I know and many I don’t. Readers will recognize Lucy’s situation at her office from many MeToo headlines from the past several years. I drew from pop culture as well given that the story is set in Hollywood. Readers might recognize similarities between my fictional celebrities and some events that took place in the summer of 2020 when I was drafting the story (namely a very popular song by two female rap artists). The closest situation in the book to my own real life is the sports bra scene!

 

As things start to blow apart in Lucy’s life in NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, does she have a support system of either friends or family?

Absolutely. One of my favorite parts of the story is the support Lucy gets from her friends, family, and coworkers—especially from the unexpected sources. One of the themes of the story is supporting women, and it was tremendously cathartic to write a story about workplace mistreatment that is unfortunately so commonplace and to be able to flip the expected ending on its head.

 

Without giving away too much, does Lucy find resolution at the end of this book, or are things left somewhat open ended?

I think Lucy is in a really good place at the end of the story. She learns a lot about herself and what she’s capable of throughout her experiences, and I like to think she carries it forward in life as she continues to grow.

 

A few authors I’ve interviewed in the past have told me that the kind of book they enjoy writing is not the same kind of book they enjoy reading. What do you like to read? Favorite books? Authors?

I definitely fall into this category! I read much darker than I write. My favorite genre to read is thriller. Gillian Flynn is my forever queen. I will also autobuy anything by Jane Harper, Jessica Knoll, and Ashley Winstead. I adore dark stories with strong female leads—even if they are unlikable!

 

What are you currently working on?

My second book, THE DEJA GLITCH just went into copyediting and will be out next summer! It is another lightly speculative, upmarket romcom set in L.A. It leans more into romance than NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH and is about strangers stuck in a time loop who must fall in love to break out of it, but the catch is that only one of them can remember the loop and the other feels like it’s the first day they’ve met each time. I am head-over-heels for it, and I can’t wait for readers to get their hands on it! Aside from that, I’m working on drafting book 3.

. As a reader, these are some of my favorite types of stories and from a creative perspective as a writer, I find it a really rewarding challenge to condense a full story into such a short time period. From the start, I knew Lucy would make a wish that would change her life, and I decided to set the story over the course of a single day when I started thinking about all the things women have to lie about in a twenty-four-hour period—from their appearance, to relationships, to life at the office. The fact that there was enough to fill a day from start to finish basically made the story write itself!

 

These kinds of stories can range from humorous to drama and angst oozing out of every pore. How would you describe NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH?

I aimed to strike a balance between humorous and serious. I’ve jokingly referred to the book as a feminist tirade disguised as a comedy, and I think at its core, it truly is. While I approached the heavier topics such as harassment and discrimination with thoughtful care, I aimed to portray Lucy’s experiences with day-to-day hassles (uncomfortable underwear, makeup sweat, dietary expectations) in a way that highlighted how absurd they are to put up with. Whichever elements of the story readers find themselves relating to, I hope they find themselves laughing along the way.

 

Except for the magical bits, are any characters or situations in this book based on events or people in your life?

I tried to make Lucy’s experiences as universal as possible. I took a poll on Instagram of things women put up with but never talk about, from periods to harassment to makeup sweat, and incorporated it all into the story. I also took inspiration from my own life and experiences of women I know and many I don’t. Readers will recognize Lucy’s situation at her office from many MeToo headlines from the past several years. I drew from pop culture as well given that the story is set in Hollywood. Readers might recognize similarities between my fictional celebrities and some events that took place in the summer of 2020 when I was drafting the story (namely a very popular song by two female rap artists). The closest situation in the book to my own real life is the sports bra scene!

 

As things start to blow apart in Lucy’s life in NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, does she have a support system of either friends or family?

Absolutely. One of my favorite parts of the story is the support Lucy gets from her friends, family, and coworkers—especially from the unexpected sources. One of the themes of the story is supporting women, and it was tremendously cathartic to write a story about workplace mistreatment that is unfortunately so commonplace and to be able to flip the expected ending on its head.

 

Without giving away too much, does Lucy find resolution at the end of this book, or are things left somewhat open ended?

I think Lucy is in a really good place at the end of the story. She learns a lot about herself and what she’s capable of throughout her experiences, and I like to think she carries it forward in life as she continues to grow.

 

A few authors I’ve interviewed in the past have told me that the kind of book they enjoy writing is not the same kind of book they enjoy reading. What do you like to read? Favorite books? Authors?

I definitely fall into this category! I read much darker than I write. My favorite genre to read is thriller. Gillian Flynn is my forever queen. I will also autobuy anything by Jane Harper, Jessica Knoll, and Ashley Winstead. I adore dark stories with strong female leads—even if they are unlikable!

 

What are you currently working on?

My second book, THE DEJA GLITCH just went into copyediting and will be out next summer! It is another lightly speculative, upmarket romcom set in L.A. It leans more into romance than NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH and is about strangers stuck in a time loop who must fall in love to break out of it, but the catch is that only one of them can remember the loop and the other feels like it’s the first day they’ve met each time. I am head-over-heels for it, and I can’t wait for readers to get their hands on it! Aside from that, I’m working on drafting book 3.

 

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH by Holly James PhD

Nothing But the Truth

A Novel

 

It’s the eve of Hollywood publicist Lucy Green’s thirtieth birthday, a day she hopes will bring the promotion she deserves and a proposal from her boyfriend. But he stands her up for a date, not for the first time, leaving Lucy alone at the bar—or at least, alone with the handsome bartender on the other side of the counter—so she makes a rueful wish over her cocktail for a perfect birthday. But when Lucy’s wish is granted in the most unexpected way, things go terribly awry, as things often do when wishes come true….
 
When Lucy wakes up on her big day, she can’t seem to force herself to go through her rigorous fitness and beauty routines—things she usually tells herself she likes. She has no desire to eat only a spoonful of yogurt for breakfast and she simply can’t bear to put on the uncomfortable shapewear needed for the power outfit she had planned for work. 
 
Then Lucy arrives at the office, and she realizes that not only can she no longer lie to herself, she can’t lie to anyone else, either. Not her clients, not her boyfriend, not her creep of a boss. Now that she can’t hide how she feels, Lucy must confront all the injustices—small and large—she’s faced on a daily basis at work, in her relationship, and in every other aspect of her life...and the truth is going to come out in a big way.

 

Women's Fiction [Dutton, On Sale: July 12, 2022, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780593186503 / eISBN: 9780593186503]

 

About Holly James PhD

Holly James PhD

Holly James holds a PhD in psychology and has worked in both academia and the tech industry. She loves telling stories with big hearts and a touch of magic. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and dog

 

 

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