1--What is the title of your latest release?
UNTIL THE STARS FALL
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
Astroengineer and witch Gemma is having her secret, dangerous magic removed when she reaches humanity’s new planet, but a sexy witch she meets on the journey - who thinks she’s his meant to be - might change her plans…and her life.
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
From the moment I decided to write about witches in space, I knew I wanted Until the Stars Fall to be set sometime in the future. I wanted my witches to be from Earth, not an alien planet, and I wanted to create a different kind of spaceship than I’d read about or seen before. So I created a vintage space hotel that has long since retired from its days as a cruise ship through our solar system. It’s a beautiful old ship—on the outside, it’s reminiscent of silver 1940s rocket ship designs in early TV and movies, and on the inside, travelers can view the splendors of space through plentiful art nouveau windows and relax in style in the ship’s forest and Star Deck. But as pretty as it is, the ship is outdated and missing some critical components, so the witches must use their magic to help the ship travel safely to Gaia, the planet that everyone on Earth is evacuating to.
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
Gemma and I would get along well. We’re both introverts who do better in small groups of people, so we’d probably end up together at the edges of a party having a deep conversation.
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Anxious, smart, and self-conscious
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
I had so much fun learning about spaceships—both how today’s shuttles work and how spaceships of the future might travel. One specific thing I learned is how today’s space shuttles are pressurized for human habitation by combining gases found in our atmosphere and keeping them at atmospheric pressure inside the shuttle, circulated by fans. (This is a huge oversimplification and probably at least a little bit wrong, but that’s why I’m a writer and not a scientist.)
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
Except for typos or sentence-level revisions when I have a better idea, I try not to edit much at all as I draft. My main goal while drafting is to get the whole idea of the book on the page from start to finish, so if I have ideas for revisions, I leave those in comments for later. If I’m not sure about something - like a name, a word I can’t think of, or even small pieces of plot - I’ll leave a placeholder like “TK” or “get them out of the castle somehow” for my next rewrite. But if I’m really struggling to get into a book or connect with the characters, I often walk away for a bit. And when I come back, I have to start reading again from the first page to reacquaint myself with the project, often doing a lot of line revisions because I can’t help myself. Sometimes I do this over and over again and don’t get much farther into the book than last time. This is what writer’s block often looks like for me.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
I’m definitely not a foodie in the sense of a connoisseur of gourmet food - I’m rather a picky eater. But my favorite indulgence is cheese fries with bacon (and it has to be melted cheese, not poured nacho-type cheese). A million extra bonus points if the fries are fresh cut at the restaurant.
9--Describe your writing space/office!
I would do some shady things for my own writing office. (Just kidding! Sort of!) But of the three spots I rotate between in my house, my favorite place to write is outside on my patio at a cute metal table my sister gave me. When the weather allows and mosquitoes aren’t too bad, I love sitting in the breeze, listening to my wind chimes and taking sky-watching breaks.
10--Who is an author you admire?
It’s so hard to pick just one! Right now I’m such a fan of Livy Hart (her books include Talk Flirty to Me, Some Kind of Blunderful, and more). First, those titles are goals. Her books are funny, swoon-worthy, fun, and flirty, and I’m in awe of how she writes so many amazing books so quickly with kids in the house - the struggle is real.
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
I have to go way back to the sixth grade to when I first read Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë was the reason I first wanted to become a writer. It took me a very long time to put my heart into actually writing to finish books and pursue publication, but I have to credit that book with setting me on this path.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
I woke up on the Sunday morning after Thanksgiving in 2022, reached for my phone, and found an email from an editor who wanted to publish Until the Stars Fall. It was such a surreal moment - I had to re-read the email several times, and even then, I came out and told my family, “Um, I think someone wants to publish my book?”
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
Contemporary and fantasy romance are my favorite genres to read, with YA fantasy very close behind. I need a little (or a lot!) of romance in whatever I read. I try to read nonfiction, but it’s a struggle for me. I generally can only finish nonfiction if it’s a writing craft book, like Romancing the Beat. I read that one cover to cover.
14--What’s your favorite movie?
The Mummy (1999) remains my favorite movie of all time. The action! The adventure! Egyptian archaeology! Evie and Rick! I saw it in the theater when it came out, and it enchants me to this day.
15--What is your favorite season?
I live in Louisiana where we have a short, frigid and unpredictable winter, a seemingly endless summer of intense heat, storms, and mosquitoes, and two very brief “seasons” of spring and fall - those last two are my favorites. I love windy weather that’s on the cooler side, with blue skies.
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I celebrate my birthday by not cooking! (I’m not a fan of cooking.) Our family tradition is that the birthday person gets to pick breakfast, lunch, and dinner spots, and then in the evening we do cake and presents. My birthday is around Christmas and usually falls around my vacation from work, and/or I take the day off. I like not planning the day and just doing whatever makes me happy from moment to moment on that day. And I always get a wedding cake-flavored cake with buttercream icing from my favorite local bakery.
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
It’s not super recent, but I’m a huge Ted Lasso fan. Every single cast member is exceptionally talented, it’s one of the funniest shows I’ve ever watched, and I walk away from every episode with an interesting take on life issues or a lesson learned. It’s such a masterclass in storytelling and character development as well.
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
As I mentioned before, I’m a very picky eater. But I can almost always find something I like to eat in an Italian restaurant (Americanized, as I’ve sadly never been out of the US). I love bread dipped in olive oil, cheese/garlic bread, fettuccine alfredo, cheese ravioli, pizza - it may not be healthy, but it sure is delicious.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
Usually, my free time is writing time. I work full time and have two teenage sons, so I have to fit it in when I can. If I’m not writing, I’m probably napping, doing housework, playing games on my phone, or watching Ted Lasso or the Office for the hundredth time.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
I’ve been drafting book 2 of Interstellar Witches, so if you enjoyed UtSF, soon you’ll get to read about Eyre’s green witch sister. Gemma's boss is also in it (and he's currently trying to steal the show), but his love story isn't until book 3. I also write contemporary romances, and I’m currently querying those.
Interstellar Witches #1
Falling in love on an interstellar road trip wasn’t part of Gemma’s plans…
Hurtling away from Earth is definitely the worst time to learn that your ship’s being held together with duct tape and spells, but astroengineer Gemma Abadie is a witch with a bigger problem—and no, it’s not the whole-Earth evacuation thing. It’s the pent-up, hidden magic buzzing through her veins that she believes caused her parents’ death years ago. She’s hidden it from her family ever since, and now she’s hellbent on getting to her shady contact on humanity’s new planet, Gaia, to have her volatile magic removed. But Gemma didn’t count on steaming up the engine room of the dilapidated space hotel with witchy Beck Breaux, who believes Gemma’s his meant-to-be. He’s hot as hell and her equal in every way, and after he uncovers her magic on their first day in space, he’s determined to help her accept and control it. When a magical accident leaves Beck near death, Gemma faces a reckoning: either stay the course and risk losing him forever, or reconcile with her past to embrace her magic, save Beck’s life, and find her happily ever after. In a perfect marriage of science and magic, this steamy sci-fi romance uses threads of humor and heart to weave a story of soulmates, found family, and the beauty of forgiveness.
Romance | Science Fiction [City Owl Press, On Sale: January 16, 2024, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781648984389 / eISBN: 9781648984372]
Holly Rose lives in Louisiana with her husband, two sons, and two cats, Loki and Olivia Newton John. She eats too much cheese fries, loves stargazing, and writes books about people falling in love.
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