Monday, April 15, 2013

Author Interview: Faye Hollidaye!

Today is a ground-breaking day on my blog. No, I haven't come up with a clever title for it. I am conducting my first guest interview! For this special occasion, please welcome author/friend Faye Hollidaye, of Susie Chapman Series fame!

Hi Faye, I hope you've got your thinking cap on, 'cause I've got a bevy of questions for you.

1. First of all, tell us a bit about yourself. Share whatever you'd like.
Hello. I’m a writer, a reader, a wife, and mother of only my and my husband’s pets. I have a doggy named Bade, who’s big enough to take me for walks, but I have a pretty strong leash, so I don’t ever lose him, though sometimes he’s quite harsh on my shoulder and wrist. We also have a few snakes for my husband’s high school biology classroom, named Hannibal, Diamond, Sagan, and Scarlet. We have a red-foot tortoise named Autumn, and also a Saharan Uromastyx

Uro - Saharan Uromastyx

who’s nicknamed Uro. My hubby and our pets are my life, pretty much, except for writing and doing whatever odd jobs I can to earn us a few extra dollars. It’s not exactly ideal to be living on a single income, and that of a high school teacher, so I do whatever I can to help make ends meet, since I’m currently unable to get a decent job with my degree in language.

2. Maybe you should consider going back to school and getting a degree in Philosophy. Just a thought. So, who/what are some of your favorite authors or books?
There have been a lot of books over the years that I’ve just had to buy for my bookshelf. I’d have to say a few of my all-time faves are Cindy Holby’s Chase the Wind, which is a historical romance but a book I find I can really enjoy over and over again because I can relate to it so much – when I became a Christian and threw out all the smutty romances, that was the one I just couldn’t let go of. Also, I must mention Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, which I’ve read at least three times, and it does have religious implications I don’t really support, but it is so much of a fantastic adventure, it’s hard to read and not enjoy the journey. Another is June Rae Wood’s works like The Man Who Loved Clowns and A Share of Freedom.

3. I'll have to check some of those out. What is your most favorite line you've ever written (I know I know, they're all gold), and in which story does it appear?
Wow, now that’s a tough question for me. I’d have to go back and read my stuff to find one I really like... Right off the top of my head, I’d have to say one of the opening lines of Pieces, where Maryanne is trying to decipher why one of her guy friends hasn’t told her about his new girlfriend: “Does he think that I’ll go psycho and kill her or something?” And with some more thought, I have to mention the opening line from my one of my newest short stories, The Rise: “In the beginning, they had no voice.”

4. Ooh, I like that! What genre(s) do you write in? Which one have you not tried yet? Why haven't you?
I always have a problem pinpointing what genre I am. I’d like to think I’m creating my own kind of genre, which is a blend of psychological thriller, mystery, romance, religious-themed supernatural, young adult but older than teen fiction, tragedy, science fiction, and possibly others. I do write poetry, nonfiction and fiction prose, and short stories. I know I haven’t tried comedy yet. Comedy is hard for me, because I never know if what I think is funny is actually funny to anybody else – sometimes I laugh at things that I later find I shouldn’t have laughed at even in the least. I guess I have a twisted sense of humor.

5. That could make for some funny scenarios, a la John Irving. Does anything scare you about writing, or the writing process, or the publishing industry?
I’m not afraid to write anything. And I’m not afraid to try new kinds of forms or structures, or new ways of improving my writing processes. The publishing industry though, is intimidating. I self-publish because I know everyone gets rejected at least by a few publishers before signing with a big one, and I’m afraid I’ll get discouraged from writing when I get my first rejection letter from a publisher. So I skipped the rejections and self-publish, hoping I can get myself and my work out there and in front of readers.

6. I wouldn't worry about rejection. The first hundred or so are tough, but after that it gets easier. Now tell us: Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Pantser? What does that mean? I plot so far into the story, usually about half-way, and then the characters tell me what happens from there.

7. So, not a pantser, then. FYI, a pantser flies by the seat of his, or her, pants. No plotting beforehand. Would you say you write primarily character- or plot-driven fiction?
I’d have to say character-driven, though I do use plot to get the characters to react and drive the story. My writing is a little more complicated than just one or the other, I think.

8. Having read most of your fiction, I'd have to agree. Speaking of which, when is your next release coming out? What's the title?
My next novel release is coming out this year. It’s the second work in the Merely Mortal Series, though a reader doesn’t have to read Pieces to understand what’s happening at all. It’s called The Dead Girl, and is Miranda’s story – a small piece of it can be found in the second half of Pieces. It’s vampire-themed. The big thing about it is a biologically sound vampire. I go as far as microbiology to explain how vampirism, at least in a sense, is possible.

9. Sounds intriguing. I'm looking forward to reading it. So, who is your favorite fictional character? What story is he/she in? And why are they your favorite?
Lyra from Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I decided this quite a while ago and can’t remember exactly why. I’ll have to reread the books again to remember why she’s my favorite. Maybe because she’s such an easy liar...

10. Lol. Okay, I have been waiting a long time to ask you this question: what's the deal with Susie Chapman? By that I mean: where did you come up with the idea of writing a story with multiple narrators? What do you hope readers will get from this unusual literary technique? And do you plan to release the whole story one chapter at a time?
The funny thing about Susie Chapman is I saw on Facebook not too long ago that my step-grandmother has a friend named Susie Chapman. I was like, Oh my, so close, you know, only two degrees of separation. Haha. Anyway, the story began with a dream. I wrote down Jesse Adams’ story, the first one in the series, one day from my notes about the dream, having a specific narrator in mind. Then I got to thinking later, what really happened to Susie, where’d she go? I found myself interested enough to ask around, and there seem to be plenty of different stories about her. I personally don’t know what happened to Susie though I have my own suspicions and beliefs, and I enjoy writing the installments as much as I hope at least some of my readers enjoy them. I came to the multiple-narrators idea pretty naturally. Jesse Adams told his story, and he has no more to say about it than he does in his installment. He doesn’t know anything about where Susie went. Other people at her high school seem to think they do. As I sift through what the other kids at Green Bottom High say about Susie, I hope to reveal some clues that point to what really happened to her. Yes, it’s fiction, but it’s kind of fun to try and figure out which narrators are reliable and which are not. Sometimes it’s easier to believe the best storyteller than the most reliable narrator, and this is a major theme I’m trying to get across, I think, with the Susie series. As to the last part of the question: I think of the character who I want to interview next, and I have to let them think about how they’re going to tell their story before I can write it down for them. I give them a week or two to get their story straight, and then I sit down and channel their voice for the recording of their side of the story. This process is a little tedious, but it’s turning out to be quite efficient. I know there will be 18 installments, since Susie’s little sister has already told me what she thinks happened to her, and once I get that far, I will combine them into a short novella to sell for 99 cents. For now though, I am releasing them one installment at a time, generally one every two weeks.

11. I find them fun to read. They're like tuning in to a soap opera. I'm always curious to see who will have what to say about Susie. Where can people find you online?
I’m at a lot of places online. I have a Facebook page (, a Twitter (, a Google+ , a Myspace, a Wix website (found at - where you can find the links to where I can be found online that I don’t provide here), and a few blogs. I’m also on Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, Lulu, Black Caviar, Wapi Aponi, and Sporcle. I now also edit an online newspaper called The Interesting Weekly at

Wow. You're everywhere!
Well, Faye, thank you for being my guest. I had fun getting to know you a bit better outside of Twitter. I truly wish you great reviews and many sales with all of your future releases.
Thank you, JT! I enjoyed being here. ☺ Sorry if I went to town on a few of these questions – I’m quite a talker once you get me started.

No problem, Faye. I hope you'll come back when you have a new release blog tour.


  1. This is really impressive for your first interview! Thank you for the wonderful opportunity :) I'll gladly return whenever I can.
    Just a note: our Uro isn't as fat as the one in the picture, and I have plenty of pics of him - I can send you one (or some) if you like :)

  2. I had fun with the interview, Faye. Thank you for joining me. I'll try to post pics of the real Uro. I look forward to your return! :-)

  3. Awesome. He looks better than the other one :). I guess I'm biased though, lol. Oh, and I forgot to say in my first comment: Philosophy? Haha, too easy. I'd get too bored with philosophy. When I took it in college, I wrote stories in class. (And passed with flying colors.)


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