Interview with H. Lee Holt

How did you get interested in writing?
I have always loved reading books. My mother would take me to the library every weekend and both of use would stack up on our book supply! In school, when the other kids would groan because we had a writing assignment, I was secretly happy! (it had to be a secret because I didn't want the other kids to think I was weird!)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town in Virginia at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I always loved this area and would like to return someday. Growing up in this part of the country brought me into close proximity with a wide range of different people and it was so interesting to observe the interaction of different family backgrounds. This fascination with people and their story has stayed with me all these years and I use this observation in my writings.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind "Death of The Fairy King" relates to how a trauma in childhood can impact your entire life and color the way you look at others. I have met several people over the course of my life who were intelligent and successful but there seemed to be something missing in their interaction with other people and the world at large. There was a surprising level of distrust and suspicion and, on learning their background more fully, a childhood trauma marred their past and made them into who they are today. Can people move beyond issues from the past? I try to examine this aspect of personal development as my main character, Jenny, tries to come to terms with a horrific trauma and an abusive mother to become the person she was meant to be.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The biggest factor in my decision to become an indie author was the advent of self-publishing! My first book was a "How to" ebook and I was astonished at the interest shown. This made me believe that the story I felt was inside me waiting to get out could be achieved and I could be in complete control of my efforts. I like this feeling of responsibility for myself and my own work!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I was thrilled to find Smashwords! I first read the eBook on formatting and then marketing and felt this was something I would like to do! I find it a little frightening to put my eBook "out there" because it exposes you to potential criticism but I believe that, in order to grow as a person, you need to experience new things and step outside your safety zone.
I found Smashwords a surprisingly easy avenue to reach my goal of self-publishing and I feel like they are the "wind at my back" on this exciting voyage!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy for me is to be doing something else like sleeping, exercising, etc. and to suddenly have an idea pop into my head for a new and exciting way to describe a feeling, emotion, etc. of your main character! I can hardly wait to capture this on paper and incorporate it into my book.
The saddest thing about writing is to finish a book and say "goodby" to my characters!
Who are your favorite authors?
I have loved Stephen King forever - I really like the way he takes the mundane and shows the horror in everyday existence! I will never forget "Carrie" and how engrossed I was in the plot. My latest favorite is Gillian Flynn. She has a way of showing her characters emotions that completely grabs me and doesn't let go!
I grew up on Agatha Christie and certainly cannot leave her out of the mix.
Published 2014-05-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.