Interview with jonna ellis holston

Describe your desk
I have three. All are covered in papers and sticky notes, It looks disorganized but the exact paper I need somehow ends up I my hand.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Lowell, Massachusetts then Boston. Both are historic, exciting but tough cities. I moved to South Florida (also tough and exciting) and lived there for 15 years. We looked for a safer place to raise our daughter and settled in the gentle southern town of Kernersville, NC. It is a lovely place to raise a child but at one point I said to myself, Holy Sh!#, I'm in the middle of the Bible Belt and there's nothing to do here but go to church!
I began writing this story to make my life more interesting and it took off from there. (both the story and my life!) Believe me, life CAN be exciting in Kernersville!
When did you first start writing?
I wrote plays as a child... go figure. My first poem was published in the Lowell Sun under the heading "First Class Second Grade Poet" and if I do say so myself, it was awful. Because my Godparents were writers I grew up around famous people, writers, artists and politicians. Jack Kerouac was a frequent visitor to my Aunt Mary's home. She was a great influence on me, my Auntie Mame, and I cannot begin to tell you how lucky I was to have her.
I always wrote but usually I felt, afterward like I had been kicked in the chest by a goat. Later in life, when the angst of youth dissipated, I began to love it again.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Connecting with people. When actual humans began to like my writing and follow my blog I realized what a platform it is, what an opportunity to connect and communicate with others. I began receiving messages telling me, "You wrote my life!" or "This touched my heart and I almost cried." Those are big compliments to a comic, chick lit writer like myself.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. My gosh, you expect having fans will feed your ego. Then you find out that having them is the most humbling experience of your life! It is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and impossible for me to describe.
What are you working on next?
The sequel to Toggle (one). It's too big a story to tell in one book!
Who are your favorite authors?
Steinbeck, Steinbeck and Steinbeck, although Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series blew me away.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My dog isn't going to walk herself, you know!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Walking my dog... in the forest... or working out in the gym during the day then partying like it's 1999 on the weekends (or as close to it as possible for an old lady like me who doesn't drink!).
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, five wives of our local DJs were having a dialogue while playing cards. What I remember most was that my Aunt Mary loved it and my teacher remarked at the originality of my ideas. I think it was called Heinz 57.
What is your writing process?
Even if I meticulously script them, my stories grow organically. It's as though piles of tiny papers and sticky notes assemble themselves and I just fill in the blanks.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first I read. The first story that had a true impact on me was To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee.
How do you approach cover design?
With minimalism. The least amount of graphics that will represent the story.
What do you read for pleasure?
Historic fiction.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Barcelona, somewhere near Park Guell so I would have a natural sanctuary to walk my dog in.
Published 2016-05-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.