Interview with K.J. Holloway

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, it's all about honesty. Writing gives me a chance to express myself, whether it's through my characters in fiction, or through my arguments in nonfiction. In fiction, the stories and characters may not be real, but the emotions that they feel and that they project onto the reader are real. They're my honest emotions. I portray them because I've felt them before. Whether, they be fear and doubt or joy and love, I've felt them all. And I seek to share them with my audience in the most honest way possible. Writing allows me to speak my mind. It's also cathartic. Writers live at least half of our lives inside of our heads. Writing allows me to release those thoughts. Once their put on paper they become real. The characters become real people and no longer figments of my imagination. Storytelling is the oldest tradition in human history. I am proud to be a part of that tradition.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love writing. I would do it for free. I, of course, have my fantasies of success, but those are not what get me through the tough parts of writing (the grind, the revising, the loneliness, the revising, the long hours, the editing and revising). The days when I have to lock myself in a room alone, with just my computer and a cup of coffee, it's my love of writing and creating that keeps me motivated to continue. When it came time to publish, I realized how much traditional publishers and agents are motivated only by their bottom line. What's worse is that's how they want me to think! Indie publishing has allowed me to cut through the bullshit, and instead get my work directly to my audience. It's like Quentin Tarantino said: be your own audience. Write stories that you would read/ watch and bet that there are others out there like you. If there are others out there like me, then why should I let anything stop me from reaching them?
What is your writing process?
My first step in fiction is to create a character. Then I like to let that character speak. Through conversation I get to know that character; who they are, what they want. I like to let their decisions and actions propel the story forward. If you create honest characters that you respect, then you can trust them with the plot of your story.
When I write nonfiction, I always start with my perspective. I inject myself into it and I never try to be "neutral" or "objective", because that isn't how I live my life. I almost never find myself dearth of opinion. The truth is often uncomfortable and infuriating. I like to allow those emotions to shine through. Nonfiction doesn't have to lack passion or personality.
What do you think is the most important quality that a writer must possess?
I think empathy. The ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and feel what they feel is what creates great characters. You have to be able to become them for that moment that you're writing them. You have to see their perspective, feel what they feel, and think how they think. Empathy is also what makes for a good reader as well; someone who can let others in and share their joys and sorrows. Being a reader and a writer are not mutually exclusive. It's like Bill Maher said when discussing critics (I'm paraphrasing): people always say that you have to have a thick skin, but I don't think that's true. Because you can't have a thick skin and do what I do. You have to be a sensitive person in order to do this work.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love boxing and MMA. When I'm not writing or reading, I am training. For me, it's more than just staying in shape, but pushing myself further and further. It's the ultimate challenge and I think you stay sharp by challenging yourself constantly. What kind of writer would I be if I played it safe? Fighting takes courage, almost as much courage as writing.
Published 2016-08-22.
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Books by This Author

Aegis
You set the price! Words: 116,510. Language: American English. Published: August 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Rona, a former guardian angel now bound to Earth, isn’t surprised to learn that Heaven and Hell are at war again. She isn’t even surprised that the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance. She is, however, shocked when her friend, Angelica, asks her to become a guardian again to protect a teenage boy whom demons are after. The reward, a chance to regain entry into Heaven, is too good to pass up.