Void Wept Release

Sorry it’s been a while. Between trying to edit, working on a podcast and having a sick kitty (unfortunately he died late August), I haven’t updated in a while!

But I do have good news – I am on chapter 20 of 53 for the final pass of “The Void Wept”and barring an earth extinction event or something along those lines, it should be done and published within the next two weeks. I’m hoping to make a big dent in editing this weekend, so Tuesday I will hopefully have a more clear idea of when that will be!

Thanks for your patience, and I hope you’ve been safe during these crazy times!

Warm wishes,


The Void Chronicles – Lucas or Tristan?

If you’ve read the ‘The Void Chronicles’, I’m curious who you prefer – Lucas or Tristan – and why. Please leave a comment and explain. =)

Do you think Julianna is a better match for Tristan or  maybe Lucas? Was she too hard on Tristan when it came to what happened with Reena? Can you relate at all to Julianna having feelings for both men?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Remember, comments are moderated, so they won’t show up until after I approve them (I do this to cut down on spam).


It’s probably easy for some writers to separate what is going on in their personal life from what they write, but I’m not one of them; I don’t find it easy at all, and even when I try to set them in separate spheres, there is often bleed over. (May contain some spoilers.)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about The Liliana Batchelor Series and some of my regrets with it. I definitely meant to have Stuart turn a tad dark, weighed down by all that was happening, but when I was writing books four and five, my mother was battling cancer and then succumbed to it and the loss and pain I was feeling was pushed into the books. I delayed book five, wanting some time to try and get over things, but both books – which I meant to be a little heavy – became darker than I intended, in retrospect.

When I compiled the five books into an anthology, their length really hit me and I worry to this day that, taken together, they make the series too long. I really wanted to show Lily’s journey, give a background of what she fought against, show how she developed and then finally how Stuart’s love really helped her to completely believe in herself and be free from her past, but that meant the story ended up quite long. Some readers have written to me and clamoured for more Lily content, which I am still mulling over, but I worry others were overwhelmed by the length.

Last year I had a bit of a health scare (it turned out fine), at the same time someone I almost completely trusted betrayed me by lying and rewriting history. Both of those things at the same time were quite a blow, and I found it difficult to write a bit because I was worried that they would unduly influence my writing in some way. Then I started to get back to it and read my already published books and really thought about some of the things I am including in book four of “The Void Chronicles” and work out the minutiae. Writing is therapeutic for me, and thankfully I have found it easier this time to channel what is going on productively.

I feel including a bit of who you are in what you write is important; it makes the story more relate-able and have a more authentic atmosphere. The difficulty lies in not allowing too much to creep into what you create; it is a story, it is a separate world, and even though I mentioned there is a therapeutic element, readers don’t purchase a book for you to be able to have a protracted therapy session on the pages. Everyone has something they are dealing with at any given time, and you want to present them with a world that is interesting and exciting; this is even more true in erotica, fantasy, and a few other genres. People go there to escape, to experience someplace new and different, not to be confronted with an author’s daily toils.

I am excited about, “The Void Wept”; there is a lot in it. Julianna really blossoms, and you learn a lot about her history, how she got to Galea and how it is interleaved with what has already happened; it definitely puts things into perspective, and gives readers some clarity whilst fleshing out the world. I hope you’ll pick up book one if you haven’t already; I think once you settle in, you’ll get swept away.

Warm regards,


Q & A for “The Templars Falter” Blitz!

I did a Q & A as part of the promo stuff supplied to blogs for the  book blitz – here it is in its entirety, for your enjoyment. =) -Holly


Let’s start with telling us a little something about your book that might surprise us.

This is actually the tenth book I have published!  It also puts me about 900 words shy of one million words written in just under four years. So great milestones, and I *think* this might be my favourite novel; I feel that despite  her ups and downs and moments of weakness, Julianna really starts to come into her own.

What was your favourite scene to write?

I think the ending. Without spoiling anything…  Julianna had to pull away from something, from a temptation that was great after she had suffered a lot. Even when she had a chance to enjoy things and get a respite she was restless, felt her duty tug on her, remembered her loyalties. She made a choice – a very definite choice and although she regretted the pain it would cause, she knew it was right. But to do all that she had to be honest with herself – about her feelings for various characters in the story, what she thought she owed others and herself.  She wasn’t bitter about it either, although like I said there was some regret; I think that says it a lot about her, sums up her drive, her perseverance. She is not immune to fear or doubt, but she is very clear-minded when it comes to her principles and values and I was proud of her for doing what she did.

If you could hang out with one character in your book, who would it be and what would you do?

Hard choice! I love Julianna, and I think she is amazing – spending time chatting with her about how she has coped and adapted would be an incredible opportunity.

Tristan is also compelling – he’s achieved so much at a young age, is already one of the most respected leaders in Templar history, and is a heady combination of sensuality, intelligence and drive.

But I think I would have to go with Lucas. He is a complex character – motivated by intense passion and determination, with a dark and tragic history that has made him who he is. Lucas is an imposing figure, energetic and powerful, sort of like containing a thunderstorm in a spice bottle.  If he would actually sit down and talk and share, I would pick him.

What was the most interesting part of your research for this novel? Is there something surprising or fascinating that you stumbled on?

First off, I tend to do a fair amount of research for my books. Even though I have a lot of interests across a broad spectrum of topics, I want to get it right and I don’t know everything, unfortunately! =) So researching herbs that are used in aromatherapy, types of weapons, the best treats for horses and the gaits they have… I look it all up. One thing that pulls me out of a book fast is reading something that I know is blatantly incorrect. I want my books to be accurate, as much as I can help it.

I love ruins and ancient fortifications and it was fascinating to look at layouts for castles and get a sense of the scale of them. They really were self contained, with things like bakeries, wells, halls and granaries surrounded by sometimes two layers of walls. The Cloisters layout is roughly based on the floor plan for Harlech Castle in Wales.


What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The death and destruction and in particular the Cloisters, which is a Julianna’s first large battle. The typical follower of the Void is ruthless, and up until this point you see the destruction they have wrought after the fact or watch as smaller battles like Hayden’s Gate unfold. Here I really wanted people to get a sense that the Templars are fighting a difficult war – that as much as you have seen them train and how they spar and prepare, they are battling terrible foes who have tireless servants. I wanted the weight of their responsibility and the near impossibility of their task to weigh on the reader.

What does your writing process look like? Do you outline the story or go with the flow?

I know the story from start to how it will end and I also know the big milestones or revelations that will occur, so it’s just a matter of weaving it all together and ensuring the flow of information works well. I don’t outline it, other than having it in my mind as I mentioned, although I do use OneNote to track everything related to the lore and story that is important, so I can refer to it easily.

So generally once I sit down I just start typing.  =) I might add something or change around a scenario with another one or alter a little detail, but for the most part it’s a matter of following the track in my head and figuring out the specifics of dialogue and minutiae. I save my document at various points along the way, using an underscore and letter after it to show the order, so I can back track if I make some significant changes I decide to reverse.  It’s only happened once, but I’m paranoid I might tear something up or change things around and then have to undo it all!

How do you go about creating your main character? 

I was a geek when I as a kid, still am to a large degree, and got used to being alone or perhaps ostracized and that made me an observer. So I notice details, mannerisms and the like, and I know I weave them – or something like them – into every character. I want them to feel unique, for speech patterns to perhaps have a different cadence or vocabulary selection, so that is how I go about building up my characters, thinking about the little things that make someone an individual. I don’t try to do that just for my main, but for important supporting characters as well. I want them all to feel fleshed out, and although there are traits I admire or focus on for my main characters, I do try to differentiate them in some way.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

I am in all of them to some degree, probably. I channel and recall the emotions I have had at various times – uncertainty, disappointment, passion, lust, surprise, et cetera – and try to conjure them with my writing when it is appropriate. Although I’ve never had to sword fight minions that want to kill me, when I am tackling a scene I might recall something difficult I have done and try to extrapolate that for Julianna’s character and set of circumstances.

With regard to Julianna, I sympathise with her determination and frustration, and then her acceptance of her situation and after that how she pushes forward to make the best of it. I moved across the country by myself when I was eighteen and had no idea how difficult it would be – there were no friends here just two acquaintances and some saved money but no job. It was a huge adjustment; Seattle is very different from the NJ/NY area where I spent my entire childhood, and I initially had these feelings of alienation and confusion whilst trying to learn the city and get my feet under me.  I definitely think about that when I am highlighting Julianna’s uniqueness and pangs of loneliness.

Give us a brief description of “The Templars Falter” using only 2 sentences.

Juliann’s tryst with Lucas is a secret and soon she learns something unexpected about VoidCleaver; it all weighs on her, and she is not certain who to trust. The battle at the Cloisters gives Julianna a glimpse of the power inside her while at the same time showing her the terrible price that must be paid while fighting the Void.

Want to be daring and share some of your (writing-themed) confessions?

Despite this being my tenth book, I still get nervous when I publish! I’ve accidentally uploaded the wrong covers and old documents, had issues at one point with the cover not showing on the nook, periodically had readers email me with weird formatting problems I have a hard time replicating… I spend a great deal of time and energy trying to make the story compelling and consistent, and the moment of truth – ‘firing phasers’ as it were – still rattles me a bit. I want things to go smoothly, but fear they won’t! I also dread the post-publication depression I get. For a few weeks it is a little hard to focus on things, especially writing related, I get distracted… it’s because so much of my concentration and efforts have been on finishing and getting the novel ready for release. I wake up and go to sleep thinking about the bloody thing, so when I don’t have that task to focus on, it takes me a while to re-centre and move on. I’m still in publishing mode afterwards, even though it’s done… sort of novel empty-nest syndrome or something!

I absolutely need snacks when I read – what would you tell me to eat while reading this book?

Julianna misses the comforts and familiarity of the world she knew – even though there are analogues for a lot of the things in her new world, it’s not quite the same. I think she would want to enjoy something fairly pedestrian to us but missing from her life in Galea. Maybe veggies with onion dip, potato chips with Hidden Valley Ranch dip or just some salsa and chips; food you would nosh on easily while watching a movie, which is something she will never get to do again… unless she finds a way back.  When we’re away from home it is the simple comforts that call to us the most, so I would suggest going with that. =)


So I am currently editing book three in the Void Chronicles, “The Templars Falter”. It’s a fairly long book, right now 104,000+ words, counting the Table of Contents, etc.

I admit this final pass I have been dragging my feet a little. Well, that’s not ENTIRELY true… it’s just been difficult.

Why? Because when I’m done I am ready to publish. This novel has a lot going on,  some things in it are pretty intense, and there is no turning back once it is out there. I knew the things in the book had to happen but that doesn’t make it any easier, if you catch my drift. I regret some of the episodes in the book, because they’ve made me sad and things are even MORE difficult for the decent but beleaguered Julianna.

That’s not the only reason it has taken me a while – some ‘real work’ stuff has occupied a bit of my time, and I’m working with my cover designer whilst considering promo options.

So I am editing but gosh… this is the most difficult book to publish so far because it is so important. Julianna changes a lot here, goes through the wringer and has heartache, has to hurt someone she loves but she is beginning to come into her inheritance as the Deorwyn, and starts to get some answers about VoidCleaver, Tristan and even Lucas.

If you haven’t read book one yet, “A World Away”, look at Goodreads, see the reviews there and read the blurb. It’s only $2.99 so if you’re interested at all in fantasy erotica, give it a gander. I’ve worked really hard to develop an interesting world and rich lore that fleshes out even more in subsequent novels.

All the best,