Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?
I work at home mostly—I have a very tiny cramped office I write in during the winter (because it has a heater in it) and I recently turned my son’s former bedroom into another office, which has a window looking out into the back yard that’s turning out to be more distracting than I’d hoped.
What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?
I sometimes write by hand, but I mostly just write on my computer.
What is your routine for writing?
Wake up, do an hour or so of market research and submitting material, get my daughter ready for school, then write for the next 4-5 hours (until my daughter comes home from school).
How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?
Unofficially, I’ve been writing poetry and fiction since I was 4. Officially, I’ve been writing for publication since I was 15 (going on 32 years now).
Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?
Initially, I always write for myself, and then the question of audience comes later.
What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?
I’ve been writing for so long now that just the act of sitting at my desk inspires me to write. I worked as a journalist and a technical writer for a long time, so I didn’t have the luxury of being blocked—I always had intense deadlines to meet, so every moment I wasn’t writing was a moment dragging me closer to poverty. I maintain those same sort of deadlines for myself with fiction and poetry now, so I don’t really think about writer’s block.
What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?
I do a lot of handicrafts, like needlepoint and beadwork. When it’s nice out, I love to play in my garden. My husband and I write hiking and history books together, and a lot of our research involves big, long, wonderful walks through parks and the city, which I also love.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
I love all of it. I love stumbling into a story or poem and feeling it grow into something separate from me. I love the moment after finishing something when I wonder, “How did this come about?” I love watching pages and pages fill up while I’m working on a book or a longer piece. It’s all wonderful.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
Be persistent. Approach writing with joy.
Check out Holly’s work in Volume 3, Issue 1, and Volume 4, Issue 2. Two of her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart, “Fred, Half Dead, Beethoven In His Head” in Volume 3, Issue 1, and “The Patch of Tulips I Never Planted” in Volume 4, Issue 2.