I just got back from a holiday in Oz/Aussie/Australia with family and was trying to come to terms with returning to the real world i.e. work, laundry, school lunches – do I really need to explain? – and get the news that my latest book is #4 on the New Zealand bestseller list 11 days after it was released. Please forgive me while I wallow and skite – I’m only human. And in case you’re wondering just who on earth I am… I’m Michelle Holman, one of the original group of six intrepid writers who decided to get together to start The Romantic Journey. So far a very cool idea of Jennifer’s has turned into a very cool journey plus it’s free, doesn’t involve packing suitcases, vaccinations, finding somebody to look after the dog/cat/budgie and the weather doesn’t matter. Some info on me:-
What do you write? Romantic Comedy.
Agent’s Name Don’t have one.
Books: Bonkers (HarperCollins NZ 2007), Divine (HPCNZ 2008), Knotted (HPCNZ 2009), Einfach Himmlisch (Simply Heavenly), German translation of Bonkers (Droemer November 2009).
The One Book You Never Tire Of Re-reading? Anything by Brenda Jagger, especially the Barforth Trilogy. Just Imagine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
When Did You Realise You Needed To Write? When I was about eleven and went to my first rock concert. I fell in love with the band and wrote a story about the lead singer and the drummer falling in love with two kiwi girls. Years later I found out the singer was gay. It was a difficult moment.
The first story you completed that you were really proud of…well not the one about the singer and the drummer. It would have to be my first book, Bonkers. I still love it and yes, I’m proud of it.
Do you write things other than romantic fiction? Shopping lists.
When you aren’t writing what sort of activities do you engage in? The shopping lists are quite labour intensive but I also like hanging out with my husband and kids, reading, listening to music, riding my horse and road bike, gardening (my husband says it’s cruelty to plants) and swimming. I also spend alot of time wondering how Daniel Craig and Viggo Mortensen manage to get through life without me. I’m a registered nurse and have a “real” job too managing community youth health projects.
What is the worst job you ever had? Chalet maid at Butlins Holiday camp in Somerset, England on my big OE (Downunder talk for “Overseas Experience). Had alot of fun off duty though.
Has it shown up in your writing? Not yet but if you spot a bitter, twisted, negligent young kiwi girl forced to clean up after people in any of my books you’ll know where she came from.
And finally…to any aspiring writers who might be reading this, don’t listen to the numbers about how many books get published/rejected and don’t give up. You’re the only one who can write your story.