Friday, March 1, 2013

Holly Bush - Romancing Olive & Reconstructing Jackson - Author Interview

Author Interview 

1. How did you come up with the title?
Interesting question! I was describing the the story line of Reconstructing Jackson to a friend and said I was having trouble with the name. He asked if there was a prevalent theme and I told him that I always felt that Reed Jackson’s story was one of redemption. He asked me a few more questions, including the year the novel takes place, and when I told him, he said, “During Reconstruction?” It wasn’t a far language leap from redemption to reconstruction.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No. Not really. I don’t write to impart any message or learning. I write stories about people in conflict because I think that is where the drama is that fuels good books. I think most of us, at some point in our lives, hit a crossroads or a wake-up bell rings that forces decisions, big decisions, about where we will live, how we will live and act and how we will respond to others. Good stories are about what characters do when they come upon a crossroads or hear that bell.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
I believe it is realistic for the time period and location. Missouri was a state in great conflict, before, during and after the war as there was no clear majority of sympathizers for the North or the South and troops were sent to both the Union and the Confederacy. It is not a stretch to imagine the conflicts that may have happened within families, churches and communities.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
No. I don’t believe I would.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
It’s always hard finding enough time to write and edit. Both tasks take concentration and, I believe, a state of mind to perform well. If I’m worried or anticipating events at my job or within my family, it is difficult to focus and find a writing groove. Add in the marketing that is now required of writers and quality writing time diminishes even more!

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I always learn when I’m writing. The most fascinating thing I learned was about how lawyers became lawyers prior to the twentieth century. I was fortunate enough to get some great insight from member historians of my local Bar Association.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’m not sure how to answer that question other than to say, I see characters and feel compelled to tell their story. I do remember having an image of a man (in my head he looked like the actor Val Kilmer as a young man) in a wheelchair, on a train platform, with a trunk beside him and a train pulling away. He was looking around as if wondering what to do next and I wanted to know why he was there and where he was from. That character was Reed Jackson.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’m a great fan of Jane Austen and I love her subtle character building. I’m also a fan of Mary Balogh. She’s able to make characters feel very real, as if they are alive and I know them. For me, great stories are about the main character on a journey.

9. Tell us your latest news.
Reconstructing Jackson was recently released and is receiving great reviews and I’m getting terrific comments from readers. Romancing Olive and Train Station Bride continue to sell strongly as well. I will release a new historical romance this spring about a spinster Suffragette called Cross the Ocean. In the fall, I will be releasing a women’s fiction novel and am writing its sequel now.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope my readers are willing to take a chance on more Indie writers. The publication system, agents and publishing houses, has traditionally been very difficult to break into. There are many of us with good, well-edited stories to tell that are just now getting a chance to have our books seen by readers. Take a chance and try a new writer!

About the Book

In 1891, spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table and her sister-in-law’s subsequent murder, traveling far from her staid life to rescue her niece and nephew, now orphans. She arrives to find the circumstances of her brother’s life deplorable and her long held beliefs of family and tradition, shaken.

Accustomed to the sophistication of Philadelphia, Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio, a rough and tumble world she is not familiar with, facing two traumatized children. Her niece and nephew, Mary and John, have been living with a neighboring farmer, widower Jacob Butler, the father of three young children of his own and a man still in pain from the recent loss of his wife.

Real danger threatens Olive and Mary and John while Jacob and his own brood battle the day-to-day struggles for survival. Will Olive and Jacob find the strength to fight their battles alone or together? Will love conquer the bitterness of loss and broken dreams?

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook
Pages: 205
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bookbaby
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Buy Links: Kindle

About the Book

1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.

Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.

Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle's courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook
Pages: 191
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bookbaby
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Buy Links: Kindle

About the Author

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

Links to connect with Holly:
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  1. It was great fun talking to you about my writing and Reconstructing Jackson! Thanks for having me. Holly

    1. You are very welcome, Holly. It's a pleasure to host you. Thanks for stopping by :)