Chloe Holiday - A Modern Cinderella Story With a Dash of Humor, Plenty of Spice and No Cliffhangers
Chloe Holiday writes the things she loves to read: steamy, fun stories about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, smart women, and men who aren't jerks. She likes to read about friendships, either close women or a good bromance. She wants all the feels: the thrill of a smoldering gaze or the barest brush of fingertips, the shocked gasp at the underhanded villain, the angst of heartbreak, the joy of reunion, and of course, happily ever after! She enjoys a sneak-peek into intriguing groups, whether that be military personnel, medicine, or another culture like Greece. She enjoys living vicariously and would go sailing, diving, or rock climbing. A bit of danger always gets her going, so many of her Romances have a thriller subplot. She loves humor and is partial to witty banter and embarrassing situations. Chloe hates to read the same old thing, with only the names and places changed, so her goal is to bring her a fresh, fun, new story every time, with no cliffhangers. More than anything, she wants a rollicking, great story that one can't put down, one where love prevails in the end, one that will whisk you away from your own tribulations. As our Author of the Day, Holiday tells us all about her book, Finders, Keepers.
Please give us a short introduction to what Finders, Keepers is about.
Convinced her boyfriend is cheating, free-spirited Farrah flees a holiday party and dodges into a bar where straitlaced Caleb indulges in one drink. Charmed, she goes home with him, but her boyfriend’s later texts persuade her she was mistaken. Horrified by what she’s done, she sneaks out in the night, leaving Caleb with a single mitten … Finders, Keepers is a fast-paced story about finding that one person who is right for you, learning to stand up for yourself, and going after what you want.
What inspired you to write about a girl who caught her boyfriend cheating?
While my main motivation is always just to tell a rollicking, great story, I wanted to explore the subtle gaslighting that can occur in relationships, which can blind a person to what's really happening.
Tell us more about Farrah. What makes her tick?
Farrah's highly creative and independent, yet trying to make a go of it in a very structured job which is the antithesis of what she really wants, because it seems like the practical thing to do. I believe most of us can relate to her desire to do her own thing instead of being locked into a corporate slot. She's also a loyal friend and decent person, who perhaps makes a few too many excuses for her boyfriend.
Why did you decide to write a mitten into the story?
I loved the idea of a missed connection: of each valiantly trying to find the other, yet stymied at every turn, and the hope that even so, things might still turn out at the end. The mitten also represents Farrah's connection with her grandmother, the need to be loved, and her appreciation for handcrafted things.
You include a lot of humor in your books. Why do you take this approach?
I want my books to be fun, though not slapstick. Life is funny, even in the midst of Bad Things Happening, and people need to laugh--it's often either that, or cry! I have one beta reader who tells me she's going to be banned from Starbucks, because she bursts into loud laughter reading my stories there, and it makes my day to hear it! Laughter is therapeutic, and it absolutely has a place in Romance.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I'm a pilot, a veteran, and an avid DIY master, with legendary skills with Desperation Engineering. I once fashioned, as floodwaters rose, a snorkel for a minivan out of a dog food bag, some wire mesh, and duct tape, to drive out through two and a half feet of water (kids, don't try this at home!).
What did you have the most fun with in Finders, Keepers?
I love dialogue with some snap, and underlying tension and meaning. That's never boring, so Caleb's restaurant scene was fun. I also love to throw in a twist or two, and sex scenes that aren't the Same Old Thing with new names.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
I plant them where I want them to grow, but sometimes, they sprout in new directions compared to what I'd anticipated, and the novels are richer for it.
What is your favorite line from Finders, Keepers?
Aargh! The problem is that out of context, they don't have the punch! It'd have to be a tie between "No shit. No time. No girl. No more. He was going to Denmark to get him some hygge," "I was hoping to see something basted, stuffed, and singed on the menu," and "I'm taking another one."
Readers found your characters very easy to identify with. What is your secret to creating relatable characters?
We've all felt giddy over someone, been embarrassed or humiliated, or wanted to smack someone--it's very human. To me, it's important that my characters feel real, not just Love Interest A and Nemesis X. I write flawed humans rather than paragons, try to infuse them with hopes and dreams, and let them feel the full brunt of emotion, without being melodramatic.
What is the best writing advice you’ve received?
"Get over yourself and write." Just accept that a first draft will be crap, and do it anyway. Let go of your fear of judgment--of course, it will be crap! How could it be anything else? But only when something's on the page can one sculpt it into art.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I love to write, so I usually hop up, make some tea, and feed the critters (dogs, chickens) and then settle in with a quick read of yesterday's work, then write for a few hours. I like to break to romp through the woods with the dogs or weed the garden, because getting away from the keyboard's the best thing for kicking around plot issues. I love to research, not only to avoid the "gimme a break" moments that pull people out of a story, but to try to leave the reader richer from what they've learned. I have insomnia, which is at least good for something--I generally use The Insomnia Edition for delving deeper into topics I want to accurately reflect reality.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I'm putting the final touches on New Heights, the third book in The Helios Series (FK is the first); which involves a woman who goes to Greece to work with her friend in PR, and partners with a Navy man at the base in Crete, and this one has a thriller element. Since each of the novels stands alone, it's a lot of work to ensure they're smooth for new readers, without a lot of backstory infodumps or repetition, but it's worth it--I detest novels that end in cliffhangers.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0875SGW6J
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19579299.Chloe_Holiday
My website/blog: https://www.chloeholiday.com/hello-world/#comment-7
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chloe.holiday.1000