Tantalized by the tropics since Adam Troy set sail on the Kon Tiki in James A. Michener’s “Adventures in Paradise,” she traveled to tropical destinations such as Hawaii, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Asia Pacific. Eventually, she moved to Florida where she wrote and secured representation for Real Women Wear Red. She also wrote for Walt Disney World and the Orlando Sentinel.
After living in Las Vegas for a few years, Kathy, her husband, and their three Burmese cats have moved back to Florida and are now living halfway between Walt Disney World and the beach in Central Florida.
Her latest book is Letters on Balboa Island.
Visit her on the web at www.KathyHolmes.net.
About Letters on Balboa Island
When Rosalie sends a Dear John letter to the one serving in the Korean War to marry the one back home, she begins a life of secrets and regrets. Years later, when letters surface on Balboa Island, she realizes she may have chosen the wrong man. So when fate gives her the chance to make a different choice, will she? Or has she lived a life of lies for too long?
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Kathy. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
I am multi-published.
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
My first published novel, Real Women Wear Red, acquired an agent. And when the chick lit market turned about then, I was offered a contract by a digital first publisher. But I turned it down and published it myself because I wanted to see it in print, and I wanted to have more control over it.
So, as an experiment, I published with a digital first publisher for my second novel, The Tom Jones Club.
Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?
For The Tom Jones Club, from the time I signed the contract, it took about six months until my publish date – first in electronic format and two months later for print.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
It was exciting and nerve-wracking. I remember celebrating by walking around Disney World property that first year we lived nearby. It was such a momentous moment on both counts.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
Back in 2007, it was writer groups, blogs, and emails. I also received the most amazing review a writer can receive, and I think that helped enormously to sell the book. It was such a gift because the reviewer really got what it was I was trying to accomplish in this book.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I’ve learned so much about writing and probably because I’ve tried writing in so many genres. Each one taught me something. And it’s great to establish a rhythm by having several published works out there. You don’t obsess over one as much and you just keep writing and keep moving forward.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
If I’d know how much the publishing industry would be turned upside down when I first started pursuing the goal of becoming a novelist back in 2002, I probably wouldn’t have even started. It was like the dream was demolished, and there have been moments of pure heartbreak. But at the same time, other opportunities have appeared, and it’ll be interesting to see where this all takes me.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
It’s all about the readers. I love it when a reader says some form of this: “I love ‘Real Women Wear Red’ even the cover speaks to me. I’m for anything to keep Kathy Holmes publishing quality reading.”
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Learn your craft, read widely, take in what people are saying about writing rules, but also know that many of those rules are styles of the day and can change at a moment’s notice. So listen to your story and tell it the way it needs to be told.