Monday, December 19, 2022


I want to thank Chloe Holiday for taking the time for this interview!


Chloe is a military physician-turned-novelist who writes the things she loves to read: steamy, fun stories about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, smart women and men who aren’t jerks. About friendships, whether it’s 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!

Chloe enjoys delivering a sneak peek into intriguing scenarios, drawing from her background (military personnel, medicine, aviation) as well as other cultures like Greece. A bit of danger always gets her going, so many of her Romances have a suspense subplot.

She hates to read the same old thing, with only the names and places changed, so her goal is to bring folks a fresh, fun, new story every time, with NO CLIFFHANGERS!

More than anything, she wants to craft a rollicking, great story readers can’t put down, one where love prevails in the end, one that will whisk people away from their own tribulations.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I come from a long line of storytellers, and loved writing in college, but it wasn’t until I had a year of insomnia related to a move that I decided to try writing a novel.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

I read everything I could get my hands on, from classics like Charlotte’s Web to creepy works by Edgar Allen Poe to bodice-rippers from Harlequin.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Most of my characters are comprised of shreds and snippets from many separate people, including bits from myself, but I’ll confess that my alpha hero Konstantinos in Helios has a larger piece from someone I once knew.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

I wrote a thriller based on a misdirected postcard for a conference for engineers. 

Sometimes it’s related to things I’ve seen in real life, with a whopping dose of “what if…?” 

For my first romance, I was so gridlocked at the beginning that I drew tropes and character types out of a bowl. “Rich foreign alpha” and “shy young woman” combined with “dubious consent” and “travel romance” to become Helios.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

Sometimes, the story comes with a bit of framework. For example, for both stories in the All-American Boy Series, each had to have “Boy” in the title—but most of the good/easy titles had already been taken! 

Wracking my brain, I came up with the titles Fly Boy and A Boy & his Dog. They turned out to be so much fun and different, one about a crop duster and the other about a military bomb disposal expert and his canine partner). 

Most of the time, I only have a skeleton of an idea, and more and more details emerge as I write.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

No, although now I’m playing with Artbreeder to make some character pics for fun.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

I love to curl up with a good book in my window seat, with a couple of dogs at my feet. 

A close second is leaning against my husband in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

I love Poppy Minnix and Imogen Keeper. These days I tend to read more indie authors.

What are your favorite books by others?

I still love the Outlander series, though I tired of the frequent sexual-assault-as-plot-device in the later books. 

Lightning by Dean Koontz is one I still read again and again.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Yes, absolutely! Many of them are places I’ve been, whether that’s the cockpit, military, or undersea, or the South or the German locations in Desire in Deutschland. 

The rest are places I’d love to go. When I read, I want armchair travel and also to learn something.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

For my Romances, it’s generally dual POV, though I do have one bonus epilogue in Submerged Hopes from the POV of the heroine’s meddling aunt. For my thrillers, I do multiple POVs because the villain needs his/her own.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

Apart from life and imagination, Google.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

I write romance as Chloe Holiday. I’m toying with some nonfiction under my given name, and non-romance under another.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I write Romance but might have been a thriller writer in another life, because lots of my romances have suspense and/or mystery. I like the depth of more than “boy meets girl” and it’s a great chance for characters to rise to the occasion!

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

I’m an Army veteran, wife, mother, pilot, and physician-turned-novelist. 

I grew up dirt poor in a family of seven, so my superpower is Redneck Engineering—I once escaped floodwaters with my family by fashioning a snorkel for the minivan out of hardware cloth, duct tape, and an empty dog food bag.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Write what you enjoy—if you like it, someone else will, too.

Decide what “success” means to you, and what you’re willing to do to get there. This will guide you the whole way and help you from being sidetracked or becoming envious of others.

Keep your eyes on your own paper. Your circumstances are your own, so it’s not fair to compare your path to that of others.

Find alternate means of support for a while—the “overnight success” is rare.

How do you deal and process negative book reviews?

That’s hard, at first, so this is a great question! Early on, they really bothered me, because I took them personally, though of course it’s crazy to think that everyone will like your story—do you like butterscotch? Cilantro? Brussels Sprouts? Stinky cheese? Licorice? There’s no way to please everyone.

There are some who advise never reading them, but I do, every one, because there might be something actionable. I ignore the haters: the 1- or 2-stars ratings too cowardly to leave comments, or the reviews which are obviously mean or false. 

The raves I read for the atta-girls, but mainly to see what landed/resonated. The less-than-stellar ones are most useful because they sometimes will say why they didn’t like it. Sometimes it’s obvious that they are not my target reader (like someone complaining a book is too long or short, when the length is clearly visible). At other times, it's interesting to know if someone has taken away an impression that I didn’t intend.

The bottom line, though, is that reviewers are allowed to feel what they feel. It’s valid, and your story no longer belongs to you once you release it.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

I have this masochistic tendency to set myself challenges—can I make a certain old trope fresh? 

Give an accurate depiction of a Deaf heroine or one who struggles with mental illness, while keeping the story lively and fun? 

So sometimes it’s a challenge to deliver.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

Hot tea in my favorite mug.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

Dark chocolate. Ice cream. Sometimes hot cocoa with a glug of Irish cream.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why?

I would probably pick one of the gurus, like Dale R. Roberts or Craig Martell, since I’m at that early stage where I’m struggling for visibility.

What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

Tea and dark chocolate are my faves, writing or not. My schedule is usually to tend to the dogs and chickens, then eat and check emails. 

I alternate between my work in progress, and revising the previous novel. If other ideas clamor for my attention I jot them down for later, so they don’t hijack my progress.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

Usually not, since we are blessed to live way out in the woods where it’s quiet. My musical tastes range from 80’s pop to jazz to classical to weird stuff.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

Yes. This past year we trained one puppy as well as took in a rescue dog who was malnourished and out of control. They are all doing great now, but they’re still good for getting me away from my computer to walk through the woods or play with them.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game?

The fear of ho-hum plots. I really want each of my stories to be fresh and new, not the same old thing with names changed. 

I have some half-written stories that will wait until I can add the zing they need, rather than rushing them out to keep a schedule.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

Yes! One of my beta readers harasses me about it still, though it was two years ago.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

I usually have a glass of wine and take the rest of the night off to watch a movie with my husband. Of course, “The End” isn’t really—there will still be revisions after my early readers go through it.


I hope you enjoyed this interview!

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