Please help me welcome romance author Holly Bargo! Let’s take a look at her bio and then find out more about her writing process.
Holly Bargo is a pseudonym, but really did exist. The author and her husband live on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio. She works full-time as a freelance writer and editor. Holly writes and publishes romance, fantasy, and westerns.
Author Social Links: Facebook | Twitter | HenHousePublishing
Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?
Holly: I’d been toying with the story premise for over a year. I burned out in summer of 2020 and then my son died in January 2021, which really depressed my creative spark. This year, the spark flickered back and I was happy to return to the world established in my first book in this series, Daughter of the Twin Moons, with this book.
Betty: What, if any, new writing skill did you develop while working on this story?
Holly: I incorporated a bit of the grief experienced from my son’s death into this story. The writing of Knight of the Twin Moons was somewhat cathartic, as the heroine is also a bereaved parent.
Betty: Did you struggle with any part of this story? What and how?
Holly: I struggled with how much and how deeply to show a mother’s grief. It’s been almost two years since my boy died and, while I think of him every day, I don’t cry like I used to. There’s a distance that time gives, and that distance enables me to function more normally. In the story, the heroine is further along her grief journey than I am currently, so she has a bit more distance enabling her to function more rationally.
Betty: Which character(s) were the easiest to get to know? Why do you think?
Holly: Cassandra, the heroine, has a piece of me written into her, so her personality is intimately close to mine. However, I liked getting to know Ishjarta, the hero, better. He’s certainly more mysterious.
Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?
Holly: Because this is a fantasy romance taking place in a fictional world I’d established a few years ago, there wasn’t a whole lot of research required. For the heroine’s big event near the end of the story, I did conduct some research—now I know how gunpowder is made—but the aim wasn’t to make what she did factual as much as plausible.
Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?
Holly: I’m one of those writers who edits as I write. I’ll write a portion, self-edit and revise it, then continue on with writing a new portion. Essentially, by the time I’ve finished writing the first draft, it’s already made it to second draft stage. Then I go back to the beginning and review, self-edit, and revise again. At that point, it was ready to send to my fabulous editor, Cindy Draughon. Cindy tells me that she appreciates the clean manuscripts I send to her. She goes through with a deep, substantive edit. I review her edits—every single one—and accept, reject, or revise or rewrite as I deem appropriate. Then I send the revised manuscript to her for a final proofreading.
Betty: How long did it take for you to write the story you’re sharing with us? Is that a typical length of time for you? Why or why not?
Holly: This story took longer than usual for me to write, basically because I wasn’t at normal, full capacity when I started writing it. I’m still not quite there, but I’m healing and I’ll return to my past productivity.
Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?
Holly: I typically don’t write my own stories while sitting at my desk. It’s too much like work when I do that. So, I’ll grab my ancient laptop and plop down on the sofa to write, usually with one dog sprawled beside me and the other nearby.
Betty: Every author has a tendency to overuse certain words or phrases in drafts, such as just, once, smile, nod, etc. What are yours?
Betty: Do you have any role models? If so, why do you look up to them?
Holly: It’s probably trite, but I truly admire superstar author Nora Roberts for her ability to produce consistently engaging stories spanning diverse sub-genres.
Betty: Do you have a special place to write? Revise? Read?
Holly: I usually read and write in the living room while lounging on the sofa. Sometimes the recliner. I revise at my desk.
Betty: Many authors have a day job. Do you? If so, what is it and do you enjoy it?
Holly: I work full-time as a freelance writer and editor. We can toss in document formatting, too. I do enjoy what I do and I love the flexibility. I worked in corporate roles for 25 years and finally went freelance in January 2016. I have not looked back.
Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?
Holly: I can’t say. I’m not convinced I’ve yet accomplished my greatest achievement.
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Holly: Romance, without a doubt. I also enjoy fantasy, westerns, and mysteries.
Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?
Holly: As a freelancer, success is defined as being able to earn a decent living and make a positive contribution to my household. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without my husband’s support. As an author, I’d love to define myself as successful by reaching the point where I can write my stories for a living. I’m working on it.
A magical union sealed with blood. A destiny plagued with inevitable misfortune.
Lord Shadow—a vicious and utterly terrifying fae assassin—is desperate for a mate. After being sent to the human realm, he finds a woman lying in a pool of her own blood. Although he knows not her fate or her purpose, he knows he must save her life, even if it comes at an irreversible cost.
And in the realm of the fae, danger is never far behind.
In the blink of an eye, her life is forever changed. She can never return to what she once knew.
After a life-altering accident, Cassandra wakes to find herself in a strange new world of magical creatures, bound by a blood union to the mysterious warrior who saved her life. Unlike anyone she’s ever met, she discovers that she is the bride to one who kills without mercy. And to make matters worse, she now possesses a mysterious power in her bones, a power that will determine the fate of the world around her.
That is, if she manages to survive.
Buy Links: Amazon
My deepest condolences on the passing of your son. I’m sure such grief would impact your creativity for a time. Thanks so much for coming by and sharing about your inspiration and writing process, Holly.
Award-winning Author of Historical Fiction with Heart, and Haunting, Bewitching Love Stories
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