Meet Elizabeth Holloway
Elizabeth Holloway is a writer of young adult fiction living in Southern Pennsylvania with her two teen children and their growing number of pets.
In addition to writing, she is a registered nurse, an avid reader, an out-of-practice artist, a karaoke singer, and music lover. She is still trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up.
Now onto the interview!
This quote from Tempting Death: Book One of the Grim Trilogy gave me chills, “His icy eyes penetrate mine and a chill prickles over my arms despite the early summer heat. I don’t believe in ESP or mind reading or crap like that, but there’s something deep in his eyes. He knows something. More than he should.” How important is word choice to you when during your editing process?
“I’m so glad you like that quote. It’s one of my favorites from the book!
To answer your question, I think word choice is very important. I find it’s usually better to use as few words as possible to get the idea across and that makes good word choices imperative. Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes, to express a characters voice for example, I’ll be a little more verbose, but I like to think I do that as an exception and not the rule.
I also have to think about the tone I’m trying to build. Different words will express different things, even if they’re synonyms. In the example above, I used the word “penetrate” to describe the way he looks at her. I could have kept it simple and said he just looked at her, or that he stared at her, but that didn’t set the tone I wanted. Libbi felt like she was being read, like her innermost thoughts were laid bare to this guy. “Penetrate” expressed that feeling best, in my opinion.”
Looking on your website I see you are also a registered nurse and mother of two. How did you get involved in writing?
“Yes! I’m a nurse and I have two teenagers, ages 15 and 17.
I’ve been writing since I was a teen myself. I still have a book of angsty poetry, several short stories, and a (terrible) novel that I wrote in high school. But then life and kids got in the way of my writing. I didn’t pick it back up until I started working night-shift as a nurse. On my nights off, I couldn’t sleep. I’d always wanted to pick up writing again and, since there isn’t much to do at 2am, I decided to go for it! I’ve written 4 complete novels, two of them have been published, and I have 2 other novels in the works.”
Do any of your experiences as a nurse end up or influence scenes in your novels?
“I don’t have any scenes that came directly from my nursing career, though my knowledge of medicine has certainly helped. In Tempting Death, for example, Libbi has asthma and I don’t. It helped a lot to know the symptoms of asthma and to be able to describe it without having to do too much research. Fingers crossed I did a good job.”
What do you believe is the most important element in a supernatural YA novel?
“I think any story, whether it’s supernatural YA or something else, must have three elements: compelling characters, conflict, and an intriguing plot. Without any one of those things, I feel a story will fall apart.”
Can you share with us today what other fun projects you are working on?
“Currently, I’m working on book three of The Grim Trilogy, Reaper Rising. I also have a YA thriller waiting in the wings, tentatively titled Drive. It’s about a petty thief who breaks into a van and finds an unconscious girl tied up in the back. Unable to call the police, the thief decides to follow the van. As soon as I’m finished The Grim Trilogy, I’ll set my sights on finishing Drive.”
Where Beth is hiding…