Sunday, October 21, 2018


I get asked all the time--as most authors do--if my characters are real. I have never--nor would I ever--drop-kick a person from real life straight into my books. Never, never, never. I'm not trying to shake a finger at authors who do. It's just that for me, it would feel like a horrible invasion of privacy.

That's not to say a few things from real life haven't (kinda) crept in. My first YA, A BLUE SO DARK, took place in "Springfield," which is the town I grew up in...But then again, it's not Springfield, either. A few real-life landmarks from the town show up, but they're all mixed up, on wrong sections of town, and other landmarks, including the high school, are completely fictional. Another of my YAs--FERAL--takes place in Peculiar, MO. Yes, I swear, that's really the name of the town! And no, nothing--absolutely NOTHING about the town is real. I made every last bit of it up.

I've also never written about my own personal situations. My YA PLAYING HURT involves a couple of athletes, and my own family likes to joke that I'm so clumsy I can fall around corners. ;)

For me, then, anything that MIGHT have a sliver of truth in it always gets upstaged by fictional details.



I released my first poetry collection this year. TANGLES is actually a collection many years in the making. It's love poetry, and while I still didn't pull anyone straight out of real life and slam them onto the page, it really does feel like the most laid-bare, open-hearted piece I've ever written.

I read recently that poetry reading is growing in the US. Maybe this is why--maybe it's because, right now especially, we need a little laid-bare and open-hearted. We're starving for a little honesty.

Anyway, one of my favorite parts about TANGLES is the way it ages. The opening poems are about a young woman opening her heart for the first time, and as the collection progresses, the woman gets older, more mature.

In honor of both the older voice (and the fall season all around us), here's one of the poems included toward the back of the collection:


I wonder
if summer romances
hover in the
of the
love stories
that begin
in the autumn of
Maybe they are


twice as hot
as the first time

and maybe all the
singe the very
they touch

and maybe
it's hearts
starting over
that turn
the leaves
the color
of fire.


You can snag a copy of TANGLES at all the major outlets (Amazon's got the paperback on sale right now). You can also grab a signed copy at my Etsy store.


  1. The poem, and post, are beautiful! Thank you for sharing, Holly! xoxo

  2. Love the poem! I've started writing songs this year, and they do have a LOT of "me" in them. Too much. Working on that! :-)