Here on Diane Capri Reveals, we’ve featured some of the biggest names in our genre, including my friends and colleagues Lee Child, the father of Rambo, David Morrell, my colleague at the Bar, Steve Berry, the dynamite writing duos Maxine Paetro (and James Patterson), Grant Blackwood (and James Rollins), and more. You can check out those posts by clicking HERE.
For the next few weeks, by popular demand, we’re introducing Licensed to Thrill readers to new authors and new voices in this continuing series focused on Indie Authors.
Today, it’s my pleasure to feature Steena Holmes who recently took the plunge from indie to hybrid author with her award-winning bestseller, Finding Emma. Steena is the author of eight indie books so far, and still has many secrets to be revealed.
Steena was a pastor’s wife for ten years. Now, she and her husband and three daughters and lives in Calgary, Alberta. Beautiful country up there, to be sure, but it’s a place where long, luxurious winters leave time for Steena’s favorite activities. She said she loves to read, bake, create cover designs, read (yes, she mentioned reading twice!) and, of course, to write. One big challenge? She needs silence to write, and in a house with three kids and those long, long winters, silence isn’t easy to find.
Lately, though, Steena has been floating on rarefied air. But before we get to that, let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?
Diane Capri: Your name is unusual and you’re the first Steena I’ve ever met. What’s the origin?
Steena Holmes: I like to say that I’m just unique and different and you’ll never meet another me. *grins* Hmmm…my mom used to babysit a girl from Europe with the name. I’ve met two others – one was from Alaska and was a decendent of a native princess and the other was from Finland and was absolutely beautiful. I try not to think of her too much – she was tall, blond and gorgeous – other than having buck teeth! *laughs*
Steena Holmes: Me. Honestly – that’s the one word I think of when I think of who I am 🙂 How would you describe me? *laughs*
Diane Capri: Oh, no, you don’t. We’re Revealing you, not me! And what you’re saying is you’re feeling very comfortable being Steena. Good for you! Why not? You’ve been having a helluva ride! *laughs* Let’s try this. What are you passionate about these days?
Steena Holmes: Publishing! Whether it’s indie/tradtional/small press. I love the choices available to us. I love the options that are out there. I love the fact that so many writers today are seeing their dreams come true. I’m a prime example of that. I wrote a story from my heart and I’ve watched as the doors continue to open for me in ways I never thought possible because of Finding Emma.
Diane Capri: Finding Emma has certainly been a game changer for you. Winner of the 2012 National Indie Excellence Book Awards, a huge women’s fiction bestseller, and soon to be re-released by Amazon’s Montlake imprint. Congratulations! All this success must be breathtaking. How has Finding Emma changed your life?
Steena Holmes: It’s an exciting time for us Diane, and I can’t wait to see what will happen as more authors find their dreams come true. I keep hearing over and over how authors are needing to redo their goals – all because they didn’t dream large enough and they’ve met their 1, 5 and 10 year plans. Myself included. Once upon a time I wanted to be published. Then have a bestselling book. Then make enough money that we could pay our bills and relax for awhile (my husband and I were pastors for 10 years and trust me…the thought of having enough money was always just a dream).
Diane Capri: You have two more books in the Emma series coming soon, Emma’s Secret and Dear Jack. Can you Reveal a bit about those?
Steena Holmes: Emma’s Secret will be out in Spring 2013. It was originally suppposed to be indie pubbed at the beginning of this month, but my editor at Amazon talked me into changing my mindset. With her help, it will now be a stronger book and even though it means fans having to wait a little bit longer, it will be worth it. But…in the meantime I have a little novella coming out in December called Dear Jack. So many readers were interested in Jack and Dottie’s storyline in Finding Emma so I decided to share Dottie’s journals she kept while Jack was away at war and then later declared MIA.
Diane Capri: Sounds terrific! Okay, now let’s get into some Steena secrets here. What are three things we’d be surprised to know about you?
Steena Holmes: I’m a chocoholic? No? You probably already knew that! Hmmm…I’m afraid of heights. Even looking down from my bedroom window into our backyard has my stomach doing flipflops. Gremlins still scares me – I tried to watch the movie last month and found myself changing the channel. I can’t remember how old I am. It’s true. I always have to count back and then since I’m not very good at math end up asking someone to figure it out for me. And no, don’t ask me how old I am! *laughs*
Diane Capri: Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Steena Holmes: Tuscany! I bought this painting two years ago that I fell in love with. The artist painted it in Tuscany herself and you can see her passion through every stroke. Each time I look up at that painting I see a story unfold and my fingers itch to tell it.
Diane Capri: Obviously, you’re a woman with goals and ambition. What are you hoping for next?
Steena Holmes: Now it’s to hit the New York Bestsellers List and USA Today list, speak at a conference maybe, become a millionaire! Hey – why not dream big, right?