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PsP Week, Day Four: Author Interview with Nancy Holder and Crusade Giveaway Contest

December 15, 2010

Nancy Holder

Cribbed from Nancy’s website, her bio:

New York Times Bestselling author Nancy Holder was born in Los Altos, California, and her family settled for a time in Walnut Creek. Her father, who taught at Stanford, joined the navy and the family traveled throughout California and lived in Japan for three years. When she was sixteen, she dropped out of high school to become a ballet dancer in Cologne, Germany, and later relocated to Frankfurt Am Main.Eventually she returned to California and graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in Communications. Soon after, she began to write; her first sale was a young adult romance novel titled Teach Me to Love.

Nancy’s work has appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, amazon.com, LOCUS, and other bestseller lists. A four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, she has also received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times.

She and Debbie Viguié co-authored the New York Times bestselling series Wicked for Simon and Schuster.  They have continued their collaboration with the Crusade series, also for Simon and Schuster, and the Wolf Springs Chronicles for Delacorte (2011.)  She is also the author of the young adult horror series Possessions for Razorbill. She has sold many novels and book projects set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes.

She has sold approximately two hundred short stories and essays on writing and popular culture. Her anthology, Outsiders, co-edited with Nancy Kilpatrick, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2005.

She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program, offered through the University of Southern Maine. She has previously taught at UCSD and has served on the Clarion Board of Directors.

She lives in San Diego, California, with her daughter Belle, their two Corgis, Panda and Tater; and their cats, David and Kittnen Snow. She and Belle are active in Girl Scouts and dog obedience training.

Not mentioned in this biography is that Nancy is the author of the Possessions Trilogy, three Private School Paranormals. In Possessions, readers meet Lindsay when she goes to her new school, Marlwood Academy for Girls. Sadly, instead of the new start Lindsay was hoping for, she discovers that coming to Marlwood might be the biggest mistake she’s ever made. The trilogy consists of Possession, The Evil Within and, coming in March, The Screaming Season. I was delighted to interview Nancy and I think you’ll have as much as I did reading her answers to my questions. As always, read on to the end of the post to find the Crusade Giveaway Contest.

But first, the description for the last, upcoming, book in the Possessions Series, The Screaming Season:

The third novel in the bone-chilling Possessions series by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder.

March 22, 2011

The gutsy heroine of Possessions and The Evil Within returns for another year of boarding school at the haunted Marlwood Academy. Lindsay wakes to find herself strapped down in the infirmary. She had a breakdown and might have tried to kill her nemesis Mandy or Mandy’s boyfriend, Troy—or both. The details are hazy, but one thing is certain: she is possessed by a spirit she cannot trust.
Lindsay soon realizes that nowhere on campus is safe. Then, she finds a surprising ally in her former rival. Together, Lindsay an

d Mandy must figure out who can be trusted—and who wants them dead. But when Lindsay’s ex-boyfriend shows up at Marlwood, she is given a chance to get away and be free of the curse. Will she take Riley’s hand and run, or team up with a new love to save Marlwood from the evil spirits forever?

  • 1. How do you go about choosing the names of your characters? Do they just come to you or do you look around for the one that you think suits each person?

In this case, I chose Lindsay because it’s my middle name and I really identify with this character.  My mom died when I was nine and I was afraid that would affect me forever.  It’s really possible to move on without ceasing to love.  I also wanted to make sure I didn’t use a name I’d used before!  For ex., I have used the name Devereaux as a last name in my GIFTED series, and then Debbie and I used Deveraux in the WICKED series, and readers email me all the time asking me to draw them a family tree.  Busted!

  • 2. Do you have a set number of books you plan to write in the Possessions series?

Yes.  There are three.  THE SCREAMING SEASON, which will come out in March 2011, is the last book in the series.  I had two wonderful editors, Lexa Hillyer and Brianne Mulligan, but both have moved on to other things.  I am contracted for one more book with Razorbill, but it will be a standalone with a brand new editor.  I can’t wait to meet her (or him!) and get to work!

  • 3. Let’s play pretend: Miles and Lindsay are IMing online. What do they say to each other?

MADMAN:  FINALLY DUMP THE DIM BULB?

LINDSAY:  GO AWAY.

MADMAN: ALTER? WHEN THE HILLS DO.
  • 4. What does Lindsay doodle when she’s in her classes?
Eyes.  She draws them and then she decorates them.  She feels as if she’s being watched.  She’s right.  

  • 5. You’ve written books on your own and in collaboration. Do you prefer one or the other?

Both have their advantages.  I love having someone to bounce ideas off (and to hand the manuscript over to when I’m stuck!)  You really do get a third voice–a new voice–when you write with someone else.  That’s spooky and very cool.  But writing alone allows you to set your own pace, and if you decide to go in a radically different direction, you don’t have to discuss it with your coauthor.


That said, I really love writing with Debbie Viguie.  We call each other and yak just like girlfriends even when we’re not on deadline.  We love to party at Disney parks together and we like so many other things:  the same movies (THE HAUNTING, original version; LADYHAWKE) music groups (Rhapsody of Fire, oh yeah!) and tons of other things.

When I write alone, I always work in my downstairs bedroom.  When I work with a coauthor, I move around the house a lot.  I think that’s so my cell phone will get good reception while we hash things out!
  • 6. What supernatural creature do you most like to write about?I love the classics:  ghosts, werewolves, witches, and vampires.  I never get tired of writing about any of them.  I think there’s a reason they continue to be so popular–they provide broad canvases to work with–you can make them frightening, romantic, friendly, mysterious–there are tons of ways to use them.  I love writing about the paranormal.
  • 7. What do you think is the appeal of a private school as a setting (for paranormal books in particular)?
Isolation!  The stakes are upped.  There’s no where to go.  It’s easier to maintain the atmosphere in a private school because the real world doesn’t intrude.  And generally, the students have more of a “civilization” in these kinds of books.  They either band together under adversity or hunt each other down, and the adults provide another layer of danger.
  • 8. Did you base Marlwood Academy for Girls on a real school?

I did a lot of research on different schools–campus size, ratio of students to teachers, and tuition.  I read stories about boarding schools.  I was fascinated by the big scandale at Miss Porter’s (check out the July, 2009 issue of Vanity Fair!)  I went to Francis Parker, which is a private school, but not a boarding school.  I loved it.

  • 9. YA fiction isn’t just for Teens anymore. Aside from the great writing…why do you think that it attracts so many adult readers?
Even if a story set in a fictional world, it’s real.  It’s about real emotions, hopes, and fears.  I think adults respond to that level of honesty.  As we grow older, we try to tamp down or deny strong emotions–make do, give up–but when you’re a teen, you’re ready to go for it.  You ski to die!  We admire that.  Reading about it, some of us pick the pieces back up and try again.  That’s wonderful.  That makes me the happiest.  My mantra is, “Even in the darkest place, there is hope.”  

  • 10. Do you ever sneak a peak at the end of a book you’re reading or does knowing the end of a story ruin everything for you?

I just did and I am so bummed that I did it!!!  I also read spoilers for scary movies, but that’s just so I can get through them.  When I’m working on Possessions or any other scary book, I watch a horror movie every morning.  I have to watch them in the morning because I need a lot of time to recuperate before the sun goes down.  There’s one movie I still can’t watch all the way through.  It’s A TALE OF TWO SISTERS–the Korean version–and it’s on this very laptop.  When I watch it, I have to scootch it down to the lower right hand corner of my screen twice and I still look away!  I also love to watch EL ORFANATO (THE ORPHANAGE.)

  • 11. What can you tell us about The Screaming Season? Any juicy tidbits?

I love Miles in this book.  He turns into the most fascinating guy.  And Mandy blew me away!  I just watched the first draft of the book trailer for the series and it’s unbelievably perfect.  Circle of Seven is doing it and it’s amazing!

  • 12. What books are you looking forward to in 2011?

I have so many writer friends that I always fret about hurting their feelings if I don’t name them. Short answer is: Lauren Kate’s Passion, and anything by my coauthor, Debbie Viguie. Also, anything by Jennifer Donnelly. I’m reading Revolution right now and I just love it.


I want to thank Nancy for agreeing to be interviewed as part of PsP Week. Thank you! Today’s giveaway contest is for Nancy’s newest novel, written in collaboration with Debbie Viguie. It features a heroine who has just graduated from a school that taught her how to kill vampires. So, in a way, it fits the week’s theme! Read on for a picture of the cover and a description.

Take it, it’s yours!

For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.

Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated — and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.

Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself — and her heart.

Contest Rules

  • This contest begins today (Wed., Dec. 15) and ends on Saturday, December 18, at 11:59.
  • This contest is open in the U.S. only. Sorry!
  • In order to enter the contest, you must name a book or series that you would recommend that has been written by at least two co-authors. An example is the Crusade series, by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie.
  • +1 point if you subscribe to my blog.
  • +1 point if you’re already a subscriber.
  • Please include your name and your email in your comment, so I can contact you if you win.

Tomorrow’s the big day with Kristi Cook, author of Haven. I’ll also be posting a brief WoW/Start Up the DeLorean blog today. Aren’t you lucky?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2010 6:40 pm

    Ooh, this book looks so good. Please enter me! I’d definitely recommend “Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I loved the first book, and am ordering the next! I think it’s a trilogy, but I’m not sure. xD

    kayla3194 at gmail dot com

  2. December 15, 2010 6:41 pm

    +1 subscribe to blog
    Forgot to put that in, and not sure if it’s all supposed to go into one comment. My apologies.

    kayla3194 at gmail dot com

  3. December 15, 2010 7:56 pm

    Check these out:
    The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo and Christian Birmingham
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
    Horrid Henry’s Mighty Joke Book by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross

  4. December 15, 2010 7:57 pm

    I subscribed to your blog.

  5. December 15, 2010 7:58 pm

    I’m already a subscriber.

  6. Moridin permalink
    December 15, 2010 11:25 pm

    Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (book 13 of The Wheel of Time)

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