Hi, Christina! It's great to welcome you back to my blog and have a catch up with you and your work. Wishing you every success with your latest release, HEART OF A HOSTAGE! Let's start with my questions...
1.) What is the strangest talent you have?
I asked my OH’s opinion about this. Quick as a flash, he said; “managing not throttle me, in all the years we’ve been married.” He said it, not me! OH has a brilliant mind, but people are a complete mystery to him. We met on a blind date, and clicked like jigsaw pieces—he’s purely logical and analytical, I’m more imaginative and sociable.
2.) What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
I’m a Christian, so I don’t celebrate Halloween.
3.) Are the titles of your books important?
They’re very important, although at the start of my romance-writing career I didn’t get to choose them. Titles were chosen by my publisher, who needed a good, descriptive balance between the books they were offering. With my most recent series (the Princes Of Kharova for The Wild Rose Press) I called the first book His Majesty’s Secret Passion to reflect Leo’s struggle between love and duty. The second novel, Her Royal Risk, highlights Krisia’s starring role in saving the crown of Kharova. Heart Of A Hostage, my most recent release, actually has a twist in the tale. Maia is taken hostage but she finds out her captor Mihail is equally trapped, although in a quite different way.
4.) If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?
Walking is my favourite way to Beat The Block. I’m lucky enough to live in the middle of an ancient wood not far from the banks of the River Wye, so there’s fresh air everywhere, bluebells in spring, shade in summer, blizzards of leaves in autumn and solitude in winter.
5.) Do you prefer dogs, cats or none of the above?
I love both, as long as they’re friendly. I’m very wary of strange dogs as I was attacked by one and badly bitten when I was a child. After once trying to put my little sister’s dress on a half-wild farm moggy, I now restrict myself to just stroking cats!
6.) Who’s your favourite author? Why?
That’s an almost impossible question! Writing is such a hard craft to master, anyone who can tell a good story well gets my vote. I could name more than a dozen authors who have entertained, educated and inspired me, but top spot has to go to H.E.Bates, because my lovely dad was his greatest fan and introduced me to Bates’ work. We’d laugh about The Larkins and Uncle Silas, or discuss Bates’s non-fiction writing for hours. His work still makes me feel very close to Dad, who passed away three years ago.
7.) Do you have a pet peeve?
I wish I had a pound for every person who thinks a full-time writer does nothing more than sit at home watching TV and eating chocolate, while waiting for inspiration! Nothing could be further from the truth. If my eyes are open, I’m working—thinking, listening, taking notes or squirreling away ideas. That’s before I put in at least forty or fifty hours a week on the computer, researching and typing, promoting my work and liaising with publishers and other people in the industry. Writing is the way I earn my living, in exactly the same way other people put in regular hours working in offices, shops, schools, hospitals, or wherever. The only difference is I work from home, rather than outside it. That’s all—yet you’d be amazed how many people-who-should-know-better expect me to drop everything and run errands, or sort out their problems during the week, because they’ll “...be at work, while you’re sat at home all day”!
8.) Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning?
Very rarely, but luckily when I do they’re always good ones. One day I woke up laughing, as I’d dreamed I was being fed ice-cream by a gorgeous man. That scene made it into His Majesty’s Secret Passion!
When she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping, Christina Hollis writes contemporary fiction starring complex men and independent women. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she’s sold nearly three million books worldwide. You can catch up with her at http://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com, on Twitter, Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at christinahollis.com
Here's the blurb for Heart Of A Hostage —
Mihail strides out of Maia's past to take her hostage, but who will end up in more danger?
Princess Maia has it all—including a horrible fiancé chosen for her by the king, and a family bullying her into doing the right thing—but all she wants is her independence. When she falls into the hands of rebel leader, Mihail, she tastes real freedom for the first time. Mihail is a lone wolf, Public Enemy Number One, and heir to a fierce tradition. A dangerous reputation, a castle full of guilty secrets and now rescuing Maia are all woven into his master plan. He can’t lose.
Until his unexpected hostage turns out to be the house guest from hell...
And the buy links—
The complete Princes of Kharova series can be found at http://bit.ly/1GEkZkJ, while the link http://myBook.to/HeartOfAHostage will take readers to their local online Amazon store.
Heart Of A Hostage—Published by Wild Rose Press—http://bit.ly/1JNeVkM
Her Royal Risk—Published by Wild Rose Press—http://bit.ly/1GQPIIq
His Majesty's Secret Passion—Published by Wild Rose Press—http://bit.ly/1ujX5zc
Christina Hollis met her husband on a blind date, then wrote award-winning short stories to fit in with the school run until she had a full-length historical novel, Knight’s Pawn, published by Harlequin Mills and Boon. Five more historicals followed under the pen name Polly Forrester. Then in 2007 her first Mills and Boon Modern Romance, The Italian Billionaire’s Virgin, was published. Since then, she’s written sixteen more novels, more short stories, sold nearly three million books, and her work has been translated into twenty different languages.