Q & A With Author Holly Tierney-Bedord

Hi, Holly! Thanks for joining me! What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I have many partly written stories, and even more stories in my head. I want to get them all out there!

What would your career look like in an ideal world?

I’m pretty happy with my career as it is right now. I get to write a lot, and I also have a regular job I love working for a group of local restaurants.

What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?

I love TV. Love it. All reality shows. Especially the Real Housewives, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and Survivor. Junky daytime shows like court shows and Dr. Phil. Comedies like The Big Bang Theory and Brooklyn 99. I love watching the news. True Crime shows. The Simpsons. I’ll watch just about anything. I went for years without a television, because I felt like TV was unhealthy and made people dumb, but when my husband and I got married about ten years ago he insisted we have a TV, and now I’m like one of those kids raised without candy who just wants to eat sugar all day long.

Too funny! Do you believe in fate or love at first sight?

If we’re talking about baby animals, then for sure. As for humans? Sort of. But I think it’s very rare and most people never experience it. 

What is the strangest fact about you?

I was going to say nothing, but I came up with something: I love dollhouses and miniatures, and I have chronicled my mid-century “mini house flip” featuring homemade mini furniture and decor on the blog flipthisminihouse.com. I hope to create a non-fiction about my mini house project someday.

Very interesting! Which writers inspire you?

Sylvia Plath, Mark Twain, Sophie Kinsella, Barbara Kingsolver, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, and lifestyle bloggers. 

What are you working on right now?

Several books. A few novellas that are pretty light-hearted. Novellas are my thing lately. They’re perfect for my short attention span. Also, a dark, layered ghost story that I’ve been working on for years. Those are my main focuses lately.

Why do you write?

It’s fun. I get a kick out of creating ridiculous characters. 
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to publish their own book?

First, try to find an agent and go about it that way. Why not at least try? Then you won’t have to worry about all other parts of self-publishing. But if that doesn’t work and you’re going to do it on your own, have high standards. Be picky about proof-reading and editing. This might mean you read your book twenty times. Three of them aloud. For real! Be picky about the cover. Be picky about the plot and the characters. Understand why all the parts you put there belong. Get rid of the pieces that don’t fit. Get rid of the boring parts. If parts of it don’t seem great, or right, then you’re not done. Keep working. Put it aside for a few days. Sleep on it. Ask for all the help you need. Seek out other writers and learn from them. 

When it comes time to turn it from a manuscript into a book for the world to see, don’t go broke in the process. I’ve been to writers conferences where there are “success stories” where someone spent tens of thousands of dollars on a team of people to “get their book out there” and it barely sells. To me, that is not a success story. It’s predatory! But I guess if someone’s lifelong dream is to have a published book, and they’re happy, then it’s a success story to them. If you know WHY you want your book out there (to make money? to have your story told? to see your name in print?) it will help you make decisions about the route you take and where you spend your money. Finally, you must have an eBook. If your book is only in print, you’re missing 99% of your audience.

That’s some great advice! What books are you currently reading?

I’m a slow reader. I start a lot of books but don’t finish many. Books in progress right now are C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible (a favorite, but I’m rereading it).

Magician’s Nephew is a great classic. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Read my books!

Great! Thanks again, Holly! Good luck with your novellas!

Do you agree? Disagree?