Hi all, Renee here. Since joining Romance Writers of America a few years ago, I’ve meet some fantastic writer friends. One such friend is fellow Chick Jody Holford. Jody has a wicked sense of humor and is an all-around fantastic person. She’s also one of those writers I’m in awe of. She’s a modern day Super Woman. She teaches during the day, is a mom and wife, and still manages to write kick-ass books!
This month her book The Bad Boy Next Door was published by Entangled Bliss. It’s the second book in the Kendrick Place series. It’s also her 10th book! Yep, that’s not a typo. 10! Her romance books have engaging characters with lots of heart. I’ve read both books in the Kendrick Place series and couldn’t help falling in love with the characters, so I’m thrilled she agreed to let me interview her.
So let’s get started.
What are your writing must haves? Music? Snacks? Beverage? Place?
Love listening to music. Most of my playlists are the same, honestly. I go through stages of which artists I love so they tend to just go on repeat as I write. I write in my bedroom, but am hoping to have an office one day soon. I always drink one of two things…Diet Pepsi or water.
When you write a series, like Kendrick Place, do you have this whole family built in your mind? Do you start with one person and have it branch out from there? Do you use a flow chart to keep them all connected?
I should totally keep a flow chart. I keep meaning to be more organized. When I write, most of it comes as I go. So I start with an idea…for the first book in the Kendrick Place Series, More than Friends, I had the idea of Owen trying to trade apartments with Gabby and her taking him up on it because she’s in love with him. I knew his family would come into the story, but they developed as I wrote. Same with Wyatt Daniels, who is the hero in book 2, The Bad Boy Next Door. As I wrote, he came onto the page more and more and I fell for him. It happens that way…the characters become bigger until they have enough presence to carry their own book or at least give me a starting point.
Do you have a process? Do you always start with an outline or do you just write?
My process is: Sit. Write. Play on social media. Write. Text people. Get a snack. Write. It’s a cycle. I sometimes outline but truthfully, I start with an idea and go. When I get stuck, I stop and figure out why. Or complain to the other romance chicks and they help me wade through the issue.
What is the hardest part of the process for you?
Being okay with just the here and now. We’re conditioned to think about the next thing and sometimes I forget to focus on right now and all the good that is right in front of me.
You’ve published with a traditional publisher and you’ve self-published. How do the experiences differ?
I don’t love self-publishing for myself because I don’t want to go it alone. I prefer having the comforting hand of a publisher helping me along the way, guiding my choices, offering opinions and support. I’m like that with most things…I want someone there. They don’t have to stand beside me or hold my hand, but I’d rather have someone walking through the journey with me.
Do you have a fondness for one of your characters over the others? Who and Why?
I will always have a soft spot for Lucy Aarons from Falling for Home. There’s a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that I was told so many times that this or that didn’t work and I should change the start, the middle, the end. I stayed true to what I wanted the story to share and show about Lucy and her journey and in the end, I feel proud of the story and proud of her. She didn’t believe she was as special as the people around her and in the end, she was the glue that held them together. I admire that.
When you have time to read, who are your go to authors?
Nora. Nora. Rainbow Rowell. Nora. Also, Rachel Gibson, Carly Phillips, Shannyn Schroeder…did I mention Nora Roberts? Also love Sandra Brown, Emily Giffen, Sophie Kinsella. And so many more.
What romance book would you/do you read over and over again?
The Search. Angels Fall. The Witness. Fangirl. Over and over to the point of memorization.
Let’s play This or That. A quick game of which would you choose.
- Tom Cruise or Tom Brady? Tom Brady
- Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth? Chris Evans
- Superman or Batman? Superman
- Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
- Apple or PC? PC
- Early bird or night owl? Night owl
- Kit Kat or Snickers? Kit Kat
- Main course or dessert? Dessert
- Tropical Island or Big City? Big City
- Comedy, suspense, romance movie? Romance Movie
When did you start writing?
When I was 11.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome with your writing?
Deepening the conflict and realizing that it doesn’t detract from the story, but in fact, pulls the reader further in.
Favorite book boyfriend?
Levi. Simon. Brooks. Kai.
When is your next book coming out?
Jody, thank you for letting me interview you. And thanks for being such a wonderful person!
You can learn more about Jody’s books at her website Jody Holford