Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Blog - Christina Hollis

I'm very excited to welcome Christina Hollis to the blog today. Her first book was published with Mills and Boon Modern in 2007 and she's had many more since then. And while she's a new friend to the Playground, I hope she'll be back often!

WORK, REST AND PLAY...

I love the autumn. It’s a time for long walks through the woods that surround our home, which is a perfect place to find inspiration. There are deserted, secret spots were I can go to work out some tricky plot developments, but there are also areas loved by dog walkers, cyclists and tourists, which are great for people watching. We’ve recently had the mildest October day for years and as the weeds kept growing and I’ve been so busy working, my poor garden has been sadly neglected. It’s going to take a lot of hard work over the next few months to get it back into shape for spring. My weekends are pretty full already, transporting my son to his dance lessons, food shopping and at the moment, writing entries for my blog tour. While the weather is still fine, I try and work outside for an hour or so every day but it isn’t always possible. During the working week I have to juggle things very carefully. After the morning school run I settle down to work. My target is to write a minimum of two thousand words for my latest work in progress, which I do first thing, while I’m fresh. Then I read over what I’ve done and edit it. Only when this is all finished can I go out into my own “Writing Playground” - my garden. Sometimes there isn’t time to do much before I have to go and meet the school coach, but even a few minutes in a garden recharges my batteries. Everyone needs their own private space, and writers are lucky. Even if we can’t get away physically, we can always escape into our work.



In my latest release, Weight of the Crown, I got a lot of pleasure from inventing my own little kingdom of Rosara. Actually, it isn’t mine - I handed it over to the care of Lysander Kahani, a man who has been forced to give up the life he loved to take command of his country. While his brother was King and his nephew next in line to the throne, Lysander had all the privileges of position and money with none of the responsibilities. With his brother’s death, everything changed. Lysander is now regent of Rosara, until his little nephew is old enough to be crowned. As regent he has to shoulder all the burden alone - until he insists that the best English nanny is employed to care for the little king-in-waiting. Alyssa has suffered a tragedy and a broken heart in quick succession. She doesn’t have any sympathy for Lysander’s loss of private life - but then he makes her a royal offer she can’t refuse!

Thank you, Kira and company, for inviting me into the Writing Playground. I’ve really enjoyed my visit, and now I’d like to ask everyone a question.

Where do you find your inspiration? I’m giving away signed books from my backlist for the most evocative comments!

Christina Hollis writes Modern Romance (which appear as Presents/Presents Extra in the US) for Harlequin Mills and Boon. Her most recent titles are The Count's Challenge for Harlequin Presents Extra(USA) and Weight of the Crown for Harlequin Mills and Boon Limited (UK)

You can catch up with her latest news at:
Website:
http://www.christinahollis.com/
Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/christinabooks
Facebook:
http://bit.ly/9rv4df
Blog:
http://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com/
Tumblr:
http://christinahollis.tumblr.com/

25 comments:

Laurie G said...

My inspiration comes from quotes and songs. I love to listen to music and try to understand the message or story behind the lyrics.

Desere said...

Hi Christina !

Well inspiration for me has to be something really powerful and meaningful,however lucky for me this can me something like seeing a flower push up through concrete ,that is to me proof that God gave so much power to something so little and that alone should be a inspiration for us to trive to make it through anything life throws our way.

Alot of my inspiration also comes from books I once read one where the heroine was really at a down point in her life but through the author I learned that giving up is never the answer, I even have a favorite author who inspires me time and time again and when ever I feel life is too much I can pick up and read one of her books and I feel better again.

So yeah little things like quotes from books , flowers and animals and inspiration from the Bible are all things that contributes to inspiration in my life. Even music can make a difference in brighting up dull day a good song can be like sun breaking through the clouds on a rainy day!

Thank you so much the chance to win your wonderful books.

Desere

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Laurie, thanks for commenting. The best song lyrics are poems in their own right and can work without music, can't they?

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Desere, thanks for dropping by. Have you read "Fern Hill" by Dylan Thomas? It's a piece that always inspires me to try and capture the beauty of countryside, which in turn always makes me feel better.

Smarty Pants said...

Welcome, Christina. I have inspiration in really odd places, but usually just going about my daily routines. I'll see something on TV or see people talking and my mind wanders. I work out a lot of issues lying in bed. I actually came up with this crazy dystopian book the other day while I was just laying there. I have no idea what sparked it. I just write it down.

Playground Monitor said...

Even though I live in Alabama, it's north Alabama where the Appalachian mountains trail off into cotton fields. I went to college in the Smoky Mountains, and I find a lot of inspiration in mountains. I don't have to go far to get on a mountaintop, and I often do just to sit back and decompress. Matter of fact, I just got off the phone from booking a week-after-Christmas vacation for myself up in the Smokies. Three days in a bed and breakfast with a day at the spa and a day at Biltmore House all decorated for the holidays. Ahhhhh, bliss! I can't wait!

I miss my flower and herb garden. Now I just have an apartment patio with some flower boxes on the rails and some pots of herbs. But at least there's some color and rosemary and oregano for cooking.

Your book sounds great. Thanks for joining us today.

traveler said...

Inspiration comes from listening to my favorite opera which transports me to another realm. this creates such emotions within my heart and soul. Lovely post today.

petite said...

When I am fortunate enough to speak to someone who is wise, humble and fascinating I can derive a great deal of understanding of the world and why we are here.

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground, Christina!

I get my inspiration from all sorts of places, but TV & music are always good ones. Oh, and my kids. :-)

Insti

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Smarty Pants - thanks for commenting. That's why it's vital to keep a notebook handy - nobody knows when and where inspiration might strike...

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Marilyn - thanks so much to you and the Playground gang for inviting me to blog. Your Christmas break sounds like a perfect writer's retreat!

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Traveler - thank you for such a kind comment. Opera certainly has some sublime moments. For me, Mozart's Soave sia il vento has to be one of the greatest.

Christina Hollis said...

Thank you for commenting, Petite. If you can find someone like that, then you are very lucky. Treasure them, and pass on their advice. If we all had a source of such wisdom, the world would be a better place.

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Kira, thanks so much to you and your playmates for inviting me here. I'm enjoying myself so much.
As for the inspiration to be found in children - my sister's triplets are a constant source of amusement and amazement (not to mention exhaustion, for their parents!)

Angel said...

Welcome, Christina!

Like you, I find a lot of inspiration from the changing colors of fall, and I enjoy being out in nature, even if its just to walk my dog through the neighborhood. :)

I, too, have an overgrown yard that I gave up on when I got a bad case of poison ivy earlier this year. Not to mention the damage from our Husky Puppy. Now I'm trying to get it back under control. Today i'm picking up mums from the school sale, and just pray they don't die before I can get them into the ground.

I also get a lot of inspiration from music. I listen to a lot of different music to get my creative juices flowing, and each of my characters have their own "theme song".

Personally, I'm inspired by words and quotations.

Problem Child said...

Welcome Christina!

Inspiration is hard to come by these days for some reason, but oddly, I'm finding rejuvenation in exercise. It just helps clear my head so I can think. (And oddly, I tend to be more creative after I've done my yoga class... something about having my butt over my head amuses my muse!)

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Angel, thanks for commenting. With a husky pup in the house you must really have your hands full!
I like the idea of each character having their own theme tune, though I suspect all the Alpha males would vie to qualify for that old standard 'My Way'!

Christina Hollis said...

Hi, Problem Child - I love the idea of yoga sending all those ideas rushing up to your head!

Minna said...

I find inspiration in all kinds of places: books, internet, tv...

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Minna, thanks for commenting. The internet is such a brilliant resource, isn't it? It's made research so much easier.

Nas Dean said...

Hi Christina,

I'm inspired by the hard work authors do. You all work so hard writing a book, then do all these extra stuff promoting and marketing. So I get inspired to do my best as well.

Desere said...

Fern Hill" by Dylan Thomas now that sounds like a good read I am defintely going in search of that one thanks for the recommendation Christina !

Desere

Sonali said...

i Don't know, but i guess i find inspiration everywhere. In everything i do there is some source of inspiration.

J.L. Campbell said...

Christina, your post reminds me that even when there's work to be done, balance is important.

Virginia C said...

Hi, Christina! "Weight of the Crown" sounds like a wonderful read. The title evokes the conflict faced by the characters--intriguing! Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I find this time of year very inspiring : ) I love the sights, sounds, and scents of Fall. The colors of the leaves, the music at festivals like Oktoberfest, the savory food aromas, and the spicy scent of the beautifully colored mums! I also love to sit outside with my cats and feel the sun on my face and watch my cats roll around also enjoying the sun! Best wishes for a great blog tour : )