Meghan Holloway has worn many hats in her lifetime: student, pilot, international traveler, crime fighter, information scientist, author, and has every intention to add more to her repertoire.
She can be reserved with newcomers, but once you get to know her, you’ll discover she’s a great conversationalist on a wide variety of topics. She loves dogs, food, and reading a good mystery snuggled up on her couch.
Now that I’ve introduced you to Meghan let’s get to know a little more about her.
Hello, Meghan, and welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.
What inspired you to be a writer?
Writing and telling stories, has always been a compulsion for me. My love of stories began with sitting on my grandfather’s knee begging for tales from his boyhood.
As soon as my hands learned to fashion letters into words, I’ve written. I don‘t know if there was ever a conscious choice to write. Storytelling is simply part of what it has meant to be me.
If I had to pinpoint a source, I would say it‘s the Celtic blood in me, and I inherited the tendency from my grandfather, who spins tales with as much talent and care as a master weaver.
Is writing your full-time profession?
At this point in my life, I balance writing with working full time.
I am an information scientist, which involves a lot of data gathering and analysis, content management, building databases, etc. I love what I do and I work in an exciting, cutting-edge field.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember, but nine years ago I set out intentionally to write a novel.
How many books have you written?
ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, releasing in May 2019 from Polis Books,will be my third published novel.
My first two books were published under a pseudonym with a publishing house that went out of business. Both were suspense novels with romantic elements and are now out of print.
I have already written my fourth novel, which will release in 2020. I am currently working on the rewrites for it before I put pen to paper and write my fifth book.
Which genre do you write for?
I write suspense thrillers, both contemporary and historical.
My upcoming May release, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, is a historical thriller set during WWII, in the wake of the liberation of Paris in 1944.
What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?
I think the most challenging part of being an author is the business side of things.
Being an author is very much a small business endeavor.
The product is my book, but there is a lot of marketing involved in selling that product. I am an introvert by nature, as I think many writers are, and it is hard work putting yourself out there, building a following, and putting in the legwork to sell your product.
What are you working on now?
I am going through the editing process with my upcoming release, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH. I am thrilled to share this story with everyone.
The protagonist is an ordinary man drawn into extraordinary circumstances, and I think the tale will appeal to fans of historical dramas, literary fiction, war and military fiction, and mystery thrillers.
Rhys Gravenor, Great War veteran and Welsh sheep farmer, arrives in Paris in the midst of the city’s liberation with a worn letter in his pocket that may have arrived years too late.
As he follows the footsteps of his missing son across an unfamiliar, war-torn country, he struggles to come to terms with the incident that drove a wedge between the two.
Joined by Charlotte Dubois, an American ambulance driver with secrets of her own, Rhys discovers that even as liberation sweeps across France, the war is far from over.
And his personal war has only begun as he is haunted by memories of previous battles and hampered at every turn by danger and betrayal. In a race against time and the war, Rhys follows his son’s trail from Paris to the perilous streets of Vichy to the starving mobs in Lyon to the treacherous Alps.
But Rhys is not the only one searching for his son. In a race of his own, a relentless enemy stalks him across the country and will stop at nothing to find the young man first.
The country is in tatters, no one is trustworthy, and Rhys must unravel the mystery of his son’s wartime actions in the desperate hope of finding him before it’s too late. Too late to mend the frayed bond between them. Too late to beg his forgiveness. Too late to bring him home alive.
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
I love the connection with readers that being an author facilitates. I have made so many friends through social media in the reading and writing community.
I am planning on attending conferences in the next year to carry those friendships over face to face.
What advice would you give to authors just starting out?
Keep writing and be willing to accept criticism, especially when it is constructive.
Writing a story is hard work, but it is not until the editing process that it becomes a novel and you cannot edit a blank page.
When it comes down to it, treat writing like it is a job. Make the time every day to put words on paper. You are often too close to your story to recognize its weaknesses and where it needs bolstering.
Listen when others make suggestions. And realize that once your story is out there, not everyone will love it. The reader’s opinion is his or her prerogative.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
I found my first Nancy Drew mystery in a sun-dappled attic at the age of eight and subsequently fell in love with the grip and tautness of a well-told mystery.
I flew an airplane before I learned how to drive a car, did my undergrad work in Creative Writing in the sweltering south, and finished a Masters of Library and Information Science in the blustery north.
I spent a summer and fall in Maine picking peaches and apples, traveled the world for a few years, and did a stint fighting crime in the records section of a police department.
I now live in the foothills of the Appalachians with Aidan, my standard poodle, and spend my days as a scientist with the requisite glasses but minus the lab coat.
What message are you sharing in your books?
I think regardless of the era or setting in which I write, I am always exploring the human condition, the labyrinth of the mind, and the grittier side of our existence.
ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH is a tale of war and loss, but also one of family and hope. It is about the love we have for those closest to us, the ease with which we can wound the people we care for the most, and the lengths to which we will go to seek atonement.
What are your favorite books?
I tend to read what I write. I love the thriller genre, and my “To Be Read” pile is constantly growing.
Currently, my favorite authors are Peter Swanson, A.J. Flynn, Jane Harper, Harlan Coben, Tana French, and Mark Sullivan.
I also love authors who bring the past alive with a poet’s touch, authors like Michael Ondaatje, Eoin Dempsey, and Anthony Doerr.
I love Mary Stewart’s novels, and she will forever hold the place of my all-time favorite author. I reread her mysteries annually. I love her keen eye for setting detail, her witty dialogue, and her classy heroines.
I am also a big fan of nonfiction, particularly survival narratives and exploration stories.
What are your favorite movies, TV shows?
I love suspense and action thrillers. The Bourne series, Body of Lies, The LastLegion, Open Range, and Robin Hood are some of my favorites.
I am also a bit of a documentary junky. I love nature, anthropology, archaeology, and history documentaries. There are great ones available on Netflix.
As for TV shows, I love several grittier mystery series like Shetland, Hinterland, and Happy Valley, along with some lighter ones like Midsomer Murders and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
I am also drawn to the shows that combine travel with something that interests me, e.g. Andrew Zimmern’s Delicious Destinations because I love good food and Josh Gates’s Expedition Unknown because archaeology never ceases to fascinate me.
When you aren’t writing where can we find you?
When I am not writing and working the day job, I can be found hanging out with my standard poodle sidekick, swimming, hiking, alpine and cross-country skiing, cooking and baking, or crocheting.
Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?
I do, and I would love for you to join me on social media. My website is www.meghanholloway.com, and you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the handle @AMeghanHolloway.
Where can we find your books?
ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and The Book Depository in paperback with the e-book pre-orders coming soon.
Thank you so much for the invitation to interview, Ellwyn. I had a lovely time chatting with you.
You’re welcome, Meghan. Thank you for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success in the future and lots of luck!