Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and a Taste of Exquisite Darkness

Fall Fantasy Interview Series: #12

Today marks the end of our interview series for all the new Fantasy releases this fall. It's been such a fun ride, and we've had such a great time with these interviews, getting to know these authors and their novels on a deeper level.

Last but not least, VS Holmes is interviewed by Virginia Carraway Stark today, on her new release 'Smoke and Rain'.

1. Tell me about how your personal life affects your writing. Do you write your real life relationships into your fiction?

There are many painful scenes that have their roots in real situations - fading relationships, forgotten friendships, and so forth. It happens backwards too - some realizations about my personal life came from writing. It took me writing a character explaining how they felt about another for me to first realize I was in love with the person who is now my husband.

2. What song best describes your work ethic when it comes to your writing?

This is an interesting twist! Usually the question is which song inspires me most. My work ethic is to just run as hard and as fast as I can until it's finished. The rapper Angel Haze's track "Battle Cry" speaks right to my heart. They have such a powerful voice and insightful words. "You take your dream and you run with it, and keep going even when your sun's hidden..."

3. Who has inspired you most in life and why?

I have two answers for this, and I'll draw a bit from the acknowledgements in the beginning of Smoke and Rain. My dad is a singularly determined and against-the-mold man. There has never been a point that he hasn't forged his own path. I grew up listening to stories of hitch-hiking across the country, waking up in a mountain field surrounded by elk, and living in a tiny cottage on the edge of a lake. There are echoes of those stories and the kind of spirit that it takes to find them, in my books. It is because of him and my mom that I began to write.

My husband is a phenomenal artist - no seriously, check out his stuff at - and has extraordinary dedication to his work. That drive keeps him working even after an exhausting day and his family telling him it wasn't worth it. His passion is so inspiring, and it is because of him that I continue to write.

4. What (if anything) makes writing impossible for you? How do you overcome this?

I struggle with anxiety, and when I'm in the midst of a bad episode I find myself frozen. I'll stare at the next page and not write a single word. When my primary job was in healthcare, I was often so emotionally exhausted from the job that I couldn't even think about writing. I've gotten better about finding the time to write. Usually the long drives to my now primary job as an archaeologist are the perfect solution to plot-knots.

5. If you were an ocean, what ocean would you be? Why?

The arctic. I love the extreme seasons of the poles, and the incredible fortitude it takes to live there. Not to mention, Beringia is one of the routes by which humans first arrived in the Americas, on which I wrote my undergrad thesis. The arctic has such a stark and beautifully haunting landscape. I feel like it would easily get under the skin.

Don't forget to grab your copy of 'Smoke and Rain' by VS Holmes today. Just click here, and enjoy!