Welcome! Thanks for agreeing to this Q&A!! I’m so happy to be hosting you today!! How did you start your writing career?
READING actually started me on the road to my writing career! I love to read and I read a lot of books. Every time I read a new one I found myself thinking up different things that could have happened in it or different ways that it could have ended. “What if the character did this instead of that” or “what if the story took place here instead of there” or my favorite, “what if the heroine ended up with that ‘other’ guy”. It was on one of those silly rants that I came up with the idea for my first book. It started as just a passing thought, but I decided to write it down. The next thing I knew I had the first chapter done and it just grew from there.
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I’m definitely a Pantser! With ‘Finished’ not only did I not do a formal outline but I pretty much made the story up as I went along. When I hit a point in the story where I didn’t know which way it should go I just took a break and waited for the characters to ‘tell’ me what was supposed to happen next. Sometimes it was quite a while before they eventually did but in the end it worked for me. I definitely see the benefits of being a Plotter, though. I’m making a conscious effort to plot out my third book and encourage others to do the same.
What do you think makes a good story?
I think keeping in real makes for the best story. I’ve always been drawn to stories that revolve around relatively ‘normal’ people where I can say, hey, this could really happen; this could be me. When writing I tend to stay away from the glamour of the professional athlete, the mega rich or the extraterrestrial. It’s not what I like to read and when writing, the first rule of thumb is write something that you yourself would want to read.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I don’t have critique partners or beta readers per se but I have asked a couple of friends to put in their two cents here or there. Generally I prefer to be on my own. I’m sure there’s a few things in ‘Finished’ that a critique group would have suggested removing. But, as the story began to take shape, I had a specific idea on how I wanted it to unfold and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
I want to tell any first-time writer that they should never give up. I know how tough it can be – you are too close to the story to tell whether it is good or not; you know you need feedback from others but worry they’ll tell you the story is a disaster and you can’t write worth a nickel. I have been through it all. But along the way I learned that the personal joy you get from creating – from birthing – your story is well worth it.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
For me the hardest part is figuring out what comes next in the story. As I mentioned earlier I don’t work from an outline so that means I just have to wait until the next part comes to me. I’ve often found myself staring at my computer screen willing the story to come out of me to no avail. I’ve always found it best to just take a break for a few days and hope something pops into my head. I’ve been lucky so far, but when all else fails put it aside and start writing something else - I’ve done it and that works too!
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
The most surprising thing I learned while writing is definitely how addicting it can be! You get a certain high from getting that next paragraph exactly the way you want so that it sounds just right. You want to feel that way over and over again and then when it’s finally done you’re sitting on top of the world. And then you want to do it again!
by Anne Holster
GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance
It began with a drunken kiss, a furtive but passionate grope atop a pile of discarded winter coats. Downstairs, the party raged on, but all Jess hears is the pounding of her heart as Finn Evans – the guy she had fantasized about for God-knows-how-long – ran his hands along her body. It isn’t until Finn staggers from the dark room that Jess realizes she has not only lost her virginity, but her underwear as well. Things only get worse when she sees Finn again and realizes he doesn’t even know it was her in the bedroom that night! She heads to the Jersey Shore with her best friend, hoping a summer of fun will heal her broken heart.
Finn awakes with a colossal hangover and a pair of girl’s underwear jammed in his pocket. It’s not the first time he’s had sex at a party, but it is the first time he doesn’t know the girl’s identity. Thinking he’ll never see her again, he heads to the Jersey Shore for a summer of sun, sand and sex.
While down at the shore, Jess and Finn find themselves thrown together time and time again, eventually forging an unlikely friendship. By the time Finn realizes he’s fallen for her, Jess is with someone else. Will Finn be able to convince Jess that he is the one for her, or will his bad boy reputation haunt him forever?
Someone suggested we take our little party up to the beach, so we grabbed a few blankets from the bedrooms and the rest of the beer from the fridge. Things started looking up the minute we got settled on the sand. There was something about being on the beach at night that I loved. The eerie darkness, the feeling of the cool sand on my bare feet, and the way the ocean breeze tussled my hair – it was the best.
I was just lounging back on my elbows, nursing my beer as I talked to Jill and Nick when I noticed that Finn was sitting at the other end of my blanket. The last time I’d seen him he was talking and laughing with Pete and Tommy, but he stayed behind when they headed off to troll the boardwalk.
“This is the life, ain’t it?” he said, with an adorable crooked smile I could make out even in the darkness. He held up his bottle of beer. “I got a drink in my hand, I got my toes in the sand. Jeez, now all I need is a beautiful girl on my arm.” Laughing, he brought his hand to his forehead like a salute and turned his head back and forth as if looking for something. “Nope, don’t see any here.”
Before I had time to be offended by the comment, he pounced on me. “Oh, well…I guess Jess’ll have to do.” He lay there laughing, but I didn’t find it funny at all. Even then, with his familiar weight on top of me, I realized that nothing would ever happen between me and Finn again. Somehow, in the blink of an eye, I had crossed over into the friend zone.
Anne Holster resides in Northern New Jersey with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis and reading angsty romance novels. She is currently working on her third novel.
Social media - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13762475.Anne_Holster
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