Monday, January 20, 2014

Moonbow by Sheila Hollinghead: Interview and Excerpt


Welcome! Thanks so much for this chance to find out a little about you. What do you think makes a good story?


Solomon famously said that there's nothing new under the sun. While true, millions of things, thoughts, and themes exist for writers to pick and choose from. Putting old things together in new ways creates an exciting story. To make it "good," captivating characters are also needed. The characters can make or break a story. They must be interesting, perhaps quirky, and yet be relatable to readers. A theme that inspires or intrigues us is the last thing needed.


The best stories, then, are those with fresh story lines, peopled with appealing characters that inspire or intrigue.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?


I'm a planster. To have a outline, to know the direction I'm moving in, and to know the themes I wish to explore are all important to keep me focused. However, during the writing process, if my characters lead me down new paths (and they always do) I follow. Thus I'm a plotter following after my characters when they take a detour. Hence, I'm a planster.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?


Yes. I listen to a variety of music. I try to pick music that complements my story. Some of my favorites while writing Moonbow were Beethoven's 5 Secrets, Do or Die (which I feel perfectly captures the mood of the book), A Thousand Years, and I Will Wait.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?


I loved animals, especially dogs and horses, so, of course, I wanted to be a veterinarian. My second choice was writer. I read voraciously from a young age and wanted to create my own worlds.

What are your favorite TV shows?


Sherlock and The Big Bang Theory

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?


Read widely and write intently.


Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?


Yes. I consider them Easter eggs–something for readers to unearth.

Do you have any special routines or rituals?


Not really, beyond pouring a cup of coffee and opening my laptop. I would like to have rituals but rituals mostly involve tools of the trade. For example, artists can pull out paintbrushes and arrange them in a special way. The only thing I need is my laptop. Popping it open, flexing my fingers, and typing doesn't quite seem to be a ritual.


Entice us, what future projects are you considering?


I have three projects in the works:

·         Rise, Write, Shine which is a compilation of my blog posts on writing

·         Thunder's Shadow–the last book in my In the Shadow of the Cedar series

·         Misconception–the sequel to Moonbow


All of those are in some stage of development. Also on the horizon is a sci-fi book about an alien invasion that leaves only a small band of children unscathed.


Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?


I don't have a favorite although I have many that I love. Here's one I like:

What's talent? I don't know. Are you born with it? Do you discover it later on? The basic talent is believing you can do something. ~John Lennon



Title:  Moonbow

Author:  Sheila Hollinghead

Published:  December 17th, 2013

Publisher: AltWit Press

Word Count:  65,000

Genre:  Inspirational Romantic Suspense


A widow, a doctor, an unborn child. Three lives are at risk in this high stakes suspense. Die Auserwahlten, the Chosen Ones, have impregnated Gisa with an embryonic clone. Is it evil or just a child? It's up to Dr. Rayden Brooks to untangle the web that keeps them captive and save their lives. But will Gisa trust him? 



Excerpt from Moonbow by Sheila Hollinghead:


THE MAN REFUSED to allow the crowd in the hospital cafeteria to thwart his efforts. He maneuvered to a seat, cutting in front of a young couple, to obtain full view of his prey. His cap was crammed down over his eyes, but he still saw the way Dr. Rayden Brooks smiled at the young woman, Adalgisa Ostheim. She bent her head closer to the doctor and allowed him to touch her arm. Surely, the doctor's conduct was unethical? The woman may not be the patient of Brooks, but she was the patient of his colleague, Dr. Cochran. 
The man pulled the brim of his cap lower. He knew this woman—she had been his third and there was also a fourth. The other three he had forgotten as soon as he had finished the assignment. But not Adalgisa, or Gisa as she called herself. The other three had made no more an impression on him than a fly buzzing around his head. They had all been annoyances, really. All but Adalgisa.
He had reached his objective with her long ago and moved on. Yet, now he had returned to her, like a hound-pursued deer searching for water. And Oberste had learned of his obsession. 
The man was not cognizant of the ways Oberste received information. Regardless, Oberste knew and had warned him away from the woman. The dangers of disobedience were great, but here he was, to understand why something within him would not, could not, allow this. 
The man made a plan. First, he would approach Dr. Cochran, discuss the behavior of Brooks. If Cochran refused to put a stop to it, he would be eliminated—regardless of Oberste's orders. 
Oberste need not know. The threat of defection among those recruited was always a concern. Oberste would accept his story—that Cochran threatened the integrity of the program. And, of course, Dr. Rayden Brooks would simply be collateral damage. Oberste would be none the wiser.
He had to wrench his eyes away from Adalgisa's laughing face to glance at his cell phone. The meeting was in an hour. Tardiness would not be tolerated. Reluctantly, he left the hospital cafeteria. 
He convinced himself he had time for a quick stop before the meeting. He drove to the store. He paused before he entered and smoothed back his blond hair. Placing a practiced smile on his lips, he approached the counter. "Pack of cigarettes," he said to the woman. 
She tilted her head at him, and one eyebrow rose. "Brand?" 
"Lucky Strikes, unfiltered." Nasty habit, but if he was to continue his surveillance of Adalgisa and Brooks, he needed something to keep his hands busy. It had nothing to do with quelling his fear of Oberste. 
He mimicked the woman's tilt of the head. "Sorry, make that a carton." 
"Sure. My pleasure." 
Yes, Oberste had his methods, but so did he. He would carry out his plan, seek out Cochran, and sever the bond between Adalgisa and Brooks. He fervently wished he could take care of Brooks directly, but the rules forbade contact with those outside of the organization. If a violation occurred, Oberste always perceived the infraction, within hours, if not minutes. No deception was allowed; all worked for the cause. 
Still, if the car of Dr. Rayden Brooks was parked in front of Adalgisa's house when he returned from the meeting, he would tear him apart with his bare hands, no matter what Oberste might do to him. 


Sheila Hollinghead, an army brat, was born in Nuremberg, Germany. When she was ten, her father was stationed in Toul, France where she discovered a treasure trove of books hiding in the furnace room. The house was rumored to be the former headquarters of the Nazi Party with bullet holes decorating the foyer as evidence. The books, sci-fi, mysteries, fantasy, and the classics, opened her mind to the power of story. Today, she is married and lives on a farm in south Alabama with dogs, cats, and chickens. She agrees with Emily Dickinson who said, "I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it until it begins to shine."



Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • Signed print copy of Moonbow & swag (US only)

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