Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Writers Wednesday - Christina Hollis

This week The Pink Heart Society brings you a brand new author for the Modern/Presents line. So give a nice warm PHS welcome to Christina Hollis...

Christina's journey to THE CALL!
I was born a few miles from Bath, England and have spent my whole life reading, writing and gardening. Given a straight career choice between teaching and nursing, I rebelled and became an office junior.
Then on 28th January 1982 I went on a blind date, and my life really began. It was love at first sight! Martyn is a typical Alpha male, who swept me right off my feet. We were married within months.
Some time later, I was long-listed in a BBC drama-writing competition. At that, Martyn suggested I should give up my job as a Marketing department ‘gopher’ and concentrate on writing full time, to see if I could make a go of it. Determined not to let him down I entered every writing competition I could find, did freelance non-fiction work for national and local magazines, wrote several historical novels and started work on a couple of full-length contemporary ones. Over the years I achieved some success, but never that real ‘breakthrough’ moment.
Our family grew, and life got busier. I began to think I’d never achieve my dream of writing popular fiction. Then I heard about a local college course for writers. I joined, and began learning from the bottom up. One of my assignments was to write the first few thousand words of a romantic novel. We’d just holidayed in a recently renovated Tuscan villa, and it was such a lovely setting I wanted to share the sunshine with everyone! My homework became the opening pages of ‘The Italian Billionaire’s Virgin’. When I read an extract out in class, the tutor and students persuaded me to send it off to Mills and Boon.
I’d had so many rejections over the years that I nearly didn’t bother, but wow, I am so glad I did! The anticipation was incredible: first I was asked to send in three whole chapters. After some tweaks and revisions, they wanted to see the whole thing. A bit more rewriting here and there, then things went quiet…
Fast-forward to my son’s sixth birthday - I am doling out jelly, custard and cake while a dozen little boys hurtle round the house at top speed and full volume. The phone rings. It’s The Call! While I am trying to get pizza off the ceiling, my editor is giving me the brilliant news: I’ve done it - ‘The Italian Billionaire’s Virgin’ has been accepted!
We ALL ate far more party food than was good for us that day, I can tell you! Nine months later, and I still haven’t made it back down to earth. I’ve since sold a second ‘Modern Romance’ and I’m busily putting the finishing touches to a third. This must be the best job in the world. I could never have done it without Martyn. He’s a major source of inspiration, and I really appreciate every working day!
Christina's first book The Italian Billionaire's Virgin is out in January 2007 but you can order advance copies from the Mills & Boon website right now!!!
Thanks Christina!


  1. Hi Christina! It's great to see you here - I've been lucky enough to meet you in person and say this but it's worth saying again - Congratulations on your sale and welcome to HMB.

    Your book is on my TBR pile - and my Christmas present to myself is going to be the time to read it!

  2. Christina, I love your call story! Just reading the words sent chills down my spine! How thrilling that your dh gave so much support...Congratulations! Can't wait to read your book


  3. Hi Christina,

    I love your story. Congratulations on your sales!! Good luck with the third also.

    I'm so glad you followed your dream! My husband is very supportive also and I can't tell you how important that is to me. Glad you have that support too!

    Btw, I had to smile at the pizza on the ceiling comment. I sure hope I get a chance to scrape pizza off my ceiling someday soon too, lol!