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!

3 comments:

  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!

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  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

    Carol

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  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!

    WTG!

    Lee

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