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SAY WHAT

Apparently this is an email from Cheryl Holt, posted on the Romantic Times forum, by a reader who had been emailing Ms Holt, asking what she was doing writing-wise these days.

The email was posted in its entirety on the Romantic Times forum, I’be been asked nicely to take it down, so I don’t have a problem doing that.

I have left this bit though:

I’m in the process of trying to start over—which is very daunting. I’m supposed to have some good news (which I’m not at liberty to announce just yet) that will have my next books (historical romances) released back-to-back in the summer of 2010. In the meantime, I’m trying to get my energy back, and I’m reinventing myself. I had new publicity photo taken, and I’ll attach one to this letter so you can see the new, improved “me.” I’m having my web page re-designed, and I’m starting a “Cheryl Holt Fan Club” on MySpace that’s supposed to launch on May 1st (I’m hoping we’ll be ready.)

I fell off everybody’s radar for awhile, and I haven’t sent out any emails because I was too depressed to tell people about what had happened to me! But I’m regrouping, and the minute I’m 100% certain that I have more books coming, I will send out announcements and post the news to my web page. I’ll also be sending emails once the Fan Club gets going, too. Thank you so much for thinking of me and for hanging in there as a fan! I hope to have new books coming soon!”

Cheryl Holt
NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author

Poor Cheryl, it’s bad enough that she goes to a new house and seemingly gets totally shafted by an editor who hates her writing, but the same editor trying to rewrite her entire book? That’s just messed up, surely? That editor should be reprimanded or something. Mind you, I do think Holt’s books are an acquired taste.

I wonder why she would write all this to a fan though? It seems very naive of her.

Thanks to Vanessa Jaye for the heads up.

I happened to be reading some of my old author interviews the other day, (Ya know, when the main blog was live) marvelling over how much my views on Romanceland has changed since I started them, just over two-and-a-half years ago.

Anyway, one of the interviews that amused me greatly was Cheryl Holt’s, so I thought I’d repost it. I think I’ll probably re-visit some of my fave interviews over the next few Tuesdays.

Anyway, enjoy.

Author Name: Cheryl Holt
Website: cherylholt.com
Genre: Erotic Historical Romance
Latest book in shops now: Too Hot To Handle (Sept ’05) , and Too Tempting To Touch (March ’06)

Before we begin this interview, I need to check that you’re still grounded and that your head isn’t swollen from all of your success, so with that in mind, what was the last thing you bought at Target, and do you know how much a loaf of bread costs?

I life in a very small town on the west coast of the US, so the nearest Target store is two hours away. I don’t get there very often. Usually I go in the autumn to shop for school clothes for my 2 kids. You have a very glamorous view of my life, which is — in fact — very quiet and very normal. Where I live, a loaf of bread is anywhere from $1.29 to $2.29.

Why did you choose to write erotic romance books, rather than traditional romance?

I started out writing regular historicals, then the publisher where I was writing shut down the lines I’d been writing for, and I was let go, or “orphaned” as they call it in the book business. My first book wasn’t even out on the store shelves yet. It was very depressing.

I needed to get back out on the market and sell something, and the agent I had at the time advised me to write an erotic historical proposal (this was in 1999) because the market was just opening up and it was going to be very hot. I looked right at him and said “what’s an erotic historical?”

I finally wrote one, Love Lessons, which I sold to my current publisher, St. Martins Press, and it turns out that I not only have a knack for writing great love stories, but also for writing very sexy, very hot love stories. It still surprises me

Books such as More Than Seduction, aren’t for the faint-hearted, do you have a certain audience in mind when you write, and if so, what kind of people do you imagine, read your books?

I don’t think about the audience too much, or I’ll drive myself crazy trying to figure out what everybody wants. I get letters that tell me that my books are too sex-packed, that they’re too tame, that they’re too fast-paced, that they’re too slow, that they’re too action-packed, that they’re too boring

Everybody who reads books has such diverse tastes. I simply try to think up a great story, with great issues and great characters, then I write it down, and hope people enjoy it.

Luckily, my editor really encourages me. She likes me to “push the envelope” with stories, to give people heroes and villains that they can love and hate, so I work very hard to do that. But when you have terrible villains, doing terrible things, it can create situations that aren’t what you’d find in a “typical” romance, so my stories leap beyond the boundaries that you’d find in other romance novels.

When you develop your characters, do you model them on people you know in your life, or do they all come from inside your head? (more…)

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I love Cheryl Holt, I do, even though her last few books have been carbon copies of each other, I still buy her, even when I swear that I’ll never buy her again.

As most Holt fans will know, she’s releasing her 15th and last historical erotic romance this year, as well as writing her first book under her new pseudonym, Vanessa Marlowe. After that, she’s moving towards more traditional romances, i.e no more dirty, nasty ‘sex with rakes’ books.

Anyway, apart from wondering whether she’ll still sell as well without the erotic bit, this news pretty much sailed right over my head, when I read it on her website. What really interested me was this video of an interview that she did at lasy year’s Romantic Times conference.

It amused me so much, I thought I’d post it on here, but for those of you who can’t be arsed watching the interview, I’ve included some quotes from the lady herself.

She starts:

“I’m the Queen of erotic romance and the International Queen of Villains, I write some of the best villains that has ever been created in fiction.

This amused me greatly because some of the most frequent complaints about her books are that her villains are ridiculously over-the-top bad, and totally one-dimensional.

“One of the great American love stories …It’s just the best love story ever”..

She’s describing her 2003 book, Complete Abandon. I liked it muchly, but I don’t recall ever thinking it was the best love story ever. *g*

“I just have the greatest knack of writing the best love stories”

You gotta love the modesty, right?

“I write some of the greatest love stories ever told”

She said that so convincingly, that even I nearly bought it.

“I tell really great stories that people like to read”

I wish she’d stop being so damn humble. *g*

“The pacing, very fast pacing. By the time a reader opens the first page, they are so excited that they can’t stop reading till the end. I write high entertainment value books.”

This was her answer when asked what makes her stories so appealing to other people. Fast-paced? Dude, I love her books, but it aint cuz of the pacing!

“Fans love the characters, and the very emotional depth of the characters, and the great personalities that I create”

*Hehe*

That gal sure knows how to sell herself well, doesn’t she? Anybody would think she used to be an attorney. *g*

I love the fact that she doesn’t bother with the whole “Aww shucks, I’m really not that great” false modesty. She thinks she’s great, and she says so. You gotta admire that, admittedly whilst laughing your tits off.