Denna Holm is a retired dressage trainer who has shown to the FEI level and has earned her USDF bronze and silver medals. She and her husband Lee make their home in the beautiful state of Oregon with their two dogs and three cats. They like to spend the summers at the mountain lakes, hiking, fishing and camping with their children and grandchildren.
Warrior Betrayed (Immortal Warriors Prequel Book 1)by Denna HolmPublish: Aug 30, 2019Science Fiction Fantasy
House of Pain (The Forsaken Ones Book 1)by Denna HolmPublish: Sep 22, 2018Series: The Forsaken OnesParanormal Romance Fantasy
A Warrior's Nightmare (Immortal Warriors Book 3)by Denna HolmPublish: Jun 12, 2018Series: Immortal WarriorsParanormal Romance Fantasy
Heart of a Warrior (Immortal Warriors Book 4)by Denna HolmPublish: Aug 27, 2019Paranormal Romance Romance Science Fiction Fantasy
Dark Warriorby Denna HolmPublish: Apr 19, 2017Series: Immortal WarriorsParanormal Romance Fantasy
Soul of a Warrior (Immortal Warriors Book 1)by Denna HolmPublish: Aug 30, 2016Series: Immortal WarriorsParanormal Romance Science Fiction Fantasy
Ghost Warrior (Immortal Warriors Book 2)by Denna HolmPublish: Aug 31, 2017Series: Immortal WarriorsParanormal Romance Science Fiction Fantasy
Claimed by Nicolai (Raiden Warriors Book 1)by Denna HolmPublish: Apr 22, 2019Series: Raiden WarriorsParanormal Romance Romance Science Fiction Fantasy
Probably my principle in junior high. Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and he read a lot of my VERY early work and offered constructive criticism. I know he was a very busy man, but I appreciated the extra time he spent with me.After you retired from training and showing horses, what motivated you to decide to try your hand at writing novels in paranormal and science fiction romance?
I have always been a very busy person and sitting around doing nothing didn’t appeal to me. When an injury forced me to retire, I decided to take an over the mail writing course through Stratford Career Institute. As a voracious reader, I’ve always been interested in trying to write but time was an issue. Since I love reading science fiction and paranormal romance, it only seemed natural to try to write it. It didn’t happen overnight though. I spent years learning before I actually produced my first novel.How was your experience of earning your United States Dressage Federation Bronze and Silver Medals? Why did you choose to be a FEI competitor in dressage?
I’ve loved horses from as far back as I can remember but I didn’t begin formal training until my early thirties. As a kid, I was involved with western riding and gaming, but the extra discipline needed for dressage had always appealed to me. I started out with Three-Day Eventing, which is a combination of jumping cross country, stadium jumping and dressage. The speed involved with jumping cross country always scared me a little, so I decided to focus on dressage. Earning my Bronze and Silver medals was probably the most exciting, and satisfying time, of my life. Having my first novel picked up by a publisher came in a close second.What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of a good romance story? What are some things to keep in mind while writing about paranormal acitivties?
There has to be a connection made between your two main characters that the reader is able to feel. As I’m writing, I always bear in mind how I would react personally to each conflict I put in front of them. It needs to feel realistic even if we are in an alternate universe that includes vampires, werewolves or aliens. If there is no spark between the characters, there is no romance and the story will fail. At the same time, since we are asking the reader to suspend disbelief in paranormal and science fiction romance, whatever happens needs to sound plausible. If it doesn’t, the story will fail.How do you take inspiration from the unique personalities of your many wonderful students to help bring life to her characters? Have your students read your books?
I’ve learned a lot about people as a riding instructor. Everyone learns a little differently and I needed to learn how best to reach each individual. This meant figuring out their thought process. What worked with one person wouldn’t necessarily work with another. Yes, some of my students have read my stories, though I didn’t tell them which characters were written after them. A few were able to guess however.How often do you write about your two loyal German shepherds, one energetic border collie, and two cats in your novels? Did you characterize feisty tabby cat in "Soul of a Warrior" after any of your two very spoiled cats?
Hexa, the star of Soul of a Warrior, was a very spoiled tabby that I bottled raised. We found her as an abandoned newborn at the barn. It was easy to imagine her proud self totally at home on my alien world. My German shepherds carry a prominent role in A Warrior’s Nightmare, and also a new science fiction romance set to release within the next month or so called Claimed by Nicolai.How did the Immortal Warriors series begin? What would you do if you were transported to another dimension?
I didn’t actually set out to write a science fiction when I started Soul of a Warrior. It was a project for my course at Stratford Career Institute. I’d meant to write a simple paranormal romance, keep it on Earth, but my instructor kept pushing me for more and more. And I’m glad she did. One day when she’d written back saying I needed more action, that the story was dragging, I decided to get crazy and began to create my universe full of alien vampires and werewolves, and my instructor loved it. I think we need to be willing to listen to constructive criticism if we want to succeed. If I found myself transported to another dimension, I’d like to think I’d react as Amanda did. I used a lot of my own personality when writing about her. My first reaction would be, “Well, this is some crazy sh**t. Now, how do we get back home?”What inspired the story of "House of Pain?" What challenges did you face while creating scenes and characters from the year 3515 and at the same time make it all relatable?
House of Pain was one of my more difficult stories to write. I kept having to leave it and come back again. It took almost five years before I felt it was ready to publish. I had to do a lot of studying about what would happen if there ever was a real nuclear war, try to keep it sounding plausible. Though I used demons as my antagonists in the story, my real inspiration came from watching the daily news and worrying about where we might be headed if the wrong people ended up in control. I wanted to show the power of love and loyalty in a time when family values had fallen to an all-time low. I also wanted to show that we don’t need to be perfect for someone to love us. Maggie had a lot to overcome in her life and yet she never gave up hope of finding someone to love her, faults and all.How many more stories are you planning to add to "The Forsaken Ones" series? When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
I’m not sure how many stories it will take to conclude The Forsaken Ones. There are a lot of people involved and demons to fight. Keeping each story fresh is a struggle at times, but I’m not one to crank one out every month. I like to take time to develop each one. Most take me about a year from start to finish. After the rough draft is complete, I’ll put it up for about six months and then come back and see what I can do with it. I don’t want readers to feel like they are reading the same story over and over again but with different main characters. That takes time and patience. I’m also juggling how each of these stories will come together for the finale. I have three different universes I’m working with in my novels, so I trade off when I start to lose focus in one.What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book, "Dark Warrior?" Who inspired the character of Jada, an avid bow hunter?
I think the surprise came after it was published. I was asked to be a part of a box set with a group of paranormal writers, but it needed to be a novella, not a full novel. I didn’t realize how interested people would be in Jada and Bryce’s lives after they left Earth. Now I’m going to need to continue their story, though I already know where these two will end up. My inspiration for Jada actually came from my husband, the real bow hunter in the family. He helped me a lot with the technical parts in the hunting scene.Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? What is the best review you have ever received for "Ghost Warrior?"
Yes, I read every single one, good or bad. It’s a fact of every writer’s life that you won’t please everyone, so I try not to let the negative reviews get me down. They are only an opinion, though sometimes I gain useful information, something I might want to avoid in future books. Ghost Warrior is one that hasn’t received a truly negative review. It made me smile when I read from one reviewer who said she actually read the book twice and planned to read it again in the future. I don’t think it gets better than that.Do you write about your hiking, fishing and camping experiences in your books? Which is your favorite place to spend the summers with your children and grandchildren?
I use my hiking experience in Soul of a Warrior as my characters try to find their way through the jungle to somewhere populated. It also plays a big part in Ghost Warrior as Amanda learns to embrace her animal side. Come to think of it, all my stories have some aspect of the outdoors. My favorite spot to spend with the kids and grandkids is at Crescent Lake or Diamond Lake in Oregon. We go camping and fishing with the whole family for a week every year and then spend as many weekends as possible in the mountains or at the coast in the summer.What are some things you wish someone had told you when you were still new to the writing world? When writing, do you tend to give more importance to dialogue or descriptions?
Don’t be afraid to put your work in front of people (before you publish). When people say writers need to develop a tough hide, it’s true. You do. And you need to learn to separate what’s helpful and what’s not without letting your ego get in the way. Avoid passive writing like the plague. Cut all unnecessary wording—or those darlings, as Stephen King says. Passive wording never reads well except to the author who wrote it. Cut those adverbs too and read your work out loud. I always overwrite in the rough draft and then start cutting when I go in for the first rewrite, and more with the next session. I think there needs to be a balance between description, dialogue and action. If you focus on any one area too much, the story suffers.Do you think someone can write romance without being romantic at heart themselves? Would you say that you are a romantic person?
I’m definitely a die-hard romantic. And I don’t think it’s possible to write good romance unless you are. We need to make a connection between our characters and the reader. They have to feel the love between them. A non-romantic type would probably roll their eyes when trying to describe romantic feelings. I think they would tend to focus more on what’s happening outside the building relationship, which can make a good story, just not a great romance.What do you think of AllAuthor as a book promotion platform? What are some things you like and dislike about the site?
I have been very happy with AllAuthor so far. My books are getting in front of people and that’s all I can ask. It’s a great help getting the banners every week to help with marketing, and also the tweets. Since I edit and format for Crimson Cloak Publishing, sometimes I just don’t have the time to put into self-promotion. Thank you for making it easier for me. I’m not sure I have any dislikes. It’s been a great experience.
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