1) How do you plot novels? Do you outline?
I don’t do a lot of planning for the first draft. I’ll have a general idea of what the story is about and maybe a few key moments, but that’s it. I use the first draft to figure out the story. Then for every other draft I make a detailed scene list that go into depth on what happens in the scene, who’s involved, what’s the purpose of the scene and so on. I even go so far as to color code it each scene depending on how much work needs to be done anything from minor changes, to doing a complete rewrite, or even adding in missing scenes. So, by the time I’m done, I end up with this massive multi-tab spreadsheet that really lets me see how the story has evolved and changed with each draft.
2) Do you write in one genre, or multiple genres?
I’m finding that most of my story ideas fall nicely in the science fiction genre. Not to say that I won’t ever write in another genre, but for now I’m sticking with science fiction. Where I can see myself changing things up is changing from Adult to Young Adult depending on the story.
3) What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I actually really like editing. I really enjoy problem solving and the editing phase really lets me do that with my stories. I enjoy going through rough first draft and figuring out the scenes that are missing or where a character’s motivation isn’t right and figuring out what I change to fix it. It’s kind of like a big game for me when I get that point and I love finding a way to fit all the pieces together perfectly.
4) What is your dream as an author?
I would love to have someone write fanfiction based off of my books. To have someone so invested in the characters I’ve created that they want to write their own story with them, or to love the world I’ve created so much they want to write themselves in a character. That would be such an awesome feeling. I want to see all the crazy relationship mash ups, I want to see Crystal go bad and join Teria, or Ryan be redeemed. All the things that I can’t do because I know how the story needs to work. I want my readers to take it and make it their own. That’s when I’d know I’d made it.
5) What would you like your readers to take away from your story?
I want my readers to walk away feeling empowered to be who they are without hiding any part of themselves. Crystal and Desi are both strong females in what are traditionally male roles but no one even bats an eye at it. They are simply the most qualified person for their jobs. On the other side of things some of my most sensitive characters are the men but that doesn’t take away from their ability to fight when they need to. It’s really about embracing yourself regardless of what people think you should be.
6) What are your strong points when it comes to writing? What are your weak points?
My weakest point is descriptions. In fact, most of my first drafts skip over all descriptions completely and then I have to go back in the next draft and really make an effort to add all that in. I think to think my strongest point is my dialogue, at least that’s the part that comes the easiest to me.
7) Are you working on something at the moment?
I’m currently working on finishing up book 2 in The Journey Missions series, Family Binds so that I can get it to my editor and release it this summer. Once that’s done, I’ll jump right into editing book 3, Thicker Than Blood. I also have an unrelated project I’ve been working on off and on about eco terrorism called Cleansing Rain.
About the Book
Title: Crystal and Flint
Author: Holly Ash
Genre: Science Fiction
It’s been 300 years since humans arrived on Neophia and the planet’s intelligent species have yet to agree on how much influence humans and their advanced technology should have on the planet. With the threat of war hanging in the air, Lieutenant Commander Crystal Wolf races to finish construction of the mega submarine, Journey, in order to calm political tensions on Neophia and cement her already stellar military career.
Lieutenant Desiree Flint never dreamed she would leave Earth to serve on Neophia, but with the end of her military career in sight she doesn’t see a way around it. Determined to rebuild her reputation on Neophia, no matter the cost, she sets her sights on dethroning Commander Wolf in order to prove her own superiority.
When Journey is attacked by someone from Crystal’s past, the two women must find a way to work together to save the ship, liberate an underwater colony from an oppressive government, and prevent a war.
Holly Ash is the author of the underwater science fiction series The Journey Missions. She has worked for the last ten years as an Environmental Engineer after receiving degrees in Environmental Science and English Literature from Central Michigan University. Holly lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband and two tiny people who constantly want her to do things for them.
Holly is also a member of The Cabin in the Woods Association of writers which works to help indie authors get their books seen.