Author Interview with Holly Bush
I’m hosting an interview with Holly Bush today, the author of historical romance novel Reconstructing Jackson.
1) Hey Holly! Thanks for appearing on my blog and for answering my questions. Let’s start with: when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Hello Majanka! Thank you for having me. I wrote casually in high school and college but have been pretty serious the last fifteen years or so.
2) Where did you get the inspiration from to write ‘Reconstructing Jackson’?
It’s very strange for me. I see scenes in my head. I saw a man in a wheelchair on a train platform looking around as if wondering what to do next. That man was Reed Jackson and I started writing what was happening.
3) How long did it take you to write ‘Reconstructing Jackson’ from start to finish?
I had written 90% of it in 10 or 12 months as I only write on the weekends. Then I put it down for whatever reason and moved on to another book. This past summer I started thinking about publishing it and realized it wasn’t done. I hustled for a few weeks to get back in the ‘feel’ of the book and write the ending and still get it to my editor in time for a fall release date.
4) Who was your favorite character to write about? Who was your least favorite character?
I’m not sure I have a favorite or a least favorite but I do have an ‘easier’ and a ‘harder’ character to write. Villains like Belle’s brother, Jed, are easy to write. Their motivation is generally pride or selfishness or just plain spitefulness. Those are easy characterizations to show in actions. A character like Reed Jackson is much more difficult to write. He is like all of us. He is not all good or all bad and therefore his motivation and actions are less obvious. Reed was a challenge. We all want to love the hero of a book but a hero that always does the right thing is boring!
5) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write as much as your real life allows. Find as much joy as you can in it. Join a writer’s group where you can hear other’s read their works aloud. I found it very, very educational to hear the comments that people made about whatever was read.
6) You’ve written several other historical romance books. Why ‘historical romance’?
There’s something innocent and wonderful about the time in this country when lands were still being discovered and towns being built. I think it was a time of amazing opportunity and I think the folks that lived during that time had challenges we can only imagine. I think duty was often a motivating factor for marriages and like to think that some of them found love and joy as well.
7) Can you tell us something more about your other books?
Romancing Olive was published in the fall of 2011 and is about a spinster librarian from Philadelphia who travels to Ohio to rescue her niece and nephew after the children’s parents, Olive’s brother and his wife, are murdered. Train Station Bride was published in the spring of 2012 and is about a Boston debutante that corresponds with and travels to marry a shopkeeper from North Dakota. Having been told her entire life that she is an unattractive burden to the family; Julia Crawford decides to set her own course.
8) Can you tell us about Reconstructing Jackson?
1867 . . . Southerner, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation after the Civil War in a wheelchair. Schooled as a lawyer, he moves west to start again after his father deeds the Jackson holdings to a younger brother. Circumstances bring Reed and Belle Richards together, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle’s courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.
9) Are you working on something right now?
Yes, I am. I’m writing a women’s fiction novel that is yet untitled. It is about a middle-aged newspaper reporter in a conservative southwestern Pennsylvania county with a teenage son acting out and a new assignment from his editor. He’s to begin writing his newspaper’s love advice column. Thank you so much for having me and Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas, Holly!
1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.
Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.
Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle’s courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.
Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.
Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.