Interview & Giveaway: Hollie Overton

Wow I cannot believe that it is already September and I am starting my &th year Blogoversary event. If you have been part of previous years you know I always like to feature a debut and up and coming author. This year's kickoff author is Hollie Overton, whose debut novel Baby Doll was a really good debut novel that explore the unique relationship between kidnapper and captive. Pleas Welcome to Blood Rose Books today:

 
Hollie Overton
 
If there was one author, you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why? 
I’d have to say JK Rowling. I love the world she created and to be able to work with her and see how she does what she does would be amazing.
 
Is there a book, author, story or person that inspired you to become a writer? 
My reading has always been varied and across genres so I don’t know if there’s one author or book I can credit inspiring me to become a writer. A few of my favorites growing up were Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, R.L. Stein, Sue Grafton, James Patterson, Francine Pascal, and the list goes on and on.  My biggest inspiration though and the reason I became a storyteller was my mother. She always encouraged my creativity and has been my guiding force.
 
You are one of the series writers for the TV for several popular shows (Shadowhunters, Cold Case and The Client List), why did you decide to write a novel?  
I love writing television but there are times when I’ve struggled to get work. It was very frustrating to keep writing scripts and to feel like the door was constantly slamming in your face. I was unemployed for awhile, and incredibly frustrated with my TV career. I decided I needed to go back to writing for the pure love and joy of it and to stop worrying about all the business stuff and the marketability, etc. that starts to dominate your writing when you work in Hollywood. That’s when everything changed.  I just had the spark of an idea, and suddenly I couldn’t stop writing about Lily, the central character in Baby Doll. Ninety pages later, I had what is basically the first part of the novel.
 
How does writing a novel differ from writing for TV? 
In some ways they are very similar. You’re creating a story from nothing, creating compelling characters, a compelling plot, etc. But TV writing is collaborative. You have to be willing to share your ideas, and have some or depending on the day, all of those ideas rejected. You’re not in charge and that’s what you have to do. Writing novels is all about you. For better or worse, you make the decisions so there’s no one to blame if readers don’t like your characters or your plot. Writing novels is also very solitary which if you’re extroverted like I am, can be challenging. As a TV writer, you’re surrounded by people, sharing ideas, laughing, talking, making one another work harder to tell the best story possible. That’s why I enjoy doing both!  I get the best of the two worlds.


Shadowhunters is based upon Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series The Mortal Instruments, what are some additional challenges for writing a show that is based upon such a well-known novel and characters? 
Shadowhunters is a big epic story so the challenge was always finding ways to streamline the plot without sacrificing the core essence of the book and the characters.  There’s a lot of pressure to honor what the fans love while also finding ways to surprise them. So much thought and care is taken into telling these stories because all the writers are fans of the novels and understand how important these stories are to the fans. We worked very hard to make sure we kept pivotal moments, while also trying to put a unique spin on things. 

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?  
I imagine historical fiction would be quite challenging, making sure you’re getting all the history correct while also telling an entertaining story. If you’re not skilled, you could have a book full of facts and a dull story or you could have an interesting story but none of the history adds up.  To me, that seems like a lot of pressure. 

Stockholm syndrome plays a big part in this book and I thought that dynamic between Lily and her kidnapper was really well done and not as straight forward as many people think it should be. And it in the story it was important to highlight this relationship, what type of research did you do on the syndrome? Was there a real life incident that you modeled theirs after? 
I’m so glad you found that part well done! I consulted with an FBI agent who handled abduction cases as speaking with a social worker friend about the psychological effects abuse would have on someone. But I didn’t research that part of Baby Doll as much as others because over the years I’d read a lot about kidnappings and the power an abductor has over their captor. In my mind, Lily could never really love Rick but the hold he had over her wouldn’t just vanish over night. She’d have to fight to rid herself of those feelings and how he’d manipulated her. That’s what I wanted to explore.

You are an identical twin yourself, so the “twin aspect” you highlight within Baby Doll is normal for you. How much of the interaction between Lily and Abby is based upon interactions between you and your sister? Did you try to put yourselves in the mindset of these two characters and think how you would each might have reacted? 
I’d say almost ninety-nine percent of their dynamic was inspired by own relationship with my twin sister, Heather. We’re incredibly close. We talk on the phone constantly, text nonstop and see each other probably six days a week.  What’s interesting about the twin relationship is that you really struggle to find your identity on your own but at some point when you get older, at least in our case, you accept that this person really does complete you.  There’s no one in the world I’d rather hang out with than my sister. That’s why it’s so devastating when Abby and Lily lose one another. They really are losing a piece of themselves. So it was very easy to put myself in Abby and Lily’s shoes. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? 
My next book THE WALLS was released on August 10th in the US and UK and I’m having a book launch in LA at Book Soup in West Hollywood on the 10th and in Corpus Christi, TX at Barnes and Noble on Sept. 23rd. I’m also interviewing new TV jobs and I’m working on my third book.

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read?  
One of my favorites recently is All the Little Children by Jo Furniss. It’s The Road meets Lord of the Flies with two amazing female heroines at the center. The book isn’t out until September but I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy.  I only planned to read a few pages. Instead, I cancelled all my plans and devoured it in one day. It’s a fast-paced read with tons of heart and emotional twists and turns. 

I just want to say Thank you once again to Hollie for being part of my Blogoversary I know it takes time to answer the questions and as you can tell Hollie is very busy. I really do recommend that you check out her debut novel as see for yourself just how well done the Stockholm syndrome aspect was done. Hollie has very nicely provided a giveaway (INT) to go along with her interview, so please enter the rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway