Author Interview with Elizabeth Holland

Mariajauthor/ July 31, 2023/ Author Interview/ 0 comments

Hi, everyone, today on the blog I’m interviewing romance author Elizabeth Holland!

Elizabeth Holland’s Writing Journey

Introduce yourself! Tell us where you are in the world and what you like to write?
EH: Hi! I’m Elizabeth Holland from England and I write romance. Specifically, I like to write escapism romance. My debut novel was The Vintage Bookshop of Memories and has a sequel Christmas at the Vintage Bookshop of Memories. I also have another vintage-themed book, The Cornish Vintage Dress Shop (this is a standalone). More recently, I’ve been focusing on a new series, ‘Love, Joy and Peace’. The series is loosely based around the Love, Joy and Peace catering company where my characters go searching for their next adventure. A Merry Christmas at the Castle was the first book in the series, followed by A Spring Fling at Hotel Mayfair. Both books can be enjoyed as part of the series or as a standalone.

Have you always enjoyed writing? When did you decide to try writing novels?

EH: I’ve always written but I think it’s taken me a while to realise I enjoy writing novels. My first novel (which is unpublished) was written when I was at my lowest with my mental health. I was slowly recovering from severe depression and found writing was a great way to escape. As I lost myself in writing a sweet romance, the days passed and with it, my depression eased. That’s why I continue to focus my efforts on escapism romance in the hope that my books might help someone else escape even just for a few moments.

Did you have a favourite book as a child?
EH: I don’t believe I did. From a young age, I was encouraged to read (even if that meant being read to). I would tear through books and move straight on to the next one. To this day I’m not sure I could name a favourite as I’ve loved each book for different reasons.

Why did you decide to write contemporary romance?
EH: I think I’ve kind of touched on this in question two, but I’ve always loved romance books. I grew up in the Harry Potter and Twilight generation. Whilst Harry Potter isn’t a romance, I loved how the characters each got their HEA (happy ever after), and I think that was where my love for romance started. As a teen, I read a lot of supernatural romances and I think I just progressed to contemporary romances when I wanted something a little more lifelike to lose myself in. When I write contemporary romance, I want my readers to escape into the story and leave it thinking a romanticised life is not out of reach.

Elizabeth Holland’s Writing Process

How much do you plot your novels, if at all?
EH: I’m not much of a plotter. I know how my book will start and end, but the middle is usually a surprise to me. As I write, my characters dictate the story. This does mean that the first draft is usually more of a thorough plan, which then has to be heavily edited!
Although I do like to plot my novels in the form of mood boards. Each book has its own Pinterest board, which I make public close to release. Here’s the one for A Spring Fling:

Do you have any writing routines?
EH: I don’t really have a routine. I’ll alternate between writing at the table and the sofa, depending on how I feel that day. If I have other things to do, then I generally try to finish them before I start writing. Once I get into the mindset of the book, I don’t like to be interrupted. Some days I can’t get into that mindset and I know there’s no point in pushing it. When I’m ready to write, the words flow naturally and my surroundings don’t really matter.

What would you say to someone who has always thought about writing, but never put pen to paper?
EH: You can’t edit a blank page. I think many of us are horrified by our first drafts – they’re nowhere near ready to be published (at least mine aren’t!). Don’t worry too much about the final book when you set out to start writing. Just think about getting the story from your head and onto paper. Once you have your first draft, then the magic happens and you can weave it into the story you want to tell.

How do you go about researching a book?

EH: Each book is usually plotted around a setting, so my research starts there. Some aspects involve visiting places and exploring. I watch YouTube videos of travel vloggers visiting the places I’ve set my books in. It gives me the opportunity to see a place through someone else’s eyes. From there, I build the story around the setting and the research depends on each book. A Merry Christmas at the Castle and A Spring Fling at Hotel Mayfair are both heavily focused on food so there was lots of research that went into it (not just tasting cakes!). If they’re visiting a restaurant or a bar, then I’ll look up the menus to check what’s available. Fun fact… the cocktail Carrie has at Junkyard Golf is one I had there. I had to double-check their menu to make sure they still sell them! (P.S. It was delicious and I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in the area).

Do you have any hobbies? What would be your perfect day off?
EH: I know I burn out easily, so I always try to take the weekend off. I’ve managed to shape Sundays into my perfect day off. I do yoga on a Sunday morning, then we have some lunch and go out somewhere nice for a dog walk. As my anxiety has been improving, we’ve been able to stop for a coffee while on our walks. It’s a nice day to unwind and just reconnect before the start of a new week.

Elizabeth’s latest novel

Tell us a bit about your latest novel.
EH: A Spring Fling at Hotel Mayfair follows Carrie as she travels to London for the summer to embark on a culinary adventure. Carrie first appears in A Merry Christmas at the Castle and while writing that book I got to know her enough to know she would love her own adventure. She’s eager to learn and wants to challenge herself so when she feels her life has become stagnant, Carrie contacts the Love, Joy and Peace catering company and is offered a temporary position in London.
At Hotel Mayfair, Carrie soon becomes part of the team of eclectic staff and throws herself at all the challenges they’re faced with. She also finds herself with a crush on the hotel manager. However, neither of them is in a position to commit to the other. As their attraction grows, they settle on having a fling.

I loved writing this book, as I spent a few years working in Mayfair. Lots of the scenes have small references to my own life, which was really fun to include. A Spring Fling will immerse you in London life while you sample delicious sweet treats and fall in love with Hotel Mayfair’s staff.

(MJ: I loved this book! You can check out my blog review here!)

Are you working on anything at the moment?
EH: I’ve just started writing the next book in the Peace, Joy and Love series. It will focus on Camille whom we first meet in A Spring Fling at Hotel Mayfair. I’m really excited to see where her story takes us!

Elizabeth Holland’s Books and Social Media

Peace, Joy and Love series:

Vintage books:

How can we stay in touch with you?
EH: I’m on almost every social media platform around!

Username on Threads:

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks so much for chatting, Elizabeth! Thank you to everyone for reading, too – hope you enjoyed the author interiew.

While you’re here, you can check out my other blog posts and published books.

Why not sign up to my newsletter? You’ll get a free historical mystery romance, The Oak Tree Calls, when you subscribe.

I’d love to connect with you! You can hit the social media icons or drop a comment below, or you can head to my contact me page.

Till next time,

Maria 🙂

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