Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Operation Awesome #20Questions in #2020 of #NewBook Debut Author Julie Holmes

Operation Awesome #20Questions in #2020 of #NewBook Debut Author posted by @JLenniDorner of @OpAwesome6

Murder in Plane Sight by Julie Holmes

1- Do you have a #NewYearsResolution you care to share?

I like to think of the new year as a fresh opportunity to work toward goals, rather than resolutions. My goals for 2020 include finishing the draft for the second Sierra Bauer mystery and editing it for submission to my agent, and completing a draft of my next project, a rural Minnesota mystery.

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Write what you know, but don’t show off. You want to be authentic but don’t bog readers down. Too much “technical” information will turn readers off.

3- What is the best piece of writing advice you've received?

Don’t stop studying the craft. Don’t stop practicing. Even professional athletes practice. If you want to be a writer, don’t give up. Persist. Keep learning, keep practicing, and you will become a better writer.

4- Would your mystery qualify to enter for The Staunch Book Prize?

Yes, my mystery would qualify, I believe. My main character survived an attack by her stalker ex-boyfriend, and regained control of her life. She is determined not to lose all the progress she’s made since the attack even when her past comes back to haunt her.

5- Would you share a picture with us of your book with the sky or a plane in the background?

Operation Awesome #20Questions in #2020 of #NewBook Debut Author Julie Holmes

6- How many Sierra Bauer Mystery books are you hoping to write?

I have completed the draft of the next book in the series, and I have the story idea for the third book. I’d like to write at least three books, but I have other series in mind I want to work on, including a police procedural series for which I have the first four books drafted.

7- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?

My Twitter handle is @julieholmes2k13 . I have a lot of writer friends on Twitter, but I’ll pick these three to shout out: @MaeClair1 , @dlfinnauthor , @stacitroilo

8- What’s one writing goal you hope to accomplish before you die?

I hope to be on the New York Bestseller List at least once (don’t we all hope for that? :D )

9- What most motivates you to read a new book?

I am a member of the Twin Cities chapter of Sisters in Crime, and I have met a lot of fellow authors. If I know the author, I would like to read at least one of their books. Unique and not run-of-the-mill protagonists with an interesting story and great cover (of course!) also inspire me to read a new book. To finish a book, I want to feel connected to the characters in some way. I want to be scared for them, root for them, and feel a sigh of relief for them when I reach the end of the book.

10- It's our tenth anniversary! How far has your writing come in the past ten years and where do you see your writing career ten years from now?

Happy Anniversary and congratulations! The past ten years of my writing life have been the best, I think, because I have found treasured mentors who guided me to improve my craft. Of those ten, the past seven years have been the best, because in the summer of 2012 I met my Writing Sisters. We are eight writers who have helped each other not only improve our writing, but have helped each other through real life difficulties. We have become sisters in all but blood.

11- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

Author name: Mae Clair @MaeClair1
Title: Hode’s Hill
Love because: Hode’s Hill is a series of three books; I’m reading the last one now: Eventide. I have to pick the whole series :D Love because: Mae does a fantastic job with dual timelines and rich characters.

12- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?

I want my reader to feel the fear, the anxiety, the grief, and the confidence my main characters feel through the story. I want the reader to invest in the characters and really experience the story with them.

13- What kind of impact do you hope your book will have?

I hope my book will show readers that non-traditional protagonists are interesting and worth reading without falling into the usual stereotypes. I also hope my book assures people who may have been victims in the past do not have to become victims again. I think people like characters who, although they have tragedy in their past, learn to take control of their lives and aspire to keep that confidence in their strength.

14- What is the best writing tool, program, or reference book you've ever bought?

The best writing program, for me, that I ever bought is Scrivener. It fits the way I like to write without being outrageously expensive. I don’t use all of its capabilities, but I like what I do use. I also love OneNote, which is where I keep my story bibles. And a shout-out to Karen Wiesner and her book, First Draft in 30 Days.

15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? #WeNeedDiverseBooks

I think the biggest way my book is diverse is the fact that my main character is a woman doing a man’s job, which doesn’t compare to truly diverse books. My favorite book(s) with diverse characters are the Detective by Day series by Kellye Garrett and the Pen Wilkenson series by Brian Lutterman.

16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my WIP, so less time roaming the internet. There are a lot of readers and many writers who post reviews. Two I follow are Kim at By Hook Or By Book ( and Debby Geis (

17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

The main reason I chose to go the traditional route is cost. Sure, self-publishing allows a writer to keep more of the profits from the book, but they also have to pay for professional editing, cover design, and they have to work to find all the channels, etc to get their books out into the world. By being traditionally published, I worked with an editor and a cover designer, plus traditional publishers, including small presses, have access to avenues like PW and LJ and distributors that self-published writers don’t.

18- Which author, past or present, do you feel most resembles your work?

That’s a tough question. I think my work has a similar flavor to writers such as Julie Kramer or Jess Lourey (Murder by Month series). Patricia Briggs’ main character, Mercy Thompson, is a non-traditional character like Sierra Bauer, but I’m not writing urban fantasy (yet 😉 )

19- Would you please ask our audience a question to answer in the comments?

Was there one thing, a person or event, that inspired you to become a writer? What was it?

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

Bio: Award-winning author Julie Holmes writes a variety of mysteries, from suspense with a touch of romance to police procedurals with a brush of extrasensory, with forays into fantasy and science fiction. A former aircraft mechanic for a commuter airline, she is now a technical writer for a software company. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Social Media:

FB: @JulieHolmesAuthor (
@julieholmes2k13 Website:


Headlights glared in the rearview mirror. Sierra Bauer slowed, but not enough. Her car slid around the turn onto the service drive that ran past the Range Airlines maintenance hangar on the western side of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. She steered into the skid, regained control. Cursed the timing of the snow.

The idiot stuck to her backside like duct tape, too damn close even for Minneapolis drivers in these two inches of fresh January snow. Sierra considered hitting the brakes.

A deep rumble, and her tailgater passed her.

A pickup truck.

In the glow of her headlights, she identified the color.


Her breath caught.

An outline of a pale rectangle peeked from the layer of snow on the rear bumper.

Her heart stuttered. Raced.

It can’t be his truck. How would he know where I am?

Murder in Plane Sight by Julie Holmes


Julie Holmes said...

Thank you so much for this opportunity! I love this blog, and kudos to you for introducing us to new authors. And thank you for supporting authors with your critiques and pass or pages. I know I have learned a lot from reading the posted critiques. Keep it up!

Mae Clair said...

What a fabulous interview! Julie, I really liked your answer to the question, what motivates you to read a book. It's so true that you have to become involved in the lives of the characters--form an emotional bond with them.

I'm looking forward to the next Sierra Bauer mystery. Loved the first book! She is such a unique character with her profession of airline mechanic.

And wow--thank you for the WW Twitter shout-out, and also for selecting Cusp of Night and my Hode's Hill series. I'm honored!

D.L. Finn said...

Great interview! i enjoyed the first book and look forward to the next. Thanks for the shoutout, I'm shouting right back:)

Julie Holmes said...

Thanks, Denise! *waves* Happy Wednesday!

Julie Holmes said...

Of course! Loved the HH and PP series! Heck, loved the standalones :D I'm so far behind with your new release blog tour, I think I'm first.... I can't wait to read your next one, either :D Keep us posted!

Betsy said...

Great interview, Julie! Fun to see you on here, especially since you're the one who first told me about this blog!

D. Wallace Peach said...

A fun interview. I've been following Julie a long time and it's great to see her dream of publishing come true, as well as hear about her plans. :-) I look forward to the next book!

Julie Holmes said...

*waves* Hi, Betsy! I thought you'd like this blog. It's one of the blogs I keep up with :D

Computer Tutor said...

Good interview. I like the questions. So many people love Scrivener! It almost makes me want to try it out.

Julie Holmes said...

Hi! I'm looking forward to the next book, too. Oh, wait, I have to revise it...

Thanks for checking out this blog; it's a great one for writers :)

Julie Holmes said...

Not everyone likes Scrivener. I think it's one of those love or hate things (kinda like cilantro :D ) It works with how I like to write, and one of my favorite functions is the compile function where it will spit out the whole manuscript formatted properly. Saves a lot of time if you don't use Word as your primary writing tool. YMMV Thanks for checking in, Jacqui!