24 March, 2020

#Interview with @nhollowayauthor, #Author of The Loop

About the Author:

Nicholas Holloway is a mystery author based in Texas.

He grew up in southern California and spent his childhood summers hiking the Sierra Nevada mountains where his debut novel, "The Loop," is set. He earned his master’s degree from the MFA Screenwriting Program at California State University Fullerton.

Having written much of "The Loop" while living abroad in New Zealand, Portugal, and Morocco, Nick garners a love of landscapes and utilizes these dramatic backdrops in his stories, believing that a story’s terrain is just as important as its characters.

Nick lives in Austin with his wife, Nichole, and their dog-child, Harvey.

Nicholas on the Web:

Website * Facebook * Instagram

Interview with Nicholas Holloway

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?

I started writing stories when I was five years old after reading and re-reading all of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books. I fell in love with books at a very young age.

What inspires you to write?

I become most inspired to write every time I finish reading anything by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Dark, mysterious, suspenseful, and noir-style stories awaken something in my mind, and ideas quickly flow like an unclogged sink.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?

The Loop originated as a simple idea to create a murder mystery set in the magnificent June Lake Loop, where I spent my childhood summers camping and hiking. I initially took it on as a challenge to write within a genre I had never touched before, and when the characters began to take on flesh and soul, I never looked back. While not based on anyone in particular, the characters in The Loop embody the bitter and lackluster traits hidden deep within myself and my friends and family, traits that aren’t necessarily revealed in real life. So that was fun, to embrace the darkness.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?

Not necessarily a drawer, but I have a massive list of book/screenplay/short story ideas compiled in the Notes App on my phone.

Tell us about your writing process.

Being more of an outdoor person, the physical act of sitting down at my computer and writing for hours on end is something I actually quite dread. The method I use to coax myself into that chair includes lighting a woody-scented candle, dimming the lights, pouring myself a whiskey, and listening to soft music that matches the tone I am looking to match in my writing. For example, as I write my next mystery thriller, Three Houses on a Hill, I frequently listen to eerie or creepy instrumental music.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?

I don’t want to give away too much in terms of spoilers, but my favorite scene is one in which the protagonist, Gallagher Finch, is seconds from being buried alive. A sacrifice is made by an unlikely family member, and Gal exacts revenge on his captors. I love this scene because when you think you finally understand the family member’s devious motives, he surprises the reader by becoming the tragic hero. It’s such a powerful scene, one that changes Gallagher forever.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?

Gallagher definitely inherited my dream of becoming an author, not to mention our shared ability to whip up one hell of a drink. He acts out, is crass and degenerate, and embodies all the secret qualities I possess but never act upon.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?

Readers often comment on my ability to switch between modern and past storylines, to interweave them in such a way that makes the reader, as one person reviewed, “forget about the existence of time.”

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?

I really hope that all authors are readers. You can’t be a great author without reading tons of great (even terrible) books. My favorite author is Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of The Shadow of the Wind, which is my favorite book. The way he weaves words together is simply surreal. I try to utilize beautifully extravagant words very subtly and very seldom within the text, a trick I learned from reading Zafón.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?

Don’t succumb to not finishing. Don’t tell yourself you can’t finish a first draft. You can. And once you do, all you have to do is revise, revise, revise.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?

Your story will never be perfect. Your words don’t need to be lavish. The only thing your book needs to accomplish is to tell an effective story that plays with the reader’s emotions. When people read, they want to feel.

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?

Gallagher Finch, portrayed by Penn Badgley
Scarlet Finch, portrayed by Emily Hampshire
Brad Finch, portrayed by Armie Hammer
Jimmy Finch, portrayed by Scott Caan

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?

A copy of The Shadow of the Wind, a fishing pole, and a bag of sunflower seeds.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?

I spend most of my free time outdoors with my wife and our dog. Austin is such a beautiful, green city. We like to enjoy the lake (kayaking, paddle boarding, or just floating in inner tubes) and hiking the various trails around the city.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?

Cage diving with great white sharks in Cape Town, South Africa.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.

I work full-time as a content marketing specialist.
I am the third of four boys.
I bartended for ten years, studying people’s traits to implement into my characters.

What do you have in store next for your readers?

My next mystery thriller, Three Houses on a Hill, will be released in Winter 2020. The book will transport readers to the bitter cold of Alaska’s interior region, where an ex-firefighter takes on the role of groundskeeper for a dying oil tycoon and his wife. The longer our hero remains in the shadow of the Dilbrook Mansion, the more secrets he uncovers about this mysterious family and their haunted past.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?

Reviews are everything. If you read a book and like it, leave a review. If you read a book and hate it, leave a review. As authors, we are only as good as the impressions our stories leave on our readers

About the Book:
Check out the Book on Amazon

Can you keep a secret?

In the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains, a freezing snowdrift blankets the June Lake Loop. For months, aspiring novelist Gallagher Finch has not written a single word. To pass the time awaiting inspiration, Gal satiates his boredom with Adderall, Evan Williams, and one call girl too many. On the eve of his twenty-sixth birthday, he indulges in all three…

And when he awakens, he discovers a bloody secret tangled in his bedsheets.

Still grieving from a tragic murder in the family thirteen years earlier, Gal wonders if old enemies are drawing near once again. He begins to process his nightmares, anxiety, and fear the only way he knows how – he writes. Quickly realizing his own story could be the best-seller he has been dying to publish, Gal weaves together the truth of who killed Daphne Castro, but in the process, he discovers the story that could launch his career may very well be his own deadly ending.

Family becomes foe, dark secrets resurface, and blood can be found on more than one pair of hands.


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