Nancy Holder is a New York Times bestselling author who writes dark fantasy and horror for adults and young adults, and is also known for her “tie-in” novels and episode guides for Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, Hulk, and many other TV shows and movies.
For what age audience do you write?
I have written for every age group from early readers to adults.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is ‘Teen Wolf: On Fire’, which is an original novel based on the hit MTV show.
Henry: You are my hero! Now if I could just convince a publisher to let me write a picture book based on Family Guy.
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
I hope that fans and non-fans of the show will see their own questions about life and identity mirrored in the characters’ questions and quests.
Henry: Personally, I’d like to gain greater insight into why, like a werewolf, I have body hair growing where I don’t want it…
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
Writing lean. It’s easy to “hand-wave” with a lot of extraneous verbiage, which can only bore and confuse readers. Alas, it never impresses.
Henry: Brevity is the soul of wit. FYI, I did not write that.
What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?
Diligence and honesty win out over stage fright.
Henry: Indeed, there is no escaping the pesky requirement for hard work.
What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?
Sitting with Joss Whedon on Spike’s crypt on a sound stage at Buffy and asking him if he thought he was an auteur. He demurred. I adore him.
Henry: That is pretty cool. I’ve been privileged to meet some awesome writers in person, including yourself, Ned Vizzini, David Brin, Jonathan Maberry, Jason Hough, Kevin Hearne, Brandon Sanderson, Jenni Holm, and Dan Gutman.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read. Read. Read. Watch a lot of TV. Write more than that.
Henry: There’s that pesky diligence, rearing its ugly head again.
Do you have any favorite quotes?
“Even in the darkest place, there is hope.” (Me)
Henry: You just conducted a literary selfie by quoting yourself!
Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you write?
MUST HAVE COFFEE. And I create playlists to listen to, and watch lists of movies to watch. When I am writing dark, I watch a scary movie every single day. In the sunlight.
Henry: You are livin’ the dream!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Freezing time so I could get it all done.
Henry: It probably won’t surprise you to know that is the most common superpower requested by authors. Another options is obtaining a host of minions.
If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?
Well, you, of course. Because you are a great writer and a fascinating guy. And Shirley Jackson and Joss Whedon, because they are my writing heroes.
Henry: You are beyond gracious to put me in such company. Flattery will get you everywhere. I’ll bring Mallomars for dessert.
What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?
Elves if they look like Orlando Bloom as Legolas!
Henry: Fine! Then I want Kate Beckinsale as the vampire Selene in Underworld. I know it’s not literature, but Kate Beckinsale.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Zumba! And spend time with my daughter. She’s a writer, too, and we’ve sold two short stories together.
Henry: Isn’t Zumba the robotic device that vacuums up floors? Or is it Rumba performed by Zombies? It’s very cool that you’ve written with your daughter. As you know, my young sons are involved in my writing too.
What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
Good Writer, Great Mom
Henry: Well, done and done. You’re ahead of schedule.
Where can readers find your work?
Bookstores and online. My beloved home store is Mysterious Galaxy: http://www.mystgalaxy.com/book/9781451674477
Henry: Yes, Mysterious Galaxy was gracious enough to host the launch party for our first book, Nimpentoad. Great people.
This interview is also posted to the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.