Books, Blogs, and Bits
is proud to present:
HOLLY M. KOTHE!
Holly M. Kothe is a freelance short story writer and novelist from Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and works as an editor for The Oddville Press.
BB & B: What inspired you to create Sweet Violent Femmes?
Holly: The whole thing came together over time. I never planned to put short stories into a collection, but the more I wrote, the more I noticed an ongoing theme of dark, twisted payback with a feminine slant. The first story, “The Glass Room,” was the only one exclusively written for the Sweet Violent Femmes collection, and it also happens to be my favorite.
BB & B: All the stories in this collection has a reason for why the heroine of the story resorts to what she does, but which of the short stories in Sweet Violent Femmes affects you the most? Why?
Holly: Probably “Tethered.” It is the only story with a paranormal element, and it deals with a lot of real life issues that affect me way more than I’d care to admit. There’s true love gone sour, infidelity, death, the afterlife—oh, and the selfish nature of womanizing men (creative gold for me).
BB & B: To what extent do your characters remind you of yourself or someone you know?
Holly: To a large extent, I think. The percentage of real-life vs. art is a constantly changing one. I couldn’t tell you how much is true, and how much is imagination. I use myself as a model for a lot of my characters, then I’ll throw in quirks that are the complete opposite of me…working as a prostitute in Paris, for example.
BB & B: What research did you have to perform for Sweet Violent Femmes? Was there any research which really opened your eyes or gave you a new perspective or respect for a topic or profession?
Holly: It was great fun to research Paris, its modern day brothels, and the French language because I’m so obsessed with these topics. Also, researching the autopsy process in gross detail completely creeped me out. I figure, if I’m really freaking myself out with these thoughts, then I better write them down, fast!
BB &B: You are getting great reviews on Sweet Violent Femmes. Congratulations! Your writing style is described as beautiful, biting, highly descriptive, and like looking at a painting. Can you take us through a glimpse of your thoughts as you write and craft your words to tell your stories?
Holly: I try to be highly descriptive and write the scene I see in my head without too much fluff. When I’m editing, I cut the bullshit that came out the first time around. I try to think of Hemingway, and his no-nonsense prose. I model my writing after that style, and sometimes I’m pompous enough to tell people that, ha.
BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the near future?
Holly: More short fiction! It’s a format I will always have a soft spot for. Also, a YA novel. As a teen, reading became one of the most important things to me. I want to write for teens who have that passion like I did. It will be real-life drama, dark and humorous. I think dark fiction and comedy pair well together.
BB & B: Any tips you’d like to provide to new writers or closing words you’d like to share?
Holly: Don’t listen to people TOO much. By that I mean, yes, learn everything you can, but be careful to filter advice from writers or readers so that you find what works for your own personal style. I’ve heard it a million times, but it’s a true cliché: the best thing you can do for yourself as a writer is to read and write.
Great words of advice. Thank you Holly for spending time with Books, Blogs, and Bits. Best wishes to you and we can’t wait to see more of your future work.
If you’d like to see more of Holly’s work, be sure to check out these links:
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