About Jody Holford:
Jody Holford lives in British Columbia with her family. She’s a huge fan of Rainbow Rowell, Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson, Sophia Kinsella, and James Patterson. She’s unintentionally funny and rarely on time for anything. She writes multiple genres but her favourite is romance
What inspires you to write?
I don’t know how to NOT write. Even when I say I’m going to take a break, my mind keeps going. My daughters have watched me pursue my writing journey and I think it is a powerful thing for them to see me succeed, but also to see me get rejected and keep going forward.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have a combined style but mostly, I’m a pantser. I have gotten better at plotting and planning. To do this, I have been asking myself, “What does the main character want and what is stopping her from getting it?” The answer tends to be a very good starting point for a story. If I’m really plotting, I will then map out the chapters to see what the conflict is in each. I can do this and have done this successfully. However, for me, sitting down and bringing a character to life, one that has been stuck in my head, is more fun, more genuinely written, if I just go with it. I sit down. I write. I re read all the time. I know what makes other writing good, makes me want to read more, so I feel like I should be able to assess that, to some degree, in my own writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do let the characters guide where the story is going. Even when I start out thinking I know a character, I get to know them more as the story unfolds. I become more certain, as the writing progresses, of who the character is and what their reaction would be. When I go back to re- read, this stronger vision of who my character really is, helps with editing. So, I suppose I listen to, more than talk to, my characters. And I imagine them in specific scenes with other characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
It’s similar advice to what I have been given: keep going. If you really want this, you need to accept that it will not be easy. I am far tougher than I thought. I never would have believed I could receive rejections and use them to strengthen my resolve rather than crush it. Of course, there are days…but, overall, I utilize the feedback I get and I keep writing. Establish a network of support; people that you trust, that can be honest without worrying that you’ll be mad.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My journey, I think, is a little bit unique. I was signed by an agent for a picture book in 2012. I knew nothing of the publishing industry or how amazing it was that I had secured an agent. She worked with me on my picture book and sent it on submission. As I waited, I explored different genres and found that the one that truly pulled me in was contemporary romance. My first agent and I parted ways after I decided to pursue this instead of children’s books. I worked hard on a manuscript that ended up securing me my second agent. However, and this is a really hard thing to recognize and learn in this industry, that agent and I were not a good match. We had different goals for my writing and different timelines. I was chosen to be part of a Christmas anthology last year that was put out by FuseLiterary. It was exciting to be part of something like this and prompted me to self-publish my holiday novella, Forever Christmas. I am also publishing through an independent press, Anaiah Press. I have a co-authored book coming out from them in April 2015. Having tried several approaches, my goal is to secure another agent that I can build a long-term career with. I want to work with someone who can guide me in the right direction. I think an agent/author relationship provides support that I missed having when self-publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that book publishing will continue to be a blend of ebooks and traditional print books. I think there will always be room for both.
What do you use?: Co-writer, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Contemporary Romance, Picture Book
What formats are your books in?: eBook