An Interview with Holly Mace
Why did you want to participate in the Community Novel Project?
I read last year’s novel and was interested in the concept. It reminded me of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from when I was a kid. Plus, when it comes to creative writing, I’ve never really put anything out there for anyone else to read. I decided this was a good first step.
What do you like about the premise and characters of this year’s Community Novel Project
Speak Easy? What challenges you about them?
What I liked about the premise was that you could take different routes when writing. You could look at it from a historical angle if you’re a history buff, or you could focus more on the present time if you were more comfortable with that. The challenge was that Ronni ended up being connected to multiple investigations/situations, and it was hard to determine which one to focus on. There was so much potential with all of them!
What was your first reaction when you saw the chapter before yours?
My first reaction was “What did I get myself into?” Every one of the authors before me really pulled you into the story with their writing. I was hoping I could do half as well as they did.
How did you write your chapter – in a burst of inspiration or carefully outlined?
The day after I finished reading the chapter before mine, I started again from the very first chapter and listed every character and details that were revealed about them as the story progressed. When it came to the actual writing, I wanted to get Pete’s side of things. I went to the library, listened to jazz and just started writing. A few hours later I had about 3,000 words. I was a little shocked. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to come up with enough to say.
What is your writing background? What do you usually write? How was this project different?
I majored in journalism in college and worked at a daily newspaper in Michigan, The Alpena News, for six years. While I did write feature stories on occasion, it was mostly news stories–school board meetings, city council meetings, criminal court proceedings, vehicle accidents, and so on. In news writing, you’re limited to reporting the facts. In this project, you’re only limited by the boundaries of your imagination.
Holly Mace grew up in a small town in Northeast Michigan, with the shores of Lake Huron literally in her backyard. She is a graduate of Central Michigan University where she majored in journalism. She was a staff writer for a newspaper for six years before moving to Topeka. She loves her Detroit Red Wings and her four-legged feline child, Toby. In her free time, in addition to writing, she enjoys photography, paper-crafting, being involved in various activities at her church and spending time with friends and family.