Welcome to this December 13th edition of The Same Six Questions. You know what that means, right? Only 12 shopping days left! Only kidding. It means that my guest today is Hollister Ann Grant. Welcome!
Thanks, Andy! I live in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (Civil War, cornfields, and Chevy trucks), but I’m originally from Washington, D.C. When I moved here, I kept looking for the subway for two years. I have a house with a million books that I share with my beloved collie and four cats, and I’m active in animal rescue (strays just know my place is The One).
The Same Six Questions
1. Have you published a book yet?
Haunted Ground: Ghost Photos from the Gettysburg Battlefield came out in summer 2011. My late husband Jack was a military history buff and nature photographer who took thousands of photos of the Gettysburg battlefield, including some uncanny ones, so for fun I created a book to share them with other people. I’m a lifelong skeptic who became a reluctant believer after we walked through the Triangular Field, an area on the southside of the battlefield that saw vicious fighting during the American Civil War. I laughed about the local legend that says a ghost haunts the field and tampers with cameras and video equipment – until our own camera broke there. My husband took the photo on the book cover in the woods next to this notorious field.
Haunted Ground is a short book, about 40 pages, that includes photos of mysterious mists and orbs, a summary of the battle history at each photo location, detailed directions so people can retrace our steps (the battlefield covers several thousand acres of woods and winding roads), and travel information about the town.
The book is also available for the Nook (color version) and will soon be on Smashwords.com.
2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When I was ten, my sister and I would write stories at night with a flashlight and stuff them behind the dresser so our mother wouldn’t know what we were doing.
3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?
In high school I wrote a fantasy about magical animals that Houghton Mifflin publishing company almost bought. They encouraged me to keep writing and send them anything else I came up with, but I got sidetracked by college, marriage, and my job. That manuscript disappeared over the years, but I wish I’d kept it for sentimental reasons.
4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?
Last year I finished a novel called Lost Cargo, which is now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and will soon be on Smashwords. It’s a suspenseful sci-fi/fantasy about a galactic animal control ship that crashes in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. I’ve always been a fan of classic science fiction (Close Encounters is my favorite movie), so it was tremendousfun to write this novel. A small press accepted some of my short stories this year, plus I’m working on a novella, so I have a lot of projects going on.
5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?
Oh, I would have to meet the ghost from the Triangular Field. If the field is truly haunted (and I believe it is, in spite of being a lifelong skeptic), I’d like to know who he was and where he was frombefore he died. He was probably a Confederate soldier because most of the strange things take place near the bottom of the field, where Union soldiers shot the Confederates as they tried to charge up the hill. And, of course, I’d like to know what happens after death and if a few traumatized souls really linger here. We all have our opinions--whether we’re skeptics or believers--but in the meantime, reality happens, and it’s the same reality for all of us.
6.It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?
Myself at 21 with a bad haircut. No, wait, another six cats that need a home.
For more about Holly andher writing, check out her blog or find her on Twitter.
Another round in the books! Stop back on Thursday, when my guest will be J.S. Dunn.