Author Interview: S.L. Hollister

Tell me about yourself

People have asked me why I don’t write about my adventures raising six sons. I have to admit that I prefer to write their stories as fiction because no one would believe the stuff they put me through if I tell it as fact. In fiction I can clean my boys up a little when I like them and make them the heroes of my stories and if they’ve pissed me off, I can make them the villains. It’s been a running joke around our house that mom will put you in her book and kill you off on page fifty, but some know they’re the smelly corpse discovered in the ditch at the very beginning of the story. Heck, it’s not even a threat anymore my grandkids are begging to be put in my books and even telling me how I can kill them off. I mean really, where’s the threat in that? We put the fun in dysfunctional, what can I say? I have long conversations with my children and grandchildren about blowing things up and how to get rid of bodies. The holidays are never boring around our house.

My mini bio: only child, married to my romantic hero for 30 years, raised six sons, have 21 grandchildren, published 7 (just finished number 8) books. Oh, and I’m the chairperson for the Pamlico Writers’ Group because no one else wanted it. That’s me in the nut shells. What else would you like to know. The color of my underwear is blue, I have pink nail polish on and no, I don’t color my hair unless it’s blue or pink or purple…


What inspired you to write?

My granddaddy and my dad were both awesome story tellers. I loved listening to their stories. As I got older, I began crafting my own.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I like to read anything with a little suspense or adventure but my favorite genre is historical romance.

To write?

My favorite genre to write, that’s a little more difficult. I dream of writing historical romantic suspense and romantic comedies but I’m enjoying writing my contemporary romantic suspense series.

What is your favorite piece of work you’ve written?

That is like trying to choose your favorite child. I have several favorites for different reasons but I think my most challenging and therefore my favorite, is a novella I wrote called “Only in My Dreams.” A World War 2 love story of a nurse and flyboy. 

How do you handle good and bad reviews of your work?

Oh boy, reviews. So far most of my reviews haven’t been too bad. I haven’t had very many, but it is difficult not to take them to heart. We can tell ourselves that it’s part of the process and we need to become thick skinned but in truth we want people to like our work, admire us and it’s difficult not to confuse our worth and our work.

What is your favorite part about writing?

I love writing! I love creating characters and watching them come to life. I know that sounds wacky to anyone who isn’t a writer but I’m a pantser so I write in layers. I write the first part as bare bones then add more details. The same with the plot, I love watching the story develop and grow into a finished product.

Least favorite?

Emotions, I get too involved in what I’m writing and can end up in a blue funk. I find myself skirting the emotional stuff so I don’t have to deal with the personal fallout but I know that the book is better when I bleed a little. 

What social media site has been the most beneficial for your writing?

I have found a hive on Twitter, where we met and another on Facebook, The New Romance Cafe, I also feel there are connections on Instagram but they are more individual writers, not necessarily part of a group.

What does the future hold for you?

No one knows the future but I am working on a long series, The Harrell Family Chronicles and I hope to start working on a historical series I’ve had in mind for several years.

Any advice you would like to give other authors?

Don’t give up. It may be daunting, seeing so many authors out Just keep writing and learning. Read everything. One of the greatest things to me is YouTube videos. You can find a video to help you learn anything from how to get started writing to how to format and even how to market your books. Listen to different ones in various genres, don’t think you have to do what they all say, but pick and choose what works for you.

Anything you would like to add?

We all battle our own version of the imposter syndrome. Fighting the battle within ourselves, the doubts and fears that come with being a creative and putting our work in front of people who may or may not like it… it’s not easy. If it was easy, everyone could do it. The difference between being a success and a failure is one more try. Keep putting yourself out there, keep putting your work out there, each time you don’t quit, you’ve succeeded. 

Social media, website, etc. links

Published by Tyler Wittkofsky

Tyler Wittkofsky is a multi-genre author, blogger, award-winning marketing and communications professional, and fierce mental health advocate from the southern coast of North Carolina. Tyler has been writing short stories for as long as he can remember. Growing up the grandson of an English teacher, Tyler had a constant fuel to his creative fire in his grandmother. He started writing poetry in 2012 to cope with his mental health struggles with anxiety, bipolar, and depression. Using poetry as an escape, he developed a unique style of poetry that has left readers saying, “Tyler’s voice is compassionate, even while suffering, and I felt the despair and loneliness seeping out through his words.” His first poetry collection, composed of poems written from 2012 to 2016, was published in March 2020. He began his first novel in 2019. The novel, (Not) Alone, was a story based on true events surrounding the struggles of living with mental illness. Described by readers as “An Intimate Closure with Mental Illness,” this began Tyler’s revitalized passion for mental health. He decided that his writing would have a focus on mental health. His next novel, The Seeds of Love: Sunflower Kisses Book One, was his debut romance novel and debut series. Described as “a great job of relaying the realistic emotions of young love and emotional drama that is particularly difficult for young adults…”, his debut romance novel was met with much success. In 2021, Tyler began writing short stories. He was accepted into several anthologies in mid-2021, expected for publication in early 2022. He also writes supernatural horror and historical fantasy for the online magazines In the Pantheon and In the Crescent. He has work published through Five Minute Affairs as well. He built his website www.TeaButWithCoffee.com in 2021. On this site, he started his blogging journey. He began writing book reviews, interviewing indie authors, and writing on mental health. This passion sparked a new desire to connect with more people. Tyler is currently in the beginning stages of two podcasts that he hopes to be live by the end of 2021. Tyler currently lives in Leland, North Carolina with his wife, Grace, and dogs, Dutch and Belle. You can find him and his works here: https://linktr.ee/wittkofsky

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