Author Interview with Hollie Hausenfluck and Avrin Kelly
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Hollie Hausenfluck and Arvin Kelly (via DM on Twitter) to discuss their new book, Coup De Grăce , and learn a little bit more about these two unique authors. The format was a departure from how I usually conduct interviews, as neither one was provided the questions beforehand. All of the answers below are spontaneous and unplanned - which made for an interesting conversation!
Here we go...
Me: Thanks for joining me today! Let's start off by introducing your co-author.
Hollie: Avrin is the most talented horror writer you will ever meet. Not only is she an amazing writer, she has stuck with me through the terrible first draft and crying jags to our finished product, which I don't mind saying is amazing!
Avrin: Hollie is an excellent co-author. She is always willing to go the extra mile. She's exceptionally patient and thoughtful and has a wonderful way with words. Best brainstorming partner ever. Always willing to read my crappy first drafts and say something kind when I'm feeling down.
Me: Aww. You guys are so sweet! So what made you decide on a collaboration for this book?
Hollie: Well, I was feeling kinda crappy about Deja Vu (another novel I'm working on) and thought it would be fun for Thierry and Hayden to go on an adventure. The next thing I know, we have 10,000 words wrote down.
Avrin: Thierry wasn't doing anything at the moment and the cops were after him... He thought he could get out of a bind by cozying up to Hayden... No, honestly, it was just going to be a very short story. Hollie said that she would do most of the work, so of course I was on board.
Avrin: And Hollie DID do most of the work! Lol
Me: How difficult was it to coordinate? What was the plan?
Hollie: It actually was really simple. We just went back and forth with a Google doc and Avrin would highlight the stuff she added and vice versa. The editing was a little trickier because we didn't want to change something the other had already edited, but we worked it out in the end. Luckily, I was able to learn Thierry pretty well and could write him as a character after a while.
Me: I can barely keep my own characters straight. This is fascinating!
Avrin: Yes, it worked very well going back and forth. Whenever I felt like I couldn't carry on with a scene, we would DM and brainstorm, usually figuring out where to go next. It worked out really great, and it was so nice to actually have someone to talk to about a story we were writing. Somebody who understood exactly what seen we were talking about and cared. Versus talking to non-writers or people who don't know what your story is about.
Me: Maybe I should co-write with someone. Did anyone else know about your "secret" project?
Hollie: Simon knew about it, but not really until after it was written. We kept the whole thing under wraps until the first draft was complete. After that, we did confide in a few people: Simon, Manuel, and you.
Avrin: I didn't really mention it to anyone other than Manuel. I'm good at keeping secrets. *Winks evilly*
Hollie: And your mom!
Avrin: Oh yeah. Ma doesn't count.
You seem to have such a good rapport and work well together. Any particular famous celebrity team you remind yourselves of?
Hollie: Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat.
Avrin: Maybe Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
Avrin: Ha! I was going to say that, but I had a feeling you were going to say that so I said what I said instead.
Me: I was going to say Amy and Tina too! So, who’s who?
Hollie: I'm Tina Fey, but only because I wear glasses. They are both equally amazing and funny.
Avrin: Okay, I'll be Amy.
Me: So who is the funnier one?
Hollie: Avrin wins that one. She comes up with some of the funniest little one liners. The other day she said she was as busy as Medusa's hairdresser. I about peed my pants.
Hollie: Plus, she has the most epic autocorrect fails.
Avrin: Haha! I'm *usually* only funny cuz I can't voice to text properly...
Avrin: Aww! Thanks Hollie!
Me: Maybe voice to text is too much for you Avrin.
Avrin: I think it is.
Me: Next question. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? I already know what Avrin's going to say.
Hollie: An Otter. Cute, fluffy and loves attention.
Avrin: Pheona is my spirit animal.
Me: What a cute little thing! Looks like a handful! Which reminds me of the demands of writing… Does writing exhaust you or energize you?
Hollie: A little of both. It really depends on what I'm writing. I love to write the exciting action scenes but having to write the mundane stuff is so hard for me.
Avrin: It does if I take myself too seriously. If I have a "meh" attitude, my writing usually comes out okay. If I'm like "this is gonna be epic" then I end up with five pages of purple, useless prose that doesn't actually SAY anything.
How do you balance writing with your day job? Do you have a day job Avrin?
Hollie: Balancing writing with my night job is exhausting. It's so hard to make myself write when I get home in the morning. If I do actually write, it's normally garbage.
Avrin: I work at home. My family runs a trucking company and a handyman service so I answer the phones and do truck stuff, write paychecks, bookkeeping and feul receipts. I write horror stories about the handyman service calls, so usually my "day job" is fodder for my "night work."
Avrin: Still can't spell fuel...
Hollie: You're hopeless Avrin.
Me: Last question before we go on to your book. Pen or pencil?
Hollie: Pen always. I can't write with pencils because it takes me too long to get the lead in the perfect shape.
Hollie: Yes, I have OCD.
Avrin: Ha! Me too! Pen! Felt tip lovejoys!
Me: I can't stand the sound of a pencil against paper. But then I'm weird so...on to your book. What's is the story about? What genre is it?
Hollie: Basically, the story is about Hayden and Thierry teaming up to fight a crazed magician. We went with fantasy thriller for the genre.
Avrin: Magical realism or urban fantasy might work too.
Me: What or who inspired these characters?
Hollie: Hayden is like my alter ego. If I was a bad ass detective, we would be the same person.
Avrin: Thierry happened when I started writing about the Undertow, which is a place between worlds. He started out as a character who kept getting stuck in this hellish place. I still don't know a lot about Thierry, but I do know that he has a snarky attitude and usually a few tricks up his sleeve.
Me: Why should we read this book? Give me your best elevator pitch.
Hollie: Oh God... Coup De Grăce has a little bit of everything, crime, magic, and humor. Add a little bit of attitude and you're in for a treat.
Avrin: It's kind of like Stephanie Plum and Dresden did acid and ended up in Charleston South Carolina. Also, it's pretty funny. It might make ya laugh.
Me: You published this book on Kindle. Any plans for paperback?
Hollie: Not as of yet. It's really short and we are worried about how many pages the paperback would be and if people would spend that kind of money for a book under 100 pages.
Avrin: Yea. Agreed... For now.
Avrin: If there are sequels, we may have to put them all together and do a paperback version of that.
Hollie: That's a good idea.
What is your idea of success or goals for this book?
Hollie: I'd be happy if we could sell around 20-30 copies and keep am average rating of 4 stars. I know we aren't going to get rich, but just knowing people liked the story is enough for me.
Avrin: If one person reads it and likes it, I would be happy.
Me: What author would you just die if they liked your book/gave five-star rating?
Hollie: Nora Roberts! Hands down. Everything she writes is amazing.
Me: I love Nora! Maybe I should make a fake profile with Nora's face and rate your book!
Avrin: Sean Stone... @seanstonewb is off the chain. He read my HTWT stories and liked them. That made my year last year. And now, @DarrenDash because "An Other Place" was sooooooo freakin' epic. If he thought my books were decent, I would definitely believe I was on the right track.
Hollie: HTWT: Have Tools Will Travel
Avrin: Oh sry! Lol
Me: So where can we find your book? Is anywhere besides amazon?
Hollie: Right now, it's exclusively on Amazon and as of today it's on Kindle Unlimited.
Me: Besides your own book, what's your favorite genre to read and your favorite genre to write. Mine are totally different.
Hollie: I'm still exploring a lot of writing genres, but I love to write anything suspense or thriller. Currently I'm working on something completely different. (YA fantasy) I love to read YA fantasy, romance, and suspense/thriller.
Avrin: I like to read horror, magical realism, paranormal romance, thrillers and Mysteries. I like writing horror and magical realism/urban fantasy.
Me: Who is your favorite fictional character in a book?
Hollie: Eve Dallas from JD Robb's In Death series.
Hollie: And Anita Blake from Laurell K Hamilton's Vampire Hunter series.
Avrin: I'd have to say Dorian Lake from JP Sloan's The Dark Choir Series. He's hot too, so that's a bonus. Or Lestat. Or Stephanie Plum. Or Newman Riplan... Omg. I can't stop.
Me: No matter how interesting it seems, sometimes I just can't get into a book or finish it. Do you ever get reader's block?
Hollie: Yes! As a matter of fact, we were just talking about this a few days ago. I've been rereading Harry Potter 5 for the last 2 months.
Avrin: Yes. I recently had a hissy fit over finding good horror on Amazon. It's not that there aren't any good horror books on Amazon, it's that they repeatedly shove the same 50 books down your throat. And anything that isn't mainstream horror is tossed aside and ignored. You really have to jump through hoops to find what you're looking for on Amazon these days and it makes me so angry. Stephen King and Dean Koontz can't be the only horror writers in existence. And there are certainly more horror stories out there than ghost stories and haunted asylum tales. Come on now, Amazon.
Me: Have you ever considered writing under pen name?
Hollie: Yes, I almost did just because my last name is so hard to spell and say, but then I realized it was probably a good thing to have a unique name.
Avrin: Avrin Kelly is original enough, don't ya think...
Me: If someone wrote a book about your life what would it be called? Who would play you?
Hollie: These are so hard to answer! "How Not to Use a College Degree."
Hollie: And Melissa McCarthy would play my character. I love her so much and I think we're pretty similar.
Avrin: Title: "You Said No Cursing In This Interview" Zoe Kravitz would play me (if I could be so bold).
Avrin: She'd have to get Trigrams tatted all over her so we'd match...
Me: Okay, last question. What epitaph would you like on your gravestone?
Hollie: Would you please not stand there?
Avrin: No DMs please. And my headstone would have a Ouija board carved in it.
Me: lol. You guys are killing me! No pun intended.
Me: Okay, that's it for now. I really enjoyed our talk!
Hollie: This was fun. Thank you so much Rebecca.
Avrin: Okay! Thanks Rebecca!
Me: Thanks guys!
I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I have! To purchase Coup De Grăce, click the amazon link here: Amazon link.
Avrin Kelly is an American author. She loves to read and write scary and/or bizarre fiction. Most days when Avrin isn't writing, she can be found reading or hanging out with her little dog, Pheona. Follow her on Twitter at @AvrinKelly.
Hollie Hausenfluck is a thriller and suspense writer from a small town in Florida. She left big city living behind when she moved from Charleston, SC, but still enjoys writing about the history and landmarks in Charleston. She lives and breathes reading and writing and has been doing both since she learned how to. When she’s not writing or reading, she is spending time with her husband of nine years and their 2 dogs and 3 cats. Check out more of her writing on her website Holliewrites.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @HollieWrites13