Author Spotlight: Holley Trent

Hey Folks!

Happy Monday. Well, I would be happier if it wasn’t snowing… IN FREAKING APRIL. Argh! Mother Nature is playing a cruel April Fools Joke. She’s savage. 

Anyway, this week’s feature spotlights a lady I’ve known for some time online. I think I may have first crossed paths with Holley back in 2013. Becoming a romance author wasn’t even on my radar. I read one of Holley’s stories based on a rec from a mutual friend, and it was the first romance I read featuring a cowboy. LOL, she popped my cowboy cherry. 

If you’re in the mood for a story featuring a rugged cowboy, give Teaching the Cowboy some love. And with that… keep reading to learn a little bit about the lovely Holley Trent!

I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail would they enjoy revealing about you to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable?

For the most part, what you see is what you get with me. “Holley Trent” isn’t a costume I drape around myself. It’s just a pen name I use mostly so the folks back at home don’t keep me in their prayer lists for heathenry.

If my doppelganger wanted to be a real shit, though, she could tweet links to some newspaper articles about scams a certain ancestor of mine pulled back in the 1930s.

I know you’re married now, but what’s the strangest date you’ve ever been on? Don’t worry, I won’t tell Mr. Trent. It’ll be our little secret.

Not gonna lie, I’ve been married for fifteen years and I’ve successfully blocked out most of my awkward dating trials—I’ve got enough other random memories from my college years to keep me up at nights.

But there was this one time. I agreed to go out with a friend of a friend (should have known better). I assumed nothing would come of it, mostly because of religious differences (meaning I’m not, he was).

It was supposed to be a casual dinner. I don’t even remember what I was wearing. Nothing special, probably. We were going to Applebee’s. (Not even Red Lobster would have salvaged this.)

Dude showed up in full Brian McKnight kit—hair waved and laid, leather pants, shit-kicker Q-dog boots, cashmere-ish sweater.

I was like… “’kay.”

I tried to keep things light, you know—keeping the conversation on platonic things and dropping the occasional hint that we weren’t going to be a “thing.” There was no sizzle there at all.

Fast-forward a bit. I’d been trying to curve the dude for weeks and point-blank told him it wasn’t going to happen. I’m the kind of lady families like his tend to pray a lot for. Also, he didn’t really get my sense of humor, though he tried to play that off. That shit’s tedious. I’m not changing my personality for any dude.

He had the huevos to remind me that he bought me dinner (at Applebee’s).

I think I laughed and blocked him on IM. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. Years later, he finds me on Facebook (under my married name) and sends me a friend request.

…the fuck out of here, dude. At that point, I was wondering if I should PayPal him $15 for the meal just so he’d get the hint.

With the recent closure of Crimson Romance, as a CR author, what advice would you give authors who suddenly find themselves without a publishing house? How does someone navigate next steps? In no way am I assuming that you have all the answers, but are there words of wisdom you want other authors to know in case they find themselves in a similar predicament?

I’m a realist. I always tell people to diversify and to have multiple streams of income if they can. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst, you know? Technologies are innovating. The publishing industry is never going to stop being in flux, and that’s why I’ve been hybrid since 2013.

The blow probably wasn’t as devastating to me because I’d been through the song and dance before with the closing of Musa way back when. Digital first just isn’t as robust a business model as it used to be.

I think the best advice I can give anyone who finds themselves suddenly out on a limb is to not make any rash decisions. Taking a few days to think and sort out the ramifications of one path versus another will absolutely save you time and tears in the long run. Money, too.

Look for information about what you think you want to do next, but make sure you’re getting balanced information. Don’t just look for the angle you want to hear. Nothing about this business is easy, except procrastinating.

That’s easy as shit.

If animals could talk, which animal do you think would be the rudest?

This a trick question? Because there’s no way the answer isn’t “cats.”

If you had your own nationally syndicated advice column, what would the title be?

“Well, you asked.”

What’s the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

Ms. Bev’s Forbidden.

If someone asked to be your apprentice and learn all that you know, what would you teach them?

Lesson one: pay your freelance editors and artists super fast if you like them because you’re going to need them to do some shit for you again. Also because they need to eat.

Lesson two: foam earplugs are plentiful and cheap, and can rescue you from distraction. (And as much as I hate paying the “pink tax” on things, the pink ones really do fit smaller ears better.)

Lesson three: write whatever you can be genuine about. Marketability is a concern, obviously, and that’s something to sort out in the brainstorming stage. This is a commercial business. None of us are trying to starve for our art. #mercenary #KidsToFeed

Lesson four: keep in mind that the industry is small. Reputations matter and memories are long. There’s a difference between forthright and toxic.

Finish this sentence: All romance writers should have ________.

A few peers in their corner who recognize their talent but aren’t going to blow smoke up their asses.

If you could get drunk with any superhero, who would you get drunk with and what liquor would you choose to consume?

Me and Deadpool (is he a hero? Whatever. Don’t @ me.) would have a nice night with a bottle of Mezcal.

If you were transported 150 years into the past without any clothing or anything else, how would you prove that you were from the future? 

Okay, so that puts me at 1868.


Do I at least get a penis? Because maybe that way, I could find 2-3 people with power who are actually willing to investigate my claims.

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

*insert polishing nails emoji here* 💅


Holley Trent is a Carolina girl gone west. Raised in rural eastern North Carolina, she currently resides on the Colorado Front range with her family. She’s a best-selling and award-winning author who’s written dozens of diverse paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romances. When she’s not writing, she’s probably waiting for bread to rise or pondering if she really needs to get HOA approval for mulch.

Find her online at her website, on Twitter at @holleytrent, or at Instagram at @holleysees.


Activate your one-click finger and pre-order Holley’s Paranormal Romance, The Coyote’s Cowboy releasing on April 16th!

Catching Up

You’re here because you want to know what’s been going on with me. Nothing exciting.

What I’ve been doing is writing. And writing is hard. How’s that saying go? “Nothing worthwhile comes easy.”

True story: A few months ago I started waking up between 4 and 4:30 am to get writing in and be productive before heading off to the day job. There are some mornings I surprise myself by waking up at 3 am. Weird, I know. Mid-2017, if you would have told me that waking up long before the sun rises would be my new way of life, I would have cursed you and called you a dirty liar. I’ve always been a morning person, but of course, that was when morning was defined as me waking up a little before 9 am. It’s true what they say, “Change your mindset, change your life.” Oh, trust me it’s not like I pop up out of bed bright-eyed with a smile on my face, ready to conquer the world. There are days where I feel like I’ve been drugged. But once I shove the covers back and slog off to put on the kettle or get the French press ready, the brain fog has subsided and I’m willing to crank out some words.

When there’s too much of a break between projects, I lose momentum, and that tends to happen if I don’t write consistently. Two weeks ago I couldn’t write because of extenuating circumstances— surgery, followed by a shit storm in the Romance community, and rounded out by a nasty bout of the flu (The flu seems to be a recurring thing for me every year between early February and mid-March. I get the stupid shot every year BUT IT NEVER MATTERS.)  —and lost track of who my characters were and the journey I was supposed to be taking them on. I’m somewhat back on track, but I’m hella nervous. This WIP is way outside of my comfort zone, but I like that I’m pushing myself. I just need to get the damn manuscript finished and polished so I can begin querying.

Aside from that, what else have I been up to?  

I’ve been trying new things and failing spectacularly.

No shame here. You have to see what works and what doesn’t. I’d rather fail epically while trying something a little outside my norm than wondering what could’ve happened. I’ve been reading a lot of marketing books and watching webinars in an effort to revamp my business plan and setting myself up to be a better entrepreneur for the remainder of the year and into 2019. I have grand visions for my career, but to get there means I have to take baby steps.

If I’ve learned anything from the tortoise and the hare it’s that slow and steady wins the race. A friend of mine recently said to me, “I’m surprised you don’t publish more.” I prefer to take my time. I’m also not a fast writer. And after burning myself out trying to keep up with everyone else and falling into the imposter syndrome vortex, I decided it was best to take a step back. And that’s what I did for 2017. I plotted and I planned, and now I’m writing my ass off.

So back to me failing spectacularly. In February I attempted my first Instagram challenge. Granted, if I had planned the posts in advance I might have had more success, but I wonder how much it would have mattered. My goal was to incorporate Black History Month with Romance by showcasing unsung couples. Society has advanced in so many ways, but we’re still behind in a lot of areas like showcasing black love in mainstream media. Surprising? No, Disappointing? Al-fucking-ways. Toss in the queer aspect, and it becomes a tragic hot ass mess. 

I was on a tight deadline when I decided an Instagram challenge would be a super fun idea, and posting pics on IG takes no time, right? WRONG. Do you all have any idea how difficult it is to find queer black couples in history? Google was not much help, and what I did end up posting took up a significant amount of time. I made it about twelve days before I ran out of steam.  I was a tad disappointed the challenge didn’t go as I intended but, again, I tried. Trying is better than nothing. And I’ll try again next year.

We’re entering the second quarter of 2018, and I’m starting to feel the pressure. There are a lot of projects that I’ve got on tap to complete in the next three months. If I’m scarce posting here or on social media, it’s because I’ve got writing to do, and as you know, writing is hard…

Author Spotlight: Mia Sosa

Hi Peeps!

Hope this week has started off well for you. I’m trying to get back into my hardcore 4 am writing routine after being on a two-week hiatus. Today was my first day back at it, and it was a struggle. Not as bad as it could’ve been but still rough. I’m functioning at 80% (hey the flu will knock you down), but it’s about time I return to normalcy and stick to my Monday blogging schedule. 

This week, I have the pleasure of featuring a marvelous lady I met last fall at the Baltimore Book Festival. We were on a few panels together! Mia is a gem, and you all should get to know a little bit about her.

Take it away Miaaaaaaaaa!

I always find author interviews kind of boring. We only get to see one side of an author, the polite side. If you had an evil doppelganger, what detail would they enjoy revealing about you to the public that people would find surprising and possibly questionable? 

Ooh, I like your style, Harper. *takes a deep breath* As kids, my older brother and I each had a parakeet, and they lived together in a cage. One day, I came home from school and found my parakeet at the bottom of the cage, and it was dead. My brother’s parakeet had an evil grin on his face (maybe I imagined that grin, but this happened a long time ago, and the details are fuzzy). So when my brother wasn’t looking, I raised all the windows in our New York apartment as high as they would go and opened the cage, hoping my brother’s parakeet would fly out. It did.

Bear in mind that I’m not proud of what I did and that I was around seven at the time. Still, this was definitely not one of my finest moments.

What’s your favorite romance novel?

No. Just no. I can’t answer this. I have favorites, okay? And this question stresses me out. *grumbles for a bit* Oh, wait. You really want to know? I’ll share a few: Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me; Brenda Jackson’s True Love; and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. More on the latter in a minute.

If you were a cake, what kind of cake would you be?

A triple chocolate mousse cake: It has layers and hues, a great structure, and it’s super soft on the inside. But I’d never describe myself as “moist,” even in cake form; that word makes me shudder every time I hear it.

What classic book would you love to have reviewed when it was first published?

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Romance readers and writers talk about the book and its movie adaptations all the time, but Austen apparently only received three reviews of this classic romance during her lifetime. I would have loved to have been on her street team.

What are your greatest strengths? 

Hmmm, this is hard. I’d say my dependability is one; if I commit to doing something, I will do it unless I’m physically or mentally not able to. My optimism is another. There might be a dumpster fire burning several feet away from me, but I eventually manage to focus on the positives. Finally, I’d say my ability to zone people out when I’m writing. It’s a strength born of necessity, trust me.  

I’ve come to learn that I judge people based purely on their response to this question. In your opinion, what’s the best breakfast main course: Waffles, Pancakes, or French Toast? 

Buttermilk waffles—with a juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside piece of fried chicken on top.

WHY IS NO ONE EVER TEAM PANCAKES?! *cries* One day someone will say pancakes. One daaaaay! *shakes fist*

What could you give an hour-long presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Oh, that’s easy: How to procrastinate when you’re on deadline. The presentation would include a PowerPoint slideshow on (1) using Google to search for wholly irrelevant information; (2) binge-watching televisions shows from the comfort of your couch; and (3) reorganizing your closets, pantry, and dresser drawers for no apparent reason.  

What are your most-gifted or most recommended books?

Sula by Toni Morrison; The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros; and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

What’s the worst advice you’ve seen or heard given to writers?

“Write every day.” It’s a great goal, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes writers need to step away from their WIPs to do them justice; other times, they’re simply incapable of writing for reasons that are none of our business. There’s only one rule I follow without deviation: If it’s a romance, it must end with an HEA or an HFN.

How do you relax and decompress?

Relaxation for me usually involves a quiet spot (read: no kids asking questions) and a book. There’s nothing like setting aside the minutiae of the day and getting lost in a fictional setting. When events in the world threaten to overwhelm me (as they often have recently), I retreat inside the pages of a romance novel.   

**Bonus Question**

Ever tried BDSM? If not, would you?

No, but I do enjoy being in control, so maybe I should …


Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night. For more information about Mia and her books, visit

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Activate your one-click finger and pre-order Mia’s upcoming release Pretending He’s Mine! Coming on April 10th!


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