The Worried Writer Episode #22: Holly Martin ‘I Just Love Writing’


Holly Martin is the author of funny, romantic fiction and paranormal YA, including her successful White Cliff Bay series, One Hundred Proposals and The Guestbook. Holly was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance, she won the Carina Valentine’s competition and was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. Holly’s latest book Christmas Under A Starlit Sky is out now.

For more on Holly and her books, visit her blog or Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

In the introduction, I give a short writing update. I managed to finish the rewrites on my latest book. Although I spent the first couple of weeks in despair, feeling as if the story was broken and that I couldn’t fix it, I am so glad I made myself persevere. I am much happier with the latest version and I think the ending it much stronger. Now I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that my agent agrees!

Another thing I’ve done this month is to revisit the goals I set back in January. I haven’t managed to hit all of them, but I have got more done this year on my writing business than in any previous year so I’m definitely celebrating. It’s also encouraged me to make a last push in December and see if I can tick off another of my goals before the year runs out.

With that in mind, I’ve started work on a Worried Writer book. A non-fiction title which will bring together my own story with the best tips and advice gathered from two years of author interviews. I’d love to know if that is something you would be interested in. Also, if there is something in particular you would like covered in the book do let me know!

I will keep you all posted on its progress on the podcast, but if you are particularly interested and would like to make sure you get updates, please consider signing up for my mailing list here.

Once it’s finished, I will be looking for beta readers for the book, and there will be giveaways, review copies and all that good stuff available to those who are signed up!

In the interview:

I quiz Holly on the secret to her amazing productivity:

‘Well, I just love writing. I just love creating a story… It’s just something I really, really enjoy. Whenever I’m writing a story, my mind is always jumping ahead to the next story I want to write so by the time I finish writing one story, the characters and story for the next one are already fully formed in my mind and I want to get it down.’

On process:

‘The most important thing is that you need to write every single day, even if it’s just a couple of hundred words, because then your mind stays in the story…’

On submitting/trying to get published:

‘Just don’t ever, ever give up.’

Holly on keeping the creative spark alive:

‘You just have to write what you love… If it’s becoming a chore then something is wrong… If you enjoy writing and enjoy those characters and getting back to it every day, then the readers will be able to tell and hopefully they will enjoy it, too. It’s really important to stay true to what you really want to write.’



Self-editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King

Save The Cat by Blake Snyder






If you’ve got a question you’d like answered, please email me or find me on Twitter.

I’ll answer it on the show and credit you (unless, of course, you ask to remain anonymous).

Please spread the word and, if you can spare the time, leave a rating for the show on iTunes. I truly appreciate your support.

Thank you for listening!

The Worried Writer Episode #18: Nina Harrington ‘It Was All About Fear’



Nina Harrington published her first romance in 2009 and since then she has won awards with her fiction, been translated into 23 languages, and sold over a million books worldwide.

As well as publishing with Harlequin Mills & Boon and Carina, Nina has dipped her toe in independent publishing with her thriller, Deadly Secrets, and a series of non-fiction titles aimed at writers. She also runs a website, The Prolific Author, which is packed with information and advice for writers wishing to increase their productivity and build a long-term career.

Nina took the radical (and not generally advisable!) step of chucking in her well-paid job in order to devote herself to full-time writing before she had written or sold a book.

Six years (and several books) later, she received her first contract with Harlequin and hasn’t looked back.

For more on Nina and her books, go to:

On hybrid publishing:

‘There is a world of difference between amateur self-publishing and professional self-publishing.’

On balancing business with writing:

‘I just accept it… Most days about forty percent of my day is going to be spent on the business and marketing and promotion side.’

On writing:

‘I had terrible problems with procrastination and it was threatening to derail my entire writing career…And it was all about fear.’

‘I am a perfectionist and I always have been.’

‘It all came to mindset… Accepting that there is a psychology behind procrastination and that it isn’t laziness.’


The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt.

Nina’s non-fiction books:

How To Write Short Romance Kindle Books: A Forty Minute Masterclass

Keep Your Pants On!: How To Outline A Romance Novel When You Are An Intuitive Writer

Nina’s free video training:

Keep Your Pants On Video Course

Also in the show:

I mention Joanna Penn’s excellent new book, The Successful Author Mindset.

Joanna Penn runs the useful and inspiring podcast (and website), The Creative Penn, and I interviewed her back in episode #8 of The Worried Writer.

In this book she shares the highs and lows of professional writing. Joanna has built a six-figure business and published many novels and non-fiction books, so she really knows what she is talking about. It’s stuffed with practical tips, and I had several ‘me, too’ moments while reading about Joanna’s thought processes, making me feel less weird and alone – always a plus!

Don’t forget: If you have a writing (or publishing) question that you’d like me to tackle in a future episode, please get in touch via email or Twitter.

I’ll answer it on the show and credit you (unless, of course, you ask to remain anonymous).

Please spread the word and, if you can spare the time, leave a rating for the show on iTunes. I truly appreciate your support.

Thank you for listening!