Answers to Ask Me Anything

Answers this way...

Answers this way…

Thanks to everyone who ask questions. I’d list all you’re names, but I’d feel guilty if I forgot someone. Please excuse my lack of ceremony. To make this all fancy and stuff, I’ve organized these by category!

Gemstones & Plants

What’s the when, where, and how of your interest in gemstones and plants? How do you know so much?
Several people asked me about this. As I kid, I loved rocks, the science of how they formed, what gave them their different colors, textures, etc. I love gemstones in their natural state. When I got older, I started to appreciate the beauty of the cut and polished stones too. 😉

The interest in lore came from a relative. She was a hippie—beads hanging in doorways, hand-thrown pottery, inappropriate books for a child—a free spirit. She had a board game that had something to do with zodiac signs, gems, and other stuff. They all meant stuff and did stuff, which is really all I can remember about the game, but it made me curious if it was based on real information. It turned out it was! All ancient folklore and traditions. So cool.

For the plants, I have always loved to garden. I was at home in the garden, even a tot, pulling weeds and sowing seeds. The interest in lore grew from learning tidbits here and there. Fun fact, the MC of my novel is a gardener.

As for the information, I have a set of reference books I refer too. I also use the internet, but find multiple sources for before using it.

What is your favorite book featuring a gemstone (or item of jewelry with one, etc.) as a central plot point/item?
Okay, Nick wins the prize for stumping me. Well, almost stumping me. Nick, you win a jar of day old boogers and used mustache wax. I couldn’t think of any adult books, but there is a series of children’s fantasy books called Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda. The basic idea is that in each book a gem has to be found and added to a belt, so in the end the evil Shadow Lord can be defeated.

Fun fact, my novel features a gemstone. Hrm, do you see a theme here?


Where do you like to write?
I like to write at home. Sometimes at a coffee shop and sometimes at the park, but I get distracted at both those places, so I don’t get as much done.

What is your biggest writing fear?
That no one will like what I wrote. I especially fear my friends and family will think it stinks. I also fear my betas will hate my stuff and they just need to find polite ways to say, “That’s crap.”

What, if anything about your writing life, would you change and why?
I would love to be able to push out life while I write, not the big stuff, it’s those nagging dishes in the sink, the pile of clothes, the call I have to make to the insurance company, and so on. They just needle at me when I sit down to write.


What does one do with print ARCs once the book has been read?
I don’t know myself, but found these resources: ARCs – What’s acceptable to do with them? – The feedback from Publicists and What to do with Advanced Reader Copies. The general gist is not to sell them and to make sure the receiver knows not to sell them either. Both sites said libraries tend not to accept ARCs, but both sites also have good recommendations on where to send them.

What is this Hootsuite?
It’s a website that lets you manage all your social media accounts in one spot. You can hook up Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn,, Instagram, and YouTube and view everything there. You can schedule and coordinate postings. There’s a free plan and paid plans. I use the free plan.

The interface is intimidating. I suggested grabbing a cup of your favorite beverage and planning to play with it for the afternoon. I haven’t done much, but this is what I’ve gleaned. You create a tab for each network, each tab can have several streams (columns of information). I set mine up to show my scheduled tweets, my twitter home, mentions, and new followers. I haven’t seen a stream that lets you know if someone likes your tweet, which is a bummer.


Screen shot of my Twitter tab and streams on Hootsuite.

What I like is I can schedule stuff to post in the future. See in my image, I scheduled a tweet for the Halloween trick or treat reads. Now, I don’t have to worry I’ll forget. Oh, and they have an AutoScheduler that will pick the best time of day to post for best visibility.


What are different ways to cook up pumpkin seeds other than with brown sugar and cinnamon?
One of my favorites is plain old sea salt, but to get fancy or when you want something different sprinkle them with cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, and a little squeezed of lime juice!

Me Me Me

ugly color

ugly color

What’s your least favorite color?
This made me laugh. (I asked this of the person who asked me.) My least favorite color is a yellow-green-brown combo. –>

Do you have a lucky number, if so what number?
Nope, but I love sequential numbers.

Besides writing and cooking ,what is another creative outlet that you enjoy?
Drawing and painting. Those have taken on a cathartic component for me.

You have one wish, personal, affecting only your life. What would it be?
I wish I had no allergies. I had another bad attack. I puffed up like a roasted marshmallow and wobbled ’cause I was dizzy. And it’s still lingering with a strangulation feeling and my head wanting to pop like a balloon. Very little gets done on those days. 🙁

What is your secret hidden phobia?
Secret? I don’t have one that I can think of. I pretty much let everyone know everything. Ah, wait, I do know one. Centipedes freak me out. I try to put on a brave front when one of those creepy house centipedes shoots across the floor. I won’t add a picture for those, you’ll have to do an image search yerself!

If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would you change?
I was painfully shy, I mean it hurt to be in a group of people and be social. I was a classic wallflower. I still can be, but I’ve learn people like me better when I converse with them! Imagine that.

Prizes for all questioners! Five-day old moldy bread, toenail clippings from person or persons unknown, and a jar of burned bacon fat. Prizes furnished by TheHappyWhisk’s cupboard.

What say you? And what is your least favorite color? Can you think of a gem-related story?

question/answer sign from

Share! It will make you happy, trust me.

While you’re here…

Sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you my Double Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe free. Other benefits include being the first to know exciting news, first to receive sneak peeks and sale information. Mailers are sparse.
Updated: May 28, 2017 — 11:30 am


  1. Hi Holly – fun to read, and then I must come back and properly read the HootSuite section – thanks for that …
    Brown and some greens … yet at times they're both lovely …
    I always used to love books with alchemy in them …

    Cheers – and thanks – Hilary

  2. That was a slew of questions!
    Sorry about your allergies.
    I always wondered what people did with review copies.
    Fun answers, Holly. You should do it again sometime.

    1. Thanks, one day I'll write about what kicked them into high gear–or at last what I blame. 😉

      1. Test reply. I’m updating my display name!

  3. Hope your allergies clear up soon. Great questions and answers. I think I'll give HootSuite another try. I definitely am going to check out the links about what to do with ARCs. I share the ones I get with family and friends, but I still wonder about other ways.

    <a href="">Thoughts in Progress</a>
    and <a href="">MC Book Tours</a>

  4. This was SO MUCH FUN to read. Thanks for sharing all of this with us. And if I could, I'd wish away all your allergies.

    PS: I thought I heard someone out in the kitchen. And when I woke up, all the toe nail clippings were gone. Enjoy!

  5. What fun answers! And some truly great questions too. Loved learning about your history with gems. I ended up going with Tweetdeck when looking at a twitter managing site. I've heard awesome things about Hootsuite, and I think I even tried it, out, but tweetdeck stuck.

  6. Centipedes freak me out! Those big red ones get into our house once in a great while and I about come unglued. I remember waking up one night and hearing something in the hall bathroom. There was my cat Hobbes beating on a centipede. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to wad enough Kleenex to pick it up and flush it down the toilet. (I didn't want to wake my husband.)

    1. That will give me nightmares!

  7. Fun to learn more about you! Glad you shared this. I like using Hootsuite too (mentioning it in next week's post, actually). Haven't tapped into all its capabilities yet, but hope to soon. Have a good weekend!

    1. I'm looking forward to the post.

  8. Fun answers, Holly. Even I was painfully shy when I was young. I wish I could change that.

  9. I'm looking forward to my jar of burnt bacon fat… 😉
    Wouldn't it be soooo nice to push out life while we write?

  10. That second question …

    Why aren't there MORE books that feature a gemstone as a central plot point?

    Myself, I can only think of the Walter Scott novel that made everyone believe opals were bad luck. And I never even read it.

    1. That's what I started thinking. There are a couple of Agatha Christie books than have jewelry as a key point, but after that I'm stumped.

  11. pumpkin seeds can be cooked with sugar and cinnamon? I usually grind them with flax, sesame, chia, sunflower and peanuts to get a morning spread for my rye bread

  12. I loved the interview! Don't worry about writing crap. We ALL write crap. But with good feedback and lots of revisions, the crap gets polished into a gem! I was very interested in the tales of the hippie relative who knew lots of folklore about gems and things. That gave me an idea for my new WIP, so thanks a lot! Happy Halloween!

    1. Aw, great. Yes, she was great fun…if only my parents knew.

  13. Brown, I really don't care for the color brown. 🙂
    Love all the answers and learning more about you.
    I too hate the drudgery that keeps me from what I love, but there's always something!

  14. Heh. I agree with your choice of color dislike. It isn't exactly the most pleasing. It was fun learning more about you!

Comments are closed.

H.R. Sinclair © 2016
Scroll Up