1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
Well, when I say I’m a lifelong writer, I really am. I can’t remember a time I was not writing! My parents are both artists and writers so I grew up around art and literature. We all read aloud to one another long past the point most kids would read with their parents, and I still pick up that tradition again sometimes when I’m with one or the other. I have fond memories of my Mom making up fairy stories on the spot for me while we were running errands, and the excitement of seeing creators at the comic conventions I’d attend with my Dad whenever he was a guest. It was a very creative and inspiring upbringing so it’s really no surprise I wanted to tell my own stories quite early on.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
It’s kind of funny. As someone who has been writing for so long, I have quite a few projects that have been in the works for years and years… decades even. But, when it came to getting my first full indie novel out there, A Time When Demons was a very new idea. I came up with it during Preptober of 2020 as my first NaNoWriMo novel, completed the first draft in November 2020 then spent the next year editing it, querying for a bit, then self publishing.
Because of this, the “inspiration” process was a bit formulaic because I was working quickly, and experimentally and didn’t even expect to finish it. First, I picked witches. Then the big idea that pushed the story further was the concept of The Dreaming. I think I just thought that one up lying in bed one night fretting about mortality. Like with many of my stories, they’re inspired by classic teen horror and fantasy. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a huge influence on me during my formative years so I think I’m always trying to attain some level of storytelling that can be on that level. The Dreaming is one of the things in this novel that I’d like to hold on to for future works and experiment with more.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
If you put the work in and stay true to yourself, you can find redemption. When I write, I rarely have a message I want to convey from the start, but rather let it come out as I write. A Time When Demons is very much a coming of age story, and redemption is a major theme of it.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
It’s all I know, really. Ever since I sat down in my Dad’s studio and he played through the entirety of Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to my Nightmare” when I was about twelve, my life has revolved around horror and theatrics. As I mentioned before, Buffy only added to this. I’ve always been a spooky weirdo. That’s what I know best, so that’s what I write. That being said, I do have goals to explore other genres and challenge myself more in the future!
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
Good question! As the author, I know all the inner workings of my characters. So, I’m going to pretend I’m in the novel myself, as a friend of my characters and take the chance to grab coffee with Kami. Dearest Kami, how on earth do you put up with having a best friend who’s a witch when you are a mere mortal? I think I’d lose my mind from jealousy! Or at least push a lot harder to find out more about the Wicca world and what other paranormal stuff might be out there. Vampires? Are they real? Can we find one to bite me?
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Twitter has been a really fun and welcoming community. I know, kind of the opposite of what most people say about it but I’ve never had a bad experience. The writing community is really supportive and friendly and the algorithm hasn’t been completely obliterated so it is still possible to get interactions and bring in new followers, readers, and friends. Aside from that, I have had a lot of fun building my Discord community. It’s a bit more of an intimate/concentrated space with deeper conversation as there are about 50 of us at the moment which is quite different from the large buzzing hive of Twitter.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
First of all – there is no such thing as an aspiring author. Aspiring *published* author? Sure. But if you’re a writer, you’re a writer. Establish that first. If you’re a writer, you aren’t going to have any other choice but to do it, and, if that’s you, that is exactly what you have to do.
Sit down every day and write something, even if it’s one sentence. Don’t wait around for inspiration to hit – creativity is very much driven by that magical feeling, but it is also a lot of work. Find your community. Watch interviews and educational videos on YouTube. There’s a massive amount of support out there for authors these days and we want to help you tell your story!
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
Right now I am working on launching a small publishing company. I’m not going to say much on that yet, but definitely keep an eye on my social media and YouTube channel as there will be announcements coming out before the new year. In addition to that, I’m always writing! It’s NaNoWriMo season at the moment, and I’m a Municipal Liaison so there’s a lot going on there with prep, helping new writers, and getting my own novel finished. This year I’m doing “Rebel WriMo” so will be finishing an old project called “Eternity” which is very exciting.
As for my next published work… it’s likely going to be the first novel in my fantasy epic “Synterra”. Again – watch my social media for updates on that!
About the Author
Holly Rhiannon is a life-long writer who has previously self published one novella and two graphic novels. After becoming certified in photography, attending a few years of Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba and running a successful alternative art event in her hometown of Winnipeg, she moved to Montreal to pursue the field which has always been closest to her heart: literature. A Time When Demons is her debut full-length novel for young adults.