Nancy Holder is a New York Times bestselling author who has sold many novels and book projects set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Highlander, Hellboy, and Smallville universes. Holder is also the writer of the young adult horror series Possessions for Razorbill.
When Holder was not busy publishing over eighty novels, she was selling approximately 200 short stories and essays on writing and popular culture!
She and Debbie Viguié co-authored the New York Times bestselling series Wicked for Simon & Schuster. They have continued their collaboration with the Crusade series, and the Wolf Springs Chronicles (Delacorte 2011).
Holder has several projects on the horizon. Just a few are Teen Wolf: On Fire, a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer non-fiction anniversary book, and Vanquished, the last novel in a vampire trilogy from Simon & Schuster. In between juggling the projects of her busy writing career, she took time to answer a few questions…
200 Words with Author Nancy Holder
Write Naked: I am a long-time “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fan. What was your relationship like with the show before, during and after publishing BtVS books? Were you interested in the series before penning the books?
Nancy Holder: I knew Buffy was coming on the air and I couldn’t wait. I wanted the gig of writing the first original novel so badly I could taste it. I went to Dark Delicacies, a horror store in Burbank, and bought a copy of the BtVS original soundtrack for luck. I saw posters for the show everywhere and I just kept hoping. Then we got the gig, and we received about six scripts. From that we parsed a Buffy language and got a feel for Buffy and her world. I absolutely loved those scripts, especially the ones written by Joss. He really is a master, and my eyes would actually well up with tears, both of laughter and admiration. I was over the moon. When I started watching the premiere, I started crying because I felt such a connection and I thought it was brilliant. We only had 3 1/2 weeks to write the book and my babysitter had just quit. I was so stressed. I also thought we would only get the one book. Little did I realize that I would still be writing Buffy books 15 years later! (I just turned in Buffy: the Making of a Slayer to becker&mayer!, a book packager. They have done all kinds of books that you’ve seen, about everything from Barbie to Pixar, and a lot in between.) So I’m delighted to say that I’m still working on Buffy. For this new book, I rewatched all of the episodes as well as the Angel crossovers. I also watched all the commentaries and things such as the Paley reunion. And all the comics! I’m leaving in a little over a week to deliver the keynote banquet address at Slayage 5: Conference on the Whedonverse. I am so grateful to have these ongoing connections to a fantastic world.
WN: I read in a recent interview with you that you sold five novels before ever selling a short story. I love it when authors break the rules of the game! What type of similar non-traditional publishing experience(s) did you have with your current projects: Teen Wolf, BVS and Vanquished?
NH: For Teen Wolf, I was able to sit down with the show creator, Jeff Davis, who gave me wonderful suggestions about the “A” story for my book, On Fire. He’s so smart and creative. It was a real pleasure to meet with him and I was very appreciative of his time. I also like how much the stars, staff, and crew tweet. I’m so proud to be associated with such bright, gorgeous people! My novel will come out on July 17th. The actors already have copies!
For our first Buffy novel, we sent about a dozen ideas and we had a greenlight in twenty-four hours. One of the fastest yesses I’ve had. I was knocked over!
Ironically, the Crusade trilogy came out of a short story. My coauthor, Debbie Viguié, and I wrote a short story called “Passing” for an anthology. Then we realized we had a fully formed universe and characters. The entire Crusade trilogy sprang from that. My coauthor Debbie Viguié and I have been immersed in things Spanish, Catholic, and vampire for years. Now it’s almost over–Vanquished is our last Crusade novel and it will come out on August 28.
WN: Looking back on your life and career–having lived outside the US, writing across various genres from romance to horror–at what point did you think: There is nothing else I’d rather be doing.
NH: I’ve had dozens of moments like that. Every time I get into that place called “flow,” I feel like that. But the most concrete moment was when I signed with my daughter, Belle. We have sold two short stories together and we did signings at Barnes & Noble and Borders for both of them. We also usually sign in the Browncoats booth at Comic-Con to support their charity. But this year I’ll be in Vancouver at Slayage 5. She was in elementary school, and her friends came to the signing near our house. It was so cool.
WN: I typically include a question from James Lipton’s “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” If heaven exists, what would you want God to say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
NH: “Go take a nice nap. Sleep late. I’ve got a ginormous cake baking in the oven to celebrate your family reunion. Your dad is rounding up your dogs. You sure have a lot of Border collies!”