Therese and I are beyond pleased to be able to bring you this interview of Victoria Holmes, author of four titles and editor of several successful YA fiction lines. Not only is she one of the hardest-working people in publishing today, she is a total delight. Our association with Victoria began when we interviewed the writing duo of Cherith Baldry and Kate Cary, who, as Erin Hunter, write the enormously popular YA fantasy series WARRIORS. What we didn’t know at the time, and have learned since, is that WARRIORS is the brainchild of and edited by Victoria. As if shepherding WARRIORS titles through the publication process isn’t enough work, she finds time to write a popular series of her own. During the course of our two-part with Erin Hunter, we realized that we had so many questions for this author/editor that we knew we had to pick her brain clean and find out what it takes to work both sides of the publishing aisle.
Q: One of the things that amazes us is that you edit several successful lines for Working Partners LTD AND write children’s fiction. How do you manage to juggle both responsibilities?
VH: I guess I’m just greedy! Editing takes up by far the lion’s share of my time, with writing squeezed into days off and weekends. I’m lucky to have long lead times for my manuscripts which helps relieve some of the pressure, although I confess I’m the sort of writer who ends up doing 8,000 words a day the week before the first draft is due. My math has improved enormously since receiving my commission for the four historical horse stories, especially long division: at the start of the schedule I think, “Ah, lovely, 2,500 words per weekend for the next four months will be a breeze,” and by the end I’m thinking, “Okay, I should just make the deadline if I can do 7,384 words a day for the next week.” In the future, I’d love to spend more time writing but right now I can’t bear to give up any of my editorial work because I love it so much. Plus I work with a great team at Working Partners and I’d miss them like crazy if I was stuck at home on my own all day!
Q: What drew you to children’s fiction?