Interview- “A Wedding and a Promise,” by Merry Holly

Tell us what “A Wedding and a Promise” is about?

It’s about Chase and Noelle who got engaged in Season of Magic, and what it takes to 

put together a rushed wedding. 

How did the second Season of… anthology come to be?

Right from the beginning I planned on several books in the series. I love the premise 

of a collection of romance novellas in one place that can be read in one evening, and 

offer a variety of situations. Ours include contemporary romance, historical 

romance, and romantic suspense.

When you wrote first introduced Noel and Chase in the Season of Magic 

Anthology did you know you wanted to continue their story?

At first I thought it was one story, but as I got to know them I wanted to know all 

about them. I’m not sure they’re done yet. I think the first year of marriage getting to 

know each other in another country offers so much intrigue and many situations to 

keep them busy.

Are the characters of Noelle and Chase based on anyone you know in real life?

No, I never base a character on real people. I take a little bit from this one or that 

one, and even strangers I’ve encountered for a short period of time, and then mix 

them all together to get a character. I find that so interesting.

If you could cast anyone to play the roles of the main characters in this story, 

whom would you pick?

It’s a tough question because there are so many great actors out there. Let me 

see…I’d pick Chris Hemsworth for Chase, and Amy Acker with chin length, curly hair 

for Noelle.

What are your strongest influences when it comes to character creation?

When the story pops into my mind, the characters are defined. What I mean is I 

know what they need to look like and what their demeanor needs to be. From there 

I go in depth and create a bio for each one. I know what they have in their fridge and 

what food they hate the most.

Is there a difference in your writing process when you are creating  a 

novella/short story vs. a full-length novel?

Yes, you have to write tight in a novella and not waste words. Sometimes it’s hard to 

be descriptive with little white space.

What is the biggest pro and con of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing?

Self-publishing gives you control. With that said, all the work is on you. The 

formatting, uploading, creating the cover, the advertising, marketing and setting up 

all appearances. With a traditional publisher (if you’re lucky) you get help with all 

the above, plus they have in-house artists to help create your covers.

How do you balance the needs of self-promotion with writing time?

Promotion is an important part of writing. Without it you sell no books. Like 

everything else in life, I have a schedule (time management).  Once you put 

something on a schedule, human nature tries to reach the goal. Without my 

schedule, I’d be lost. I’ve tried it both ways and the list of to-dos for the day really 

works. You’d be surprised how much you’ll accomplish.

I schedule writing time, housework, work, fun time, and marketing. And I’m not up 

all night doing it. I get a solid seven hours of sleep a night, which is very important 

for the creative process and one’s health.

In “A Wedding and a Promise,” what is your favorite scene?

I like when they first arrive in Florida, and Noelle confronts Chase about boundaries 

and packing for her. It’s at this moment that it really dawns on her that they really 

are strangers.

Can you share an excerpt from “A Wedding and a Promise” with us?

I have to tell her soon. I hope it's not a deal breaker, but she needs to know before 

the wedding. Turning his head, he glanced at her while she slept. Bundled in her 

coat, her hat pulled down low on her forehead, he was amazed at her ability to sleep 

so soundly in the truck. How would she react? Questions floated in his head while he 

drove to Rhode Island on I-95. When would be the best time to tell her? She'd asked 

him so many times—why the rush? Fear was his excuse for being a coward. Would 

she postpone the wedding until he got back? He loved her and hoped she didn't 

change her mind. He wanted, no needed, Noelle by his side. Cripes, the minute we 

get to the hotel room I'll tell her. Maybe, after I make love to her. You're a coward, 

Chase. Yes, I am. I'll wait until we get to Florida to tell her.

Reaching out, he took a strand of her hair where a curl had escaped from under her 

hat and rubbed it between his fingers. Hmmm, soft and silky. I can't wait to mess it 

up. He had visualized this weekend since Christmas. Not that he didn't love his 

family or like hers, but he needed time alone with Noelle. He couldn't wait to get to 

Rhode Island to make love to her and spend every minute with her—just the two of 

them. The plans for his latest project sat in his suitcase. Tell her. They screamed.

Do you have a particular daily writing schedule or process you stick to?

No matter what, I write 1,000 words per day (at least five days a week.) I strive for 

10,000 words a week, but if I hit 5,000 I’m happy. That doesn’t mean they are all 

good words, but Nora Roberts once said, and it’s true “You can’t edit a blank page.”

What kind of music do you listen to while you write?

I like quiet when I write. When I edit, I’m very eclectic when it comes to music. I love 

it all from opera to rock-n-roll, to country, and metallic. It all depends on my mood.

What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned from your journey as a writer?

The hardest was jumping in and taking the second publisher without research. 

Before an author signs a contract, they should do their research and understand 

traditional publishers, small presses, and vanity presses. Once they understand the 

industry they can gauge their income from each source. Exposure sells books. A lot 

of the smaller companies popped up in the early part of the century and don’t have 

the sources to market you properly.

What would be your one piece of advice for other authors who are considering 


Research, research, research and then more research—I like self-publishing but it’s 

a lot of work if you want to be successful at it. I like learning new things. I keep an 

open mind and if someone says, “you can do it better this way,” I listen and adjust. I 

have learned a lot from one of the authors on Season of Love. 

What books or other projects do you have coming up in the future?

I have another holiday anthology coming out in November. And I just completed the 

first draft in the Jake Carrington Series. I’m editing and re-writing now. Hopefully 

that will be out in the early part of 2016.

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To keep up with Merry Holly (aka Marian Lanouette)