Thursday, June 12, 2008

Author Snapshot: Victoria Holmes

Victoria Holmes is one of the three writers known as Erin Hunter, a pen name Holmes and fellow children’s authors Kate Carey and Cherith Baldry dreamed up to avoid confusing readers with a platoon of author names on the front of their books.

Holmes tells us that two new titles in their popular “Warriors” series were launched in April: Power of Three Book Three: Outcast and the final part of the Graystripe manga trilogy, Warrior’s Return.

“In Outcast,” says Holmes, “our three young heroes -- Lionpaw, Hollypaw and Jaypaw -- travel far from the lake to the mountains, where they meet the Tribe of Rushing Water and find out that the Tribe’s ancestors hold a dark secret linking them more closely to the Clans than any cat imagined. In Warrior’s Return, Graystripe and Millie embark on the final part of their journey to find the Clans. And this time, it’s Millie’s kittypet origins that are needed more than Graystripe’s warrior skills to tackle their biggest challenge yet.”

Meanwhile, readers can be on the alert for Seekers: Book One, which has been screaming up the charts since its release just a few weeks ago. No big cats this time, though. In Seekers, three bears of different species find themselves thrust together in unexpected adventure.

All paws on board? Great: let’s meet Ms. Holmes.

A Snapshot of Victoria Holmes
(one of the three writers known as Erin Hunter)...

Born: Berkshire, England
Resides: London, England
Birthday: July 17th
Web site:

What’s on your nightstand?
A lamp, an alarm clock, a picture of my son Joshua when he was two and a half, and always, always, always a book.

What inspires you?
Anything that isn’t man-made.

What are you working on now?
Power of Three Book Five: Long Shadows; Seekers Book Three (which doesn’t have a title yet, but it might be called Smoke Mountains); a manga trilogy starring Ravenpaw and Barley, Warriors Field Guide: Code of the Clans, planning my wedding and redecorating my apartment.

Tell us about your process.
I use pen and paper to make copious notes on plot, character, dialogue and anything else that pops into my head during the early part of planning a book. Then I create a document on my computer and shuffle everything around until I have a rough outline of the story. Finally, I go through each part adding details until I know exactly what happens in each scene, how the conversations will go, what the characters are thinking, and how the story needs to be moved forward. Once I have all this planned out (usually taking up half the length of the final book), I send it to Kate Cary or Cherith Baldry, my co-writers, who write the script out in full. Once they’ve filled in all the gaps, they send the script to me for a final check to make sure it sounds consistently “Erin,” and then I deliver it to my editor in New York. Yay! I work regular office hours, and most weekends. Writing is a job, but it’s also a way of life.

Lift your head and look around. What do you see?

I’m in my hotel room in Los Angeles, with three hours to go before I speak on a panel about Writing for Tweens with Cornelia Funke and Rick Riordan. I woke at three am, quivering with nerves -- I just hope I’m not too star struck by my companions to say anything coherent! My hotel room is beautiful, way more glamorous than my apartment back home!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading and writing stories -- and also poems, plays, newspaper articles, pretty much anything involving words. I grew up thinking it would be nice to have the chance to write a book one day; I never, ever dreamed I would be able to make a living by writing alone! I am the luckiest person in the world.

If you couldn’t write books, what would you be doing?
Lots of things! I love horses and dogs, and spent a year riding professionally just after graduating, so my alternative career would be training young horses and helping people with their dogs. I’m particularly interested in troubled animals who need to re-learn normal behavior and the ability to trust.

And if the weather was too cold and wet to be outside with animals, I’d bake cakes for a living. My specialty is chocolate brownies, yum.

To date, what moment in your career has made you happiest?

My first ever bookstore event at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC.

For you, what is the easiest thing about being writer?

Being able to work with nothing more than my imagination.

What’s the most difficult?
Having to rely on my imagination when it would rather be thinking about something else.

What question do you get asked about your writing most often?
Where do you get your ideas?

What’s the question you’d like to be asked?
Please can I buy you a chocolate chip cookie?

What question would like never to be asked again?
Not so much a question, but someone at a school event once said: “The kids were so disappointed when I told them Erin Hunter doesn’t exist!” OH YES SHE DOES.

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows.
My greatest ambition has always been to be a dancer but I’m too short and ungraceful.

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Anonymous Bookwormreader said...

Wow! This is an incredible interview! Vicky, if you're reading this, I would like to tell you that I am one of your most devoted Warriors and Seekers fans.

But since Blizz has her paws full with Warriors, I decided I should do something about Seekers. And thus the Official SeekersFan Blog began, where I post all the newest updates and news at And yes, I just made a new blog entry about your tentative title for Book Three of Seekers: Smoke Mountains. Thank you for sharing this with us!

If you could take a look at my blog, that'd be great! I work really hard on it, and have already done extensive research on your appearance on the Today Show, which I can't wait to see tomorrow. Good luck Vicky! And thanks! :D


Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 8:00:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Blizz said...

Great interview January Magazine, we love to know more about favorite author Victoria Holmes! The Warriors series is a wonderful read, especially the original arc.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 3:03:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Vixenfur said...

I am Victoria's BIGGEST fan! Whatever she likes I LIKE!! I love chocolate brownies too! Oooo I love dogs and horses too! I WANT A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE TOO!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 7:02:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Oddleaf said...

It makes me laugh that I know two out of the thee people who have commented. xD

But anyway, Thank's for the helpful interview! It was nicely done and agev me some great information. ;3

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 8:28:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bernadette said...

thanks i just fell in love with the warriors series and this interview is alot of help on a school paper im writigon you and if you ever want my clan was thunder caln and my name was tangle tail if you run out of names:)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 11:58:00 AM PST  
Blogger SunLeaf said...

Hello, probably, my question is not who did not answer, but I did ask.
I am interested in the question of who painted the cover of "Night Whisper", please tell us.
I know that in the center Flametail, and in the background who?
~ Betrayed Warriors fan from Russia

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 6:27:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Skyheart said...

I'm a character from Kate Cary's website (aka BlogClan) and if you click my name, it'll take you to her site. I love the Warriors books! I started reading last year in April when my little brother brought Firestar's Quest home from the school library. I was so interested in the list of characters alone! They had such interesting names and descriptions. I fell in love. I went to the library the very next day and picked up Into the Wild. Since then, I've read about 17 books! Now I'm reading The Sight. My favorite book is Bluestar's Prophecy.
I've been looking all over for the date of your April tour! You said that you will be in Atlanta and I live in Georgia, so I want to be there.
Anyway, feel free to name any silver cat with blue eyes Skyheart. I'd love to see my name in a Warriors book!
~Skyheart of BlogClan

Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 10:34:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Icestorm said...

I LOVE the Warriors series.;)I'm on Sunset. I am so curious about Hawkfrost??? I am doing an author report and decided to do it on Erin Hunter!!!!:omg. Sometimes I feel like I have 4 more older sisters.......

Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 6:17:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Cloudtail said...

Yeah that was pretty cool. But what I did not like was that she said that she could make a living by writing ALONE. That bugged me so much I mean she has three other people to write with. But she is my inspiration to write. And because of her I would like to be an english teacher and I would also like to someday write a book. I love Warriors and I also love Seekers toooooooooo!!!! Go Green!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010 at 12:50:00 PM PDT  
Blogger thewarrior said...

I LOVE THE WARRIORS SERIES!!! i am now waiting for the latest book, after fading echoes, in the omen of the stars series. *SPOILER ALERT*

Hawkfrost dies, his brother, Brambleclaw kills him to defend Firestar!And Seekers are just as nice, my fav characters are Lionblaze from warriors, and Toklo, from seekers!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 6:37:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you please put my character in as one of the Kits born in Sign of the Moon? Name: Starkit (Starspirit). Gender: Female Pelt: I am an albino She-cat with a very, very pale grey star shaped mark on my forehead. Also, can you make Hollyleaf come back with Hollyclan? Leader: Hollystar Deputy: Skycrystal(F) Medicine cat: Waterwish(F) Warriors: Moonfur (F), Sunfur(F), Swiftfur (M), Rubblefur (M)

Apprentices: Opalpaw(F), Coralpaw(F)

Queens: Rainflower (F)
Kits: Iriskit, Mistkit, Opalkit

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 11:20:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love warriors!!!!!! and I have some cool warrior names for new characters they are

Sweetfur- orange tabby she-cat with bright blue eyes

Blueheart- silver-blue she-cat with green eyes

Herbstripe- silver tabby tom with blue eyes

Shadowstorm- black tom with one white hind leg

Granitesoul- gray tom with dark gray face,chest,belly, and paws

please rate! :3


Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 4:57:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Brightclaw said...

Thank you, great interview. This will definitly help with my school research project.


Monday, October 24, 2011 at 10:10:00 AM PDT  

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