Interview with Lorna Hollifield, Author of Tobacco Sun

Guys, I am really excited to bring my first ever author interview to Joyful Antidotes!

Lorna Hollifield is an American author who lives with her family in South Carolina. She began her professional writing journey as a tourism and travel blogger, before finally deciding to pursue her dream of publishing fiction. We chatted about her transition into a full-time author, her book Tobacco Sun, and what’s next on Lorna’s radar.

Lorna Hollifield
Lorna Hollifield

Have you ever had a job that didn’t involve some kind of writing? If so, how did you make the transition to move into a full-time writing career?

I have!  At one point I taught curriculum-based gymnastics to 4-month-olds – 8-year-olds. I have a background in dance and cheerleading.  I also wrote on the side though, and eventually quit that job to become a full-time travel and tourism blogger.  You just have to bite the bullet and believe in yourself!

Did you have to deal with many people who didn’t support your dream of becoming an author? How did you deal with any criticism?

Most people did support me because I’d always wanted to do it.  The biggest things I got was “have a safety net.”  Eventually, I had to get rid of it and force writing to make the bread and butter.  Safety nets are a good theory but often hinder the big goal.  BELIEVE!   Belief is greater than any safety net!

What is your advice for budding writers who are lacking the courage to begin a novel?

Do it anyway.  There won’t be a magic moment where you feel ok about it.  Do it even though you’re scared.  It’s scarier to think you never will.

How much of Tobacco Sun was based on real life events or people?

None of it and all of it. It’s fiction, but I’ve met people in life who’ve encountered the types of problems these people face.

Do you think it is possible to create a character who is not based even a little bit on someone you know?

Probably not.  People live in our subconscious…shades of them will inevitably come out.

What was the hardest part about writing Tobacco Sun?

Wondering if it was futile…hoping someone would pick it up.  I hated the waiting…but as a writer, I do lots of it!

How did you decide that Tobacco Sun was good enough to be sent to a publisher?

I put in the work, and it was my passion.  I always believed my ideas were meant to be shared.  I don’t know if I judged it…I just jumped.

What are your tips for collaborating with publishers?

Be grateful…follow their guidelines.  But also don’t be afraid to push…ALWAYS help market yourself.

What is your opinion on self-publishing?

Don’t do it.  So many people ask me if I’m self-published.  The third-party endorsement matters.  It might be unpopular to say “don’t do it,” but I think it’s better to hold out.  It will be sweeter and give your more credibility.

What’s next?

The Weeping Jug!  I just finished it.  Be on the lookout!

Thanks Lorna for the great answers!

Keep your eyes peeled for my review of Tobacco Sun coming soon! Can’t wait? Grab your own copy and let me know in the comments what to expect.


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