Nancy Holzner: The Writing Process

“Holzner’s take on the Urban Fantasy genre is unique, refreshing, and a damn good read. I’m looking forward to more adventures in DEADTOWN with Vicky Vaughn–this heroine totally kicks butt!”

Phaedra Wheldon, author of PHANTASM


Since I ‘m featuring Nancy Holzner, author of Deadtown, during the last days of December, I thought I’d include some details about this successful writer’s writing process.  Every writer has her/his individual way of approaching writing. I like to write in the morning, immediately after journaling with Julia Cameron’s “Walking in This World.”  It clears my mind and allows me to focus on the details during revision.

In installment #2 of her interview, Nancy Holzner discusses some of the ways she approaches her writing.

Nancy, you write both nonfiction and fiction. I understand that each requires an individual approach. How do you decide on a topic or genre?

For nonfiction, I confer with editors to find out what topics they’re looking for, and then I write up a proposal.  For fiction, I write what I like to read.  When a character or situation grabs my attention and won’t let go, I know I’m on to something.

Do you find one genre easier to write than another?

Not really.  All kinds of writing have their own challenges.

How do you stay on track and meet deadlines?

I do get off track sometimes, but it’s important to meet deadlines.  The publisher has a schedule to meet, and if I miss a deadline, it messes up the work schedules of everyone who’s downstream from me: editor, copywriter, proofreader, and so on.  I try not to be unfair to people who need me to do my job so they can do theirs.

How do you cope with writer’s block?

Often, when I get stuck it’s because I’ve stopped letting the story unfold naturally and am trying to force something.  In other words, I’m seeing the story from an authorial point of view, not the viewpoint of the characters or the reader.  It’s like my mind puts on the breaks until I manage to get my perspective right again.  Rereading helps.  Taking a walk or a long shower can help, too.  But sometimes the only thing that works is to let the scene settle a bit and then come back to it with fresh eyes.

I’ve read conflicting advice about whether or not online writing groups are worthwhile. What do you think about them?

I think they’re great.  I belonged to one for more than five years.  The members supported each other, critiqued each others’ work, set goals to keep everyone writing.  I’m also in a face-to-race writers’ group, which is extremely helpful, but online is more flexible.  My face-to-race group meets once a month; in my online group, members could post weekly to get feedback.  And you could give feedback at any time of the day or night instead of having to agree on a time when everyone can meet.  Plus, it’s cool to be able to interact with writers from all over the world and not just in your own town.  I’m a big advocate of writers’ groups, because I believe that learning to give good feedback is one of the most valuable skills a writer can develop.

Thanks for giving my readers a look at your process Nancy.

To read Nancy’s first interview go to :

Nancy Holzner’s new novel, Deadtown, will be released December 29, 2009.  Go to to read the Chapter 1 of Deadtown and to get more  information on her contests, booksignings, and blog tour.

Next:  Nancy Holzner discusses marketing her books.

4 Responses to “Nancy Holzner: The Writing Process”
  1. great! I like the flaming sword, I’m not too sure about that assault rifle in her left hand. I do hope it’s a 762 NATO caliber: t the Remington .223m(known by NATO as “5.56x45mm”, has been a hopeless mess. Glad you got my little book and thank you for buying a copy.

    ** a Big grin comes here! forgive the petty pedantry! **
    I’m trying to break out of his gunny thing, and even though my ” firearms booklet” has paid, so far, for my rather complicated internet connectivity, it’ts time to get down to the seriuos stuff

  2. ravenlaw says:


    The pitfalls of knowing too much about a topic. I always laugh when I see movies where dogs are attacking people. They usually don’t match the correct vocal with the dog. I’ll recognize a doberman bark matched to a lab or something like that. Gives me the giggles, especially when you can see the dog is playing with the actor.

    Thanks for stopping by Q~


  3. nancyholzner says:

    I’ll let you in on a secret: Vicky doesn’t use an assault rifle in the book. A pistol, yes, but nothing as big as what she’s holding on the cover. I think the cover artist (who’s awesome, IMHO) went for a bigger gun to balance out the flaming sword.

  4. ravenlaw says:

    Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for stopping by. Makes sense if you look at the layout. The gun is highlighted by a light source too. OMHO, the gun keeps things real too because the flaming sword says “fantasy” and the gun says “real world.”

    Nice balance.

    Good luck with the new novel!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: