Today I have Iris Bolling, author of The Heart Series and The Pendleton Rule in my chat chair! If you’re not familiar with her body of work, please feel free to click on the covers below, they are Amazon linked.
Who is Iris Bolling? What are your passions outside of writing?
I’m a family oriented person, who loves to have get-togethers at my house that last for days. My passions vary. Of course I love to read anything that is romance, suspense, murder mysteries and historical. I’m avid sports fan. I love Baseball (go Yankees), football (Ugh, in a real low voice-go Philly-I live in Virginia, Redskin land), basketball (DA Bulls) and sometimes, tennis. My community activities center on politics and education.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. Moved to Morristown, NJ during my freshman year of high school. Then moved back to Virginia after college. So I’m a Virginia/Jersey girl.
Tell me about life growing up? How does it affect your writing?
Anyone who has read The Heart Series know a little about my story. I am the youngest child of four. I had two sisters (one past away) and a brother. My Great-grand mother raised us, until I reached high school, then we moved in with my mother. I think most authors write about what they know, I’m no different. Most of my values are demonstrated in my stories.
Wow! I loved the Heart Series! When did you know you were a writer?
Honestly, not until I wrote Once You’ve Touched The Heart as a way to release stress from work. One of my friends read it and said you should do something with this. So I published it, and here I am. I am still amazed people like to read these crazy stories that pop up in my head.
What genre do you write?
I currently write romance and romantic suspense. Next year I will be writing Mysteries, and family drama.
I can’t wait to read your new projects Iris! What motivates you to write?
Readers. I love the enjoyment I see and hear when someone reads a really good book. It is an unbelievable feeling to hear readers talk about your characters as if they were a personal friend, or one of their family members. I know the joy I feel when I pick up a really good book or the feeling I have when I’m waiting on the next book from my favorite author. I can only hope I generate that excitement in readers.
How much of what you write is based on personal experiences?
My life is not that interesting as my characters, believe me. LOL! Seriously, I think a little of my life is in every book I write. I do have my JD who test some of the love scenes with me, but other than that, not much.
What is your writing process?
Free flow. I simply sit down at my computer and the characters spill out through my fingers. I have tried, but I cannot do outlines. For some reason I never stick to them. Most of my stories are character driven. If they do not want to go in the direction of that outline, they simply won’t. So, for me I turn on some music, sit back and start writing.
You write such wonderful romances. What’s your take on life and love in real life?
Thank you. I am a hopeless romantic. I believe in true love. I believe there is a person for everyone. People have a tendency to go with what feels like love, however if you wait, be patient, the right person who will love you for you, will appear. There is going to drama, suspense, along the way, but life, should be filled with happy moments and love.
What advice would you give others about writing in general?
Study the craft. Learn all you can about the writing process. To be a writer isn’t just putting words on paper. It’s making those words you put on paper come alive for readers. Take the time, learn how to write, then learn how to take criticism, it will come, believe me. It’s what you do with the criticism that makes a difference. Then when you believe you are ready, and only you can determine this, think about how you want to be perceived. Research your favorite authors, how they present themselves at book signings and conferences. Learn about their failures and successes. Then setup a plan for you, then surround yourself with people who have similar plans. You can’t get to where you want to be without a roadmap. Whatever, you do don’t give up, believe in you.
What would you like people to know that they might not know already?
I have a really hard time approaching people. There are authors I admire, who I have a difficult time approaching. It’s not that I don’t want to, its’ I just don’t have the nerves. I love Beverly Jenkins, I mean, just love her. She is one of the most approachable people you will ever meet–ever! I have talked with her on several occasions, she has helped me in ways you would never imagine, but I still hesitate approaching her when we are at events or even on line. But, whenever I do, she is always there willing to share her knowledge. Gwyneth Bolton is the same way. She is always there when I reach out. The first time I saw Gwyneth was on a Romance Slam Jam cruise. She was at a table with several other authors, some I knew. Rochelle Alers was also there. I wanted to go over to that table and listen to whatever they had to say, but I just could not get my nerves together to make that move. On that cruise, with the flying trays and all, Gwyneth won an award and so did I, we were on stage together. I was so nervous, I grabbed her hand and held on for dear life. It meant the world to me, when she didn’t turn around and smack me. LOL! So, if you see me out and about, and I’m sitting somewhere by myself, it’s not because I don’t want to be bothered, it’s because I’m still working on getting my nerves up to say hello.
I’m sure many will make it easier on you from now on! What are you working on and when can we expect a release?
I have several projects in progress. I am currently working on Xavier Davenport from Teach Me. That will be my next release. Joshua Lassiter, from The Heart Series and The Gems and Gents Series will be two books, both will be release this year. I’m really excited to start my detective series that will feature the ladies from The Pendleton Rule, and last I’m working on a murder mystery for submission.
Well I’m sure I speak for many when I say these projects are greatly anticipated! Those ladies are B-A-D! And I can’t wait to see what Joshua will blow up next! Thanks so much for dropping by! It has been an honor to have you in my Chat Chair!