Blog Tour + Author Interview | The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis

Posted April 7, 2017 by Madalyn || 2 Comments

Hi, lovely readers! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Paths We Choose! Today, I’ll be chatting with author M. Hollis about her novellas, identity, and all things f/f romance. Read on for the interview, and don’t forget to check out The Paths We Choose, available now!

Blog Tour + Author Interview | The Paths We Choose by M. HollisThe Paths We Choose (Lillac Town, #2) by M. Hollis
Published by Author via Amazon on April 6th 2017
Pages: 119
Format: e-ARC
Source: Author
GoodreadsAmazon

Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow. Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore. A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs.
Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.

Author Interview with M. Hollis

Novel Ink: Hi, Maria! I’m so excited to have you on Novel Ink today to celebrate your newest novella! First off, can you give our readers a quick description of The Paths We Choose

M. Hollis: Thanks for having me! The Paths We Choose is a short New Adult F/F novella about a girl who had to run away from home because her homophobic parents didn’t accept her. She then proceeds to find love with many friendships and even falls in love when she wasn’t expecting. A sweet story for people who like some trope-y romance and steamy scenes.

NI: As a queer woman, I really appreciate that all of your queer girl characters get happy endings in your novellas. Why do you think this is important?

MH: I didn’t start reading F/F books until my 20’s and that was awful for me. It took me so long to be able to understand myself and accept this identity I have. And even now I still have a hard time sometimes finding movies or TV shows that bring healthy F/F happy stories so writing this is definitely important for me at a personal level.

There’s also the fact that most of what I read are in English because I’m privileged in that I can read and write in this language, but I’d like to be able to find more books here in Brazil for young women who love other women.

My goal is to write stories for girls where they can see themselves having a happy ending, no matter who they are or where they come from. The Lillac Town Series is just a little start, but it’s still something. I want to inspire other young writers, to make them understand that there are people who want to read their F/F stories and that they can publish their stories too.

NI: Along similar lines, a large majority of the cast of your novellas identifies somewhere on the LGBTQIAPD+ spectrum. They also come from vastly different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. What would you say to critics who might see this sort of representation as “unrealistic?”

MH: That they are just wrong. I’m surrounded by people from many different identities and backgrounds both in my real life and in my online communities and, for me, it would be unrealistic if I just make everyone be the same. I’m an observer and I love to listen to people telling about their lives so I’m always fascinated by how our world is full of different stories. If someone thinks that everyone around them is the same they’re probably just not paying attention. Just sit down and listen to others for a few minutes and you’ll see how many wonderful things you can find out if you just open your mind.

We need to embrace and learn to accept and respect our diversities and not shut down and believe that everyone needs to be the same.

NI: I love that answer! The setting of Lillac Town is described so vividly in your novellas. What inspired Lillac Town? Is it based on any real place? 

MH: I created Lillac Town because I’ve never been in the U.S. so I just decided to use an imaginary city. Also, because I don’t really like describing cities, even the ones I know. It’s just something personal with my preferences in stories. I do like to know details here and there to give me some general idea of space but, if I’m reading a story in a place I don’t know, I just won’t be able to understand how it looks like so these descriptions aren’t that helpful for me. I’m aware that other people are bothered by the lack of descriptions sometimes but it’s different for everyone in the end.

My inspirations come from many romcoms I used to watch with my mom as I grew up. Every time I write a story I bring a few of these sceneries that I’ve seen in many movies and TV shows. Sometimes my beta readers catch details that don’t look right and then they bring it to my attention but that doesn’t happen a lot. It’s something I’m working on to get better in future works.

NI: Can you give us a few recommendations of your favorite f/f romances?

MH: I have so many! Some of my favorite F/F books:

YA:

  • When Women Were Warriors by Catherine M. Wilson
  • Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
  • Complementary and Acute by Ella Lyons
  • Colorblind by Siera Maley

NA:

  • Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon
  • Flowers of Luna by Jennifer Linsky

Adult:

  • First Position by Melissa Brayden
  • Roller Girl by Vanessa North
NI: What’s next in the Lillac Town series? Are you working on anything else at the moment readers should put on their radar?

MH: We still have two more novellas in the series now, that I hope to publish until 2018. The next story will be centered in Karen’s and Hope’s relationship and it’ll be a really interesting one. I think people are going to like reading about them.

I recently finished the first draft of a book about a secret society in a boarding school. It’s a paranormal YA where a group of girls needs to find out a dark secret hidden in the underground of the school. This story is living inside of me for many years so I’m excited about it! But I don’t know yet when it’ll be ready to be published and I don’t want to make people wait for it right now. Haha.

For this year, you can wait for Lillac Town #3 and at least one new short story.  That’s what I can promise at the moment.


That’s all for today, guys! Thanks so much to M. Hollis for stopping by the blog. Definitely go check out The Paths We Choose if you’re looking for a realistic, adorable f/f romance! And be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour, as well. Have you read any of the Lillac Town novellas yet?

Follow me!

Madalyn

Madalyn is a 20-something music student and lifelong lover of reading. When she's not reading or singing, you're likely to find her drinking coffee, traveling, or buying more lipstick than one person could possibly need.
Follow me!
  • This was a really great interview, Madalyn. And I love the recommendations question. I will try to check them all out! <3

    • Thanks so much! Same here; I can’t wait to look into some of Maria’s recs! 🙂