Anthony Hollownton Series Book 1
by Gretchen S.B.
Genre: Supernatural Suspense
There more to the world than he has ever known…
When homicide detective Anthony Hollownton is called to the scene of his latest murder case he quickly becomes aware that something isn't quite right.
It isn't the gruesomeness of the scene.
It isn't the symbols written on the wall.
It isn't the image carved into the victim's back.
It is something else, something he can't quite put his finger on, something he doesn't understand.
Then his partner disappears, leaving Tony alone as the world begins to unravel. As the body count rises Tony must scramble to adapt to this new supernatural world. A supernatural world that wants nothing to do with him and will shut him out at all costs. Until the killer's attention turns to Tony. Now he must work within the supernatural community's rules if he is going to come out of this case alive.
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Anthony Hollownton Series Book 2
Life was finally getting back to normal…almost
Two months ago homicide detective Anthony Hollownton was forcibly thrown into the supernatural world. A world that has been eerily silent ever since.
His partner is back but will never be the same. Talking about seeing things Tony knows are real.
At least it is the Fourth of July and patrolling the festivities should be a cake walk.
A mutilated body is stumbled upon and now it is all Tony can do not to jump to supernatural conclusions. Is his jarring previous case making him paranoid or is there more to this murder than meets the eye?
What inspired you to write this book?
The Hollownton series is inspired by a friend of mine. I was on the phone with him one day when I was in college making a joke and how ridiculous it would be for him to become a police officer. We went back-and-forth about how he's kind of thought about it and for whatever reason I just started telling him a story about what would happen with him as a police officer and because, for whatever reason, I struggle to tell a story that doesn't end up being some kind of urban fantasy it took a turn while I was telling it. By the time I ran out of steam and finished the scene he was silent on the phone before asking 'what happens next' and I didn't have an answer for him. So I ended up writing down what I told him and that became one of the first few scenes in the first Hollownton novel. By the time I got maybe a third of the way through writing it, because it just itched at me to work on it, I knew this was going to be a series and I knew it was going to be somewhere between four and seven books. Once that initial spark started from that joke the books just kind of took on a life of their own.
What can we expect from you in the future?
All the things! I'm just kidding, in the near future I am about two thirds of the way through the next book in my Night World series, which are paranormal romances. Once I finish that I will be writing book 3 in my Berman's Wolves Series, which is an urban fantasy about science made werewolves. Once that is done the Berman's wolves series will be done. After that I'm hoping to write the third Hollownton novel, though I don't know if that'll be out in 2018 for the beginning of 2019.
Beyond that it gets a little hazy but I have things planned out for the next three years, I won't bore you with the details of what books are coming out and the series that will be starting since they don't even actually exist yet.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I do in my head. I have all sorts of twisty turney paths that the characters have taken either in that deviation with the way the story is gone or side stories that have happened off screen, so to speak. Most of them probably won't ever get published, or even written down but they do exist.
I am what you would call a pantser which means that I start my books writing by the seat of my pants. Even though I have a vague idea of what the overarching themes for series are and there might be one or two events that have to happen in that book how I get there is just whatever happens while I'm writing. That means that when I'm doing my final edits before sending it off to the actual editor I am taking side stories out and adding new ones because they just don't fit with the flow of the story this creates many alternate universes of stories.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Hollownton Homicide / Outsiders?
The main character in the Anthony Hollownton series is Anthony, Tony, Hollonton. He is about 30 years old and a homicide detective in King County which is the county that Seattle is in in Washington State. I did fudge the way things are run a little bit for the books so there are real places and fake places intermingled. Anyway he's very much just an average guy who happens to be a workaholic. He wanted to become a cop so that he could help people and that was the best way he could think of doing it. He is a bit of a loner but not necessarily because he is antisocial just he is a workaholic. Mostly he just socializes with his partner and goes to Mariners games, as well as the gym. That is about it.
He's a decent guy who ends up landing a case that introduces him to this whole paranormal world he wasn't even aware existed and he struggles through the book with whether that world is real or not and by the end of the book he kind of begrudgingly excepts it. And then in the second book, outsiders, we see sort of the ramifications of that acceptance and what changes that acceptance makes to his personality.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
The main character for this book, Tony Hollownton, is based on a friend of mine who I've known for almost 20 years. I was making a joke one day about him being a cop and then started telling him a story about what happened to him as a cop and because I am a weirdo and all of my stories tend to go urban fantasy this one did as well. By the time I ran out of steam he was asking me what happened next and I didn't have any idea. I wrote it down and then proceeded to build a story around it. I then while I was writing it decided I was going to try and sneak caricatures of people that I knew into the books.
So far nobody has complained about their caricatures mainly because the characters don't always act like the person they just resemble them and looks. It's like a nod to the person the character is 'based on'. There are a lot of them that peak in and out of the story so it would be a very long answer if I named every single one of them.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
It was a while ago for these stories so I don't remember exactly. But as a general rule when I'm picking up names there tends to be a letter that I want the character's name to start with. And then I just go through out loud various names that start with that letter or I will go on a baby name website until I find one that I like and that that is the name I stick with. Anthony Hollownton's last name is a funny story. I was going to make up a county and call it Hollownton County and have it in encompass part of King County and Snohomish County, which are counties here in Washington State. I wanted to be able to have a little bit of wiggle room on what existed. The characters original last name was Fisher. Then I met an actual Tony Fisher and I felt kinda weird having a character with the exact same name as someone I met. Then my now husband and I started dating and that is his last name as well so I was like 'okay I have to change the character's last name.' So I ended up changing his last name to the name of the county and then putting Tony in the real world County of King County.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I like surprising myself. Because I write so much of the books by the seat of my pants I get really excited when I'm just trucking along through the story and all of a sudden something pops in my head that would veer the story off to the left or is a bit of an aha moment or is just a shocker. Those are my favorite part because they happen organically and it's just as much of a surprise to me as it is to the characters in the book which means, hopefully, it surprises the reader as well. When I surprise myself with something that's going to happen in the story that is definitely my favorite part of the writing process.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
The truth and helping people is really what makes Tony keep going. He wants to know what's really going on in the world around him and he also wants to help people as best he can. With the developments that happen throughout the series that makes what makes him tick increasingly harder to do and so we get to watch the frustration of his basic instincts of wanting to know the truth and helping people be at war with what's actually happening in the series.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
My first novel was Lady of the Dead, which is in my night world series. I gave it that title because the main character's position in the paranormal world is the Lady of the Dead and I couldn't come up with a catchier title so I figured that would work fine.
Who designed your book covers?
I have two cover designers that I work with. The first is at Bookin' It Designs, she does some of my books. The other is T.M.. Franklin who has a custom cover shop on Etsy.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
It's too soon to tell, it won't be until I'm writing the third book or after the second book has been out a while in the hall at an series that I will be like all man I wish I'd done that but there won't be anything immediately because I'm still so close to the process where I finished writing it. And while sure there are things I would've liked to have had in that book originally, things ebb and flow in the process of writing the book to make the final novel.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I did actually, it more confirmed a suspicion that I had writing the book before this. I've always been a pantser which means that I write as I go I might have a vague idea of what is going to happen throughout the story but there's no outlining or anything like that. With the book before this last one I really struggled writing it because when your pantsing, at least for me, you need to know that next scene to jump off of in the future. So what I discovered with this latest book that actually helped me finish it much faster than the book before it.
My last book before this was the second Berman's Wolves book and it took me a little over a year to write. Where Hollownton Outsiders took, I think, about six months.
What I learned was I work best if I pants through the first part of the book. Whether that be the first third or the first half. I just work my way through it and then as soon as I hit that writer's block or I don't know what comes next I step away for a day or two, then I come back and I start outlining. I might not be outlining immediately what happens next but the chapters after it, so that I have a paragraph to a page summary for each chapter in the rest of the book or at least the next few chapters or some portion of the book. Then I spend the rest of my writing time filling in those gaps chapter by chapter. So while pantsing is my favorite and how I work best I can't work consistently in a fashion that would get my books published on time without doing that outlining once I hit that first roadblock.
Gretchen is a Seattleite that loves her home. She has a day job as a Program Coordinator a local university. She loves to read, write and create characters. As well as knit and binge watch Netflix. She is also on a sporadic book blog and internet radio show with some of her college friends. She currently lives with her husband and their mischievous Rotti mix, who always seems to find something new she shouldn't be chewing on.
Gretchen loves to hear from her readers. So feel free to drop by!
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