Richard: How did you start your writing career?
Nancy: When I was a little girl, I wrote all the time. I wrote movie scripts, romances, high fantasies, and horse stories (little girls have a thing about horses. My father was a psychiatrist and he said it was very Freudian). My father and my grandmother both encouraged me to write, so of course I dropped out of high school and moved to Europe to become a ballet dancer. Eventually I went to college and as an undergraduate, I still got a lot of encouragement to be a writer from my first mentor, Dr. John Waterhouse. He told me to send things out. I did. They got rejected. I decided that being a writer was as terrible a profession as being a professional dancer, and I decided to get my MBA. But I hated my program. I thought about getting an MFA in creative writing. But then I decided that if I was going to be a writer, I should write. So I dropped out of grad school and wrote. My first effort was a historical romance novel that has never sold. Two novels later, I sold my "first"
By the way, I sold five novels before I sold a short story. So anyone who thinks they have to write short fiction first--that's not true.
Richard: How did you get involved with writing a story for "Domino Lady"?
Nancy: I am so excited about DOMINO LADY, both the anthology and the comic book. I was already on board at Moonstone for their Zorro anthology. It is difficult to describe how much it meant to me to write about Zorro, and how much I loved working for my editor, Richard Dean-Starr, and my publisher, Joe Gentile. Then Joe told me about the Domino Lady anthology, and I started my story for Lori G, my editor.
Then Joe asked me if I wanted to write the comic book. I was stoked! I had dreamed of writing comics for years. I've read the O'Neil book and Alan Moore's discussion, "On Writing for Comics," THE COMICS JOURNAL, Jan/March/April 1988. I had taken a fantastic comic book class (from David Cody Weiss and Bobbi JG Weiss) years ago. I wanted to write BUFFY or ANGEL comics but that didn't happen. So I was thrilled when Joe asked.
Ha. Then came the hard part. I don't think I have ever done anything as difficult in my life as write my first issue. I just turned in my first revision and I can already see a dozen things I wished I'd done differently.
Comic book writing is such an art form. I am in awe of my betters, truly.
Richard: What impact has Lori G had on you?
Nancy: Lori G is such an amazing editor. She made some insightful suggestions for revision in my Sherlock Holmes story; I could see what a clever editor she was, so I was eager to get to work on the comic book. Uh, until it was time to get to work on the comic book. I discovered I was very nervous (and daunted!) by the sheer scale of everything there was to take into account. Joe had sent me the O'Neil book, which was a lifechanger, seriously. But I saw that I really, truly, was dealing with an entirely new art form.
Then Lori took over; she held my hand and gave me great notes and direction. She reminded me that I knew how to tell a story; this was just a different way of doing that. After much dithering, I got to work. We're in production on the first book now, so I'm very excited. And I have Lori to thank for that!
Richard: Can you identify with her character?
Nancy: I have a few things in common with Domino Lady. I'm a blonde Californian and I lost my father at an early age. She's a heck of a lot ballsier and far more gorgeous than I am, though.
Richard: What is your story about in "Domino Lady"?
Nancy: For my story in the Domino Lady anthology, DL teams up with Sherlock Holmes to take down a Hyde-like stalker who has drunk the last vial of Dr. Jekyll's serum. I rented many of the Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce team-ups of Holmes when Holmes was in 40's England. As a result I became a complete Basil Rathbone freak. He is the ONE. I also fell in love with CHINATOWN.
Richard: What would a potential customer be able to look forward to in this graphic novel?
Nancy: The really great thing about the anthology is all the team-ups of DL and many other pulp characters, including The Phantom.
And there are other great stand-alone stories celebrating noir pulp fiction.
Richard: How did the artist illustrate your story?
Nancy: For my story in the anthology, Ver Curtiss, my artist illustrated a key scene with Holmes smoking his Meerschaum and playing the violin. The cover of the book is so sexy. No wonder men swoon on sight when DL struts into the room.
Nancy: My comic artists are Leeahd Goldberg & Greg Lawhun. I haven't seen the art yet. Since it's Moonstone, I know it will be killer.
Richard: What is the "Gifted" series all about and in particular "Daughter of the Shadows"?
Nancy: The "Gifted" series is a series of paranormal adventures sort of like Buffy, set in our world. But there are magic users and Supernaturals that the average (Ungifted) human being knows nothing about. My heroine, Isabella "Izzy" DeMarco, has a very sexy mentor named Jean-Marc. JM is trying really hard to keep things on a professional level. Good luck.
DAUGHTER OF THE SHADOWS has been renamed "SON OF THE SHADOWS" and it will be out from Silhouette Nocturne in August of this year. I can't wait. Everyone at Silhouette is so professional /and/friendly. I'm currently writing a long short story about the Gifted for "Nocturne Bites," which are e-stories from Silhouette, as well as a story about them for THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE. I'm also in talks to write a young adult short story about the Gifted for a young adult vampire anthology.
Richard: What is your "Wicked" series about?
Nancy: "WICKED" is a series about a young woman named Holly who discovers that she is the leader of a coven of witches. Her two closest coven mates are Amanda and Nicole, her cousins. She falls in love with Jeraud, who belongs to a family practicing the Dark Arts, and with whom her coven has a historical vendetta. My coauthor, Debbie Viguie, and I are eagerly awaiting the green light to work on another installment.
Richard: Do you enjoy writing about Buffy, Angel and Smallville?
Nancy: I love writing about Buffy, Angel, and Smallville. I'm teaching a class at the University of California at San Diego about Buffy and we always stay late to watch an tv together. Joss is forever my captain. Writing about Clark was also a huge thrill, and I would love to go back into the Superverse.
Richard: What do you have planned for the future?
Nancy: Planned for the future: I'm working on two young adult horror novels for Penguin and I want to do more of everything I've mentioned. But most of all...I want to write some more Domino Lady! It will be such a thrill to FINALLY be able to say that I'm a comic book writer when I go to Comic-Con.
Richard: Do you like animals?
Nancy: My daughter Belle and I have two cats, whom we love dearly. We are on the verge of adopting a Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy. We have been preparing for his arrival for months. We visit his litter, his mom, and his grandpa dog once a week. He is nearly old enough to leave the litter. His name is Panda and he is darling.
Richard: Who is the most important person in your life?
Nancy: Belle is the most important person in my life. She is wise, kind, and incredibly stubborn. We have written two short stories about a magical mouse named Lightning Merriemouse-Jones, which we have sold to two DAW anthologies: FURRY FANTASTIC and PANDORA'S CLOSET. Lightning was Belle's mouse in real life, but alas, she has gone to Mouse Heaven (or is time-traveling, depending on your faith tradition.)
Richard: How can someone contact you?
Nancy: People can contact me by going to www.nancyholder.com and using the "Contact Nancy" feature.
Richard: Any final words of wisdom?
Nancy: Final words of wisdom: focus. Breathe. Read. Write. Be happy.