Saying goodbye to characters

One of the most fun things about being an author is getting to know such fun, unique characters.

In The Book of Imagination, the main characters of the overall series (Tom, Katie, Chad, Sharice, Melissa) meet some astounding, funny, sweet characters. One of my favorites to write was probably Underwargen, Undy for short. Ugly but lovable, Undy quickly endeared himself to the children and to me as an author. I thought for sure I wouldn’t have a character in The Quest for the Artifacts (now available on Amazon, yay!) who I felt the same connection with. It was a different book, a different kid’s imagination, etc.

And then came Skeete the pirate parrot. For those who have yet to read The Quest for the Artifacts, I won’t reveal too much about him. Just know that he’s probably in my top ten of favorite characters to write about so far in my writing career.

Thinking about characters gave me an idea. I am in the process of writing character profiles for some of the main characters in the books, starting with the five kids and expanding from there! Keep an eye out for a blog post soon with the first character profile (hint: it will be one of the girls). I’m working with a friend and excellent artist to do renderings of the characters to include with the profiles as well! It is a fun endeavor, and one I hope you will enjoy.

This brings me to a question for YOU. Who is your favorite character in the series so far? I’d love to know! email me at or contact me on Facebook, comment on this post, etc. This will help me come up with my list of character profiles. Thanks in advance!

~El Holly

FREE! (What?)

Everybody likes free stuff, right? (I guess that depends on what is being offered.)

I’m excited to announce that the e-book version of The Book of Imagination (Phantasmic Wars Book 1) will be offered for free for a few days next week!

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This promotion is for a limited time only, from Feb 13-17 (Tues-Sat).

What perfect timing, though! The Quest for the Artifacts will be released just a few weeks later, in the beginning of March. My family and I are going on a Florida vacation from March 1-5 and I intend to make sure it is published right around then.

Happy reading!

~El Holly


Back at it…

Life happens, right? I had gone years without writing much at all when I first had my two kiddos. Even still, since I had gotten back into the habit over the last year, it felt strange going nearly a week without penning a page.

Granted, it wasn’t for lack of ideas. I had some nights that I would text myself an idea because I didn’t want to get up to grab my laptop (I’m also thinking I should maybe invest in a journal to go by my nightstand for moments like this!).

No, the last few weeks have been an all-consuming tide of grading and prepwork as one semester ends and another begins. (For those who might not know – I am an online high school English Language Arts teacher.) The days were long; filled with emails to and from students, finalizing grades from semester 1, frantically setting up my semester 2 classes…

And now, it’s Friday, and I am only 5 days away from my personal deadline for finishing the first draft of The Quest for the Artifacts…with 5 chapters to go.

Am I exhausted? Yes. Do I have a cup of coffee next to me at nearly nine at night? Yes. Am I working in my pajamas? Quite possibly.

But I am so excited…the end is in sight, and I just had to share…I’ve officially written over 200 pages for book 2! At this rate, it looks like book 2 will be just a bit longer than The Book of Imagination.

So, in celebration and joy, I am going to finish my coffee and keep on writing.


And the countdown begins…

It’s a self-imposed deadline, but one I plan on keeping…the release of Phantasmic Wars: The Quest for the Artifacts (book 2 in the Phantasmic Wars series) is set for March 2018 (a month and a half away from now!).

To say The Quest for the Artifacts has been a long time coming would be a bit of an understatement. I remember printing off the very first copy of The Book of Imagination on 8.5×11 paper, taking the time to punch holes in all the pages using a three-hole-punch, and carefully arranging it in three-ring binders for one of my sisters and some of my cousins to read.

That was more years ago than I care to admit.

When I finally got around to the idea of publishing it, I opened up the document somewhat nervously. What would I find? Would I like it, or would I be embarrassed at my previous attempt at storytelling?

Well, it needed a lot of editing and revising, but I LOVED it. Rereading it gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in the plot line and familiarize myself with characters I had nearly forgotten. The stretch of time had, in fact, proved useful. I came away from my editing/revising session bursting with ideas for the rest of the series.

And you know what?

It’s going to be a pretty action-packed, random, amusing series.

As I near completion on book 2, I find myself itching to start books 3 and 4…and considering ideas for potential prequels/other books in the universe. And from there, who knows?

I’m just glad I decided to start this journey, wherever it takes me.

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. - Albert Einstein