Blog Articles

Why I Self-Publish

By Mary Holland / July 6, 2014

Because I’m old. Okay, I’m not exactly being followed around by some jerk in a long black robe waving a scythe, or not more than any of us are. But I’m not young. I read a woman’s obituary in a local paper a few years ago. I can’t remember many details but one thing stuck with me: she’d written 13 books, all of them unpublished. I don’t want to be that woman. Everything came together … Read more

Getting Stuck/Getting Unstuck

By Mary Holland / June 14, 2014

About two months ago I got stuck. The Dog of Pel was over half done but I could not see my way forward. Or rather I had so many possibilities and permutations I was writing scenes, changing my mind, rewriting scenes, and ripping them out. I have three fallback techniques, which aren’t really techniques but tricks to fool myself and force my brain to solve the problem. I tried two and invented a third, which … Read more

Mary Stewart, In Fond Memory

By Mary Holland / May 16, 2014

Mary Stewart, the extremely successful writer of romantic suspense, has died at the age of 98.  I scrolled back through the hundreds and hundreds of reviews of her books on Goodreads and Amazon. This is impressive since all of these books were written decades before the Internet and when computers were housed in specially built warehouses. Most of the reviews were three stars and above but I noticed a few comments about how unoriginal the … Read more

David Weber Despite Himself

By Mary Holland / May 2, 2014

David Weber is a very successful author, published by both Tor and Baen, and responsible for the long running Honor Harrington series and the Safehold series. I enjoy Weber’s space operas in the same spirit I enjoy O’Brian’s Aubrey and Maturin seafaring novels. I may never be able to tell a mizzenmast from jib sail or a superdreadnaught from a tractor beam but I trust Weber to control all the details and simply take it … Read more

Work In Progress

By Mary Holland / April 12, 2014

I’m ambivalent giving details of the novel in progress. For one thing I change my mind a lot. For another sometimes I have a great idea but talking about it to another person kills it. So without going into too much detail, here’s the current state of being: The title will probably be The Dog of Pel. I can see myself spending the next two years saying “No, I’m not writing about a dog” which … Read more

While They Last: Paperback Sale

By Mary Holland / April 4, 2014

I have six remaining paperback copies of The Bone Road with the original cover. I’m selling them for $10 each which includes priority mail shipping. If anyone wants one, email me at and I’ll send you payment instructions. These editions are the complete and unchanged text currently selling on Amazon for $19.69 and direct from Lulu for $18.70. The only difference is the cover. If you want to see the difference between covers, go … Read more

Page Changes

By Mary Holland / March 15, 2014

I’m attempting to update my website. I’ll be working on this intermittently for the next month or so. Some old links won’t be functional, but if you are looking for a particular blog post and can’t find it, go to the main page and check the postings in the right column. Or send me an email ( and I’ll send you the new link. As far as I can tell, these changes will mostly affect … Read more

Five Years On

By Mary Holland / March 8, 2014

  I’m coming up on the anniversary of my layoff: it will be five years in April. Anniversaries are odd times. My brain keeps a good neurotic’s calendar and I’ve been having flashbacks to events in the corporate life. What’s funny, at least to me, is I’m remembering the absurd and whacked-out looney moments, the ones where I would gape in disbelief: “You’re kidding. This is a joke, right?” And it never ever was. I … Read more

Accidental Stupidity (Almost)

By Mary Holland / February 4, 2014

As a human, I’m a stacker. I stack the ten books I am more or less reading by my chair, I stack all the papers I have to do something with on my desk and my computer desktop is littered with gifs and jpegs and docs, some in folders and some simply floating around getting in my way. Every so often I tidy up. Today I was cleaning up the desktop, putting the cartoons in … Read more

This Be The Worst

By Mary Holland / November 27, 2013

When I read a self-published book, especially on a Kindle, I cut the author a great deal of slack. I know how difficult it can be to successfully format for Kindle — trust me, epub is way easier. So if I’m reading for review, I’ll concentrate on plot structure, character development, and plain old-fashioned enjoyment. Typos and weird paragraphing, non-working chapter links, even font size changes: I try to rise above it all. If it’s … Read more