<![CDATA[V. S. Holmes - Official Site of the Award-Winning Author - News]]>Sun, 16 Jan 2022 21:05:54 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[A Witchy, Star-Soaked Treat!]]>Sun, 16 Jan 2022 16:30:00 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/a-witchy-star-soaked-treat
A Dark and Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell was a dark, delicious treat for my winter reading! This witchy, star-soaked YA dark fantasy is set in the isolated fields beside an alpine lake. Derry and her several siblings-by-circumstance learn to hone their unique and varied magical gifts from the stern yet fatherly--and unmagical--Frank. Despite the sun on the lake surface and the wind in the trees, something dark encroaches on the idyllic setting as, one-by-one, Derry's siblings go missing. 

I was captivated by the cover of this book when it first crossed my Twitter timeline early in 2021--Derry's full, powerful arms covered in the vines of her budding magic were so beautiful, and the image of this young witch willing to do anything to protect her family did not lead me astray. Hollowell's writing is vivid without being florid. Derry's voice is sure and determined, complete with the anxieties and excitement that come with young adulthood and realizing you've outpaced your teachers. While the world Hollowell weaves is a dark one, it is also achingly familiar, reminding us of the press of the unknown when we've begun to expand beyond the borders of our childhood. I'm excited to see what comes next from Sarah Hollowell.

For fans of woody, witchy friendship and unassuming, badass protagonists!
<![CDATA[HERETICS on the Evening News!]]>Sun, 16 Jan 2022 15:35:19 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/heretics-on-the-evening-news
I stopped by Stingray TV last week to chat with Jasmine on their evening news! We talked about what it felt like to read the incredible Publishers Weekly review of HERETICS, creating empathy through characters' struggles, and where you can catch the latest Nel-news! 

A huge thanks to Stingray TV for this opportunity, Jasmine for her insightful questions, and to Creative Edge for connecting us!

<![CDATA[New Worlds, Old Friends]]>Fri, 14 Jan 2022 16:00:00 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/new-worlds-old-friends
Returning to Sci-Fi Saturday Night is always an absolute pleasure, even more so after the long, incredibly difficult past few years. Sharing the initial inspiration behind Nel's character, and how she's evolved since, with such big fans was delightful! It's been an honor to have such wonderful friends and fans throughout this journey--all the way from a dingy motel parking lot for our first interview!

Thanks to the awesome SFSN team and, of course, to Creative Edge for setting this up.

Listen Now!
<![CDATA["Sure To Be a Hit..."-Publishers Weekly]]>Wed, 12 Jan 2022 15:11:33 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/sure-to-be-a-hit-publishers-weekly
"Holmes blends archaeology and science fiction into a unique romp that’s sure to be a hit..."
-Publishers Weekly

I am so, so thrilled to share that Heretics received a 5-star review from Publishers Weekly! This is a huge deal, especially as an indie author. So often marginalized authors are forced into independent publishing, and thus our work never gets in front of the biggest reviewers. To have this amazing review of my foul-mouthed, angry, imperfect character and to have it be of a book I wrote during one of the darkest times of my life, means the absolute world. 

I couldn't have done this without my incredible team, both personally and professionally--particularly Creative Edge Publicity--and for that you have my deepest thanks!

Read the Full Review
Buy the Book!

<![CDATA[ANCIENT BONES, NEW SCIENCE]]>Thu, 14 Oct 2021 09:54:33 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/ancient-bones-new-science
Stopping by Reader’s Entertainment is always fun, and it’s been a little while. I was able to join them again for their Behind the Author segment. Last time I spoke about my love for space, but like my character Nel, my boots are firmly rooted on Earth. This time, I shared my love for my day job, and its deep connection to whe we come from, and where we're going. 

"I’m V, internationally bestselling sci-fi fantasy author, nerd, and archaeologist. I speak a lot about my love of science and space and humanity, but something I don’t often mention is how much I love the space between and the echoes and imprints we make in the space we leave behind.

Much of my day job as a contract archaeologist occurs in the strange transitional places of our society–forests soon-to-be parking lots, parking lots soon-to-be buildings, and oh so many powerline corridors. It’s impossible not to feel the unyielding press of progress as we hike from test pit to test pit...."
Read More

<![CDATA[broken, bloody, and brilliant]]>Fri, 24 Sep 2021 21:30:52 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/broken-bloody-and-brilliant
I just finished--just as in, this very morning--Even If We Break, by Marieke Nijkamp. It's an incredible YA horror/thriller, set against the backdrop of a stormy, haunted mountain in the southwestern U.S. Five semi-estranged friends convene at one of their family's luxury cabins for their last tabletop gaming night before college, internships, and adult jobs sink their teeth in. As their RPG characters unearth a fictional murder mystery, the teens--each hiding their own terrible secrets--begin to uncover a bloody plot that is entirely too real. 

This is my first foray into one of Nijkamp's grusome, clever worlds, and boy did I enjoy it! Her characterization perfectly captures the heartache of new adulthood, and the pain of realizing you have outgrown dear friendships--or they have outgrown you. The confines of a hunted mountain, the game that binds the group together, and the secrets that drive them apart, all add a great modern gothic feel.  I was thrilled to find two trans characters--nonbinary and a trans guy--plus an autistic character, and two others with physical disabilities, all of whom were thoughtfully written. While decidedly creepy, the real fear throughout the novel was whether each of the friends could remember to trust one another in time--or if they would be picked off when their time came. 

For fans looking for a creepy, nerdy, yearning read! 5 stars!
<![CDATA[strap in for the ride]]>Wed, 15 Sep 2021 16:00:00 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/strap-in-for-the-ride
Aurealis Magazine is back with this glowing review of Nel's second adventure!

"...​​After the absorbing, dig-based, science-y plot of the first book in the series
(Travelers), the story in Drifters departs along different parabolas. Nel adopts survivalist mode as a fugitive from justice, somehow staying alive through freezing conditions, starvation rations, and random injuries. Ex-lovers appear when she needs them, only to put themselves in danger, and it’s hard to distinguish the good pursuers from the evil ones.

It’s also hard to resist the breathless pace of this adventure, even in its unlikeliest moments. I Shouldn’t Be Alive meets the X-Files—strap in for the ride and follow Nel through privation and exhaustion as she seeks the meeting place with her backers. After all, her extraterrestrial lover is out there somewhere, and the thrilling expanse of outer space beckons.

Read this, and get your hands on book three as soon as you can."
<![CDATA[Coming to headphones near you!]]>Sun, 12 Sep 2021 14:28:00 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/coming-to-headphones-near-youGot some exciting news in the wake of the Lightning and Flames audiobook production--book one, Smoke and Rain, will be getting a brand-new audiobook remastering! Jake Ruddle, the incredible narrator of the Blood of Titans series, will be producing a newly narrated and finalized version of the first book, to be released with its sequel. If you haven't already stepped into this dark, slow-burner of a story, this is the perfect time to hear Alea, Arman, and Bren's stories brought to vivid life through your headphones! 
<![CDATA[Holmes leaves no option but to keep reading]]>Sat, 14 Aug 2021 13:57:11 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/holmes-leaves-no-option-but-to-keep-reading
So honored by these review from Aurealis Magazine on Travelers!

"...Holmes immerses the reader in the dirty and painstakingly slow processes of on-the-ground archaeology. There’s enough readerly fascination to snag attention, while wincing at Nel’s behaviour. Setting up an engaging but unlikeable main protagonist is a feat. Holmes leaves no option but to keep reading. A romp through pre-history using the framework of universal history, Travelers opens unexpected storylines to play out in the next three episodes. Readers who like stubborn, badly behaved but splendid characters will have a ball. The vibe is deadpan, gumshoe noir. She may be no Lara Croft, but Nel is some adventurer."
<![CDATA[Join Me At When Words Collide]]>Sun, 23 May 2021 17:26:24 GMThttp://vsholmes.com/news/join-me-at-when-words-collide
This is exciting to finally share: August 13th - 15th I'll be joining the When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers! It's both virtual and in-person, though I'll be tuning in virtually. The lineup of panels is so incredible, and I'm honored to be on four of them!  I've put times and descriptions of the panels of which I'll be a part below, but be sure to see what else this amazing group has to offer. 

Check out the Festival and you can register for FREE!

Friday 2 PM
Awakening to Social Sensitivity Panel

This panel will discuss writing about other genders, races, classes, cultures with honesty and sensitivity. How can a writer be inclusive without appropriating or creating token characters? 

Saturday 10 AM
Writing Well: Diversity and Sensitivity Panel

Proactively looking at writing diversity well in your works. Discussion on how to be mindfully inclusive while navigating the "forced diversity" narrative, how to avoid writing stereotypes offensive to minorities, and best practices on choosing sensitivity consultants/editors/readers.

Sunday 2 PM
Translating Real Science into Gripping Fiction Panel

Fiction authors discuss using hard science as a source of inspiration, and sometimes a basis, for their fiction. 

Sunday 4 PM
Science Fiction As a Critical Tool for Understanding Social and Political Issues Panel

"Art plays a key role in shaping people's view of the world, and on the
twenty-first century science-fiction is arguably the most important genre of
all, for it shapes how most people understand things such as AI,
bioengineering, and climate change. We certainly need good science, but
from political perspective, a good science-fiction movie is worth far more
than an article in Science or Nature."
- Yuval Noah Harari, "21 Lessons for the 21st Century"