AUTHOR | archaeologist | advocate
V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the REFORGED series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary's Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.
When not writing, they work as a contract archaeologist throughout the northeastern U.S. They live in a Tiny House with their spouse, a fellow archaeologist, their not-so-tiny dog, and own too many books for such a small abode. As a disabled and queer human, they work as an advocate and educator for representation in SFF worlds.
Represented by Creative Edge Publicity
Like most authors, I began writing as a child--my first series was the Adventures of Heidi Bear (my stuffed teddy bear). My mother encouraged my writing, while my dad sparked my imagination with stories of his hitchhiking days and time serving overseas in the U. S. Air Force.
The story that is now Reforged started with a single image in National Geographic when I was thirteen--ruins in a desert. Yes, even then I had a flare for the bleak and dramatic. I lay on my floor scribbling into the night, missing the call for dinner as I squinted at my notebook, too engrossed to even turn on a light. I shared it with a few classmates who were both literary-inclined, forming my first critique group, including some hardcore shipping and fan-girling!
I worked on the manuscript through high school, pouring the usual teenage angst, rage after surviving an abusive relationship, and longing for a better world into my fantasy universe. I was always serious about writing, but it took a back burner to my college career until I graduated in 2013. Thus began my arduous journey toward traditional publishing. Querying isn't for the faint of heart, but I'm neurotic about research. Despite several requests (and countless rejections), I couldn't find an agent who I felt was the right fit for my voice and work.
Enter Granite State Comic Con 2014 and sci-fi author Ariele Sieling.
V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling SFF author. They write the Nel Bently Books and the Reforged series. Their debut, Smoke and Rain, won New Apple Literary's Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015. They also work as an advocate for disabled and queer representation in SFF worlds.
I lay on the floor, scribbling into the night...too engrossed to even turn on a light."
I was married to an artist at the time, and he dabbled in the convention scene to promote his work. Granite Con is a great local convention in Manchester NH, and perfect for our first con. Our table was located next two two authors--Ariele and her friend Christopher Kellen. They both had several books available and over the weekend I chatted with them about their choice to go indie. With a mother in traditional publishing, I was skeptical of "self-publishing," and while impressed by the quality of both Ariele and Chris's work, I wasn't sure if it was for me. After a winter of letting the idea percolate, I finally called my best friend and critique partner, Marissa.
"Let's start a publishing company."
So, Amphibian Press was born. Two women, dedicated to authentic stories, refusing to listen to the gate-keepers. Our friendship and my writing weathered divorce, diagnosis of a chronic illness, and countless seedy hotel rooms as I travel to archaeological sites. It's been a tough journey, but after twelve years the story I began on my bedroom floor became my award-winning debut, Smoke and Rain, and later, in 2019, became an international bestselling fantasy in Australia, the UK, and Canada.
Through it all, books remain my constant, and the drive behind why I dig is the same inspiration for my writing--I'm searching for the truth in the story, the why and how of humans, whether 13,000 years in the past, or on another planet. Though I can only guess what the next few years will bring, I can't wait to share it with you--through Nel Bently's adventures and the twisting, changing landscape of the Reforged universe.
For now, I'll keep digging.