Welcome to my party!


Help yourself to the cookies, the many varieties of cheese, fresh fruit, home-baked breads and pies, and of course, chocolate and champagne. I’m celebrating the rights reversion of my novel TALYN, and thanking both Robin Rue and Beth Miller (and my agency, WRITERS HOUSE) for making this happen.

But while we’re here (and simultaneously live on Twitter) meet my other guests, hold conversations with each other, and ask me whatever you’d like.

I’ll happily answer questions about my books, both in-print and upcoming, my move to self-publishing, do writing neep, whatever.

I won’t give spoilers, but I will give hints. ๐Ÿ˜€

There may be a lag in seeing your FIRST post appear; if you haven’t posted here before, I have to MANUALLY approve your post (which does pretty well keeping spam off my site). But once your first post is approved, the rest will show up right away.

I’ll be splitting time between answering posts here and Twitter, and will be around from 10 AM to 3 PM Eastern Time.

We may get crowded. If by chance we crash my site, I’ll still be on Twitter. Join me there.

Follow @hollylisle

Thank you for coming. I’m delighted to have this reason to celebrate, and delighted you’re here.

The OFFICIAL party is now over. But I’ll still be answering posts and questions here over the weekend If you have anything you’d like to know about books or courses or writing or whatever, I’ll be here tomorrow and Sunday after I get my words on WARPAINT.

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236 responses to “TALYN PARTY!”

  1. Lewinna Avatar

    I have a question (if you have time to answer!); I just finished “Gods Old and Dark” and you had mentioned at the party maybe writing the rest of the World Gates series? Perhaps I’m remembering that wrong (maybe it was another series). However it seems like those aren’t books you have the rights back on yet so maybe that will take a while. Regardless, I loved the books (my favorites of yours for sure, maybe even more than Arhel which also I loved), and I do hope to someday see more.
    I really like the Dragons in these two series ๐Ÿ™‚ Baanraak is an awesome character.

  2. Julia Avatar

    Congratulations!!!! I bet that feels wonderful! So happy for you!

  3. sallie Avatar

    Sorry i missed the party … I forgot in the travails of a down transmission on my transport vehicle, and other things … looks like it was a lot of fun! enjoying all the tweets and commentary

  4. K.L. Parnell Avatar

    Although I have a number of your pdfs on writing, I have never read any of your fiction. Once Talyn comes out as an e-book, I’ll have to get it. I have a number of novels and novel ideas floating around in my laptop and mind, but have yet to complete one. But, hope springs eternal! So I’m wondering, do you recommend self-publishing even for beginning authors?

    =^..^= )~

  5. Felicia Fredlund Avatar
    Felicia Fredlund

    Congratulations Holly!

    Unlike everyone else I managed to buy Talyn and Hawkspar as paperbacks just last year or so. (I have no idea where the Swedish website that sells books got it from though.) They were different from other things I’ve read, but I think that is a good thing, and I might just have to reread them soon.

    Thanks to your courses (HTTS, HTRYN, HTWAS) I’ve started to take my writing seriously. Before I only thought about it, dreamed about it. But now I have a plan. Last year I went through HTTS (well partly anyway) and with the help of nano for motivation I wrote my first draft. This year I’m tackling HTRYN, and I hope to finish it in that time, but I guess we’ll just have to see.

    I have a question if you have some time when not writing this weekend.

    I have a character I created a long time ago (I was 13/14 and I’m turning 23 this year). She has grown and changed and reverted many times in my head and in different role playing adventures and a few short “stories”. But always she comes back and I want to write a novel about her. However I have no where to begin.
    Do you have any advice for how I’d try and figure out which iteration I can/should use, if it’s better to take her back to her roots or evolve her?

    I really want to write her story, but I’m not sure what her story is or where I should begin. Thanks in advance and congratulations again!

  6. Chris Kelworth Avatar

    Congratulations on getting your book back! I hope your next step with it is very fulfilling.

  7. Kirsten Avatar

    I’d like to add my hearty congrats to the list even though it looks like I’m a bit late to this fantastic party. Any cheese left on that platter for me?

    ‘Talyn’ is a stunning story, and I’m glad so many more people will now have a chance to enjoy it.

    Thanks for all that you do. The internet is a better place because you’re on it!

  8. naomi Avatar

    Late to the party, but celebrating with you in spirit. I have a friend who just got her rights back for her first three books and is thrilled to be publishing them as ebooks online. So thrilled for you!

    Quick question, do you have the ebook rights for your four romantic supsense novels you wrote for Onyx and if so, do you plan to make those books available as ebooks online? I love your fantasy novels, and I truly enjoyed your Onyx books as well. I lost my copies in a move and now that I’ve moved to an ereader I look forward to the day the books are available in that format.

    Congrats again!

  9. WandersNowhere Avatar

    Aaaw, I knew I’d miss the party (timezones!) but I’m very glad to hear your good news, Holly. I’ve been on a break from my novel dealing with lots of real life whatevers but I’m about to launch back into it. I STILL haven’t finished HTRYN but I do have a very clear image of what I want the final book to be, thanks to your courses ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Lesa Avatar

    I just wanted to congratulate you, Holly! I’m so happy for you. Thanks for the invitation, too. I’m sorry I couldn’t attend.

  11. Carissa Avatar

    Hey Holly!

    I’m very upset that I missed the party! I wanted to tell you that you’re an enormous help to me and my writing. I’ve been following tips from Stephen King and you for the past couple of weeks and I do believe it is improving my skills. I was hoping that I could possibly get on here and ask you some questions, but since I missed out on your one on one time, I guess I’ll have to ask some other time.

    I also wanted to say that I have yet to read any of your books, but I do look forward to a few them. Currently, I’m short on money so it may be awhile, ha ha! Congratulations on getting back your rights! That is fantastic news! Cheers to you, Robin and Beth!

    One last thing is this nineteen year old thanks you for being such a great help to those around you and aspiring to do what you do. Your compassion and humor help me out every time I read your e-mails and I just started reading all of them this week. I’m currently working on five books and I suffer from Writer’s Block which is how I found your page (my friend found it for me.) I appreciate what you’ve reminded us to do and reminded us of what we may have forgotten we’re supposed to do.

    Write for our own enjoyment, not everyone else’s. If it doesn’t appeal to us, it won’t appeal to anyone else. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you very, very much!

  12. SJ Collins Avatar

    Hi Holly, this is Raining_ink from Twitter. I had a question though I fear you may have already answered it before. I apologize if this is the case. Or if a Fellow HTTS or HTRYN knows the answer and would like to save Holly the time, feel free to educate me!

    As someone who has already purchased HTTS and HTRYN, do I have to download all the lessons to my hard drive in order to retain access to them once they’ve been formatted for the Kindle or will I (and fellow students) have access to the Kindle versions once they’ve been moved off site? (“Will we have to re-purchase it once it’s reformatted for Kindle?” is, I suppose, my main question.)

    Thank you so much for everything. You are such inspiration to us all.

    1. PapaBear Avatar

      I know this is way late, but I would be interested in the answer to this question also as I am in the midst of HTTS, but would love to have the course on my Tablet also for easy reference when I need to refer back to some point.

      1. SJ Collins Avatar

        Thought I’d answer so that Holly doesn’t have to. ๐Ÿ™‚

        I did some digging and Holly did state that current HTTS students and Grads will retain lifetime access to the courses. Not sure how it will work in terms of how they go about doing that, but in Holly and Margaret we trust!

  13. NancyJ Avatar

    Back with more confetti. I love a great party. Especially one that celebrates great achievements. Party on!

  14. Carole McKee-Spalino Avatar

    I can see that all of the treats at the party were calorie-free. Sorry–I just missed it. My BIG question is how do I get readers to recognize me and seek out my books? I’m sure that is every unknown writer’s question. Right?

  15. Marti Verlander Avatar

    Holly, I just missed your party! I’m so sorry! We’re in the middle of moving back home this week and I didn’t get to my e-mail until about 1:30 Central Time.

    A HUGE, if belated, congratulations to you and to Robin and Beth for a decisive victory in favor of authors! I’m E-mailing lots of chocolate confetti to all three of you, with blown glass goblets of the finest bubbly anywhere. Enjoy!

  16. Kitty Avatar

    Congratulations on publishing a new book. You must be so thrilled. Sorry I missed the official party. i thought it ran from noon till 3pm.

  17. Terriann Gill Avatar
    Terriann Gill

    Congrats. I’m very happy for you.
    I have a question for you if you have the time. I’m writing my first book/first draft and I get hung-up on research. I know some people love research but it gives me trouble and ties up my muse. Should I blaze a trail and get the book finished and then iron out the details like period-correct clothing and weapons later in the revision process? Today I spent the day making sure my timeline works but didn’t get any new writing done. How do handle this part of the writing process?
    Kind regards,

  18. PapaBear Avatar

    Congrats Holly. It is pretty impressive to see you stick up for something you believed in and fought until you obtained it. I am just on Lesson 4 of HTTS, but you constantly inspire me to stick with it and strive for the gold ring.

  19. Piia Bredenberg Avatar

    Congratulations Holly!

  20. Kitty Avatar

    Wow, I thought the party started at noon?

  21. Elizabeth Anne Mitchell Avatar

    Congrats on the rights reversion, Holly! Thank you for all the help you’ve given me–and I have yet to take all your courses.

  22. Connie Cockrell Avatar

    Congratulations on getting your work back!

  23. bev irwin Avatar

    Congratulations, Holly

    Kendra James / Bev Irwin

  24. Janet Bailey Avatar
    Janet Bailey

    I would have dropped a note of congratulations this morning, but wondered how the comments were being entered. This afternoon, I see a Leave a Reply box now and just had to
    wish you great success with the rights conversion and all that go with it.
    I take a couple of your classes and just love all the information you give.

  25. Vicky Avatar

    Throwing confetti! I brought some chocolate mousse. Yum! I was glad to hear you won the rights back. Your writing is entrancing and I’m glad to hear you will be writing full time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Wanda Dent Avatar
    Wanda Dent

    Congrats. Happy for you. I hope to be able to take the HTTS course soon. Finances aren’t to good right now. Love your clinics. Very helpful. So am attempting to outline my novel. Keep up the good work. Love your Cadence character. Ooo, chocolate.

  27. Betty Nearing Avatar
    Betty Nearing

    This is a great opportunity to thank you for your common sense approach to creative writing. You have helped me to have the nerve to self-publish my first novel, The Island House, and subsequently upload it to Kindle. Without your help and encouragement, I don’t think I would have had the nerve. So happy that you now have what has always been rightfully yours back in your control. Congratulations and happy writing.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Post a link to your book here so folks can find it. And congratulation. I’m thrilled for you.

      And I’m delighted I could help.

  28. D. S. Kane (David Spiselman) Avatar

    Congrats! And, thanks for all your invaluable coaching.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Hi, David. Thank for the congrats, and you’re welcome for the help. Glad I can.

  29. Rabea Hofmann Avatar

    Hi, Holly. Since this is a party already and I’m in SUCH a good mood for reading a post on the HTRYN forum just now, I wanted to thank you for your great advice. I’ve got two rather wrecked first drafts, one of which I wrote prior to HTTS, and I’ve been in agony trying to decide whether to try a revision or to do yet another rewrite–I’ve stopped counting how many I’ve done on one of the two projects.

    Having read your forum post on this topic, I’m now going to take both of them through HTRYN once I have finished my current project, and then I’m going to let it go and move on to new projects. You’ve single-handedly saved me from a lifetime in rewrite hell.

    I know you’ve got your hands really full at the moment. Please don’t worry about replying to this. I really just wanted to share my joy! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Holly Avatar

      Kick ass on the revisions. I’ll look for you on the forums and cheer you on.

      And thanks. I’m happy. Today is a good day. Rights reversions are a wonderful thing.

  30. Margaret Avatar

    You darn East Coasters start the celebration WAY too early :). But I made it. Congrats again on getting your rights back, and thank you Beth and Robin for making it happen. I can’t wait to see what else you do in that world :).

    1. Holly Avatar

      Sorry, Margaret. Thanks for coming, and have some cookies, and another round of cheers for Robin and Beth and Writers House, who all kick ass. ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. June Diehl Avatar

    Hi Holly (and everyone)!

    Wahoooo and congratulations, Holly! And awesome party. I did sneak a piece of chocolate…just getting over the flu.

    Hope to see the ebook TALYN soon!

    Take care,

    1. Holly Avatar

      Hugs on the flu. I hear chocolate is very good for that.

      And thanks for coming, June. Nice to see you again. ๐Ÿ˜€

  32. Holly Avatar

    @hollylisle Do you ever get discouraged, like a story or idea isn’t good enough, in any sense? How do you get past your inner editor?

    The first drafts of my work are NEVER good enough. But I have learned how to revise to make the final version what I had in mind when I came up with the idea. So my final work is exactly what I want it to be when I finish it.

    And I’m generally pretty pleased with it long-term.

    And I made it clear to my inner editor a long time ago that it works for me, and its sole job is to give me only the input I want in order to make the book into what I want it to be.

    I don’t second-guess myself.

    Figure out what you want the book to be, what you want it to say, why it matters to you, and why you’re writing it. When you know that, your inner editor will fall in line.

  33. Robert Billing (Astropolis) Avatar
    Robert Billing (Astropolis)


    Congrats, we must get in touch again. I wish you well. BTW I’ve had quite a lot published since we last spoke.

    All possible good wishes.

    (I’m posting from my laptop on a train, so please excuse brevity.)

  34. DasteRoad Avatar

    Holly, I’d like to take the occasion of this party to thank you for, well, simply for being you: a great writer, an inspiring teacher, a tought-provoking woman. I discovered your courses and books back in 2007, and I’ve come a long way from there: I stopped tinkering with the same book in the same huge overgrown series over and over, I started and finished a stand-alone first draft (that I’m currently revising), I decided to jump into the adventure of self-publishing and started to build my own presence online. It’s not been an easy ride, but writing is the thing that matters the most to me, and it definitely made it worth it. And you, Holly, were a part of it all along: a source of advice, wonder and inspiration.

    This calls for a toast! Cheers, Holly, and thanks for everything, from the bottom of my heart! ๐Ÿ˜€ *raising glass of Italian red wine*

    (Hey, I am Italian. It’s awesome wine! ;))

    1. Robert Avatar

      *raises a glass with her* Hear, hear! or is it Here, here!? lol

      Is that like to, too and two? – Or there, they’re and their?

      Holly can tell us which it is.

      1. DasteRoad Avatar

        Well, I can already tell you I have a typo in my original comment: of course it was supposed to be “thought-provoking” instead of “tought-provoking”! ^^’

  35. Robert Avatar

    Hi Holly,

    Congratulations on getting your rights back. That is truly worth celebrating. I just want to take this chance to tell you that I’ve really enjoyed all of your lessons and e-mails. I really enjoy being part of your merry little band. You’re a wonderful person to take the time to try to help other writers and aspiring writers. I appreciate your candor and straight-forwardness… and the fact that with everything else you have going on, you take the time to reach out to us.

    I’m glad I remembered to get here in time for the party and to be able to leave you a comment. Again, congratulations and a big thank you for all you’ve helped me with; whether information I didn’t know, or information I knew and you supported and gave me confidence to act on it.

    Best to you and your writing!

  36. Karen Avatar

    Congratulations, Holly! I’m halfway through my first novel now and going strong. I restarted it about five times in the summer before really getting somewhere, but now I have How to Think Sideways and it’s really helping me keep the writing strong and me loving the book! Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Also, out of curiosity, has anyone found themselves continuing to write a book when they’re in a down stage because they feel like they owe it to the characters? That’s where I’ve been a couple times with this story. I couldn’t give up on it because I owed it to my characters to keep going. (I loved the book again as soon as I got back to it.)

    Anyway, thanks Holly for everything you do, and three cheers for having Talyn back in your hands. I really like that one!

  37. V Avatar


  38. Carol Englehaupt Avatar

    While I’ve got your ear, I want to thank you for the tools you gave me that broke through my inability to finish a product. But most of all, I want to thank you for helping me learn how to market. Your honesty and willingness to share is a gift I’m very grateful for.

    I’ve been able to build a significant online presence for myself, as well as for my son. And my confidence level has soared. All because you were willing to share. I truly appreciate all you’ve done.

  39. Holly Avatar

    @hollylisle How is the world building workshop coming? That’s the one I’m really looking forward to. ๐Ÿ˜€ #hollyparty

    It’s completely outlined and the first three sections and exercises are done. It is, however, on hold until I get #HTTS and #HTRYN on Kindle, Nook, etc, and finish the last two lessons in the Self-Pub Extension of HTTS.

    1. Thea Avatar

      *squee* I can’t wait for it to come out! ๐Ÿ˜€

    2. Kevin McLaughin Avatar

      HTRYN vet here, kinda looking forward to the idea of HTTS on Kindle. I’ll be watching for it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    3. PapaBear Avatar

      This is one area I really need help in. I can’t wait for it either!

  40. Lee Avatar

    Wanted to thank you.

    If I hadn’t stumbled across your website and started reading your articles (Which prompted me to enroll in HTTS) I would never have approached my writing with the particular mindset of pursuing writing to support myself.

    I am seriously tired of punching somebody else’s timeclock and this is what I genuinely enjoy doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sadly I’ve only bought and read HTCB, but that’s mostly because I’ve been so engrossed in slapping my own work in shape and haven’t been really reading a lot.

    But I am going to rectify that in a few weeks. also I am really waiting to read Talyn and Warpaint (Although I understand I have a bit of a wait on that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh and this is in my list of acknowlgments on my current book:

    Holy Lisle and her How To Think Sideways course. She was inspirational on me finally refining this body of work for publication. Google her. Hint: she does some truly scary vampires.

  41. Julian Adorney Avatar
    Julian Adorney

    Congrats on the rights reversion! And the virtual chocolate is delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m in HTTS, and I read a synopsis of TALYN in Lesson 4. How close is that synopsis to how the actual book turned out? Basically, should I wait a while before reading TALYN so I forget the synopsis of TALYN I read, or will it matter?

  42. Joe Hanzlik Avatar
    Joe Hanzlik

    Hey Holly,

    Great success to you.

  43. Nina Avatar

    Hey, Holly. Loving your Friday writing tips–and I’m loving the fat-free snacks at your party! Especially Samoas–my GS fave! Sadly, Robin passed on my last book, but I’m glad she’s kicking butt for you.


    1. Holly Avatar

      Cheers for having the guts to send the book out and get the rejections. Keep at it. You’re doing what it takes to make it.

  44. Holly Avatar

    @hollylisle I have to ask, how did you get the idea for your HTTS course in the first place? It was such a great idea. #hollyparty

    I was writing the Clinics, answering questions I’d received via e-mail and on my weblog, and someone told me, “I want to know how you come up with your ideas and turn them into a book.”

    Those were not the exact words, but they were close.

    I asked myself the same question, and started outlining my process, and asked the folks on my site if they were interested in learning my process.

    They were. Breaking the whole thing down into component parts was the second hardest writing I’ve ever done. The first hardest was breaking down my revision process into HOW TO REVISE YOUR NOVEL when my daughter said she needed something more detailed than the One-Pass Revision article on my site.

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