Interview: Holly Gilliatt, author of 'Til St. Patrick's Day

When did you start writing?

I think I was a writer from the time I could form letters. As far back as kindergarten, I remember the highlight of my day was when we’d get one of those big sheets of newsprint paper with the wide dotted lines. I couldn’t wait to grab a fat pencil in my little fingers and fill the paper with words! To me, writing stories has always been magical.

Tell us about your debut novel, 'Til St. Patrick's Day.

‘Til St. Patrick’s Day is a story about friendship and finding love. Based in my hometown, St. Louis, it follows the lives and loves of three best friends over the course of one winter. There are plenty of laughs and heart in their intertwined stories.   

What inspired you to write this novel?

I’m a sucker for a good love story, and I can’t get enough of romantic comedies. There is a John Mayer song called St. Patrick’s Day with the premise that if you start dating someone in the fall, chances are you’ll stick together through the holidays (because who wants to be alone at that time of year?) and your relationship will be least ‘til St. Patrick’s Day. I always thought it was clever and while listening to the song in my car one day, I decided it would make a great concept for a romantic comedy.

I recently signed a contract for 2 sequels (due out in 2015), so we’ll have the chance to follow Jayne, Karen, and Claudia’s lives for more than just one winter!

Which of your characters do you identify with the most and why?

That’s hard to say because there are pieces of me in all three women. If I had to pick one, I would say Jayne, the main protagonist. She is a hopeless romantic and utterly optimistic. I think I share those traits with her, although she is more exaggerated in her optimism than me.

What surprised you the most about the publishing process?

All the work that is required after the book is written and the edits are done. These days, there is so much more an author has to do to find readers. Social networking, self-promo, etc. It could be a full time job, and not one I really enjoy. I love writing, but all the work after the fact just takes time away from more writing!

What was the last book you read that you loved?

I recently re-read Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook. I hadn’t read it in years and had forgotten how deliciously funny it was. I’m currently reading Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris (when I can find time!) and it is laugh-out-loud hilarious.

What is your favorite activity when you’re not writing?

I love enjoying the outdoors with my kids...festivals, camping, picnics, the zoo, etc. Also date nights with my husband or a girls night out with my BFFs.

Tell us about your upcoming novel, Love In Sight.

This is the story of a great guy that’s good looking, funny, smart--a dream guy, really. But he’s having trouble finding someone to share his life with, since there’s one detail about him that most women don’t usually look for in a man...he’s blind. So it’s a love story with a lot of humor about Jason finding a woman who will love him enough to see past his white cane. 

 Thank you, Holly!

When she’s not busy daydreaming of someday spending her life writing from a cozy house in the woods, Holly Gilliatt has a hectic life in the suburbs as a wife and mom to three glorious—and crazy—kids. Working full-time selling packaging supplies and equipment in St. Louis, Missouri, pays the bills (most months). A hopeless romantic and music addict, she finds time to pursue her passion for writing by avoiding housework. Her biggest ambition is to someday be caught up with the laundry.

 Holly will be signing copies of 'Til St. Patrick's Day at Main Street Books in St. Charles, Missouri, on Saturday, September 28, 2013, from 1:00pm - 3:00pm. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello!