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Lee Holz
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Writer Q & A (Archived) > Q and A with author Lee Holz

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message 1: by A.F. (last edited Feb 17, 2012 05:46AM) (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1522 comments Mod
Please welcome author Lee Holz to our Q&A discussions. Lee is a novelist, poet, opera fan and eclectic reader. He lived in Europe for many years, and his travels took him to Australia and more than thirty other countries on five continents. Lee's published poems can be found and read for free on his website.

He is the author of the Bowin series of war-on-terror thrillers, two of which have been published so far: The Abomination Assignment (2010) and The Honeymoon Assignment (2011). Impediments, Book I of The Sonnet Trilogy, his Swiss/American saga, was published in October 2011.

Lee lives in the country with his best-friend-lover-wife and their assorted feline buddies "far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife."

Lee's Goodreads Profile:
Lee Holz

The Abomination Assignment (The Bowin Novels, #1) by Lee Holz The Honeymoon Assignment (The Bowin Novels, #2) by Lee Holz Impediments (Sonnet Trilogy, #1) by Lee Holz

Lee Holz | 66 comments Thanks for this opportunity to connect with readers and other writers, A.F.

A.F. (scribe77) | 1522 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "Thanks for this opportunity to connect with readers and other writers, A.F."

You're welcome. I was wondering, what influenced you to write thrillers?

Lee Holz | 66 comments I'm afraid it's something of a long story. I wanted to and do attempt to write literary fiction. Impediments is my first published work in that non-genre. However, I thought my chances of getting readers would be better for something more commercial. I spent a year trying to interest literary agents in a suspense novel (not yet published) without success. While this effort was underway I became interested in the (non-fiction) subject of US government-sanctioned assassinations as part of the war on terror. Anyway, the research into that area gave me the idea of writing thrillers on the subject with my focus on the ways and means of the "trade" and the personal morality of it. The rest, as they say, is history. I plan to publish the third in the series this year and am now working on the fourth.

message 5: by Donald (last edited Feb 17, 2012 07:02AM) (new)

Donald (donroc) | 3 comments Lee, how do you find time to write and read so many books?

Lee Holz | 66 comments I have always been a voracious and very fast reader so I spend less time reading than you might think. Also, I read in the evenings while my wife watches television - it doesn't distract me. As regards writing, I started writing novels some years before I started publishing and have a back log of electronic manuscripts awaiting editing. Finally, I'm no longer gainfully employed. My biggest problem writing now is the time I spend online networking. On the other hand, I really enjoy the networking.

Donald (donroc) | 3 comments Thanks, Lee. Just had an aol bump off-line, which delayed my reply to your reply.

Lee Holz | 66 comments No problem, Donald. One of the great things about GR and its email link is that one can do other things online and still follow a thread post by post with minimal delay.

Donald (donroc) | 3 comments Writing historicals eats up my "free" reading time because of the necessary researching. I envy your schedule. When are your best writing and creating hours? Mine are mornings and after 9PM, with a necessary mid-afternoon siesta when I shut down.

Rick F. | 3 comments Lee- your books are so very well blanced and complex- superb in every way- when you write a book- do you outline the plot and characters first or write the book as you go along?

Lee Holz | 66 comments I also did and do a lot of research, both for my thrillers and for my saga trilogy that is a "period piece." I find the Net to be terrific for research. My best writing hours are afternoons when I can block out at least three hours for writing. "Creating" is something else for me. Plot ideas, scenes and dialogue often come unbidden as it were. I live on a farm and spend a lot of time six months each year outdoors mostly riding a tractor. I do a lot of plot development, etc. while riding a tractor. Mornings and evenings are family time.

Lee Holz | 66 comments Rick, my plots are initially blocked out in my head. I generally start writing when I have the first chapter well worked out mentally. I make a character list, a timeline and a chapter outline as I go. I know where I intend to go when I begin, but plots and characters frequently want to take over. I generally let them run but rein them in sharply in the first few rewrites after the first draft is done. The manuscript I send my editor is a fairly finished product. I often make significant changes in text based on her coments, but rarely have to do major surgery. So, I guess the answer to your either or question is "yes." I both outline the book somewhat first and write the book as I go.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I've spent the morning on your website, Lee, reading your poetry. It's delightful. I have not been able to locate any on amazon etc. May I ask whether you have published any and if so, where might I find it?

Lee Holz | 66 comments Georgina,

The hard copy poetry books were published privately and only distributed to friends. The five books are long out of print. I don't have any plans to republish the poems other than free online. I fear the market for poetry is even weaker than that for self-published novels.

I'm very glad you like my poems. I'm hoping that having them free online may draw some attention to my novels that are also listed on the website.

I'm going offline for a while now. I have to spend sometime with the family, cook dinner (I cook) and so on. I'll check back later this evening for more posts.



message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Lee wrote: "Georgina,

The hard copy poetry books were published privately and only distributed to friends. The five books are long out of print. I don't have any plans to republish the poems other than free o..."

Thanks Lee. I'd be queuing up for those poems.

Have a good night. I'll come back later in the day with further questions.

C.S. Splitter | 46 comments Hello Lee!

You mentioned that you use social networking. Have you noticed an impact from those efforts?


Lee Holz | 66 comments Splitter,

I think that the first readers of my books came from my friends on FB. I think the bulk of my readers have come from GR. These are essentially the only outlets I used for promoting my books. At the same time, I have to say that sales, while increasing, remain slow. I've used GR Giveaways for all three books, but apart from 40 to 50 TRs each that seemed to result, the effect appears to be very limited (over 400 people signed up for each Giveaway). I'm going to try KDP Select for one book in the near future.

Germaine  Shames (aka Casper Silk) (germaineshames) | 15 comments What lies ahead for you, beyond your current series?

Erma Odrach | 16 comments Hi Lee. Was wondering, do you find that your poetry voice sometimes finds its way into your commercial fiction?

Mari Mann (MariMann) | 46 comments Hi, Lee~

I have been enjoying your poetry too, but as a full disclosure, let me admit that I don't really care for war-on-terror thrillers and therefore have not read your books. But I am very interested in the fact that you lived in Europe and now live on a farm, drive a tractor, and have cats! What do you raise on your farm? Do you have any other animals/livestock? I used to live on my own farm and don't know how you find the time to write! I do remember that riding on tractors could be very meditative :) Do you think up poetry while driving your tractor?

Thank you for making yourself available to answer our questions.

Lee Holz | 66 comments Hi Mari,

I'm very pleased you like my poetry. Please note that Impediments is not a thriller. It is a love story with literary, historical, sociological and psychological ambitions.

We use to keep horses but gave that up when the last one passed away at the age of 31 some years ago. We still produce hay commercially, but I have professional help with that. The only animals on the farm today are 21 cats (we used to run a shelter and these are the remaining geriatric survivors).

I use to think up poetry while riding a tractor. Now I think up plots and scenes for novels.

Answering your questions is a pleasure.


Lee Holz | 66 comments Oh by the way, Mari, Impediments is based in part on cultural knowledge gained from living in Europe, specifically Switzerland.


A.F. (scribe77) | 1522 comments Mod
Lee, just a moderator nudge here, to let you know there are two unanswered questions you may have overlooked, from Erma and Germaine.

Lee Holz | 66 comments Erma wrote: "Hi Lee. Was wondering, do you find that your poetry voice sometimes finds its way into your commercial fiction?"


No, I don't. I find the two forms of expression to be so different that they don't bleed into each other. For me, poetry is all about exact word choice even compression. I try to avoid wordiness in my novels, breaking down overly complex sentences, but feel freer to expand as long as I (and my editor!) believe I'm not boring my readers.

Lee Holz | 66 comments A.F. wrote: "Lee, just a moderator nudge here, to let you know there are two unanswered questions you may have overlooked, from Erma and Germaine."

Thanks for the nudge. I had missed them somehow.

Lee Holz | 66 comments Germaine wrote: "What lies ahead for you, beyond your current series?"


I have drafts of several standalone books in hand as well as one in my head. You can see the list of titles on the novel page of my website. They include a suspense story, a psychological study and an imagined memoir. However, my publishing plans for 2012 are to bring out the third novel in the Bowin war on terror series and the second book of The Sonnet Trilogy. I'd like to bring out a third book this year but doing so will depend on my editor's availability.

Lee Holz | 66 comments A.F.,

Am I all caught up now?

A.F. (scribe77) | 1522 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "A.F.,

Am I all caught up now?"

Yes, all caught up.

Lee Holz | 66 comments Thanks, A.F.

Somehow the email link failed to tell me about those two posts, and although I've checked the topic regularly the feed is sometimes less than complete. The quirks of GR! Please feel free to prompt me at anytime.

Lee Holz | 66 comments Thanks very much, A.F., for setting up this opportunity. I very much enjoyed answering the thoughtful questions that were posted.

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

And thank you, Lee. I greatly enjoyed your poetry. The Q & A gave me the opportunity to find it. Thanks to A.F, too.


Sheila | 104 comments Sounds like we both read fast, spend time networking, and write. Sorry I missed this conversation--I wasn't networking, was reading, and actually wrote a bit too! Nice to read how you plot things too as that's what I'm working on.

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Abomination Assignment (other topics)
Impediments (other topics)
The Honeymoon Assignment (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Lee Holz (other topics)