Holly, it’s wonderful to have you here today. Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am a grateful Christian, married to my best friend, who still makes me laugh like no one else can. I’m also blessed to have two wonderful sons and a lovely daughter-in-law. Originally from New Jersey, I now call Southern California home. Technical writing is my day job, but writing for children is my passion. I love spending time with my family, hanging out with friends, riding waves, kayaking, hiking, writing, reading, and creating. I play the ukulele, and my secret talent is extracting stuffed animals from claw machines.

Describe your story in 5 sentences or less:

The Christmas Angel in Apt. 3C is a middle-grade novel about a young girl named Angel who must overcome mounting obstacles to bring Christmas joy back into her father’s life. If Angel has anything to say about it, there WILL be Christmas in apartment 3C this year.

What is the inspiration behind your story?

I’ve always wanted to write something centered on Christmas. It’s such a sacred time, but that often gets missed amidst all the rushing around that has become a big part of the season. I wanted to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas in the context of Angel’s deep longing to change her world.

Do you have a day job? If so, how do you find time in your day to write?

I do have a day job. I work as a technical writer Monday through Thursday, but I am blessed to have Fridays off, so those are my writing days. I look forward to Fridays with great anticipation!

What book do you wish you would have written?

I would love to have written A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Betty Smith wrote such poignant characters. Once you read about them, they never leave your heart.

Who was your favorite character to create?

Angel was my favorite character to write about. She reminded me of a wounded sparrow with the gumption to dream of flying again. A close second, though, was Mr. Mustachio the cat. Although, he is a minor player in the story, he does leave his paw-print so to speak.

How did you come up with the names of your hero and/or heroine?

I knew a little girl named Angel from our church, and she kept popping into my mind as I roughed out The Christmas Angel in Apt. 3C. Given the nature of the story, her name was a perfect fit.

Are you a plotter or a panster?

I think of myself as a plantster (part plotter, part pantster). I do a rough sketch of a plot before starting to write, but then I give the story leeway to go in a different direction if it must.

Who was the first person you allowed to read your completed book?

My husband was the first person to read the book. He was a great reviewer, too, and pointed out a technical error about how auto glass breaks!

Do you have a favorite author?

Betty Smith is my favorite author. She wrote only four novels, but they were all wonderful. Her ability to create living breathing characters from words on a page is something to behold.

Here’s the lovely cover for CHRISTMAS IN APARTMENT 3C and a brief excerpt:

twitter.com/HollyDCohenAngel dragged a trash can over to the fire escape and hoisted herself onto the lid. Teetering on tiptoes, she reached up for the lowest rung of the fire escape’s ladder. She pulled herself up, hand over hand, until her foot touched the lowest rung. Then she climbed toward the voice.

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Want to learn more about Holly? You can find her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/HollyDCohen