Holly Meadowes is a writer living in Scotland. She is a journalist and a novelist with an HNC qualification in Professional Writing. At the age of twelve, Meadowes started writing stories as a way to enter weird and wonderful fictional worlds, and since then she has continued feeding her passion for writing by creating as many new and exciting worlds and characters as she can.
Q: In Adversary and Endeavour, Kahlil and Eammon rekindle their relationship after getting divorced and going their separate ways. Why were you interested in telling this kind of love story? What are your feelings on the redemptive power of love, even in the face of long odds?
A: I love the heart-tugging drama of love torn apart by circumstance and the sense of hope you receive from the chance that a relationship can be mended. Sadly, I can’t say I believe that love conquers all, but what I do believe is that if two good people have love for each other and forgiveness in their hearts then that is all that is needed for redemption.
Q: Adversary and Endeavour takes place in a Navy where there is no distinction between opposite and same-sex marriages. What inspired you to touch on this issue? Do you think it’s possible that this could one day be a reality?
A: I believe that who one loves shouldn’t even be an issue and it is unendingly foolish that it bothers so many people. Why? Is what I ask. I think people who hold themselves the moral guardians of society when they are just as mortal as the rest of us need to do some serious soul searching and ask themselves why they think who should love who is their call to make. In my country, Parliament has recently amended law to allow same-sex marriages and this book is in homage to that. As to whether or not there will be no distinction one day, we can only hope. Although I do think it is possible. After all, society has just recently woken up to the wrongness of thousands of years of women being second-class citizens. Perhaps society will wake up to the wrongness of gay discrimination. Sadly though, I believe there will always be those who think it’s wrong just like there will always be those who think that women belong barefoot in the kitchen. Society adjusts more smoothly than people, but we are living in an age of enlightenment and I hold the possibility of tolerance and equality for all close to my heart.
Q: At the end of Adversary and Endeavour, we see Kahlil and Eammon just beginning their new relationship. Will we be seeing more of them in future books? Do you have plans for an M/M series?
A: I never like to say never but this book was all about love, loyalty, and redemption and now that Kahlil and Eammon have rekindled their relationship, I don’t think there is any more of a story to tell…Unless I break them up again and I just don’t think I could do that to them. Although, I do have a series that I am writing about two different men in which they are assassins, so they have lots of adventures.
Q: Kahlil’s loyalty to Eammon in the face of everything they have been through is extraordinary. What other traits do you think contribute to a compelling hero?
A: Strength is obviously the trait that everyone associates with a hero, and I do believe that is important, but I have always thought that the best heroes were those with a lot of heart. It is the drive to do things for the people you love that gives people the greatest strength to overcome the greatest threats. Like the mother who faces down armed men to protect her child. Strength and spirit accompanied by a loving heart is that which makes the perfect hero in my eyes.
Q: Tell us about your writing routine.
A: I have no trouble getting ideas in my head. It is getting them down on paper that is the trouble. Sometimes I write out a plan and other times I am just lucky and the story just flows and practically writes itself. I try to write something every day, but I don’t force myself because if you do that you write halfheartedly and that is never good. If I write two hundred words then that is progress and it is much better than two thousand words of nothing.
Q: What do you do to relax or get the creative juices flowing when you are struggling to meet your writing goals or deadlines?
A: I listen to music that I associate with the story. The music may have no outward connection to the story but in my head it helps me paint the picture.
Q: What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned about/from writing that you didn’t know when you first started?
A: I learned that I am a humanitarian. I like to believe in the good in people because when you write you get into the character’s head and when you do that there is not a chance that you won’t sympathize with them. I believe that if I were in everyone’s head then I would know what makes them do the things they do and I would understand them more. I have learned that understanding is the key to peace.
Q: Besides ManLove, what kind of books do you like to read and who are some of your favorite authors?
A: I like to read adventure novels with a great hero and a lot of moral questions. I also like historical novels which is why Alexandre Dumas is my favorite author.
Q: Even in today’s world, men who are romantically involved with each other can face discrimination, violence, and bullying. What are some conflicts your heroes have faced, and how did they overcome these obstacles?
A: This is a world where sexual orientation is not an issue so there is no issue on that front. However, this is a story about morality. The Navy has very strict rules on indiscretions, which is why Kahlil wanted to keep Eammon’s infidelity a secret. Being morally upright all the time is an exhausting challenge to human beings with flaws, so they have always had problems with that.
Q: Who do you look up to? What are some of their qualities that you strive to possess as well?
A: I love a screenwriter called Steven S. DeKnight who doesn’t care about society’s constraints and censorship bullsh*t and just portrays what is in his heart. He is straight and yet he is secure and sensible enough to know that love is all that matters. He has also written the best onscreen gay relationship I have ever seen, and his talent for dialogue, emotion, and story-telling is second to none.