Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Interview: Diana Holquist

Here's the interview I promised you with the author of Sexiest Man Alive, Diana Holquist! Diana's happy to answer any more questions, so hit her with them! Plus, check out the discussion question below. Now, onto those deep, dark secrets...

1. Sexiest Man Alive? How did you come up with such a fun idea?

Oh, that’s easy, Sexiest Man Alive was inspired by my husband. Hi, Honey!

Okay, is he gone?

Right then. Sexiest Man Alive was really inspired by a famous guy whose name I will not
mention. I used to work for his father. Famous guy would show up in the office every now and then and stroll about and we’d all swoon and try to catch him bending over the water fountain in the hall….

Sorry. Got a wee bit distracted there. Anyway, we’d sit around and gab, asking each other, what is it that makes that guy so, well, hot. That, my friends, is the stuff of great literature.

2. Inspiration for Jasmine's character - her "flaw" is just so original? (Tangent: Hey, I wrote a Jasmine, too! My first published book!).

See, we were meant for each other, Nalini. My Jasmine’s flaw is that she’s pathologically shy around sexy men. She shakes, she blushes, she goes mute, and then she flees in terror. This is a problem as she’s just landed the job as the dresser (the person who helps an actor change quickly between scenes) for People magazine’s sexiest man alive. I came up with the flaw because I’m that way. Not around sexy men. But around a certain kind of person. I won’t tell you who or what, though; it’s too personal. But if you know me, and you’re that kind of person, you think I’m INSANE. If you’re not that kind of person, you think I’m completely normal. (Hah!) It’s a kind of phobia—like of snakes or heights…only for Jasmine, it’s sexy men. It’s actually surprisingly common.

3. SMA is part of a loose series based around three sisters - how about giving us the lowdown on the other books.

Each book starts with a gypsy psychic, Amy, who can tell a person the name of their soul mate—the one person on this earth who is destined to be their One True Love.

Make Me a Match, was the first book I published. It’s about woman with a “perfect” life who learns that her soul mate might be dying. If she ever wants to experience the love of a lifetime, she has to drop everything in her comfortable life and find him now.

Sexiest Man Alive is the second book in the series. It’s the story of the shyest woman alive who comes to believe that her soul mate is People magazine’s sexiest man alive. It’s in stores now.

Hungry for More will be out next fall. It’s Amy’s story, the Gypsy psychic who has been messing up everyone else’s lives with her soul mate prophecies. She loses her power and has to take a job in a restaurant to support herself. Wouldn’t you know the chef is one sexy dude….

4. Who is Diana Holquist - tells us your deep, dark secrets (especially the ones that involve sexy men).

Wait, I think I already did that. Okay, more secrets. I have no idea how to use my cell phone. I have to have my eight-year-old find Dancing with the Stars every Monday night, as I can’t work our satellite TV either. I’m addicted to diet Pepsi, but I hide it and drink it in coffee cups so my kids don’t see me drinking soda. I’m addicted to Sudoku.

This isn’t about me, but rather about the model on the cover of Sexiest Man Alive: this was his first modeling gig. In real life, he teaches special needs kids. Now, if that’s not sexy, I don’t know what is…

5. What draws you to write contemporary?

Contemporary romantic comedy is dead. And yet, I get so many reviews and e-mails that say, thank god someone is writing fun, funny, light contemporaries! I have the utmost respect for other genres, but I could never write them. Angst is not my thing. Dark stuff frightens me and I’m too frightened of the real world to deal with made-up stuff.

6 .Do you have plans to write in other sub-genres?

I have a cross-genre idea for my next book after Hungry for More, but I don’t know if I can pull it off. So I won’t admit it yet. Come back in five months and I’ll tell you more.

7. Anything else you want to add?

Thank you for having me!

8. How about a question for readers to discuss?

Matt Damon, People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive 2007. Pro or con? Discuss.


Nalini Singh said...

Diana, welcome! I have a question I forgot to ask in the interview - how come the book cover is purple, but the image on your site is yellow?

Diana Holquist said...

Hi Nalini.

Thanks so much for having me here.

Yeah, the switch is odd, huh? The original cover was yellow, but when the Grand Central Publishing art department got the proofs, they felt the yellow looked too washed out. So they switched it to lavender.

If there's one thing I've learned from my many years as an advertising copywriter (my previous profession), it's don't question the art director. They're ALWAYS right.

So, purple it is. What I really love is that on the original yellow cover, she has pink nails. On the purple cover, she's got a blood-red manicure!

I still like the yellow, though, so I leave it on my site...

(Don't tell the art director...)

p.s. if you go to and click on the contest link, you can enter to win a yellow ARC. There aren't more than a handful of the yellow covers in existence. Who knows, maybe one day, they'll be worth something.


Nalini Singh said...

Gotta admit, I like the lavender. But mostly I like the towel *grin*

Wendy said...

Hi, Diana! Sexiest Man Alive sound super fun and I can't wait to read it! I also entered your contest a few days ago. *g*

Matt Damon - Sexiest Man Alive? Sorry, but no way. I mean, he's cute but there's others who are a lot sexier than him.

katiebabs said...

Lately with all these naked male chests on the cover of books, I am surprised I don't pass out when in the book store ;)
Like I said before, great cover Diana :)

Pam P said...

Diana, I've heard so many good things about this book, will have to read this series.

I agree while Matt Damon is cute, I wouldn't vote him sexiest either, there's more to that than good looks.

orannia said...

Hi Nalini and Diana,

Ohhh Diana, I have to say I love the sound of your books! I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for them.

Hmmmm, and as for Matt Damon - I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I would classify him as cute, but not necessarily sexy *orannia hides behind the couch* However, at present I can't think of an alternative... I often think of characters as sexy (Dorian, Hawke and Lucas would be perfect examples :) but real life is harder. I suppose it depends on your definition of sexy....


PS And can I just say it is lovely to be back..I had a few 'technical' issues last week :)

Diana Holquist said...

Wow, no one's into Damon. I've found the same thing on my blogs. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of the People conference room when they picked him.

The towel is funny, isn't it? I did a video about it at:

That video turned into a campaign, "Conversations with the Sexiest Man Alive." I just put the first "response" video together with Paula Quinn--she writes Scottish historicals. That was a blast to do. Next, Towel Man is chatting with a vampire novel. It's been very fun.

Nalini...I just burned dinner reading the opening of Slave to Sensation. So fun!

What about Gerard Butler? Boy have I been hearing from Gerard Butler fans....


Diana Holquist said...

P.S.--I was thinking of doing a "Sexiest Man Not Exactly Alive" contest for fictional characters.

Maybe I should...


Nalini Singh said...

WHAT, no Matt Damon fans!! I love Matt Damon - he just seems so down to earth, a real hero type. He gets my vote.

Diana - LOL!

Orannia - nice to see you back.

Nalini Singh said...

Diana, that's a great idea!

Diana Holquist said...

Alright, then. I'll have to do it. The "Sexiest Man Never Alive" poll.

I'm thinking Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice as one choice. Maybe someone old, someone new, someone vampire, someone shape-shifter....

Oh boy. I'm seeing how this could be very, very hard.

Maybe it has to be someone from a 2007 book...


Christina said...

Diana-- Sexiest man alive sounds intersting. I usually read historicals or paranormal romance, but I'm intrigued. And the fact that it's a trilogy is great! I love trilogies/series so much better than stand alones.

As for Matt, I think he's cute and I like some of his movies, but I can not see him as sexiest man alive. Gerard would be wonderful ^_^, a few others I think are also more deserving.

Darcy is definitely deserving (and one of my top picks) for Sexiest Man Not Exactly Alive. Hawke, Dorian, Lucas come to mind, of course ^_^ And Bowen and Lachlan from Kresley Cole's IAD series . . . *sigh* so many choices.

Aymless said...

I agree that Matt Damon is cute and not sexy. I think Vin Diesel has the sexiest voice alive. The man could read me a dictionary! *sigh*

As to the Sexiest Man Not Exactly Alive... I vote for Jude Lauren (love him!) or Rhage from JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Amanda said...

Do you think the towel is the new ripped bodice?

Matt Damon, eh. He's no Brad Pitt.

Sexist man not exactly alive? Mr. Darcy makes me swoon.

Diana Holquist said...

"Matt Damon is no Bradd Pitt"

You know, someone said these EXACT words to me at the bus stop this morning.

Okay, everyone, you're on. After the holidays, I'll put up a Sexiest Man Never Alive poll on my website

I'll keep checking back here for more suggestions, since I don't really read much historical or vamp stuff.


Jaded Bee said...

Sexiest man not alive: Erik the viking from Charlaine Harris' Sookie series sounds sexy as hell. I still have a weird crush on Vaughn from Nalini's series. Well, him and Nate both. I love alpha men. Yum.

Sexiest man alive? Matt Damon's hot and all but I think Brad Pitt is gorgeous. Him and Joshua Jackson. I watche Dawson's Creek until it ended for the sole purpous of watching Pacey. Now that guy is some serious sexiness.

ps, I have "Make me a Match" and "Sexiest Man ALive" is on order for me. Love em.

Courtney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nalini Singh said...

You have to have Roarke from the JD Robb books on that poll. Mmmm, Roarke...

Nalini Singh said...

And of course, all my heroes *GRIN*

orannia said...

I like the idea of a 'Sexiest Man Never Alive' poll Diana. Of course your heroes have to be included Nalini, especially Lucas (because no matter how much I love Dorian & Hawke, which I should point out is LOTS) there is just something about guys with black hair. (I blame Linda Howard - after all, the Mackenzie men all have black hair as does Loretta's Chase's Marquess of Brandon :) Hmmm, who else. Rhevenge (JR Ward). I know, we've only just met him but....YUM!

orannia *who is on a 'Plain Jane' book hunt*

Christina said...

Hi Diana! Looking forward to the poll! (although, honestly, I don't know how I could pick just one). Just a list of some of my faves ^_~

#1-- Adam Black from Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series (okay, maybe I can pick one).

From Nalini's books:

From Kresley Cole's IAD series:

Christine Feehan's Drake Sisters:

PC Cast:

Nora Roberts:
Cian & Larkin from The Circle Trilogy

Iain Maitland & Ramsey (Julie Garwood)

If I think of more, I'll come back. Now I want to re-read these ^_^ And Darcy is also a must.

Diana Holquist said...

Wow, you guys are awesome. I'm taking notes.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in America today!


Courtney said...

Sexiest Man Never Alive. This idea is great, but just goes to show that there is no chance of any of these fine males showing up and sweeping me off my feet. :( I'll try to keep it to 2 or 3 from all the ther series that I love.

Zsadist, Vishous, and Rehvenge from JR Ward's series (vamp)

Lucas Judd, and Kaleb (I still think he's the Ghost) - gee, I wonder who wrote these heros. LOL

Roarke - In Death (good call, Nalini)

Gabriel and Devil Cynster- Stephanie Laurens Cynster novels (historical)

Vane, Wren, and Acheron - Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters (shifter/vamp)

Gregori and Darius - Christine Feehan's Carpathians (vamp)

That's all I can think off off the top of my head, but I swoon for many not-so-alive heroes.

orannia said...

Courtney - I complete agree with Devil Cynster :) I'm currently re-reading Devil's Bride and...well...YUM! And yes, it is a bit depressing that they won't be appearing to sweep us off our feet.

Oh, I've thought of another one...Daemon (from Anne Bishop's Black Jewel trilogy).


Christina said...

No Hawke, Courtney? I love Hawke! *sigh*

And I want you to be right about Kaleb being the ghost if for no other reason than we get to see him more (and possibly his own book, hint hint)

Courtney said...

I do love Hawke, Christina, but we know Judd and Lucas well and Kaleb is so fascinating because of everything we don't know about him and everything we're speculating about him. I know Hawke will get his HEA (I'm almost certain it'll be with Sienna), but Kaleb is a big question mark and that's so dayum sexy to me! :)

Diana Holquist said...

This is great. Here's what I'm thinking: I'll group them together by author, just the way most authors did. That way, you can vote for the dark hunters or the vamps or those dudes by, hmmm..., what was her name again? Nalini someone....



Diana Holquist said...

er...I meant..."just the way most readers" grouped them.

Still drunk on too much turkey and stuffing...


(I'll try to put up the poll today.)

Diana Holquist said...

The poll is up!

(Let me know if I missed anything!)