So thrilled to be featured in my home town newspaper. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Eric Volmers from the Calgary Herald. In this article, I discuss where the ideas from my stories come from and more. I hope you enjoy!

As Bruce Springsteen once sang, fear is a powerful thing.

Which may be why so many writers — from literary heavyweight John Irving, to thriller writer Linwood Barclay, to Springsteen himself — have created art by imagining their worst fear: harm coming to their children.

Similarly, Calgary author Steena Holmes seems to have carved out a niche mining parental anxiety as fodder for her bestselling melodramas and thrillers. Her self-published, bestselling 2012 debut, Finding Emma, was about a mother’s anguish after her three-year-old daughter goes missing. Her Stillwater Bay series focuses on the aftermath of a deadly school shooting. The Memory Child is a thriller that deals with postpartum depression.

Her newest offering, Saving Abby, introduces a heartbreaking, worst-case-scenario for our protagonist, an expectant mom named Claire. Pregnant after six years of trying, she discovers she has a tumour and must decide whether or not to seek treatment, which could put her unborn child at risk.

“Every book I write I like to think ‘What are my own fears as a mom?’ ” says Holmes, in an interview from her Calgary home. “I have three teenage daughters, so I have lots of them that I use for my writing. For this book, I always saw the very last scene. I wasn’t sure how we got there or what happened.”

Holmes has become an anomaly in the literary world, a writer who alternates between successful self-published books and those, like Saving Abby, that are released under the Amazon Publishing imprint, Lake Union. While she may seem under-the-radar in the broader publishing world, Holmes has sold more than a million copies of her books, which is impressive even when you factor in the sheer volume of books she has written. Since 2012, Holmes has published an astonishing two dozen novels. In fact, at any given time, she can be working on two to three books simultaneously.

“I just sit down every day and I write,” she says…