Jan 21

Happy New Year.

I’ve been sick since Christmas. Can’t seem to shake this but no matter that my doctor gave me antibiotics and a seriously strong cough medicine. This illness is slowing my roll and my creativity.

I’m in the waiting phase of querying. I wish I could reach out to the awesome agents who have DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL and say, “My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. You know what I’d love? For you to love my book and offer me a contract.”

But alas, that can’t happen.

So I’ll wait and continue to dream like this:

I swallowed a whole straw.

I pulled a cross between a pinch bug and a scorpion out of my eye. 3x. They were 6 inches long and mean.

My husband cheated on me and I had to sell my house to afford living on my own.

Anxiety much?

to counteract my neurosis I’ve started writing long hand. I have a few essays bouncing around and the next YA story percolating in my imagination.

Hope your new year is a good one.



The end of year good stuff list

2016 was erratic, challenging and awesome. Since I’m an optimist, I’m going to talk about some of the awesome. Perhaps optimism will scare away some of the craptacular bits and they’ll never return.

I made friends. Real good, make me smile, and excited to see them friends. Writing and creative friends. Got an agent and published friends. Picked me for her team friend. If you need some Twitter happiness follow them:

MonicaKristin, & Kimberly

I got published enough that I’m going to have to pay taxes on my income! xoJane.com, Kveller.com, and GLITTERBOMB. My work was reviewed, was liked, was shared and went viral. Heck, the freaking Daily Mail ran a crazy piece making it look as if they interviewed me. Time.com picked up my xoJane piece and ran it 5 months after it went live (I later found out Time Magazine owns xoJane)

I thought I finished writing my young adult novel DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL. Then I revised it 3 more times. 8 agents asked for it. And now I’m waiting, fingers crossed, prayers said, one  will love my work so much they’ll represent me and my future work by the end of the year. (a girl can dream can’t she?)

DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL was picked to be in two Twitter contests.

I made more friends during those contests. I feel as if my community expanded and I’m grateful for it. Because, after spending years, days, weeks, and hours alone typing on my computer it feels so good to have human contact and not just talk to the voices in my head.

I’m healing from surgery and I’m no longer in pain.

I opened an intuitive healing business. I have an office, insurance and it’s crazy cool, too.

So even if 2016 had bat-shit crazy, painful days and events. I’m wishing us all courage to face the new year and fight for our dreams.





Kristin Smith Book Giveaway!

Want to win a book? follow the link below to win debut author Kristin Smith’s CATALYST. Are you a writer? Want a sneak peak into her writing world? Scroll down and dive into her creative space.

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (Intl winner would get eBook prizes)

Paste this code in your post’s HTML to share the grand prize giveaway – ends Dec 1st:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251231530/

Book & Author Details:
by Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Too pretty.
Too smart.
Too perfect.

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant.

With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait.

In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s  too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna  is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.

Catalyst is a thrilling adventure of danger, romance, intrigue, and deception.


Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.

Author links:

Guest Post by Kristin Smith: An Inside Look at My Writing Space

My writing space has evolved over time, much to the relief of my back and wrists. I used to write here:

But now I write here:

I’m a sucker for all things girly, sparkly, and pretty, so when I was designing my space, I knew I wanted it to reflect who I am and what I’m about. I love inspirational quotes and sayings and since this writing thing has always been a dream of mine, I figured focusing on the “dream” aspect would be a good thing. Plus, the arrow decor is a hot item right now, and I’m a big fan! Obviously.

You can’t have a writing space without a sturdy desk and a comfy chair, and I think I found the best for my budget.

And a writing desk isn’t complete without a little chocolate pick-me-up for those long writing sessions.

And a writing session isn’t complete without a cup of herbal tea or hot chocolate for those chilly winter days.

My Make it Happen board keeps me focused on what I need to get done that week and reminds me of my daily goals.

Oh, and can’t forget about the perfectly placed copies of my book that inspire me every time I sit down to write. Hello, beauties!

Well, that’s my writing space in a nutshell. Where do you write?


My desk is not tranquil like yours, or ever that neat. This is my imagination spread out on my tiny desk. To the left are printed copies of my book with hand written notes, above it are previsouly printed versions. There are envelopes of my comic book GLITTERBOMB. Above that are my remaining journals. they go back as far as elementary school, and I fight with myself about throwing them away because sometimes when I read them I am embarassed about the girl I was.

There are photos of people I love and a laminated book I wrote in 3rd grade. Behind my screen are prayers, and printed out quotes from Kurt Vonnegut, Cheryl Strayed and Rumi.  I’ve got my breakfast- a yogurt and my coffee to my right are bills and inspirational ideas and emotional charts. I have Star Trek and Dr. Who Funko figurines and one baby Groot everywhere in the bookcase. There are mason jars of sea shells and sculptures of things my girl made when she was in pre-school. One shelf is dedicated to books that inspire me to write.

What does your desk look like?

It’s really easy for me to say 2016 sucked.

It’s really easy for me to say 2016 sucked. I went through physical pain, emotional trauma, had a hysterectomy, coped with family illness and during the past year, especially the last few weeks, our country’s emotional outcry is doing a job on my nervous system and is overwhelming my empathic gifts.

But I am an optimist. And I don’t let the hard things, the things that have frightened and disappointed me define me.

2016 is the year my essays found an audience. I received positive reviews. I’ve gone viral. I’ve been interviewed. I discovered the world of comic books. I revised my YA 2x times and two handfuls of agents have it. Two different contests selected my work. I made new friends. I healed from surgery. I opened my intuitive-healing office and have seen my gifts have a positive impact on others. My friends got agents and books published. 

The only single person who has control over my life is me. My choices, my perspectives, how I conduct myself, and contribute to my world.

Don’t give your power away. Don’t let fear paint your rose-colored glasses gray. Be nice. Like attracts like. Feel how you feel then use it as a tool for positive change.

My hope for you, if you’re still reading this, is you take the remaining 6 weeks of the year and do something that makes a positive change in your life. I’ve stepped away from social media for the most part- I’ve got a deadline for my book and people to love. 

Glitterbomb #3 reviews are in

Glitterbomb3A-585x900-webGlitterbomb3B-585x900-webGlitterbomb #3 arrived in stores last week. What did reviewers think of it? Read on and find out…

• Newsarama: 10/10 “The body horror might be the hook, but the most resonant idea is that the industry itself is a living nightmare for many.”

• Adventures In Poor Taste: 8.5/10 “Glitterbomb continues to be intriguing as it captures the horror of Hollywood and the ‘monster inside you’ story well.”

• Nerdy Chatterbox: 5/5 “It does a great job of depicting the seedy underbelly of Hollywood…”

• Retcon Punch“Glitterbomb isn’t holding my hand and allows me questions while telling a surprisingly snug, paced narrative.”

• Reading With a Flight Ring“There’s an undeniable presence about this book that draws you in and leaves you with a desire to want more.”

Newsarama Reviews my Work


Newsarama’s review of GLITTERBOMB. glitterbomb_3_cover

Best Shots Review: GLITTERBOMB #3 Reveals ‘The Truth of Hollywood Is The Scariest Thing of All’ (10/10)

Months ago Jim Zub reached out to me via Twitter to be part of his comic book team and every day since has been amazing. He is talented, fair, and enjoyable to work for. The team’s creativity is top notch. I consider myself lucky to be part of GLITTERBOMB.

GLITTERBOMB continues to receive positive reviews and I’m amazed.

And when I read that people are connecting to my essays, well, it fills my heart with joy and gladness.

Matthew Sibley said this about my work:

Holly Raychelle Hughes’ essays close out each issue and prove how accurate Glitterbomb is. They recollect the themes seeded in the pages of the comic into cautionary tales about Hollywood and the people. Here she succinctly sums up the thesis of the issue – that the ones who hang others out to dry do it instinctively and show no remorse about doing so, even after years of it having the opportunity to plague on their consciences because they’ll happily do it again.

I don’t believe these essays shouldn’t be defined as back matter, because that implies they’re only for the most dedicated of readers, nor do I consider it correct to label them as supplementary material because for the same reason. Instead they should be treated as required reading because not only are they poignant, but they ground the horror. The body horror might be the hook, but the most resonant idea is that the industry itself is a living nightmare for many. Without these essays, Zub, Hughes, Morissette-Phan, Marshall and Dillon wouldn’t be able to reinforce that there’s a truth to this book, and that’s the scariest thing of all.

Please go to your local comic book store and check out GLITTERBOMB. It’s where Hollywood horror bleeds into reality.

Can’t wait for you all to read #4!





On October 31st at 12Pm I was talking to my critique partner, Nic, on the phone while hitting refresh on the #P2P16 Twitter feed. I had zero expectation that I’d be selected by an editor. I was in a low point, having difficulty writing my current WIP and my body was slowly filling with self-doubt.

And then…

Alana Saltz, , has chosen to work with DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL by !!! tumblr_inline_mt1vvj2uIc1qz4rgp.gif

…and I yelled, “OMG! OMG! I was picked!!!!”

“See, I told you. I don’t know why you doubt yourself,” Nic said.

Seeing this Gif was visceral. It showed Mary, my MC, at her worst and I knew she’d approve. Most of all I felt understood!

Then my feed filled with congratulations. And I stared at the tiny messages of love and support and couldn’t really process it. After a year of, “No,” this was a profound, “YES!”

I hung up with Nic and made sure my fingers typed out THANK YOU!

Instead of trying NaNoWriMo, this year I’ll be working with Alana Saltz to polish DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL to a high shine. Over the summer I re-ordered my entire book, cut over 4k words and added new chapters. I brutally killed my favorite darlings and cut the sensations of traveling between Heaven, Earth and the Past. Beta readers asked that I explain how a soul travels, but agents didn’t care for it.

I’ve lived with Mary, my MC, for six years. She began as a secondary character in another YA book I wrote and I fell in love with her exquisite pain, her longing and missing. I knew she had lots to say. Her delivery is blunt, often brutal, despite the softness of her heart.

DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL is told via flashbacks, real-time and letters. I didn’t write it in order and I’ve changed the order in which it’s told 3x. It is not an easy task- yet I’m driven to perfect her story.

I’m so thankful and humbled that my story is connecting with people. I hope to share it with many more people soon.

For those writers who weren’t selected. I know your disappointment. I entered PitchWars  3 x and was never selected. I’ve done PitchMad and a bunch of other contests. I didn’t get picked, but I made friends. I cheer for them when they get agents. I watched one friend struggle to find her agent. I wrote to her when she wanted to quit writing and told her the world needs her stories- that her imagination is amazing. Her book came out last month. I’ve gone to book signings and filled my bookcase with friends accomplishments. But you know what I never did? I NEVER GAVE UP.

I have a note pinned to the wall in front of my computer. It says:

I’ll do it because I’m not a quitter. 

I never give up. I may sulk, get depressed, wonder why U see fit to ALWAYS choose the more difficult path, the one that leaves me feeling alone, isolated, and destitute one minute yet fills my mind with conversations, images, and stories the next that MUST be written or lost and I don’t want to lose them- these companions– the things that set me apart and link me. 

I will do it because I have no other choice- and ultimately I make the CHOICE every day to do it because life without writing is empty. Also I don’t like making mistakes and it would be a mistake to stop when I’ve learned so much, gotten so much better with every minute, hour day and year I’ve kept at it.

I’ll do it because I’m Holly Raychelle Hughes and I said I would.

I hope you don’t give up on your dreams and I hope you have the stamina to fight for them.

A Letter from a Mad Woman

In honor of Halloween- I wanted to share something dark and creepy. This is a story I wrote pretending to be crazy and trapped. I call it “Letter from a Mad Woman”-Enjoy!

A letter written as a mad woman:


Managing this pen on my back is what is keeping me from disappearing all together. I’m a total abyss without this lifeline to you. I fear my smallness, my microscopic self will be crushed by the rolling dust leaning my direction so close to smothering me with its girnormity – so dark it is beneath a shadow husk of some other thing. Perhaps a scale of his skin soaked in vodka or chemical perhaps with vibrancy a petals fragility transferred through heat onto paper or your clothes.

Breathe for me dear friend for my lungs are too small to catch breath and my heart too big to fit into my chest. It leaks. My blood is seeping out from my ribs and knees. The body too small to contain what should pulsate. Breathe quicker! Breathe deeper! The ink is smearing- my footprint erase the lines of letters I am trying to write. Can you still see them on the paper? Are the letters broken lines? I am broken.

My toes cracked dragging at the end of my foot and the dust a mountain of waste still threatens to consume me with its pain and its reflection masks me- dresses me up like a doll on a shelf fortifying my identity and eradicating my thoughts are blurred manipulated by this shadow that tells me I am supposed to tell you that I miss you and I am fine when I am nothing like china. An ice pick plunging into ham sweet sticky meat.

Where did I hide your letter? The one in which I tell you how it watches me with the eyes of my father and tells me they are my eyes too and my procrastination to mail this means you will not know the danger you are in being such a good friend. Have you cleaned your kitchen today?

Stay away from it with its refrigerator jaws and quicksand floor. The dust waits up high to crush you. It will fall coating the countertops and stove and there is no wiping it away. It grows like fungus. Mold spreads a black plague up the walls and into my lungs. Breathe for me Deb.

With sincere love and devotion,

Your friend Holly

Glitterbomb Giveaway

Horror, Hollywood and Halloween is a match made in heaven…right? I’m celebrating all things scary with a GLITTERBOMB GIVEAWAY.

All you have to do is leave a comment here and follow me on twitter @hgirlla. A winner will be selected randomly on October 11th.

“Sharply written and drawn, with deft insight into the trappings of celebrity culture, Glitterbomb just might be the ultimate Hollywood horror story.”
– Karen Berger (Founder of DC’s Vertigo Imprint)

October 12th- GLITTERBOMB book 2 is released.

Did you miss your chance at getting book 1? Don’t worry- Image Comics has got you covered- and is releasing a second printing of book one on October 12th, also.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than doing a giveaway.

So here we go.

I’ll mail the winner these beauties: FullSizeRender.jpg

All you have to do is leave a comment here and follow me on twitter @hgirlla. A winner will be selected randomly on October 11th.



Glitterbomb #1 Rushed to 2nd Printing!



The first issue is fast-tracked to second printing

“Taut, human, creepy s**t. Finding a new angle on the Hollywood meat factory is hard as hell, but this is all kinds of neat.” — Kieron Gillen (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE)

Image Comics is pleased to announce GLITTERBOMB #1 by Jim Zub and Djibril Morissette-Phan is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with demand.

The explosive new series is the story of Farrah Durante, a middle-aged actress hunting for her next gig in an industry where youth trumps experience. But the shallow, celebrity-obsessed culture she’s drowning in isn’t the only problem—her frustrations are a powerful lure for something horrifying out beyond the water…something ready to strike.

GLITTERBOMB #1 remains available for purchase across all digital platforms, including the Image Comics website, the official Image Comics iOS app, Comixology, iOS, Android, and Google Play.

GLITTERBOMB #1, 2nd printing (Diamond Code JUL168779), GLITTERBOMB #2 Cover A by Morissette-Phan (Diamond Code AUG160629), and Cover B by Marguerite Sauvage (Diamond Code AUG160630) will be available on Wednesday, October 12th. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, September 19th.

Glitterbomb is


From Jim Zub:

Today sees the release of GLITTERBOMB, my new creator-owned comic published by Image. Every time a new project arrives I feel incredibly fortunate I get the chance to create these stories and work with so many incredible collaborators.

I’ve said it many times in interviews, but Djibril Morissette-Phan is a breakout talent, both in terms of skill and professionalism. I feel very fortunate to be a part of his career at this early juncture and I know he’s going to blow people away now and in years to come.

Working with colorist K. Michael Russell for the first time has been a blast. His palettes bring a ton of mood to the page and he knows exactly when to amp up the colors or pull back and let the line art do the talking.

Marshall Dillon is a constant when it comes to lettering my creator-owned projects and the simple reason why is because he’s a rock – Solid, dependable, load-bearing. Letterers never get the kudos they deserve and Marshall is one of the best around, so that holds doubly true.

Holly Raychelle Hughes took a chance when I reached out over social media and has written engaging and eye-opening material for our back matter. So happy to have her on board.

Our alt cover artists for the first four issues: Steven CummingsMarguerite SauvageVivian Ng, and Trevor Jameus have all delivered beautiful and haunting imagery that’s helped grab attention.

The mighty Image Comics crew – Briah Skelly, Corey Murphy, Kat Salazar, Addison Duke, Jonathan Chan, Jeff Boison, Meredith Wallace, Eric Stephenson, and many more. Just like on a film set, there are dozens of people working hard behind the scenes.

Mindy McGinnis Female of the Species

Mindy Mcginnis wrote an unflinching book about rape. I admire her. mindy-main-with-name.jpg9780062320896_p0_v1_s192x300.jpg

The Female of the Species – 09/20/16

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.


I’m sharing my story again.  This is a poem I wrote about being raped.



15 years old.


On my parents bed.


While I lay still and thinking

“This is it? This is sex?”


Staring at the blue fern patterned wallpaper


Bleeding in the middle of the bed.



How do I keep this secret?


What did I do to cause this?


How old is he, 20?


My voice, white noise from a transistor

radio across the room, saying “stop”

saying “no”


My parents aren’t home.


My friend (?) Tina playing pool downstairs

in the living room with this guy’s friends.


15 years old and confused,

he’s done.


He gets up . He’s wearing a condom, where did it

come from? When did he put it on?


He walks away and down the stairs.

Raped and sitting in my blood.

Raped and standing next to my parents bed,

looking at the bright red blood in the middle of the bed.


In the afternoon.


and cleaning up the mess on my parent’s bed.


The dog jumps up and begins licking the bloody sheets.


and not understanding sex or why

he wanted to have sex with me.


15 years old

I stand at the top of the stairs leaning over the black banister

and call him back upstairs.

Everyone in the pool room cheers.


He complies.

He walks upstairs and I lead him to my bedroom.

Four purple walls covered in Duran Duran posters.

Stuffed animals bear witness to my platform bed.


I lay down again,

there’s another condom.

I try to learn what he is doing.


I try to pretend it’s my choice.


It’s over again.


He goes back downstairs,


I clean myself off.

I put all the sheets in the wash.


I bleed for one week from the wound.


He said he couldn’t believe it was my first time