MORBID FASCINATION

Growing up in Texas, my twin sister, Heather and I were witnesses to my father's violent outbursts. My mother and step-mother were often on the receiving end of his rage. My father despite his best intentions was never able to escape his past. In the 1960s, he was a member of The Overton Gang, a group of outlaws in Austin, Texas whose crimes included robbery, drug dealing and even murder. As he got older, he turned to drugs and alcohol and those addictions consumed him. I believe that my need to understand my father and why he did these things is one of the reasons I'm obsessed with crime stories. It's what's fuelled my fascination with that world and even inspired my debut crime novel, Baby Doll. With each story I tell, I feel like I'm slowly learning what makes people like my dad tick.

Hollie Overton

Hollie Overton

LOVE & THE BARD

Once upon a time, I was an aspiring actress living in New York City. I auditioned and was thrilled when I was cast in Shakespeare's King John. My excitement waned when I learned I would be playing the role of Arthur, a young boy. Once rehearsals began, I knew that this play was a terrible play and so was I. Did I mention that I played a young boy? The play may have been a disaster but all was not lost. David Boyd, a handsome Englishman was also cast in the show. Twelve years later, we're happily married and living in Los Angeles.

JACK OF ALL TRADES

I've worked tons of odd jobs; Internet dating profile writer, personal assistant, bartender, cocktail waitress, Dora the Explorer impersonator, mechanical bowling alley operator, delivery driver, obituary and wedding announcement writer, Irish beer wench, temporary officer worker, personal assistant, copy editor, copywriter at a financial advisory firm, and ghostwriter for a PHD. At the time, I thought I'd never find my purpose. I realize now these jobs were preparing me for my career as a writer, providing me with endless amounts of material to use in my work.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

There are lots of advantages to being an identical twin (besides being my inspiration for Baby Doll). One of the greatest perks is being in two places at once. On many occasions, my twin sister, Heather and I have traded places, even going on job interviews for one another. One time, she even landed me a job (though I'll never say which one!).

CLUMSY IS THY NAME

I may be one of the clumsiest people you've ever met. I broke my right wrist when I was six. When I was eight, I broke my left wrist and both my legs all in the same year. My first day of college, I actually fell down an entire flight of stairs. Adulthood has been kinder but I still consider it a victory if I make it through the day unscathed.

GIVE UNTO OTHER WRITERS

There are so many writers who helped me get to where I am. My goal is to pay it forward, mentoring and working with other writers. I currently teach TV writing at Script Anatomy. Our workshops teach aspiring TV writers the foundation and techniques they need to write for TV. There's no better feeling watching a writer I've worked with get their big break.

CHAI CRAZED

Some writers can't live without coffee, but my drink of choice is chai tea. When I'm in LA, you'll find me at Dialog, a coffee shop in West Hollywood and my writing home away from home. Dialog's chai lattes are the best I've ever had and they've kept me going through countless drafts and rewrites. I'm also a fan of Starbucks iced chais (never hot!). My husband indulges this addiction and has gone on countless Starbucks runs to keep me going.

PROUD (& CRAZY) DOG LADY

Growing up, my sister and I were madly in love with our three border collies; our furry protectors. That love of animals has continued. We both volunteered with Dogs without Borders, a foster organization in Los Angeles, helping dozens of dogs find their forever homes. Four years ago, I became a foster failure when I adopted Stevie, a Chihuahua/ terrier and the love of my life. I'm even one of those people who created an Instagram for their dog. He's struggling to make a name for himself but I'm convinced one day he will be famous.

WANDERLUST

I've always loved travel and I've been fortunate enough to visit some truly amazing locales, including Malaysia and Croatia. But my favorite vacation ever was Bosnia. My friend Amy Danielson runs a non-profit Genesis Sarajevo that teaches young girls different types of dance and I went along to research a film project. We spent time in Sarajevo and GradaÄac, where I was able to meet the locals and learn about life in Bosnia post-war. The food was amazing, the people were generous and welcoming, and the young dancers were awe-inspiring. I found myself forever changed by this experience.

CONQUERING SELF-DOUBT

The most difficult thing about writing TV and now novels was learning to believe in myself. I was nine when I wrote my first novel. Once it was completed, I threw away in a fit of insecurity. I've gained more confidence but it never gets easier putting yourself and your writing out into the world. I know it's difficult but there's always going to be that voice whispering "you aren't good enough." You have to ignore it and just keep writing!

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