An Exclusive Interview With Holly Black

Holly+BlackGollancz is delighted to bring you an exclusive interview with the internationally bestselling author, Holly Black. Holly’s brand new book THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN is a deadly mix of rage, romance, murder and revenge.

Before we get to the interview, let’s talk about Coldtown .  . .

What is Coldtown?

Tana lives in a world, very much like our own, where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. It’s an eternal party, shown on TV 24 hours a day – gorgeous, glamorous, deadly!

But beware because once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave . . .

A wholly original story of rage and revenge, love and loathing. You can read the first five chapters here. You can also watch the stunning trailer after the interview.


Welcome to the Gollancz Blog, Holly. Can you tell us about THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, your new book, in 140 characters or less. Coldtown is part road trip, part exploration of a decadent & dangerous city, but mostly about Tana discovering her inner monster & loving it

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(I’d put a period on the end of that sentence, but I don’t have the characters left to do so.)

 If you could have one writerly super power what would it be?To know what’s supposed to happen in a book before I write that book!

My first drafts are horrible messes that are mostly about figuring out the secret story buried underneath the story that I’m writing. Lots of times I know I haven’t discovered it and so I am just plodding on, hoping that it will finally come to me and then when it does, I have to throw out big chunks of plot and shake my fist at the sky. I’d like to avoid all that, please.

Do you have any specific writing rituals or places that you like to write? I’m careful not to establish any, actually. I can write in my office, on the couch with the television on, or in hotel rooms. But I really like writing at coffeeshops with friends. And I’ve gone on a few writing retreats, which I also like very much. But, really, anywhere is good.

What is the last book you read that you couldn’t put down? Robin Wasserman’s THE WAKING DARK.

What is your current favourite TV series? I am kind of obsessed with reality television. There’s something about the spectacle, the scripted nature, and then the disruptive-to-the-show things that happen and can’t be planned or controlled that fascinate me. I think you can see some of that fascination come through in the way the vampires are treated in the world of Coldtown.

But reality television aside, my new favorite show is LUTHER. It has all the things I like: broken people who are brave anyway, a psychopath with a heart of gold, plus a cop who solves crimes by figuring out what makes people tic and who commits crimes in the meantime .

If you could have any supernatural creature over for drinks what/who would they be and why? Definitely not a vampire, since they aren’t much for booze.

I think I’d want to have drinks with an elf. I believe they would bring their own vintage and it might make me sleep for a thousand years, but it might also be worth it.

For readers going through book withdrawal from THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN what would you suggest they read as they wait for the next book in the series… Whoa! Hold on there!

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN is a stand-alone. Right now, I’m not planning on writing another book set in that world. Maybe at some future point I will come back and write more, because I love the characters and the setting and I’d love to explore what happens next.

Right now, I am working on a faerie book, called THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST.

white catAnd as for what people should read next — if they haven’t already, I hope they’ll read my backlist. If they like the sound of magic and mobsters, then I think they’d like WHITE CAT*. If they want some dark faerie fantasy, then I think they’d like TITHE or VALIANT.

But if they’ve read those or they’d like something else, I think they might enjoy the Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan. I adore those books and can’t wait for the third one.


THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN is out now where all good books are sold.

*We’d love to tempt you to try WHITE CATWHITE CAT is one of our digital deals this month. You can buy the ebook £.99 until the 1st October.