Holly Kammier’s first book has been translated into Italian for distribution in that country
Holly Kammier began writing partly because she missed her days as a television news reporter and editor, and partly as a form of self-therapy.
Eight years later, the Carmel Valley resident has finished her third novel scheduled for release Jan. 5, by Acorn Publishing, the imprint she co-founded and operates with fellow author Jessica Therrien.
“I started writing about my own life to learn more about myself,” Kammier said. “It turned into a book, which I decided not to publish. ...
“But I had so much fun writing, I gave myself the challenge to write fiction, which led to my first novel, ‘Kingston Court.’ ... That book did so well that I challenged myself to write ‘Choosing Hope.’”
Kammier said “Kingston Court” became an international bestseller, and it came out in late October in Italian on Dunwich Edizioni, an English-Italian partnership.
“It’s one of my biggest dreams come true,” Kammier said of having the book translated into another language. ”To me, it felt like it legitimized me as a writer — that a publishing house in another country found it worthy of translating and sharing with people outside of my culture.”
The first two books, both in the young adult romance genre, featured characters searching for love and self-discovery.
Her new title, “Lost Girl, A Shelby Day Novel,” features a plot revolving around a brutal double-murder placed in Ashland, Ore.
Kammier has created a memorable, courageous yet flawed main character in Shelby Day. In the first-person narrative, Day relates her adventures and misadventures as a television news reporter seeking the identity of the murderer while wedging in a blossoming affair with a photographer colleague.
Award-winning romance author Laura Taylor, a Solana Beach resident who serves as a consulting editor with Acorn, said “Lost Girl” is another effort confirming Kammier’s prominence as a novelist as well as publisher.
Acorn has burgeoned into a publishing house with more than 75 titles and 50 authors.
“What impresses me most is ... her versatility and determination to successfully express her creativity while fostering the success of the authors with whom she works in her role as co-founder of Acorn Publishing,” Taylor wrote in an email response to a request for comment.
“It takes editorial experience and creative sensibilities to guide others as they pursue their publishing goals, just as it takes talent, a strong voice and dedication — of which Holly clearly possesses — to produce the quality of fiction evident in her novels,” Taylor said.
In each of her novels, Kammier draws on her personal and professional experience in “Lost Girl,” including her years in television journalism with CNN and other outlets.
Those include stints in Southern California, Washington, D.C., and Medford, Ore., where she became familiar with the picturesque college town of Ashland.
Also in her books, San Diego area communities provide settings for many of the scenes. The cover of “Choosing Hope” features a photo of Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach. “Lost Girl” concludes at a historic La Jolla hotel.
After spending her early years in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Kammier settled with her family in Mira Mesa, then Scripps Ranch. She graduated from Mira Mesa High School, then attended UCLA.
Among her experiences in journalism, she recalled, she was working her first night as an overnight assignment editor in Los Angeles, when she heard over the newsroom’s police scanner that pop singer George Michael had been arrested when he was caught having sex with a man in a public park restroom.
“I had to wake people up to go to the police station to cover the story,” she said.
When the news broke about President Bill Clinton’s involvement with Monica Lewinsky, Kammier said, she tracked down the first picture to be released of Lewinsky on CNN. She found it in a high school yearbook stored in the Beverly Hills Library, near where Lewinsky grew up.
“News was my whole life back then,” Kammier said “I lived it. I breathed it. I love it with a passion. So it was exciting to write this book (“Lost Girl”) and revisit that world.”
She chose to leave the profession to raise her children and returned to San Diego, where she began to write again. After sharing her memoir at a writers’ conference, Kammier was encouraged by the positive feedback she received.
“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m a writer. I could do this,” she said. “But I ultimately didn’t feel comfortable publishing my memoir. ...
“The neat thing is I pulled stories from that memoir and used them in every single one of my books. So none of it was wasted. I found ways to use it in my fiction.”
Kammier’s books as well as other publications of Acorn Publishing can be purchased at acornpublishingllc.com