blog » May 2, 2018 by Renee Herren

Get to Know Holly Brown, LMFT, Author & Family Therapist! by Renee Herren

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7 months ago
Get to Know Holly Brown, LMFT, Author & Family Therapist!

Holly Brown is a marriage and family therapist as well as a novelist. She has four published books and her fourth book, "How Far She's Come," will be released May 22! Holly writes about contemporary events and phenomena. We were so excited to chat with Holly about her career as a therapist, what inspires her writing and her new book!

Q: How did you start writing psychological thrillers?

"I’ve always been psychologically minded, which is why I’m a therapist. And that comes in handy figuring out character motivations and back story, which is what makes a good thriller. When I first started writing 20 years ago, psychological thrillers weren’t nearly as popular as they are now. Domestic suspense wasn’t even a category. But I got lucky, and it came of age at the same time I did, as a writer.

"Gillian Flynn’s 'Gone Girl' let me know that I was allowed to write about characters with complicated psychologies (i.e. that females in novels could be unlikable and unreliable sometimes, as long as they stayed interesting.) That inspired me."

Q: What inspired your latest novel, “How Far She’s Come?”

"I really love the idea of writing workplace thrillers, because each industry is its own subculture. So, I’m hoping this is the first of many for me. It was fun to start with a cable new network, and a neophyte broadcast journalist. Honestly, the 2016 election. Trump bragged about grabbing women by the pussy, and still won. The question came to me: How far have women really come? The plot grew from there. I like to use real world situations to create the drama in my novels. In this case, that was sexism and sexual harassment. I felt like it was an opportunity to write a page-turner that has deeper cultural significance, to lend my support to #MeToo."

Q: Do you consider your novels “feminist”?

"I consider myself a feminist and I write a lot about women’s experiences, but 'How Far She’s Come' is the first novel I’ve written that I’d say is feminist. That’s because it’s advocating a certain course of action for women (you’ll see what I mean once you read!). Feminism is about believing women should be able to live the lives they choose, be compensated equally, and be free from harassment. I think most of my characters would share that viewpoint, if asked."

Q: Do your clients know your write novels? Have you written about any of them, or have they suspected you did?

"I never tell clients that I’m a novelist. A few of my clients figured it out, and 'liked' my Facebook author page but never said anything directly. So I guess we all want to keep that separation. I’d never write about a client – I’d be run out of the profession if I did! – but I sometimes write about the situations clients have found themselves in, like being the parent to a substance abuser, as in my novel 'This Is Not Over.' No client has ever voiced a suspicion. My clients’ lives are off-limits, though being immersed in their stories week after week is in itself inspirational. I spend a lot of time thinking about what makes people tick."

Q: How far do you think women have come?

"#MeToo has been enlightening. I’ve worked in female dominated industries (therapy and publishing) so I didn’t know how bad it was, how many ways women can feel objectified or demeaned or overlooked and how much it impacts them personally and professionally. Women can get hired in industries where they couldn’t even 20 years ago, but the struggle is: How are they treated once they’re in the room? Are they paid as much as men? Can they get promoted? In the workplace, women are often still second-class citizens."

"There are still way more men in power positions than women, but there are more women at the top than ever before. And in terms of entrepreneurship, women are killing it. We need to keep bringing awareness to implicit bias and explicit disrespect and harassment. I’d love to hear all of your thoughts on this. What have you experienced and observed? Have things changed over the past year, with so many more women speaking out?"

Q: To switch gears, one of your specialties is couples therapy. What do you notice about the couples that thrive? What advice would you give?

"Sometimes couples work it out despite incredible issues, and others break up whose problems seemed relatively minor. It’s about the level of commitment, and the willingness to work hard. My advice is: Get on the same team. Your partner isn’t the problem; the negative dynamic that’s taken over your relationship is the problem. Together, you can overcome that. I’m a big believer that it’s not about becoming an amazing communicator; it’s about getting emotionally connected to each other, being generous and forgiving. 

"Then you can say the 'wrong' thing, but you keep on talking. Be proactive about your relationship. When you notice that you’re becoming more prickly with each other or more distant, address that before it gets a lot worse. And get to couples counseling EARLY, while you’re both really invested in fixing the issues."

Q: How can fans get in touch with you and purchase your book?

"My book is available through all bookstores and all online retailers (see link below). My website is HollyBrownBooks.com and here's my Facebook author page. And of course, here at Twitter it’s @HollyBrownBooks. Look forward to connecting!"

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Holly Brown MFT
Can't wait! Thanks for having me, Elisa!
Pam McCormick
Looking forward to this Holly Brown MFT ... Congratulations!
Holly Brown MFT
Thanks! Look forward to connecting with you!
Meredith Schneider
So excited! Congratulations Holly Brown MFT ! Working on a summer reading list for my first summer in Florida and I’ll be adding your new book to my list! ☺️
Holly Brown MFT
Thanks so much! If you're into smart psychological thrillers, you might want to add "He Said /She Said" by Erin Kelly. I was really blown away by that one. I've been meaning to get on Goodreads and write a review singing its praises but life's been crazy lately.
Meredith Schneider
Oh yes! I love psychological thrillers! Thanks! See everyone tonight!
Toni B
Congrats on the new book!
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Congrats on your new book, Holly Brown MFT ! Thanks for everything you share with us!
Holly Brown MFT
Thanks! Your support is much appreciated.

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