5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Iris Bolling, author of The Heart of Him: The Heart Series

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Iris Bolling, author of The Heart of Him
(Siri Enterprises)

Joey Pinkney: In the interview for Once You’ve Touched the Heart, you mentioned that you wrote both that novel and The Heart of Him at the same time. What was the amount of time between to two releases?

Iris Bolling: Once You’ve Touched The Heart was released in March 2008, and The Heart of Him was released in October 2008. They were about six months apart.

JP: What did you learn from the release of Once You’ve Touched the Heart, which made The Heart of Him a better book release for you as an independent publisher?

IB: Patience! When you are a new author, it takes a minute or two or three for word to spread about your work. As an independent author, your work is questioned before the first page is turned. Understand that going in.

When you couple being a new author with being an independent author, you have to depend on word-of-mouth for publicity. I was very fortunate to have a strong cast of readers that tried my first novel. Because of them, The Heart of Him sold twice as fast as Once You’ve Touched The Heart.

Then came the demand for the third novel, Look Into My Heart. Again I would say the lesson learned between Once You’ve Touched The Heart and The Heart of Him was patience. I know we want things to happen overnight, but that only happens in fairy tales. It will all happen when it should and when you are ready, not when you want it to.

JP: Politics really revs some people up like only one other subject – religion. What has been the response to the political angle of The Heart Series from your most loyal readers, and how do you keep that momentum going?

IB: The political back drop in The Heart Series did exactly what I wanted it to do. I wanted readers to become interested in the political process, and they have. Readers tell me they look a little closer at the political process and politicians because of the novels.

The interest in what happens behind-the-scenes in political campaigns can be very intriguing, as several readers have indicated. The momentum carries forward from book to book because readers are genuinely interested in what happens next with EVERY character.

They care about the characters. Each time a new character is introduced, I get emails wanting to know if they will have a book. LOL, I love it!

JP: What makes Attorney General hopeful J.D. Harrison tick in The Heart of Him?

IB: The Heart of Him centers on JD Harrison’s campaign manager James Brooks and JD’s sister, Ashley Harrison. However, this is the book where JD, with James Brooks’ help, firmly establishes himself as a serious politician.

JP: F. Scott Fitzgerald is quoted as saying, “Writers aren’t exactly people, they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person.” How does this relate to the way you and the characters in The Heart of Him interacted to make this portion of the series come to fruition?

IB: Well, there were times I wished some of these other people inside of me stopped talking and allowed the person Iris to get some sleep. Each of the characters in The Heart Series is based on someone I’ve met or would like to meet.

I’m writing my characters the way “they” dictate themselves. Now, don’t think I’m crazy, but certain characters just will not leave me alone until I have put them down on paper or at least that particular part of the story that keeps playing over and over in my  mind.

The characters are on my mind when I go to sleep. Sometimes, they wake me up in the middle of the night. Like the obedient writer I am, I get up, go to the computer and put the scene on paper. This is not fun when I have to get up at six the next morning to go to work .

F. Scott Fitzgerald may have something with this quote. Maybe all these characters are inside of me. Now , that’s scary!!!!

JP: What makes The Heart of Him unique to The Heart Series as a whole?

IB: Wow, great question. The Heart of Him introduces the Brooks family. This African-American family is old-school rich—generations of wealth and power. The main character, James Brooks, walks away from the family because of skeletons in the closet. (Doesn’t every family have them?) He keeps his family connections from others because it’s immortant to him that people accepts him for who he is, not who his family is.

Once he meets Ashley Brooks, this conservative, quiet giant is unable (as hard as he tries) to keep her from entering his heart. The family dynamics in The Heart of Him is heartwarming, tension filled and loving.

The Brooks are an All-American family, just like the Harrison’s. One is filled with trust funds, and the other is strictly blue-collar. I love the mixture of the families in this story. I can’t wait to put this one on film.






Thank you Joey for proving the opportunity to discuss my novels. When you read them, my goal is to entertain and open your mind to possibilities in life you may not have considered, be it professional or personal. If you would like to learn more about The Heart Series, please visit my website at http://www.irisbolling.net/ or my publishing company website at http://sirient.com/.

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19 thoughts on “5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Iris Bolling, author of The Heart of Him: The Heart Series”

  1. Great interview Iris and Joey. Iris, that was wonderful advice you gave about the independent publisher. Word of mouth goes a long way in this business. Take care and you know I can’t wait for the next book in this series. 🙂

    1. Hey Victoria; With what we have been through any advice I can give self-published authors I will sharing willingly. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Very nice interview.
    I have enjoyed reading the series
    You give those who what to publish themselves a good heads-up as to what to expect

    1. Hey Judith;
      For those that do not know Judith Wansley is the wonderful talent artist the designs all of my book covers. Thank you Judith for all the support and help.

  3. Great interview….Love the advice that you gave and yes word of mouth do goes a long way… In fact after reading The Heart Series i told 8 ppl about the series now everyone want to know when the next book is coming out… Once again Iris keep on writing and i will keep on buying….

  4. Iris,

    Great interview!! I know it’s hard being an independent author, but at least you have the freedom to write what you want, the way you want it written. I think that’s a very positive point to acknowledge. I love the Brooks family. You wrote them in such a way that, even though they are rich and famous, they also have traits that are charateristic of many families. And that makes them very relatable. This series is one of the best I’ve ever read!! Continue to get those people out of your head and onto paper!! We’re all ready for the next book.

    1. Hey Cathy;
      Those people are still waking me up at night. LOL! But it’s great to have good friends that will let me call them to run stories by them. BTW: I don’t think there will ever be another James Brooks.
      Love ya!

  5. Donnie;
    You all one of the best supporters a reader can have.When you enjoy something you share it with anyone and everyone that will listen. Thank you so much for spreading the word on The Heart Series.

  6. Very good interview. I can relate to your mind set while working on a new book. They are very interesting characters and good leisure reading. Keep up the good work…

  7. Great interview! This is a written series that will keep you reading all night long! This series brought joy, tears, and hours of laughter. If you want to read about solid friendships between men and women who stick together through tragedy and heartache, than this is the series for you. These characters will allow you to hope again in mankind! The love, respect, and commitment they show for one another is truly amazing!

    All the Best,

  8. This is a wonderful and informative interview, Iris. Many do not realize the time and effort it takes to produce such a fine read as The Heart Series. I have enjoyed the characters as if I know them personally. I can truly say, I’m an I.B. Junkie and can’t get enough of your work! (smiles)

    Your points about being an independent publisher are accurate as well. We’ve been able to lean on each other as authors/publishers/friends for guidance and advice; it is appreciated.

    Continued success in all your endeavors,


    1. Hey Loretta;
      As always your words touched my heart. Thank you for being there with the support and encourangement. The one thing I would like to do is always be willing to share my experinces with anyone that it will help. It’s that reaching effect. Someone reached out to help me, the least I can do is reachout to help others.


  9. Great interview and comforting to other authors that are hearing the voices. I truly enjoy this series and love inroducing others to them.

  10. Great interview! I love Iris’s style. I l also love the fact her work is not lost in the crowd. I read a lot of books by a lot of different writers, and it warms my heart when I can distinguish them just by hearing or seeing their names. I am not big on politics, but Iris does such a great job convincing and keeping me interested that I found myself searching for more of her books after reading just one of her books. Keep up the great work, Iris!

  11. Great interview, love reading what’s behind the books. We have heard what great stories make up this awesome series from our chair and several of us will be acquiring the series this summer.

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