Who inspired Holly from The Guy From The Internet

Ah, Holly, a girl after my own heart. She’s the narrator-protagonist from my multicultural contemporary romance, The Guy From The Internet.

And if I’m being honest, I never originally intended to write a little piece about her here, but I felt kind of bad that I posted about Richard when Holly gets way more air time and her transformation is much more dramatic. So, here’s the story behind the main character…

Holly Chee is my imperfect heroine. She’s not an “actually-brilliant-but-under-confident Mary-Sue” or “a blank slate until a man makes something of her”.

She’s a snapshot of someone who probably let herself down a few too many times. She wrestles with a clash of values, organically grown insecurities, and an ex who seriously needs to be cancelled. She’s a creative mid-twenties kid who’s swimming against the tide, relying on skills she’s still learning and her own dogged determination to pull herself out of her rut.

Holly was partially inspired by the kids I’ve known who took their growing up into their own hands. Not content to retreat into comfort and familiarity, they blossomed under acknowledgement, rose to challenges, and overcame every obstacle. For them, the only way out was through.

There’s a part of me that wishes I could have been more like her when I was her age. But I’m unfortunately more stubborn, self-destructive and slower off the mark.

I wrote Holly for the person I used to be, the person I might have been, and for the people who may yet be like her, if only they had a little encouragement.

A hand holds a mobile phone. Cover of The Guy from the Internet by Birdie Song