Christina Hollis (born in Keynsham, Somerset) is an English writer on natural history & countryside matters and an author of romance novels. During her childhood and youth she spent her spare time writing pieces for local newspapers and magazines.
Leaving Wellsway School at 16, she joined Sun Life Assurance PLC (now AXA Sun Life) working variously as a clerk and a "gopher" in the marketing department. She met her future husband on a blind date, and they married in 1982. Three years later she and her husband left the city to live in rural Gloucestershire. Christina worked in the clerical section of Rolls-Royce plc, Filton for a few years in the late 1980s.
In 1990 Christina gave up her job at Rolls-Royce plc and made the transition to full-time writer. She produced many non-fiction articles on country living as a freelance for national magazines including The Garden, The Lady, Smallholder Magazine and ’Country Garden and Smallholding’, mostly on life as a smallholder with particular reference to poultry and pig keeping, and fruit and vegetable growing. She also wrote a long-running series of articles on ’Gardening with Children’ in Nursery World magazine.
First foray into books
After hearing an historical novelist interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Christina tried her hand at a full-length novel. The result was ’Knight’s Pawn’, which she submitted to the "slush pile" of the historical section of Mills & Boon under the name ’Polly Forrester’; it was accepted and published in hard-back and paperback forms in the UK in 1990.
Christina wrote a further five historical novels for Mills & Boon under the name ’Polly Forrester’ before taking a career break to concentrate on raising her family. Several of her novels from this period were referenced in articles on the Teach Me Tonight academic blog, discussing various subjects including ’Why children might be included in romances’ and ’Some of the ways in which sex in romance can be educational’.
Return to books
In September 2004 she enrolled on a creative writing course at the Royal Forest of Dean College run by award winning poet Paul Groves. Assignments were in the form of short stories, several of which were read on local radio stations in the border counties. One, ’Jaded’, went on to be shortlisted for the Sid Chaplin award. Another went on to be published by The People’s Friend.
A third, while disliked by the tutor, was well received by the rest of the class and so Christina sent the idea and three chapters anonymously to the "slush pile" of the contemporary section of Mills & Boon. Again they liked it, requested the rest of the story and in January 2007 ’The Italian Billionaire’s Virgin’ was released as a Modern Romance.
As of May 2013 Christina has sold over 1.5 million copies of her romance novels and they have been translated into seven languages (French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish). Her novel ’The Tuscan Tycoon’s Pregnant Housekeeper’ was published in Manga form as part of an omnibus edition in the December 2011 issue of the Harlequin Magazine.
Christina acts as a mentor to a self-help group based around the teachings of Jack Canfield and Stephen Covey and is an active member of her church. Her Christian beliefs don’t stop her including sensual detail in her work, if it helps to illuminate a caring relationship.
With her husband she has raised two children, who are known to her Twitter followers as DD (Dearest Daughter) and Son Number One.