Saturday, April 16

Welcome prolific author Holly Jacobs...


I know you’re a prolific author—how many books now?—a mother of four, and that you live somewhere in the snow belt. I see on Facebook that you love Mondays, cut wood, make baskets, and work on home projects. You make me tired! So tell us about Holly. What do you love most, dislike most, wish for?

I know that this is going to sound schmarmy, but as for as love the most...I’ve got to say my family. We all spend a lot of time together. From walks with the dogs, to cutting that wood you mentioned, or working on home DIY projects. I know people talk about ‘quality time’ a lot, but for me it’s not something we schedule or plan as such...our quality time comes from doing normal things and projects together.


As for projects, I come up with projects, my husband figures out how to implement my plans, and I play his girl Friday. I’ve helped put up drywall, lay tiles and even put up a fence. Our kids have always been at the center of what we do. Even now, as they are getting older. We try to be there to listen, to lend a hand when they need it, and to spend time together...Sunday dinners, trips out to camp, and even a bit of antiquing! My kids are more than just children...they’re best friends! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that they’ve grown and/or are growing into some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known!

And thanks for mentioning my baskets. I started making them a year ago, and there’s something so satisfying about the process. They’re creative, and there’s a sense of repetition as you weave, over-under, over-under. They’ve become a great writing tool...something that gives me time to think and leaves me with something tangible when I finish. I love learning new things...from a personal perspective and a writing perspective, finding new creative outlets gives me glee!

Hmmm...dislike the most? Mean people. I saw a shirt once that read, Mean People Suck, and I thought, well, yeah! LOL I simply don’t understand that mind-set. I’d rather spread glee than meanness. I’ve found my most effective way of dealing with mean people is to pretend I don’t notice. Yes, killing them with kindness and glee...it surprises them every time!

What do I wish for? Well, my beauty-pageant response would be world peace. And my glass-half-full response would be, world glee! On a business note, I’d say more book contracts. On a personal note, solar panels! Yeah, I do my part and try to live as green as I can. When we remodeled the bathroom last year, I put in a dual-flush toilet. My Facebook friends didn’t toss eggs at me as I got all glee-ish over it’s .6 gallon small flush, and it’s 1.6 gallon bigger flush. LOL This year, we’re putting in a rain-barrel. Each year, I try to make some green improvement. But when I have enough money put aside for a big change it’ll be solar panels! (And yes, my poor FB friends will have to deal with me spewing solar panel glee all over the place! LOL)

What tops your bucket list?

~Well, when we have an empty nest, we hope to travel. My books have gone to more than 25 countries now and I’d really like to travel with them! I’m ever-so Irish with a bit of English, so those are two countries that lead off my international travel plans! But mainly, my bucket wish is about spending time with my family...and spoiling my someday-grandchildren! If I never make it anywhere more international than Canada which is only a couple hours away, I could live with that. But my family...well, they’re everything!

You write a lot! Do you have a regular work schedule?

~Writing is my full-time job, and I treat it as such. After everyone leaves for school and work, I take the dogs for a walk, then come home and hit the computer. Oh I get lunch breaks, and I tend to do the housework and laundry in the midst of my work day, but for the most part, during business hours, I’m writing. I’ve had as many as five releases in one year, and as few as one. It just depends on how the release days stack up. But since my first release in the late nineties, I’ve sold 45 books with more than two million (well, I was a few thousand short, but I suspect I’ll get the official figures in the next royalty statement) books sold worldwide. Yep, that give me glee!!

What’s next?



Right now, I’m working on a new proposal for SuperRomance, and my next Super release is in September. A FATHER’S NAME. The heroine, Tucker, has been in other recent books as a secondary character. She’s not a traditional heroine–she’s a mechanic and an ex-teen mom whose son is going to college. The hero is a man who had the world at his feet...and lost everything when he went to jail. But both of them are more than that...they’re real people (at least in my head, and hopefully for readers), with hopes and dreams. They both have pasts and have messed up. But their hearts...well, those are in the right place, or at least they will be in the right place when they realize they were meant for each other!


What woman, past or present, would you like to have dinner with and what would you like to talk about?


For a very long time, I’ve had a when-I’m-dead-and-hanging-out-in-the-afterlife dinner party planned. When I see someone cool in the news, or when I read a book that introduces me to a new historical figure who inspires me, I put them on my guest-list. It’s not just women on the list, but a sort of eclectic mix of people I’d love to meet. Helen Keller was one of the first people invited to that afterlife dinner party. I read her autobiography when I was in grade-school and I was captivated by her strength. And of course, Anne Sullivan would come along with her–she was a person who stood in Helen’s shadow in some ways, but only because she was the one who cast the light by giving Helen a voice...a way to see the world.


Who else would come to my afterlife party? It’s a huge affair that grows bigger with regularity. Carl Sagan. Einstein. Gene Roddenberry. Robert Heinlein. JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Marion Zimmer Bradley. Madeline L’Engle. They’re all people who helped raise me, through books or through ideas. They helped me learn to see the world, and to see the people around me–really see them and try to understand them. That’s part of why I’m who I am today–why I’m a writer.


I’m lucky enough to still have people inspiring me on a regular basis and I simply keep adding names to my afterlife-dinner party. It’s an open guest list, so everyone’s welcome. And hey, if mean people show up (see previous answer), we’ll all just pretend to not to notice they’re mean! LOL


What question would you like to answer but no one ever asks?


Now, that’s a great question...and I’m not sure how to respond because over the last decade, I’ve been asked such a wide range of question. Here’s one no one’s ever asked...”Holly, tell us about your nice notes?”


Well, thanks so much for asking, Liz! I’m the first one to let someone know if their service or product disappoints, but what I really prefer is letting people know when a service or product rocks! I’ll confess, writing ‘nice notes,’ gives me glee.


One of my favorite for-instances... I was coming home from St. Louis and went through airport security. I have a lot of metal in one leg, so when alerts are high, I buzz. For years I buzzed at the beginning and end of each trip and went through a security pat-down. Most of the officers are competent and all business, but in St. Louis, not only was the officer all that, but she was very nice as she tried to put me at ease. As she did her job, I couldn’t help but notice the rest of her team. An older gentleman was in line with a carry-on that looked to weigh as much as he did. One of the officers behind the x-ray came out and helped a couple women lift their bags, then helped the older gentleman, too. In my writer’s-mind, he did it in order to help the older gentleman save face. But no matter why he did it, it was so sweet.


I got their supervisor’s name and contact info and sent a note saying not only were they professional, but they were one of the nicest teams I’d met. Their supervisor wrote back and thanked me for thanking them...and wanted to put the note in their newsletter.


Between you and me, I don’t think many security teams get a lot of nice feedback. But hey, I don’t think a lot of people do. Service people, security people, cops, firefighters... They’re all out there every day helping the rest of us. I really enjoy sending nice notes and thanking them! Not that I don’t complain if it’s warranted, but I like my compliments to outnumber the complaints...I figure it’s good karma! And it’s a lot more fun! LOL



Thanks so much for coming today. It was great talking to you!


Visit Holly at http://www.hollyjacobs.com/ And, while we're here, isn't this just the prettiest cover?

25 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for asking me to visit today. It's a rainy, windy day here, but the house is quiet and I've got coffee...life is good!

    Holly

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  2. Holly what a down to earth interview and I am o happy for you. I hope one of my friends will read your book so I get to read it. I recently lost my job so book buying is out of the question for now. I retired two years ago and worked part time just to have extra money. I went to the hospital in Feb. with blood clots and now my employer let me go so to speak because they didn't want a high risk employee working there even through my doctor released me. Live and learn but I will be okay. My friends told me they will be sure I get books to read..we live in the country and a public library isn't handy. I hope all your future dreams comes true and may you have a wonderful day. susan Leech garysue@dejazzd.com

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  3. Susan,

    I'm so sorry for your health problems and that your employers let you go. Hugs. It sounds like you have wonderful friends who will keep you in books. Those are the kind of friends who are such a blessing!

    And thanks for checking out my interview. Down to earth is really all I know. I'm much more comfortable in holey jeans splitting logs than in 'grown up' clothes! LOL

    Holly

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  4. Great interview, Holly.

    How about a couple quick questions?

    Did you major in English in college? How many completed manuscripts before getting "the call?" What's your best tip for writers?

    Also, is it true that you don't go to many conferences, such as the upcoming one in NYC?

    Thanks!

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  5. Hi, Anon!

    Let's see...yes, I go to conferences. Some years more than others. I try not to do more than one every three or four months--it gets rough on my family. The last few years, more speaking requests have been coming in, so most of the conferences I attend these days are ones I'm speaking at. I did my first keynote last year and it seemed to go well...no one threw food at me, though one of the guests at the front table accidentally whacked a water bottle in my direction. (At least she said it was an accident! LOL) This year, I've had to turn down a number of invites due to family events...including RWA NYC. I love RWA national conferences and hate missing a second one in a row. I hope to be there next year.

    No, I didn't major in English...but I've been a voracious reader my whole life. I read Tolkien in grade school.

    My best tip for new writers is a simple one...write every day. I really feel that writing needs to become as much a part of your life as breathing. LOL And the more you write, the better you write. I recently reread one of my early works and kept thinking, "Why didn't I..." Fill in the blank. LOL It really illustrated how much I've grown as a writer. That pleases me, and I can only hope I continue to grow!

    Holly

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  6. Now that's a dinner party I'd love to go to, Holly! LOL. And I was wondering how you'd answer that bucket list question, oh-woman-of-many-talents-and-interests :-) Nice to see you here!

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  7. Shirley, I'll put your name on that guestlist...although I'm not planning that party for a long, long time! LOL

    And my bucket list is rather like the rest of my life, centered on my family. I really do adore them all and am already planning to spoil my someday grandchildren rotten! LOL My kids all call me Womey. They were talking about what my someday grandchildren would call me. Gramma + Womey...they came up with Grummy. Now, I'm not sure how I feel about Grummy, but I've been assured I have no say. It's okay...this Grummy is already planning how she's going to spoil the kids! LOL

    Holly, aka Womey, aka Grummy

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  8. I enjoyed this post. Holly sounds like such an upbeat, glee-ridden person! I like her attitude and envy the amount of time she spends with her family. In mine, I'm lucky to be able to see them for a few minutes a day before they're up, up, and away to do something with their friends or homework or Facebook or something. And I totally believe in "kharma" and wish the people in the world would be more "nice" than what I see out there.

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  9. I'm so with you on mean/rude people. I can't stand that. Keep spreading the glee Holly. Your someday grandchildren are so lucky. I'm curious, what was the first thin you did when you got 'the call?'

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  10. Thanks, Virginia! I have bad moods, like everyone else does, but I really try to cultivate glee on a regular basis! LOL My thoughts are, you have a choice...be happy or not. I pick happy!

    Shawn, I don't think I did anything of note after that first call. I think we had something for the kids, and I just cooked, as usual. However, I do know after I sold Do You Hear What I Hear? to Silhouette Romance in June of '00, I went to Taco Bell with the family to celebrate. How do I remember this? Well, I said as much to the editor, who said her brother loved TB, but her not so much. That quick line led me to add a taco scene in a book and name a secondary character Larry after her brother. Larry and I shared a great love of TB! I loved him so much (the character, not her brother LOL)he went on to be the hero in Be My Baby.

    Holly

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  11. Holly, thanks for stopping by. And I love your nice notes. I work in retail and the one I received from a customer is one of my best memories. It's so nice to be appreciated. Keep spreading the nice ;)

    Liz, great interview.

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  12. Margie,

    I'm so glad you have a good memory of a nice note! If I can spread a bit of glee, life is good!

    I happen to love Mondays and frequently spew Monday glee over friends. Some have even admitted that Mondays aren't as bad as they thought! LOL

    Speaking of glee, I got a haircut today...Medusa is tamed, for a bit at least. Then went to an antique show and brought home a very cool antique stained glass window. My husband already has it hung! Life is good!

    Holly

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  13. Holly, you are my hero! Where do you keep your super woman cape? Can I go to that dinner with you...

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  14. Holly,

    What a lovely interview. Then again, I always knew you were awesome.

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  15. Hi, Holly! Nice notes are a wonderful idea...one I will have to try out. No questions from me, but I've been a fan of yours since the radio book (the one set in Erie, PA)...because I have a radio and television background and I *loved* that you got radio right - from the characters to how it works and what *really* does happen behind the scenes!

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  16. Carolyn, I would love to have you come to the dinner! To be honest, you all are invited! It's very inclusive! LOL

    Lori, You're biased, but thanks! I think you're awesome, too!

    Kristina, Oh, thanks! I had such a blast with the WLVH series, and I'm thrilled that the first one is out again right now as a Thorndike, large print reissue! Having a friend who is a DJ made such a great difference. Really, that kind of research is my favorite kind! I know little bits about lots of things! The Sept. book required more legal help that my dh the cop could give. I had a wonderful lunch with a local judge and ADA. I explained the trouble I'd gotten my poor hero into, and the two of them were awesome about helping me get him out of it! LOL I'm pitching a new proposal that will require some research and can't wait!

    Holly

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  17. Hi, Holly!
    I'm late to the party, but want to thank you for coming to WW today. I can't wait to read Tucker's story!

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  18. Holly, that was a great interview!

    And I'll keep my eye out for all that FaceBook glee...Can't wait for Tucker's story sounds like a good one.

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  19. Oh wow, this is a fabulous interview. I got to learn so much about you. LOL, like you, I would love to have dinner with J.R.R Tolkien. I'd love to get inside his head.

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  20. Good morning, everyone! I've read my paper and have my coffee...life is good here!

    Thanks so much, D'Ann! I hope when Sept. rolls around, you enjoy Tucker. I had more fun than a person should with her t-shirts. My favorite was a pink one with butterflies...smooshed butterflies on it. The caption read, How Can You Tell I Ride Motorcycles? LOL I think I need one of those!

    Sara, I love to share my glee on FB. Baskets, homemade bread, clothes on the line and even dual flush toilets. Yep, I get my glee on with regularity! LOL

    Brenda, You're definitely invited to the dinner! Writers like Tolkien and Heinlein...well, they helped raise me. They helped shape how I look at the world. And I welcome the chance to tell them that! My first crush was on a Heinlein character...Lazarus Long!

    Holly

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  21. Holly, I just love the nice notes thing because it's something I do as well. Since I was a waitress for many years, I noticed that people frequently would comment when service was bad (not from me, of course! ) but rarely when it was good. And since I always make sure the supervisor or boss knows when service anywhere isn't up to par, I made a promise to myself to also comment when it's especially good.
    People are generally so surprised and appreciative.

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  22. Kym,

    I know, and it's kind of sad that people are surprised to hear nice things, rather than just kibbitzing. I love spreading glee that way. And it's always fun to hear from others who do it as well!

    I think of glee as a virus...it doesn't take much for it to spread, which is why I do my best to spew it whenever I can! LOL

    Holly

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  24. Holly, thanks so much for joining us this weekend and for sharing your glee. I just loved interviewing you!

    Hope you have a good day tomorrow--I know you love Mondays. :-)

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  25. Thanks again for the invite, Liz! I've had a blast hanging out with you all! And yes, tomorrow is my favorite day of the week!

    Holly

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