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!!
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?