An interview with romance author Holly Jacobs,
review of Hung Up On You.
Welcome to MyShelf, Holly. We're excited and delighted that you
could join us today.
off, I'd like to congratulate you on your many contest wins for
your laugh out loud romantic comedies with Harlequin. Please tell
us about your recent awards and your books that won.
It's been a very good contest year. I've had books final in The
Madcap Award (which is specifically for romantic comedy), The Holt
Medallion, The Golden Quill, and finally three finalists in More
Than Magic, one of which won the traditional category. I've won
a Golden Quill and a Madcap Award in the past.
you feel it's important to enter contests? Why? Do you feel they've
helped your sales and/or name recognition?
do think contests are a very good way to generate name recognition.
Are they necessary? No. But they can be fun! Hey, my kids aren't
necessary either, but I keep them around! <g>
tell us about your journey to success, starting with Neighborhood
Press, ImaJinn, Kensington’s Precious Gems, and now Harlequin
I see it in print, I realize that I have indeed written for a diverse
group of publishers. But each has helped my writing grow, just as
each book, each story has been a journey of growth for me. I've
learned so much. ImaJinn released the last of my Fairy Godmother
stories in March. It was sort of bittersweet saying goodbye to my
fairies after four books. But Harlequin and Silhouette are keeping
me busy. I've got a royalty trilogy coming out next May, June and
July from Silhouette Romance, and two more Flipsides in the lineup.
One is scheduled for Sept ‘05 and waiting for the other's
date. Like I said, each book is special...each one is a journey
of discovery. I still find the fact that people buy and read my
books surreal...but soooo much fun!
is writing for Flipside different than writing for Duets?
HOLLY: Well, both
Harlequin Duets and Flipside are comedy lines. Duets had a sort
of I Love Lucy tone, and to my mind Flipsides are more Will and
Grace (if Will were straight and it was a romance <g>). The
tone and humor in Flipside is a bit more realistic...but just as
much fun as the Duets. Truly, I've enjoyed both lines. I love writing
comedy, making people laugh while I, hopefully, touch their hearts.
is writing for Flipside different than writing for Silhouette Romance?
Is it difficult to change modes?
Flipsides are comedies. My Silhouette Romances do have humor, but
they're a bit more of an emotional story. I might describe them
as slightly gentler. Changing modes? I love the differences...I
think the change of pace keeps my writing fresh.
putting out at least two or three books a year. How do you write
so fast? How many books have you been putting out a year?
HOLLY: I treat writing
like a full-time job! I write seven days a week. In the summer and
on weekends my work days are shorter, but I plan for that. My general
goal is five pages every day. If you do the math, I can finish a
short category book in just a couple months with that schedule.
is your favorite type of book to write? Why?
HOLLY: Okay, this
is going to sound hokey, but it's the truth. My favorite book is
always the book I'm currently working on. If it's not, then there's
something wrong with the story and I know I need to address it.
Why? Because if I'm not having fun, not being pulled back to the
book, then how do I expect the reader to?
is your favorite type of book to read? Why?
HOLLY: I read widely
and eclectically. Romance, science fiction, fantasy. I love science,
love reading about religions and philosophies. Biographies. We keep
Times, Popular Science, National Geographic and Readers Digests
floating through the house. Heck, I've been known to spend my breakfast
reading the cereal box! I'm a reader through and through. I can't
remember a time when I wasn't reading a book. Right now I'm reading
Gregory Maguire's “Wicked”. Love his twist on a classic
do you get your story ideas? Please tell us specifically how you
got the idea for your recent Flipside, Hung Up On You.
Up on You is one of the few books that I can explain exactly where
and why it was born. I was sitting in my office, stuck in a phone
maze, lost in an electronic answering system, just looking for a
real-live human to assist me. As I punched number after number,
feeling like I was playing Let's Make a Deal and looking for the
right curtain, I thought, this could be a book and started writing
the opening to Hung Up on You right then!
tell us about your family, including your daughter who just graduated
from college. Congratulations, by the way. I know you must be a
very proud mom.
a Mom-brag. I'm good at those! <g> I have four of the greatest
kids ever! You're right, my oldest just graduated with her nursing
degree. Daughter number two is a biology/chemistry/secondary education
major and entering her junior year of college. We have a high school
sophomore and a fifth grader rounding out the family. They all delight
me...and drive me crazy in turn! Add a wonderful husband and a 200
lb Old English Mastiff to the mix and you'll see that even my craziest
story doesn't match the craziness that is my life! <g>
know that a lot of your stories are set in your home town of Erie,
Pennsylvania. Are all of them set there? Have you always lived in
I've always live in Erie and truly can't imagine living anywhere
else!! I've got the amenities of a larger city along with the feel
of a small town...and Lake Erie at my doorstep. All my Silhouette
Romances have been set here, all but one of my Duets as well. But
my Flipsides are taking me out and about. Philadelphia, Toronto,
Houston...it's fun exploring other cities, but it's always good
to be home.
tell us about the Dreamweavers.
is a solitary sort of business. I tell my husband that I don't have
a water cooler to stand around and chat with friends. That's true
in a way, but a bit of fib in another. You see, I've been blessed
with wonderful online friends! The internet is my water cooler!
LOL The Dreamweavers are a mixed group of writers. We've been together
for what, five years now? Close. They've supported me through my
ups and downs. They're the best.
you have a long term goal and if so, what is it?
year I try to set new goals for myself. I like having some kind
of path set out. Of course, the path changes from time to time.
When that happens I just try to readjust my goal. I guess my biggest
long-term goal would be to continue writing and telling my stories.
one of your books could be made into a movie, which one would you
choose and why? Who would you cast for the main characters and why?
Great question. Hmmmm....
Okay, let's go with
my October Flipside, Found and Lost. My heroine, Markie Walkowicz,
discovers a dead body on her front porch on a Monday morning and
while she's calling 911, it disappears. Enter an old friend, Detective
Zac Marshall. While he helps her find the body (which appears, then
disappears from her back yard the next week), maybe they can get
over old losses and find a new relationship...maybe love? For Markie
how about Kate Hudson, and for Zac Ben Affleck.
travel to several romance writing and reading conferences. What
is the most fun you had at one? Which one?
love going to speak at conferences and writing groups. I truly think
writers are some of the very nicest people around. Maybe it's because
they spend so much time putting themselves in other people's shoes
while they work, that they just do it all the time. That ability
to empathize makes for some of the sweetest people around. So, even
though I've never seen a study about it, I think the anecdotal evidence
proves out...writers are great. Which means, going out and spending
a day or a weekend with them is bound to be a blast! Hanging with
nice people and talking about a job I love...what could be better?
you planning to attend any conferences this next year where your
fans can meet you? Which ones?
be at RWA's National Conference in Dallas at the end of July. I'll
be speaking in Buffalo in October. That's it for this year. I'm
currently booking ‘05. I know I'll be in Knoxville in April.
you have any book signings scheduled? If so, where and when?
lot of the conferences, such as RWA's in Dallas, have booksignings
involved with them. And here in Erie, there's a huge signing being
planned for the end of October at Waldenbooks in the Mall. I'll
be there, and writing buddies Susan Gable and Jamie Denton will
be as well.
do you like to do in your spare time to relax?
<g> Seriously, I do relax. Reading, sunsets on the peninsula...ice
cream! They all make for great downtime.
it difficult to write with a large family? Do you have any tips
for writing moms?
was up at five this morning so I could write in peace and quiet
for a while before the thundering herd awoke!! During the school
year it's easier. I write while they're in school. Tips? I guess
my biggest tip is not to give yourself excuses not to write. Everyone
can find a half hour or so a day. Whether you get up early, stay
up a half hour late. Write through lunch. When I first started writing,
I made the commitment to write something, anything, every day. I
made time...I still do.
are your dreams? What would you still like to accomplish?
I hope all my kids grow up to have great, meaningful lives. Professionally,
I'd like to keep writing for a very, very long time!
advice would you give to aspiring and newly published authors?
best advice I've already mentioned, but it bears being repeated...write
something, anything, every day. Writing is work, but it's also craft.
And as with any craft, the more you do it, the better you become.
is your website address?
Please drop in any time. There are excerpts of upcoming books, and
a monthly contest.
there anything else you'd like to share with your fans?
my appreciation. I've been so lucky to have so many people support
me personally, and professionally. There aren't enough thanks in
the world that are adequate.
books do you have in store for us? When can we expect your next
book to be released and what is its name?
Be My Baby, Sil. Rom., A Perry Square Romance,
Found and Lost, Harlequin Flipside, 10/04
Perry Square Royalty Trilogy, Silhouette Romance,
Laughting Out Loud, Harlequin Flipside, 9/05
Wedding or Not, Harlequin Flipside, tba
Thanks, so much,
Up On Your
Flipside, No. 9- Feb.
0-373-44183-5 - Paperbck
Reviewed by Elaine Hopper, MyShelf.Com
Up On You by Holly Jacobs is an irreverently funny romantic
comedy revolving around a phone answering company and life gone
awry. Murphy’s Law applies when everything that can go wrong
in Ari’s very orderly life does…and more. Just when
her life seems as if it can’t get suckier, another tragedy
Ari discovers that when God closes a door, he opens a window and
in climbs sexy hero-in-disguise, Simon Masterson. It doesn’t
take long for the sworn adversaries to join forces and find love
in most unlikely places.
her typical charming manner, Holly Jacobs has created another enchanting
romantic comedy to make hopeful romantics out of all of us. A refreshingly
witty, laugh-out-loud comedy combined with heart-melting romance
is reminiscent of the Doris Day/Rock Hudson and Kathryn Hepburn/Cary
Grant movies I love so much to watch on lazy Sunday afternoons.
I devoured Hung Up On You in one sitting, unable to put down the
book until the happily-ever-after concluded.
Reviewer Elaine Hopper is the author of twenty published romance
MyShelf.Com. All Rights Reserved.