Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Spotlight Author with Holly Jacobs

Today I have Spotlight Author, Holly Jacobs who writes for Harlequin Superomance with us. She’s here to give us a peak into her writing, her life, and what she has up and coming! Enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself Holly and what you write.

~Let’s see, I’m a happily married mother of four. I write contemporary romance that ranges from comic to dramatic.

What do you think makes your writing unique?

~I think every author has a unique ‘voice.’ When you start writing, you keep hearing that term… ‘voice’ and you quickly learn there’s not real definition. It has to do with the way you tell your story. It’s unique to every writer. It’s not just the content of a particular story that’s unique, but it’s also how an author tells that story…their voice. I guess I feel that’s what makes my writing career. My voice.

Can you share with us what you are currently working on?

~I’m currently writing for Harlequin’s SuperRomance series. In November of ’09’s boo, UNEXPECTED GIFTS, I introduced a new town, Whedon, PA and a new family, the Kellers. My SuperRomances have centered around that town and family. Zac Keller made a cameo in February’s A ONE-OF-A-KIND FAMILY, and his brother Seth is the hero of this December’s HOMECOMING DAY. Right now, I’m working on a fourth Whedon story that will be out in 2011. The working title is, A FATHER’S NAME, but that’s subject to change. And it features, Angelina Tucker. She was the heroine, Eli’s, best friend in Unexpected Gifts. I’m thrilled to give her a Happily Ever After of her own!

What is your process? Are you a plan every aspect before you write kind of gal or the one that flies by the seat of her pants and lets the story and its characters take you for a wild ride until THE END?

~When I started writing, I was a seat-of-my-pants sort of writer. I’d start with a basic idea and just run with it. Now that I’ve been published, I can sell books without writing the whole thing. That requires a synopsis. So, I do have a very good idea where a story will go before I start actually writing it. That being said, I always leave myself wiggle room—I don’t know everything about the story. That sense of discovery is half the fun of writing for me!

What do you do when you get stuck?

~This sounds weird, but truth is, I don’t get stuck. I’m a working writer, so I write every day. Now, I’ll confess, some day’s work is just drek, and it ends up being cut further down the line. There’s an old writing saying—I’m not sure where it originated, but it goes like this, you can fix crap, but you can’t fix a blank page. That’s the theory I run with.

Give us a glimpse into the day of a writer’s life? Yours to be precise. As a mother of four children, how do you find the time to write? Do you have business hours like many authors do? Or do you find yourself typing away in the drivers seat of your car, (like myself) while trying to catch the activities the kids are involved in?

~My days look something like this:

I’m up at five/six. Read the paper, drink some coffee, go online and visit my Facebook and eHarlequin pages. Answer emails. Have breakfast. By that time, it’s time for the school run.

Come home, walk the dogs (Ethel Merman and Ella Fitzgerald), start writing.

Around eleven thirty, lunch break.

Then more writing.

About two I try to finish, and then run around doing house chores, pick up kids, get dinner, walk the dogs again….


Okay, the days have variations. But this is my basic ‘normal’ schedule. I work hard to maintain it. And it means by after school, I’m available for whatever the family needs.

Even before I sold, I had a similar schedule because I treated my writing like a business.

Did you receive rejection letters during your journey to become published? If yes what is your best advice to someone who’s received their first one?

~Rejections are part of this business. I’ll confess, I still have ideas rejected by my publishers. Most find their way into print in some for or another at some point.

When I was trying to break in at Harlequin, I got a number of rejections. Here’s what my break-into-Harlequin plan looked like.

Write a book.

Submit it.

Start writing the next.

Generally finish it.

Receive a rejection on book A.

Incorporate any comments/suggestions into book B.

Submit it.

Start writing the next one…

I basically just kept repeating that formula until I sold. I figured I’d eventually wear them down and they’d buy me in hopes of shutting me up…uh, that didn’t work on their part! LOL

Being a writer it is very important to hone your craft. Do you have any special books, classes, or on-line courses that you yourself use to make sure you are keeping up with the latest writing trends?

~No. To be honest, I think my most helpful tool for honing my craft is reading other writers’ fiction. And I don’t really follow the trends, but rather follow my own voice and interests.

Do you have any advice on writing, getting published, or finding an agent?

~My biggest advice sounds simple. I’ve given the same tip for years. Write. Write every day. Treat your writing like a business and don’t just do it when the muse hits, or you can squeeze it into your schedule. Make it part of the rhythm of your life…sort of like breathing! LOL

Thank you, Holly. I am so happy you were able to make it by Micole Writes Romance. If you would like to find out more information about Holly Jacobs and her wonderful books you can go to…

Hope to see all of you next week!




HollyJacobs said...

Thanks for posting the interview, Micole. To those who are reading it, when I'm talking about 'voice' that's supposed to be 'no definition' not 'not definition'...sheesh!LOL


Sheri Humphreys said...

Micole, even though the font is large, I cannot read a single word of the green type. Sheri

HollyJacobs said...

Sheri, I had trouble, too. I simply highlighted it (as if I were going to copy it), and I could read the text just fine. Hope that helps!


Sheri Humphreys said...

Thanks, Holly. That did work. So glad to know that tip.

Really enjoyed learning about your daily agenda. I agree with you regarding "voice". I don't think a writer's voice is something that can be summed up in a few words. It's a complex thing. I can't describe someone's personality in a few words, either. And I'd have to say Voice is something like a writing personality. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life. Sheri

HollyJacobs said...

Sheri, I'm glad the tip helped! I've used it on other sites and found it worthwhile!

Glad you enjoyed the interview!