#1. Reading a book by Holly Jacobs means almost certain laughter…who did you inherit your sense of humor from?
Oh, wow, Carol...now there’s a question!
Growing up, my somewhat warped sense of humor often got me in trouble. For instance, one time when my mother was yelling at me, she said, “And you never smile when I’m ‘talking.’ You always get that look on your face. I’m so tired of it.” Talking was her code word for yelling and that-look was one that any parent with teens knows intimately. Anyway, the next time she yelled, I smile. Uh...she didn’t see the humor in it. LOL Thankfully, my dh has an equally offbeat sense of humor and it seems to be an inherited trait–all our kids have it to. So in our house, laughter has always been the status quo.
#2. Which one of your characters are you most like?
Each of my characters is very a very unique person...individual and wholly their own in my mind. And I try to convey that sense of realness to readers. Yet, there are definitely pieces of me (and my life) in each of them. For instance, I write a lot of kids...well, because I have a lot of kids. We have four. And before I had them, I helped with my younger brothers and babysat. I know kids and (most of the time) love them. Being a mother has been a huge part of my life, so I write about kids and parents...there’s a lot of me in that. And I love writing crazy grandmas (like Nana Vancy in the Everything But... books) because I’ve lived that as well. My grandmother reached an age where she no longer cared what the world thought...she lived by her own rules.
Some of my characters espouse my personal beliefs, but some don’t. Like I said, they’re their own people...well, at least in my head! And having other people in your head...well, that can be worrisome unless you’re a writer! LOL
#3. How did you explain to your four kids that you were writing romance novels? [I’m dragging up a chair and holding on to my seat with both hands. I know this is going to be fun.]
Okay, this sounds really shmarmy, even to me, but my kids have always been a great support. When I started writing, I treated it like a job even before I sold. I’d go up to the “office” and work every night after the kids were in bed. Well, one night my oldest came in to ask me something, looked at the computer screen and said, “When you sell...” I don’t remember the rest of the sentence. Just those first three words...When you sell. She had utter faith that I would someday. All my kids were that supportive. And as soon as I knew that I wanted to write romance, they knew, so they’ve always just accepted that.
#4. Do your husband’s co-workers tease him about your romance writing?
Nope. They do however tease him when he has to drive my car...an orange Vibe. Turns out cops don’t think Orange Vibes are overly...well, coply. And those who know me and know I named my Vibe Floyd find it even funnier when he drives it instead of his very coply grey stick-shifted truck. LOL
#5. Many of your books are based in Erie, PA. Are you getting credit from the tourism bureau?
After all, with your fan base, you are the best secret weapon they could have. Seriously, why Erie?
No, the tourism bureau hasn’t said anything to me, but Erie readers have been great! They have supported me in so many ways–coming out to signings, reading my books, mentioning me to others. The newspaper here has “discovered” me in the last few years, and has not only written some very lovely articles about my books, but they also invited me to write a piece for our op-ed page last year...if anyone’s interested it’s at http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807110339
Why so many books set here? I love Erie. I love writing about Erie. It’s a smallish city right on lake Erie. What’s not to love? Maybe someday I’ll get a key to the city
#6. Has Ethel Merman appeared in any of your books? Will she in the future?
I put a rescue dog in Once Upon a Thanksgiving...he was inspired by Ethel Merman. Before we had Ethel and Ella Fitzgerald, we had an Old English Mastiff, who inspired the Mastiff, Dudley in my Avalon book, Night Calls. And in my December release, Everything But a Christmas Eve, there’s an English Bulldog. The inspiration for his character is my niece’s bulldog, Lucy. See, it’s not just my family or my favorite city that inspires me, but it’s the pets in my life! LOL
#7. You make us laugh…but do any of your books make your readers cry? Was that book hard to write?
I write a lot of comedy and romances that have light humor in them. I created my tagline for the website (www.HollyJacobs.com Where love is a laughing matter) because of that humor. Then I started writing for Harlequin’s Everlasting Love, which morphed into their SuperRomance line, and the tagline didn’t work for those books. My first Everlasting, The House on Briar Hill Road, dealt with breast cancer. In last year’s SuperRomance, Same Time Next Summer, the heroine’s daughter is in a coma as the book opens. This November’s SuperRomance, Unexpected Gifts, deals with a teen parenting teacher who finds herself pregnant and abandoned...her journey echoes the journey her student’s have been taking. So, I changed the tagline to–www.HollyJacobs.com Where love is a laughing matter...except when it’s not! I believe in truth in advertising! LOL
#8. How did you come up with the cursed wedding idea for your Avalon series?
Well, the Salo family in the Everything But...series is Hungarian. My step-father is Hungarian. So, that was a starting point. And everyone knows that words have power in Hungary. Those little niggle of ideas led to the series.
It’s like that with all the books I write. Something small...listening to someone talk about how much waxing hurts (led to I Waxed My Legs for This?), or having four kids who all live to make mischief (inspired not only Ready, Willing...and Able? as well as its sequel, Raising Cain and other books) and working as a volunteer with local disc jockey, Craig Warvel, gave me the idea of doing some books set at a radio station (Avalon’s Pickup Lines, Lovehandles, Night Calls and Laugh Lines). On a more serious note, we lost my MIL (the sweetest, most wonderful woman ever) to breast cancer. Her courageous fight against the disease inspired my The House on Briar Hill Road.
Inspiration is everywhere. Even some of my geek-glee subjects find their way into books. You see, I love science concepts...find them fascinating. So, in How to Catch a Groom, I made the hero a scientist. And he named his cat Schrodinger. Now, I know, you’re thinking, that’s not funny. It’s what my editor said. But then I explained that Schrodinger’s Cat is a famous scientific concept about a cat in a box being alive and dead at the same time (well, until you open the door and observe if he’s alive or dead). That’s the same book in which the hero proclaims his love to the heroine in a Newtonian Physics love letter...yep, even science can inspire me! LOL
#9. You’ve said Avalon books are beautiful. [We all agree.] Now if you were trying to beat off a crowd of crazed fans, which would you rather have in your hand, your Avalon hardback book or one of your paperbacks? [This should be good. I can see it flying up in my face.]
Ah, now, Carol, while we all know a hardback is a preferable weapon, your question has a huge flaw...I’d never beat off readers (I feel presumptuous referring to readers as fans
#10. Okay, we know you cook for the clan. You chop and haul wood. You garden. You are a wonderful, loyal friend. Your nieces love you. And you can tickle our funny bones without even trying. But seriously, who is Holly Jacobs? Tell us something about you that we don’t know.
Gee. Who am I? First and foremost, I’m a wife and mother. My dh and I just went on a cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary. He’s my best friend and...well, I adore him! And I’m sure I’m biased, but I have four of the most amazing kids in the universe. They’ve made me crazy, made me laugh, made me happy...they’ve made my life so much better in so many ways! I’m a daughter, a granddaughter. I’m friend. I try to be a good friend. I’m a woman who loves her hometown and specifically Lake Erie and the ocean (any ocean, I’m not prejudiced LOL) but I don’t go in them often because I’m not a fan of living critters in the water with me!
I’ve got a fun FAQ section at http://www.hollyjacobs.com/bio.html#FAQ
- UNEXPECTED GIFTS, Harlequin SuperRomance, 11/09
- EVERYTHING BUT A CHRISTMAS EVE, Avalon, 12/09
And there you have it, folks! Many thanks, Holly for taking time to visit with us. Now it’s time to share.
What is your favorite book by Holly Jacobs?