Holly Jacobs, one of the nicest and most prolific writers I know, is letting us into her office. I love Holly. She’s one of those people who’s always willing to help out if she can. She’s just the kind of author I want to be when I grow up! LOL.
Anyway, I couldn’t wait to get a peek into her office. Shy person that I am, I asked, and guess what! Sweet Holly came through. 🙂
Me: Hey, Holly Jacobs! Would you share with us a little bit of the behind the scenes of your writing life?
Holly: Sure. What would you like to know?
Me: This might seem like a silly question, but do you write in your office?
Holly: I used to write almost exclusively in my office.
Holly cont: But as the kids got older and the house got quieter, I started writing in the backroom on the couch. The dogs like it better. Normally they’re right next to me as I write…they were cuddled in the recliner when my daughter took this picture!
Me: Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever written?
Holly: Really, writing on the couch in front of the fireplace is pretty near perfect!
Me: Okay. Well, tell us about the best cool weird place you’ve ever written. Dungeon? Mountain peak? Bottom of the ocean floor?
Holly: Uh, I don’t know if I have any of those. But I’ve written poolside, at the beach, in a hotel, in a car, at a sporting event… I’m not sure those are weird though. Now I’ll be looking for someplace weird to write! LOL
Me: Cool! Be sure and share it with us when you do.
Me: Do you have a ritual you follow before you write? Light a candle? Dance naked in the moonlight?
Holly: I’m not a naked dancing in the moonlight type. LOL. I tend to get up very early and answer any email and visit my social media. Then it’s breakfast, a walk with the dogs and then I write.
Me: Do you write every day?
Holly: Yes. Not as much on the weekend.
Me: What’s the atmosphere in your office?
Holly: Well, when these pictures were taken, I was just getting home from a trip, so the actual office was a bit chaotic. But this time of year sitting on my couch, it’s peaceful. The house is quiet other than the crackling of the fire. I have a slight Yankee Candle addiction, so frequently there’s a candle burning. The dogs are snuggled close. It’s darn near perfect.
Me: Do you play music while you write? If so, how do you choose the music?
Holly: Nope. I can write in the midst of family chaos, but I prefer the quiet. I do tend to have songs that remind me of my books. Sometimes I listen to those repeatedly as I mull. For instance, August’s SuperRomance, Her Second-Chance Family, has a troubled teen, and Sister Hazel’s Concede was my go-to song.
Me: If you could have your dream office, what would it be?
Holly: I pretty much have it. When we moved here a decade ago, I went from a huge office, to this one which has two doors so it feels like a glorified hallway. And I lost so many bookshelves. My husband gave me such a lovely gift. He had a carpenter come in and put in these beautiful floor to ceiling bookshelves on two of the walls. It’s so amazing to have everything close at hand. And frankly, every time I see those shelves I realize how much this man gets me. He’s such an awesome husband!
Me: I’ve heard about Holly’s wonderful husband for years, but I’ve never met him. Naturally, I asked for his picture, so she sent me this from their recent trip to Disney World. Is that cute or what? 😀
Me: Tell me, Holly. How did you get started writing?
Holly: My youngest was getting to a school age and I realized that I might need a real grownup job. I thought about all the things I might enjoy doing, and writing was the answer that kept buzzing around in the back of my mind. But it was scary saying it. It was such a long shot…such a dream. Saying I want to write out loud was one of the bravest things I ever did. And I was lucky my husband supported me from the get-go.
Me: You and your husband make an amazing team! I wish every writer had that kind of support!
Me: Are there any how-to books you recommend for writers?
Holly: I loved Anne Lamott’s, Bird by Bird.
Hey, TD Hart–Holly has a guitar in her office, too. Wonder if she uses it like you do?
Me: What’s your process for starting a new book?
Holly: An idea starts nibbling at me and I start jotting notes and before I know it, that idea has become a story. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like magic. Or maybe like farming! LOL Yes, I mean, there’s this tiny kernel and it becomes something so much bigger.
Me: Did you struggle as a new writer or were you blessed with sales from the word go?
Holly: I was lucky in that my early stuff sold. I sold a lot of short stories, and then some books…and I’ve been writing steadily ever since.
Me: You write in more than one genres and under more than one name. Can you tell us a little about that?
Holly: I write as Holly Jacobs and write, straight up romantic comedy, some sweet contemporary romance and family dramas. Then I branched out a did a comedic mystery series with a splash of romance (Maid in LA Mysteries) and most recently I’m writing blends of women’s fiction and romance. That’s what April’s Carry Her Heart is, and last year’s bestselling Just One Thing was. I’m enjoying these stories that are a women’s journey…that has romance in it.
It might seem that I jump around a lot, but really whether it’s a comedy or a drama, a mystery or women’s fiction, all my books are about people…about love.
Me: And you do a wonderful job of it! What advice do you have for a newbie struggling writer?
Holly: My favorite piece of advice is write something—anything—every day. For me, making writing part of the rhythm of my daily life!
Me: Thank you so much for letting us visit you and your office, Holly! I can’t wait to read your next book.
Holly came to Oklahoma one year to speak at our writers’ retreat, and I enjoyed that retreat more than any other one I can remember!
This is Holly with Linda Trout, whose office you’ve already visited, at the retreat at Grand Lake. 🙂