That's a big leap, isn't it? What I appreciate about my guest, Holly Jacobs, is not only does she tell a good story, rich in family and friendship, but she worked hard to see her dream a reality. It wasn't without rejections. No overnight success, just plain hard work and the love of telling stories. I'll let her tell you all about it.
“There’s the world the way you want it—maybe even need it to be. And there’s the world the way it is. It’s hard to rectify the two. Sometimes it feels almost impossible. But in the world the way it is right now, you've got to figure out a way to cope with that." ~April Showers, Holly Jacobs, 5/13
That’s a quote from this month’s release, April Showers. It’s the second book in my A Valley Ridge Wedding trilogy and that paragraph was one of the first things I wrote for the story. That small snippet became the foundation I built the story around. The quote hints at the fact that these characters live in a hard reality. Granted, their reality is one I created, but they are not living their dream at the beginning of the book…but don’t worry, they are by the end!
The fact that I get to create stories and characters is my reality, but more than that, it’s my dream.
I’ve always been a reader. I mean, I can’t remember a time didn't have a book I was reading. And like most readers, occasionally I’d find myself wishing I’d wrote a particular book. One day, that wishing became something more. I was wishing I could write a new book…a story I’d created.
More than a decade ago, I finally said the words out loud. “I’d like to write.” My husband didn't laugh. He didn't scoff. He didn't tell me to get my head of the clouds. He said, “Sure, do that.” I played around with my writing at first. I sold a poem ($4…uh, I decided poetry wasn't for me). I sold some literary fiction. I’d always been a science fiction/fantasy reader, and thought my stories might go in that direction, but what I kept noticing is that they skewed towards relationships. I was fascinated by exploring how one person relates to another. I found myself gravitating toward romance.
I’d found my niche.
Uh, but I hadn't found my publisher. I focused on Harlequin’s comedy line, Duets. I’d send Duets a book, they’d reject it. I’d send another. They’d reject it. And yet another…then, you guessed it, they’d reject it. My dream was getting a bit battered and I thought about facing the reality that my being a writer wasn't going to happen for me. But luckily, my husband had an entirely different reality in mind. He kept encouraging me and telling me that he was sure I’d make it. I’d make noises about earning real money, he ignore them and said, “Write.”
In March of 2000 I got a call from a Harlequin editor (who’s still my editor) and she bought that first book, I Waxed My Legs for This? My December 2013 book, A Valley Ridge Christmas, will be my 35th for Harlequin and my 50th over all.
Over the years, many of the Harlequin lines I wrote for closed. Duets, Silhouette Romance, Flipside, Signature, Everlasting Love. Each time a line closed, I had to reinvent myself a bit and stretch my writing in order to sell to a new line. I think learning to be flexible in how I tell a story has made my writing stronger. I still write light romantic humor for Montlake Romance (which bought out Avalon and republished all my old Avalons, along with December’s new, Everything But a Dog) and I’m writing these bigger, more serious dramas for Harlequin’s SuperRomance.
But mainly, I’m living my dream. I've sold two and a half million books in more than twenty-five countries. I've written comedy, sweet humor and drama. This August my first cozy mystery will be released (and my family was just a bit nervous when I talked so happily about someone being murdered).
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APRIL SHOWERS~Holly Jacobs
(A VALLEY RIDGE WEDDING series #2)
Rainbows don't come without rain
The world you want isn't always how the world is. Former marine Sebastian Bennington discovers that upon his return to Valley Ridge for a friend's wedding. Even his grandfather's health isn't what he's expecting. Nor is the interference from his grandfather's young business partner, Lily Paul.
-Available in audio book format-
Holly Jacobs' books have made Walden’s Bestseller List and won numerous awards such as the National Readers' Choice Award, the Holt Medallion Award and the Bookseller’s Best. In 2004 Holly won Romantic Times’s prestigious Career Achievement Award for Series Love and Laughter. Holly is currently writing for Harlequin Superromance. Find Holly: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Website, Holly's Blog