Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Writer Routine Wednesday: Holly Jacobs

Hey, all!
It's another week of my new blog segment:Writer Routine Wednesday, where every Wednesday from now until the end of August, I will host an author. We'll get to know them better and their books as well as hear them describe their usual writing routine.

Maybe you'll pick up an idea they use for yourself!
Lots of great prizes are scheduled too!
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So, please welcome author Holly Jacobs today and hear about her writing routine!

BIO: Holly Jacobs leads a life full of romance and adventure. From skydiving to jet-setting around Europe, from snorkeling in coral reefs to writing while wearing beautiful silk peignoir sets and popping chocolate bonbons, Holly Jacobs leads a life that is the epitome of romance.

Okay, well, my fictional life sounds more interesting, but not better than my real life. Really, I'm the happily married mother of four. I mainly write for Harlequin Superromance these days. Let's see, awards.... well, EVERYTHING BUT A GROOM was one of Booklist's TOP 10 Romances of '08 and one of my recent releases, UNEXPECTED GIFTS won a Golden Quill and is a finalist in the Readers Crown!!


You can visit her at http://www.hollyjacobs.com/.


Thanks for stopping by, Holly!


Describe a “typical” writing day for yourself.
A typical day...well, let's preface this with reminding you all that I'm the mother of four, so no day is really typical, but give or take, this is what most of them look like:

~I wake up between 5 and 5:30...start the coffee, let out the dogs, get the paper, pour my coffee...ahhhhhhh.

~I check my email/Facebook/eHarlequin stuff, dress, eat and by 7:30 I'm making the school run, then come home, walk the dogs and straighten the house.

~Generally I'm writing by 8:30.

~Lunch break about 11.

~Back to work until about 1:30/2. Then run around doing whatever housework needs done, school run at 3.


Do you have another job outside of writing? (Being a mommie definitely counts!!) If the answer is yes, describe how you balance the two and how much time you devote to each.
I am a full time writer and mother. It is a bit of a juggling act, but I try to be sure to remember the family motto--Family First. It sort of puts everything in perspective. That being said, my family is great. They really try to respect my writing time. Of course, the fact I growl at them when I'm writing and they interrupt might help! LOL

Are you a laptop, PC, Alphasmart, or by hand kind of writer?
I have all the above, but do most of my writing these days on my laptop. The dogs (Ethel Merman and Ella Fitzgerald) enjoy snuggling next to me on the couch as I write.

Plotter or panster? If you’re a plotter, how much time do think you put into plotting before writing.
I was a pantser when I first started writing. And why not? I didn't have deadlines and no one was waiting anxiously for the book to arrive. But after I made a few sales, I was able to sell on proposal, but this meant I had to learn to plot a story before I wrote it. It was a tough thing to learn, but I've managed. So now, I do write a synopsis before I write the book...but I try to leave enough wiggle room to allow my old pantser self to have some fun!

Some writers make collages or listen to or create music soundtracks for their work-in-progress? Do you do any of those or have you thought about doing one of them?
Nope. Wow, that makes me sound so boring. LOL But again, four kids, two dogs and let's not forget the husband! I enjoy my quiet. I tend to write while the kids are in school with no music or tv going. Now, anyone who's met me and talked to me might be surprised to hear that, but there it is. Holly Jacobs likes quiet and frequently goes from 8 am until 3 pm without talking at all. LOL

What’s your favorite book on writing?
I'm not a big how-to reader. I do love Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, or Barbara Kingsolver's High Tide in Tucson for inspiration.

What’s your favorite fiction book you’ve read so far this year?
I've been reading the Harry Dresden book (Jim Butcher) and loving them!

What’s your favorite way to reward yourself after you’ve finished writing a book?
Well, we tend to get Taco Bell. It's pretty much a tradition and it started with my editor at Silhouette Romance. You see, she called and bought another book and I said, "Oh, we're going to Taco Bell and celebrate." She made a little noise to indicate that wasn't her idea of a celebration, then told me that her brother, Larry, loved Taco Bell. So, in that book, A Day Late and a Bride Short, I had a little taco scene and Larry was a secondary character. I fell in love with him (the fictional Larry, not my editors brother...I've never met him. LOL) and he got his own book afterward, Be My Baby.

Thanks for inviting me over to visit, Jennifer!

That's too funny about Taco Bell! Thank you so much for sharing a little of your writing routine and life with us today!


Holly's most recent book, A One of a Kind Family, was a great read (if I do say so myself). Here's more info on it:
A One-of-a-Kind Family
by Holly Jacobs
ISBN # 978-0373716159
Harlequin SuperRomance
Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble.com


She’s kind of special…

Anna Chapel believes in people. She believes in helping them lead exceptional lives. Now the dedicated life coach wants to do that for different, yet special Colm Franklin. If Colm’s breath-stopping, over-protective brother Liam will let her.

But the guilt-ridden computer programmer refuses to believe, to dream. Or could it be he simply needs to learn how? Anna’s biggest challenge may be ahead: can one woman with a head full of wayward curls and a smile a mile long convince Liam they have a fighting chance? That, together, they can overcome anything to create a family that’s truly one of a kind?


Be sure to check it out!

CONTEST: Holly has generously offered to give away a signed copy of UNEXPECTED GIFTS, the first in the new Whedon, PA series from SuperRomance, to some lucky commenter!
Unexpected Gifts won a
Golden Quill Award & was a finalist in
The Readers' Crown!


Please leave a comment below to be entered to win. The giveaway contest will run from now until Thursday 11:59PM (EST). I will announce the lucky winner this Friday!


Good luck and get into your writing routine!

61 comments:

Em-Musing said...

Another great guest, Jennifer. Thanks. And thanks Holly for sharing. Oh and, Ethel Merman and Ella Fitzgerald? So cute!

HollyJacobs said...

Hi, Jennifer! Thanks for inviting me to visit!

Em, I'm glad you like the dogs's names. I have pics up of both of them at Facebook...they're the best writing companions! And they're big fans of twice daily walks, so they keep me moving.

Holly

HollyJacobs said...

.

patti said...

Another early riser! I LOVE it...and I love this blog!

Speaking of author guests, I have my first TODAY at www.pattilacy.com/blog.

None other than Cynthia Ruchti, ACFW president and debut author of "They Almost Always Come Home."

Yeah.
Come see us!

HollyJacobs said...

Patti, I'm an obnoxiously early riser! Especially in the summer. I get a ton of work done before anyone else in the house begins to stir!

Thanks for visiting!

Holly

Terrie said...

Great blog!! I have the book and looking forward to read it.

HollyJacobs said...

Thanks, Terrie!

Holly

Susan Fields said...

I loved meeting Holly! I can totally relate - I'm a mother of three and I LOVE my quiet! I don't want any noise at all when I'm writing. And I love her motto - Family First - that's so important!

HollyJacobs said...

Susan,

I'm glad you like the motto. I think it helps me keep things in perspective.

Holly

Linda Kage said...

Wonderful interview. It's nice to meet you, Holly.

Here's to many more Taco Bell trips in your future!!

Sherrinda said...

I love to read about writers and their schedules. Maybe it's because I feel like I need a better schedule and maybe I can copy someone else. Probably, it is more like I need some glue for my bum to stick to the chair. ;)

Great interview!
sherrinda (at) gmail (dot) com

HollyJacobs said...

Linda,

I'll confess, we were just at TB last week! LOL

Nice meeting you (and everyone else), too!

Holly

HollyJacobs said...

Sherrinda,

Finding your own schedule takes time. I started out writing at night because the kids were young, but I work much better during the day, and with a definite schedule. I'm much more productive that way. Writing is my job, and I treat it as such...that helps. Hope you find your schedule!

Holly

Jill Kemerer said...

Jennifer, thanks for hosting Holly today--I loved reading this!

Holly, thanks for sharing your writer's routine--and your celebration (I love Taco Bell too!). My writing days are quite similar to yours, so this entire interview made me smile.

Sherrinda said...

Holly, I am thinking I am going to have to break down and write at night. I work full time, so I am coming to the realization that I will have to do some sacrificing to realize my dream. I just hate to sacrifice sleep. I tend to pull out the Cranky Pants out of the closet when I'm sleep deprived. ;)

Laura Marcella said...

Great interview! That taco bell story is so funny! I really admire Holly for being a full-time mom, wife, and writer. It's so amazing women can do all that!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer,
Great interview as always!

Holly,
So nice to meet you. I'm a fellow pantser but I work out characters and ideas in my head before I sit down to write. Love it when the words flow nicely onto the page.

HollyJacobs said...

Jill, Making people smile is one of my favorite things, so YAY! LOL

Sherrinda, Even if you don't write hours and hours at night, if you can manage one hour every night, that's seven hours a week. You can get a lot of pages done in seven hours. A lot of my friends who work fulltime say that they've learned to make every minute of their writing time count...hope that happens for you, too!

HollyJacobs said...

Jill, Making people smile is one of my favorite things, so YAY! LOL

Sherrinda, Even if you don't write hours and hours at night, if you can manage one hour every night, that's seven hours a week. You can get a lot of pages done in seven hours. A lot of my friends who work fulltime say that they've learned to make every minute of their writing time count...hope that happens for you, too!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is me, Lorraine Nelson. For some reason, google wouldn't let me sign in, lol. Would love to receive and read a copy of your book, Holly!

HollyJacobs said...

Laura, I'm glad you enjoyed my TB story. The powers that be balked at the idea of having a hero named Larry in Be My Baby, so I had everyone call him Mac, which he preferred...everyone but the heroine who called him Larry just to annoy him. So, yes, I kept a hero named Larry. I'm soooo tricky! LOL

Anon, Nice to meet you as well--from one pantser to another.

And I have no idea why my previous post went up twice! LOL

HollyJacobs said...

Lorraine, Google is sometimes persnickety. I was simply going with you were undercover! LOL

Beth Mann said...

Great interview Holly and Jen!

Holly, have you always been an early riser? I have a theory that people are just BORN that way, at least, that's what I tell myself to feel better! ;) What time do you go to bed at night to get up that early?

I find that my most productive time is at night after the kids are in bed, which leads me to want to sleep later in the morning, which NEVER happens, so I'm Captain Cranky pants (love that I'm not alone, Sherrinda!).

Thanks Ladies!

HollyJacobs said...

Beth, Yes, I've always been an early riser, but my definition of early has gotten earlier as the kids have gotten older. I used to get up at six, but now it's more like five. I know, disgusting, but I can't help myself. I'm in bed by ten at night.

I guess I think honoring your own body's rhythm is what's important. If your a night owl, well, hoot away!! LOL

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Toni Kroening--
So cool to hear from you. I loved Everything but a groom. How many times did you revise? Is there a moment when you say, that's it.
keep writing, :)
Toni

Jemi Fraser said...

Love the dog names!! :) And the family motto - family does indeed always come first.

The books sound terrific.

HollyJacobs said...

Hi, Toni! I'm so glad you liked Everything But a Groom. That little book was sooo good to me. It was one of Booklist's Top 10 Romances in '08. (That's so very hard to work into most conversations, but I was so jazzed when I heard!) As for writing it, that was one of those books that was just a gift. I had the Salo family stuck in my head, so it was just a relief to get them out! LOL

Jemi, Thanks about the dogs...they're my constant companions! Here's Ella http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31446990&l=00bc5c5558&id=1495037513 and Ethel http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31446991&l=7e79347cdb&id=1495037513 They're as cool as you'd think they'd be with names like that! LOL

Piedmont Writer said...

Thanks for the great interview Holly and Jennifer.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't speak between the hours of 8-3. I get so much more done when there is absolute silence.

Can't wait to put you on my list of books to read.

HollyJacobs said...

Thanks, Piedmont...From one mid-day hermit to another!

Of course, after my quiet work day, my dh arrives home and my floodgates break free! He's very stoic listening to me talk about my book and what-not!

Thanks for keeping an eye out for my books. A One-of-a-Kind Family was a very special book for me. It's working title was A Special Kind of Different. The hero's brother has special needs and he was one of my all time favorite secondary characters. Loved this one!

HollyJacobs said...

Thanks, Piedmont...From one mid-day hermit to another!

Of course, after my quiet work day, my dh arrives home and my floodgates break free! He's very stoic listening to me talk about my book and what-not!

Thanks for keeping an eye out for my books. A One-of-a-Kind Family was a very special book for me. It's working title was A Special Kind of Different. The hero's brother has special needs and he was one of my all time favorite secondary characters. Loved this one!

Sally Clements said...

Great interview, Jennifer! Its always really interesting to read about other people's way of writing - everyone seems so organised!
Hollys book sounds great!

HollyJacobs said...

Thanks, Sally!

Well, my links didn't work, and I am still double posting. I've got Google Gremlins all over the place today! LOL

Jen said...

This was such an awesome interview! I had a ton of fun reading how her day went and how she moved along from a panster to an outliner!!!

I will be practicing my outlining skills because I think I could learn a very important lesson... it's important to know that you can outline so when those deadlines and sales creep up you can tackle them!!!

Maria Zannini said...

Nice to meet you, Holly!

I thought everybody celebrated a new book at Taco Bell.

TB is missing a great marketing ploy here. LOL.

Carol Kilgore said...

This was a great interview. Thanks to both of you. And here's a cheer for Taco Bell!

HollyJacobs said...

Jen, Outlining is a great skill. I try to keep my synopsis vague enough that I still have the pantser joy of discovery, but detailed enough that I have a firm roadmap for the book!

Maria and Carol, Hmmmmm Maybe Taco Bell will read this and make me their new spokeswoman? LOL Maybe Larry would join me?!!

Silke said...

Hi Holly,
Congratulations on the Golden Quill!
Your celebration at Taco Bell made me chuckle, because I just managed to sell my first novella... and my SO took me to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate. (Finding a Mexican in the UK is kinda tricky btw)
We don't get Taco Bell here. Clearly we're missing out!
Glad to hear the inner panster (shouldn't that be pantster? *blinks*) isn't completely subdued, I find sometimes you just gotta write what comes into your head - whether it fits the plot or not. (I don't plot much, can you tell?)

Thanks for sharing your routine. :)

Silke

Ann Best said...

Jennifer: thanks so much for posting this interview! I now have Holly on my list of writers to read. I enjoy a good romance, and hers sound good.

Lydia Kang said...

Hey Jennifer,
Thanks for posting! I love peek inside the world of successful writers, and learn a tidbit or two.
Nice to meet you Holly!
:)

Bossy Betty said...

So great to hear how a mom of four balances everything! Very impressive! AND she's a morning bird too!

HollyJacobs said...

Silke, I'll confess, Mexican food isn't the first thing I think of when I think of England. LOL May I suggest Guinness would make a great celebration substitute? LOL I love that stuff! And LOL we could call it a SOPer. Seat-ofthe-Pants-er.

Ann, Thanks so much for putting me on your authors to look for list!!

Nice to meet you too, Lydia!

Betty, The morning thing is a trait people really appreciate...or not! And I love Mondays. My Monday glee is not always enjoyed by friends! LOL

T. Anne said...

Holly I aspire to be you! I love your writing routine! Alas I have too many kidletes to pull that one off. It's still feast or famine for me. *sigh* I'd love to win a book, put me in Jen! Thanx for teh great interview ladies!

Snookie said...

Holly, I love it that you go to Taco Bell to celebrate!! You're my kind of people!

I'm working from home this week. The husband is off-island and I'm here with the kiddo and the animals. Right now it's quiet, dropped the kids off at the beach and the dogs are suppose to be running around the yard, but instead are waiting for handouts on the back porch! I seem to get more done when it's quiet. When I'm at the office, I'm constantly being baraged by phone calls and questions from staff! Took a lunch break to check personal emails and get on the internet!

No need to enter me in the contest, I have Unexpected Gifts :)

Carolyn V. said...

Wow Holly! I'm so impressed that you are up so early and getting life and work done. I really have to work on that. =)

HollyJacobs said...

Anne, Even when my kids were little, I taught them that my work was important. I'd grab an hour or so at a stretch with the promise of doing what they wanted when I was done. The rule was, when mom was working, don't disturb her unless there was blood. They remembered on occasion! LOL It's so hard...good luck!

Snookie, It sounds delightful! And thanks so much for buying Unexpected Gifts! Eli is back for a cameo in this December's book, Homecoming Day. And I start work on Tucker's book next Monday!

Carolyn, My thoughts you either are, or aren't a morning person. You have to find what works best for you. Mornings are my time of day. I'm totally shot by early afternoon as far as writing goes. So, I use those later hours for other projects. Just finished redoing another corner cupboard and painting a door. Next week, I'm doing some more basketweaving! Find your own rhythm and your glee! Most of my glee is rather geeky! LOL

WritingNut said...

Great interview! Thank you for hosting Jennifer :)

And Holly - you are up VERy early!

HollyJacobs said...

WN, Early it is! It's just after six here, and I've been up for a while. I'm on my second cup of coffee and have already finished my paper...life is good!

Hope it's a good one there!

Liz Flaherty said...

Good morning. What a great idea for a blog, and your post was fun, too.

I love your schedule, Holly. Those morning hours are my favorites(and most productive) of all.

HollyJacobs said...

Liz, Thanks. This was so much fun, Jennifer!

Terri Tiffany said...

This is the third time today I have heard about Anne Lamont's book--I'm getting it! Thank you again for a cool interview!

Terri Tiffany said...

PS-- her book looks awesome too! I meant to say that:)

HollyJacobs said...

Terri, I love Lamott...hope you do, too! And thanks for the PS. LOL

Holly

HollyJacobs said...

Terri, I love Lamott...hope you do, too! And thanks for the PS. LOL

Holly

Diane Craver said...

Hey, Holly,
I have you beat - we were blessed with 6 children. LOL Only two are at home but we will have an empty nest this weekend to celebrate our wedding anniversary so excited.

I've read your wonderful books but not your recent ones - will be sure to check them out.

Great interview, Jennifer and Holly!

HollyJacobs said...

Happy Anniversary, Diane!! It sounds like a lovely way to celebrate!!

And thank you!

Holly

Marcy said...

Thanks for another great interview, Jennifer.

Hi Holly! Any more American Romances in your future? I loved Once Upon a Valentine.

Cheers,
Marcy

HollyJacobs said...

Marcy,

At the moment, I don't have any plans for another American, but I never say never. If nothing else, writing has taught me that life (and publishing) is a fluid state! I do have more SuperRomances coming up (HOMECOMING DAY in December!!), and I'm currently in the process of turning in a few more ideas, so we'll see!

All that being said, I'm so glad you liked Once Upon a Valentine's! I so enjoyed my PTA moms and had a blast telling their stories! The hero in the December book, Seth, is another Erie cop.

Talli Roland said...

I am always in awe of writers who get up so early! Thanks, Jennifer and Holly.

Samantha Bennett said...

Okay, after reading this post, I am vowing to wake up earlier! Great interview!

HollyJacobs said...

Talli, Ah, but the thing is, I HAVE to get up early. For me, I'm sleeping in if it's six. That's sort of sick, if you think about it. LOL

Samantha, Well, if you, or anyone else, finds yourself up early, you can always come say hi at Facebook...that's one of my early morning stops!

HollyJacobs said...

Talli, Ah, but the thing is, I HAVE to get up early. For me, I'm sleeping in if it's six. That's sort of sick, if you think about it. LOL

Samantha, Well, if you, or anyone else, finds yourself up early, you can always come say hi at Facebook...that's one of my early morning stops!