Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An Interview with Holly Jacobs

Quincy Mac, A Maid in LA, budding writer and amateur sleuth interviews her author, Holly Jacobs

QM: Hi, Holly.  You know that having a fictional character interview you is... Well, it's a little nuts.  And take it from me, I know nuts.  I've been watching my business partner, Tiny, go a bit more insane every day as she gets ready for her wedding.

HJ: I have four kids…they assure me on a regular basis that I’m a bit…uh, unique in my thought processes.  Anyway, thanks for taking time away from your busy writing and cleaning schedule to help me out with this rather unique interview, Quincy.

QM: Us writers have to stick together, though I feel a bit full-of-myself referring to myself as a writer.

HJ: So do I most days. Sometimes I pinch myself. It’s such a dream to spend my days telling stories I love, and creating characters I love—you’re one of those.

QM: Well, thank you! I guess my first question would have to be, after writing so many romances, why try your hand at mysteries?

HJ: Well, you do have a bit of romance in your books.

QM: (Blushing slightly) Yes, I do…thanks for that.

HJ: You’re welcome.  And I started out writing comedic romances for Harlequin Duets.  Even now that I tell far more emotional books, I think my humor comes through.  So telling a funny story about a maid who accidentally cleans a murder scene wasn’t much of a stretch.
QM: Speaking of stretching…did you have to give me three boys and the stretch-marks to show for it?  Not to mention the baby-pooch.

HJ: Hey, I just write it as I see it.  And I prefer writing real women—

QM: Real fictional women?  That does seem like a bit of an oxymoron, doesn’t it?
HJ: Hey, I’m a rebel.  But seriously, when I hear from a reader who tells me that a character felt so real they felt like she was an old friend…Well, that’s a big compliment.  Probably the biggest compliment a reader can give me.  Look at it this way, you’re like the Velveteen Rabbit.  More real because of your baby-pooch and stretch-marks.

QM: Let’s just say we can agree to disagree on the baby-pooch.  And onto my next question…Why a maid?

HJ: I really enjoy having characters who work at real jobs.  A barista.  A farmer.  A librarian.  I’ve written cops, nurses, store owners and stay-at-home-moms.  Again, it has a lot to do with that realness we were just talking about.  I know a lot of nurses and cops…but very few billionaires. 

QM: Most of your books are set in your hometown, Erie, PA.  Why set my story in LA?

HJ: Well, you are from Erie, and you’re going home in your Christmas novella, Spruced Up, so I do have that local connection I love to do.  But given the circumstances of Mr. Banning’s death, you sort of had to be based in LA.  I mean, I think Erie has just about everything, but I don’t think we have any Mortie winning writers here.  And in Dusted, having those Lifestyles-of-the-Rich-and-Famous clients using your cleaning services…well, that worked well in LA, too.

QM: This isn’t really part of the interview, but just something I’ve wanted to say, thanks for writing me as a strong female character who doesn’t wait to be saved, but rather saves herself.

HJ: I know you have three sons, Quince, but I have one son and three daughters.  I like to write strong female characters for my girls. Capable women who can kick butt and save themselves if they need to, but can also open themselves up to someone else.  I think the best relationships have partners who take turns being the saver and the savee.

QM: So in Steamed, I solved a murder.  In Dusted, I figured out who stole a bunch of artwork and replaced it with forgeries.  In those two books, I’ve made friends, dealt with family and helped Tiny get through a wedding.  What’s next?

HJ: Well, as I mentioned, in November’s novella, Spruced Up, you’re heading home to Erie for Christmas.  And your mom and dad’s medical practice has a bunch of supplies that have gone missing.  You’re going to figure out who’s taking them and why.  And there might be a special holiday moment.

QM: No murders or whack-a-doodles with guns in this one?

HJ: None.  That doesn’t mean you’re not going to have your work cut out for you.

QM: Well, anytime I go home, it’s work.  It’s hard to be the family black sheep.  I mean, everyone’s a doctor.  Everyone. Except me.

HJ: And your uncle.

QM: Yeah. Although things have been a bit better with my mom since her last visit to LA.  Maybe this trip will be different. 

HJ: Maybe. But I’m not saying.

QM: If it’s not, I’ll know who to blame.

HJ: Hey, I just write it as I see it. 

QM: Well, thanks for letting me do the interview.  I still think people are going to think you’re nuts.

HJ: Hey, I’m the one that delivers them Monday Glee on a regular basis.  I like Mondays.  If that wasn’t their first clue that I might be a bit different, then maybe…

QM: Maybe they need to read a few more mysteries so they can pick up on the clues better!

HJ: That was blatant, Quincy.

QM: My author didn’t write me as subtle.

HJ: Okay, I guess it’s my turn to say, I hope you’ll check out Quincy’s first two books:
And that you’ll watch for Spruced Up, her Christmas novella.  It should be out in November.

Thanks everyone!

Holly (and Quincy)

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