Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guest Post and Giveaway - Bill Surie (aka Holly Denham) Author of Holly's Inbox!


Well if you didn't read my blog yesterday, you missed my glowing review of what I think is one of the best chick lit books of the year! A Bookworm's World is thrilled to have the author of Holly's Inbox, Bill Surie (aka Holly Denham) guest posting today! I asked Bill where and how did he come up with the idea for Holly's Inbox.

"What’s grey and pink and bruised all over?”
I knew where this was heading; I just couldn’t see a way out. It was only 11 am but already his breath stank of whisky, his eyes danced and he bristled with anticipation. The director was getting ready to pounce.

I was temping there as a receptionist and couldn’t wait for the contract to end, it wasn’t so much his sense of humour, (we laughed at all his jokes, although none were funny) but being the only other male in the company he felt it necessary to wrestle with me. He would jump out at me from behind cupboard doors; and he was an elderly man (and my boss) so I never fought back.

For me temping proved to be very useful. It was able to show me just how badly you could run a company if you’re an ageing eccentric with a drink problem.
I liked temping though and finally I took a position as a recruitment consultant. A few years later I was married and along with my wife we set up our own temping agency which specialised in providing receptionists.

The idea for the site came one day when we had to trawl through an ex-employees work email account. The woman in question was single, extremely flirtatious and had always loved us to bits. We discovered she was married with four children, and couldn’t stand the sight of us. The life she was leading was so full of mystery, intrigue, romance (and many many lies) that it made me wonder what it would be like to read a story told in this way.

The basic plot had around two email exchanges a day and we launched http://www.hollysinbox.com/ . The site’s popularity spurred me on, but it soon became obvious I had grossly underestimated the amount of emails I needed each day to keep people on the site… so I began writing in real-time.

Not many people enjoy criticism, and I had always been particularly scared of receiving feedback. However Holly’s Inbox initially had a LIVE forum, where readers could immediately let off steam if they were unhappy, sometimes before I had even finished a sentence. If it wasn’t funny, they would say so (and the emails miraculously disappeared), if it was too obscure I’d make it clearer, too slow and I’d make it faster… basically they taught me to write and I will be eternally grateful to the fantastic forum fans. Holly still keeps in touch with them on Facebook and Twitter.

As the story reached it’s climax I began to panic. The site would be over and I had no idea what I was going to do next, so I began emailing as many agents as possible the web link; without knowing what I wanted from them. At last a wonderful fabulous woman replied and told me it would work in a book… and it did. Holly’s Inbox has now been translated into 6 different languages but the one place I had always dreamed about being published was of course the USA, and Sourcebooks have at last let me achieve this dream!!!! (Bill is British!)

The site has been re-launched and http://www.hollysinbox.com/ is now live with emails being sent and received by Holly Denham; I hope you like it."

Thanks Bill for stopping by! And readers - here's your chance to win a copy of Holly's Inbox, courtesy of Sourcebooks. Open to both US and Canada. Giveaway ends Tuesday June 9th at 6pm EST. Leave a comment on this post to be entered!

138 comments:

Mary said...

This looks great! Please enter me in the giveaway. I highlighted the book on Breaking the Spine's "Waiting on Wednesday" post.

meah56 at gmail dot com

nfmgirl said...

Sounds like a great book. Please count me in. Thanks so much!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

pinkflipflops said...

Please enter me in the giveaway, it looks great!

Wendy said...

This one is on my to get list and I loved the background story about how you got the concept for this book! Now I wanna go through my own email at work and make sure there isn't anything too forward in there haha

Please enter me!

wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

AmandaSue said...

Sounds like a good book! I'd love a chance to read it thanks.
unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

Dar said...

I had checkout out the site the other day and it's great. Please enter me Luanne. Thanks.
bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

kim said...

Please enter me in the giveaway! I'd love to read this :)

zoeyredbird9@gmail.com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

This looks like a scream. It sure was fun to post about at Win a Book -- thanks for the e-mail, Luanne.

No need to enter me. Just keep these fun links and stuff coming!

Rachel said...

This looks like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway!


Rachelhwallen@gmail.com

S. Krishna said...

I followed Holly's Inbox when it first started online and have been dying to read the book! Thanks for the giveaway!

Jeanne said...

Fascinating. I love these crossovers from the internets to books. Has anyone compared this book yet to Bridget Jones' Diary? Because it totally sounds like an updated version with a new character in a different office.

scottsgal said...

this sounds like such a fun book to read please enter me

msboatgal at aol.com

Anonymous said...

would love to win!
mel at skbphoto.com

gaby317 said...

Please count me in, this book sounds wonderful. I'm sure that I'll enjoy it and so will my niece!

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

Cheryl S. said...

I'd love to read this book - please count me in!

Thanks,
megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Please enter me, it looks like fun!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Andrea said...

Sounds good! Please count me in!

andreaneville AT comcast DOT net

bermudaonion said...

Your glowing review has made me want to read this one. Please enter me! milou2ster(at)gmail.com

mverno said...

thanks for the opportunity mverno@roadrunner.com

Jenn S. said...

Would love to read this book!

bridget3420 said...

Count me in. I'd like to read it.

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

Bingo said...

Thanks for the Giveaway! This sounds like a fun read for the summer especially. Please enter me, Luanne.

Ambrosia Jefferson said...

What a fun looking book. Enter me please.

Ambrosia @ Majorwhitlock .com

Crown the Queen said...

This is they type of fiction novel I love to read. I used to trade books with my girlfriends in college, but we are all so far apart now we havn't had a chance - i am going to text and see if any of them have read this - Thank you for the chance to win this novel

mindy said...

sounds great thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

jemscout425 said...

this book sounds goo, love to add it to my reading list
pksanddancer@yahoo.com

Belinda M said...

Please enter me in the giveaway

"Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:
CoolCanucks.ca"

Mary said...

It sounds like such a fun read!

mamie316@sbcglobal.net

MJ said...

This sounds like loads of fun. Thanks for the interview.

mj.coward[at]gmail.com

Pam said...

This sounds really funny. I love a good piece of chick lit!

melacan at hotmail dot com

M. said...

I'm fascinated by chicklit written by a man! It seems this is different from 'ladlit' of which Nick Hornby is a good example - but he writes mostly (but not always) from a male POV. Sounds really intriguing.

mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

CatCrazy7 said...

My favorite genre of reading is Chick Lit and this one is on my TBR list. Good to see a contest. I love giveaways! Thanks for the insight interview!

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

Annie said...

Sounds like a great book! I'd love to win, read and share it!


Thanks


nancyrobster@gmail.com

Dree said...

I'd love to read this. amgconz at gmail dot com

Abby said...

Looks like a fun summer read!

ajcmeyer AT go DOT com

amyinkamloops said...

Sounds like a great read. Count me in.

Thank you for hosting this great contest.

Amyinkamloops@gmail.com

donnas said...

Sounds like a great book. I would love to be included.

Thanks!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Shauna said...

I would love to win this!
tryingtostaycalm@gmail.com

Carol Lawrence said...

Bill Surie has hit on a winner,I can't wait to read this one. jelly15301@gmail.com

Mama Hill said...

Sounds like an awesome read! Thanks for the chance!

ralphandtara at gmail dot com

Jake L said...

This really looks like a good one, please enter me in this contest.

thanks,
jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

toughturtles said...

thanks for the contest

linett said...

would love to read this, thanks

carolsnotebook said...

I would love to read this. Thanks for entering me. I loved the bit about the temp job, too.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Susan said...

I would really like to read this. Thanks!

quiltingreader said...

Sounds like a good book.

A Reader said...

Sounds great!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

A Reader said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
Kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

Valorie said...

I'd love a chance to win!

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

kim said...

This looks so creative and fun!
Thank you!

danosor said...

I'd love to read this book.Please enter me in contest.I am a subscriber.

Pam said...

This sounds like a great format to do a book in. Very clever. I'd love to win. Thanks.

pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Lifestooshort said...

I'd love to win this book :)

lavery328@yahoo.com

Smooshy said...

enter me!

Barbara said...

I'd love to win this! I love books that make me laugh!

brc668 At gmail dot com

sharon54220 said...

Sounds like a fun read.
Please enter me.

sharon54220@gmail.com

Gwendolyn B. said...

I don't want to miss this one! Sounds like too much fun. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Alexa said...

This looks like a great book. Enter me please!

lovinfitch@aol.com

Marie said...

This looks wonderful!

marielay@gmail.com

Carlene said...

Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Carlene
iluvreading(at)verizon.net

mmentor said...

sign me up

Marianna said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance to win!

Sarah Z said...

This sounds like an interesting read!
Thanks
Sarah
believedreamcourage (at) gmail.com

Mishia said...

Sounds like a great read! thanks

Mishel said...

This sounds really good. I love the idea of using the emails. Please enter me!

Thanks,

mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

Victoria said...

I'd love to win this book! Sounds like a great book!

victoriah40@yahoo.com

Andria said...

I would love a chance to win. Thank you.

Kim said...

Oh, this one sounds delicious. Please enter me for the book.!
*smiles*
Kim
kimmery4(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lady Roxi said...

Love to have this.

Thanks,

darkfyre1(at)gmail(dot)com

Kat Bryan said...

I think the book sounds interesting and it's certainly relevant to today's lifestyle.

kalea_kane said...

This looks incredible. I would absolutely adore this! Please enter me! Thanks!

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

*~Dani~* said...

Sounds fun! Enter me please~

Becky said...

Love Chic lit books..need some new books to read (and bookmarked the site also)

gaby317 said...

This sounds so fun. Pls count me in!

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

chromiumman said...

sounds like a fun idea

Miranda said...

Looks like a great read

LittleEagle said...

Interesting interview and I look forward to reading the book.

Pat said...

I love books - please enter me!

Lynne said...

Sounds like a great read, would love to win!

dolls123 said...

Ha, I'd pay someone to read my emails

luckydolls123[at]verizon[dot]net

ktgonyea said...

Looks great :)

ktgonyea at gmail.com

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like a book I'd like to read. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Christina said...

Christina - xristya@rock.com - This sounds like a very popular book, and one that I'd love to read also! Thanks for the chance to win!

texasheartland said...

I must add this to my summer reading list (or stack, as it were)!


texas_heartland84[at]yahoo[dot]com

Kelly said...

Oooh, this sounds fantastic! Chick-lit books are my favorite summer readings. Grab a glass of iced tea, sit on the patio, and enjoy. And this one sounds really unique! :)

krtrumpet [at] aol [dot] com

vboackle said...

i could use a laugh and this looks great.

inkedtexaslady said...

Count me in! This book looks great!

ossmcalc said...

This book sounds great. Please enter me into the drawing.

thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ellie said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.
eswright18 at gmail dot com

1993wel said...

Sounds like a fun summer read! Please enter me.

Nicole said...

Sounds like a great read!!

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

heatherzilla said...

Sounds like a good book. Please enter me in the contest.
heathererwin(at)hotmail(dot)com

Suzanne said...

Great interview! I would love to win a copy! Please enter me in the giveaway!

quzy(at)mac(dot)com

Thanks!

Jinxy and Me said...

Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

Patricia said...

Please enter me in the giveaway. Book sounds just what I need for a summer read.

olympianlady said...

This sounds interesting. Please enter me. Thanks!

tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

mom2anutball said...

Thanks for the chance! hawkgirl_16 at hotmail dot com

turboterp said...

This sounds intriguing! Please enter me to win. Thanks!

Carlene said...

Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Carlene
Iluvreading(at)verizon.net

JenniferB said...

sounds like a great book- would love to win this thank you

Kim F said...

Love the title of the book. Hope the inside is just as good.

Christina said...

Christina - xristya@rock.com - Very interesting story on your unique writing process for this book! Thanks for the chance to win it!

nomorecages said...

Thanks for the great giveaway!

nomorecages@hotmail.com

yellowlabs said...

Looks like a fantastic read! Thanks for the chance to win.

Esme said...

This one sounds fun.
thanks

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

Misusedinnocence said...

Sounds like a great read!

misusedinnocence@aol.com

erma said...

This sounds like a great book.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

FOKXXY said...

Please enter me.

ssummmer(at)gmail(dot)com

Amy said...

This sounds like a great book! What an inventive idea. I will definitely check out the site too!

melinda said...

Your review of this book sounds great.

Anonymous said...

Happy Monday!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

What a great review. Sounds like a must have summer read. Please count me in.
bgcchs@yahoo.com

Jinxy and Me said...

Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

Mia J. said...

This sounds like a good read. Thanks for the giveaway.

Mollie G. said...

Makes me think of that CountryWestern song titled something like "I'm so much cooler online"... Or the cartoons about the person on each end of a conversation, showing their mental image of what the OTHER person looks like. This should be a good read, particularly if he learned THAT much from his forum fanatics!

flared0ne said...

Here's hoping the cross-over works; it does sound a little like the Dilbert cartoon where Dilbert says approximately "I finished that multimedia presentation you wanted" and the pointy-haired boss says "Okay, xerox off enough copies for everyone in the department" -- kind of a "what, you mean we have to go back to PAPER to read this one??" reaction... Throw me in your pool, please & thank you!

liliesrnice said...

I would love to win this book!

quelleheure4 said...

It sounds wonderful and I'd love to read it!
quelleheure4[at]gmail{dot}com

lilyk said...

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

Helen said...

Sounds like a fun read.

purango said...

I would love to win this book. It sounds great. garrettsambo@aol.com

Brittany said...

I want to win
deadmonkeys90@yahoo.com

kathy pease said...

Thanks for the GREAT giveaway
please count me in :)

redjennschroed said...

This sounds great! Please enter me!

jlilleysprint@earthlink.net

TH said...

This looks like a fun read!

sweeps4us(at)gmail(dot)com

Gianna said...

Sounds interesting.. Please enter me :)

Tammy said...

We could use a good pick me up book

Angela said...

I would love to read this!
pleaseundress@yahoo.com

Gabriel J. said...

Great read, great contest!

purplepassion126 said...

Sounds like great train reading--thanks!

bndraldy said...

I need lots of good laughs. I am sure that I'll enjoy reading this book - and so will my mom - and then my daughter! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway!

*Heather* said...

I'd love to read this book!

ZESTYWONDERLAND said...

I would love to read this book!

I follow & subscrbed!
Love, a Big old Bookworm!

zestywonderland@gmail.com

NesieBird said...

I would love to read this. Thank you!

kneecree at gmail dot com

Heather said...

Sounds like a great beach book! Thank you!

Tammy said...

This looks like a great book!

Anonymous said...

Love the contests; many thanks SW; raymondw345@AOl.com

kcatlin said...

I love reading new books!