Contest, Guest Blog

Guest Blog and Contest: Bill Surie – the author of Holly’s Inbox

the book girl is happy to have Bill Surie, the author of Holly’s Inbox, as our guest blogger today. After reading the blog make sure to enter the contest for your own copy of Holly’s Inbox.

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hollys-inbox-cover-2 I always knew I’d be Batman. As a young boy however I understood life was full of surprises so if I didn’t turn out to be batman then I’d definitely be a Secret Agent, or (begrudgingly) a famous racing car driver. I don’t remember ever thinks :but what I really really want, is to sit down and write under a woman’s name.

I do though, my name is “Holly” and my book is called Holly’s Inbox and I thoroughly enjoyed writing it.

The way it all happened was rather curious. Having failed in many many other ventures which ranged from stand-up comedy (I wasn’t funny) to selling frozen food door-to-door in French Canada (I couldn’t speak French) whilst trying to find a publisher or agent for a truly brilliant book I thought I’d written (an edge of your seat action comedy thriller slasher-romantic-horror) I finally began a career as a recruitment consultant. I married a wonderful woman and shortly afterwards we began our  own recruitment agency specialising in Receptionists.

The idea for the site came when we had to search through a previous ex-employees work email account. The woman in question was single, extremely flirtatious and had always loved us to bits. We discovered she was marries 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 life to read a story told in this way.

I began writing about a receptionist who nervously begins her new job in a large corporate investment bank in the City – she’s nervous of course because her first guest smells of dung and is carrying a putrefying head covered in blood and human excrement. Around this point my wife pointed out that this office romance could be do with more bitchy co-workers and less scenes involving hammers, and that some bosses were just as scary as talking corpses but less pungent.

I gave in, and having put together a short story I was quite pleased with, I commissioned a fantastic website developer and together we began working out a way of getting a story across by way of emails. The initial idea for the site was just a way of attracting more candidates wishing to find work as receptionists, nothing else.

An email went out to 90,000 people telling them NOT to visit Hollysinbox.com because unscrupulous IT hacks had posted a live email account of a fellow employee onto the web in total disregard of our privacy laws.

We said – if she was working for your company it was essential you let her know NOW! Before the world discovered what she really thought about her co-workers.

The site went into melt down.

The plot had around two email exchanges a day and we launched 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.

We built a forum into the site and to initial horror people began going there to give me instant feedback. When a writer receives criticism it’s not usually that quick…I was getting min sometimes before I’d even finished the sentence…If it wasn’t funny, they would say so (and the emails miraculously disappeared), if it was too weird I’d make it less-weird, to slow and I’d make it faster…as much as I hated getting bad feedback..it was helping me to write. 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!!!!

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

I have now a daughter and some of my hopes and dreams have been passed along, I now know I will never be Batman, however I know in my heart of hearts, my daughter will always be Super-girl. No I’m not being wet, I’m totally serious…I’m getting her trained on an island by mutant ninjas…uh-oh I can hear my wife coming, got to go before I get in trouble.

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To enter for your own copy of Holly’s Inbox leave a comment on this post and check back on Saturday to see if you are the lucky winner.

(US and Canadian residents only. You must check back to see if you have won. The winner will have 7 days to claim their prize or a new winner will be picked)

Also, don’t forget the book girl contest for a copy of Jennifer Haymore’s A Little Bit Wicked – click here to enter!

16 Comments

  1. THANK you for having me on you site Book Girl – it’s very kind of you and I really appreciate it! I would love to answer anyone’s questions if anyone has any for me – if not then thank you so much anyway – and I’ll be coming by to read the comments anyway etc.
    x Holly/Bill

  2. Alexa

    This book looks really good. I had no idea when I first looked at the book, that it was written by a guy. I’d love to be entered to win a copy.

  3. So no questions yet, so I’ll just sit here excitedly (not sure that’s spelled right) (oh, here’s a random fact, the bad spelling in the original site wasn’t as the guardian in UK said – a clever addition- no it was because I can’t spell. Hee hee.
    xxx

  4. Lynette

    I’ve been following Holly’s Inbox from almost the beginning and think’s it awesome you were able to publish the novel. I’d love to read the story in print. Please, please, please pick me.

  5. the book girl Author

    I have become addicted to the website since I read the guest post. I didn’t get a review copy of the book:(, but have since ordered it from Amazon. I can’t wait to read it.

  6. Pam S

    I have been following info/feedback on the book. It sounds awesome. I would love a chance to win it.

    Congrats on your release!!

    Are you working on any other stories?

  7. Hi
    Pam – there is a sequel to be out hopefully soon (with Sourcebooks)
    Lynette – glad you like it – hope it makes you laugh
    Book Girl – I didn’t realize you didn’t get a copy – I hope your one from Amazon arrives soon!!!
    Thanks again
    Bill

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