Today, I'm thrilled to welcome Bill Surie to Diary of an Eccentric. Bill is the creator and author of Holly's Inbox, so you might know him better as Holly Denham. Holly's Inbox is a quick, entertaining read, perfect for the beach or any summer getaway. (Check out my review if you haven't already.) I've enjoyed trading emails with Bill over the last couple of weeks. He's been so friendly, and his love for his family shines through in his messages. Anyway, let me stop babbling long enough to turn this blog over to Bill:
“Let me reassure you Mum. There are absolutely no similarities between you, and Holly’s mum in the book.”
I held my haze.
My sister stifled a giggle.
“Look,” I continued “I can understand you are all a little concerned…”
My family stared back at me, there was recently published copy of Holly’s Inbox on the table
“But it is just a work of fiction! I know I also have a brother who starts weird business ventures, that our Granny was involuntarily re-housed abroad, that mum is kind of meddling and I do have a quirky sister who breeds snakes in Spain… but come on, these are all unfortunate coincidences!!”
There was silence. Then they launched themselves at me.
So YES the book IS a total work of fiction and it began as a website www.hollysinbox.com.
The idea for the site came one day when we had to trawl through an ex-employee's 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.
I initially wrote some emails on a simple word document, still wondering whether you could tell a story via emails (I had never heard of the book called E) I had no idea whether it would actually work. After a few weeks at the keyboard I nervously gave it to my wife to read. I was sent in the other room to wait (otherwise I tend to sit right in front of her, watching and biting my fingernails – which she says is off putting). I heard her laugh a few times and that was really all the encouragement I needed. Luckily I had a friend (Ash Alom – simply a genius web developer) who knew how we could get emails appearing in real time – and he began building a website.
We ran the site for about five months and then I realised it was going to end soon – so I emailed about 20 agents with a link to the site – asking them if they were interested. I had no idea what
I expected them to do with it, maybe make a play out of it or something I guess. They all replied saying they couldn’t see it being anything other than a website - but at last a wonderful agent (I love you Broo) said it could be made into a book.
It was published in the UK first and then translated into a few different languages, but at last – my dream has come true and it’s out in the USA with Sourcebooks!
I hope you enjoy it. I’d be interested to know if anyone can tell which characters are ‘real’ and
which are not….
Thanks, Bill, for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit my blog. And thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of your family. I can't wait to read more about Holly, and I wish you much success!