Sunday, October 14, 2012

Holly Jacobs - Everything but...

Holly, Ella and Ethel

When I sold my Everything But… trilogy to Avalon, I was thrilled.  I mean, it might not seem hard to find a home for a book that features a Hungarian grandmother who cursed her own family to bad weddings and spends three books trying to break that curse, but after a few attempts, the trilogy was shoved ‘under the bed.’  Then I met an editor from Avalon and she asked if I had any books I'd like to send them.  And…well, long story short, she bought them.  I was thrilled. 

Avalon was a small publisher.  They published hardback books for libraries.  Beautiful books.  I grew up in the library.  Or rather, more specifically on a Bookmobile.  The staff was wonderful.  They knew I read a lot, and made sure to bring along a host of books they thought I’d enjoy. 

Nana Vancy, that Hungarian grandmother, did in fact break the curse at the end of book three.  I’ll confess, I’d become a bit nervous about how she was going to manage it…frankly, I didn’t know.  But I figured it out…or rather she did.  And it turned out Nana Vancy was a hit with readers.  That first book in the trilogy, Everything But a Groom, was on of Booklist’s best romances in 2008.  And I heard from readers who loved Nana Vancy and the Salo family.

When I wrapped up the trilogy,  I found, I missed the Salos.  So, one afternoon, I called up the editor at Avalon and said, “Uh, would you be interested in another Everything But… story?  You see, Nana Vancy’s bored now that the curse is broken.  She’s going to try her hand at matchmaking…to the tune of The Twelve Day of Christmas.”

She bought it.

And Avalon bought the next two books as well.  And everything but the last book was released.

Then…Avalon was sold to Montlake Romance.  I was so hoping they’d do right by this last book, Everything But a Dog.  You see, of all the stories, it hits closest to home.  Oh, the entire series was set here in Erie, PA.  Yeah, I know, it’s not a setting that’s used often in romance, except in my books.  But I love my city.  We sit here on the shores of a Great Lake.  And more than Erie, this book has my dogs in it.  Now, in real life, my dogs are named Ethel Merman and Ella Fitzgerald and I changed their names in the book because they were afraid that the…wait for it…wait for it…PUParazzi would hound them otherwise!  (You can groan…my kids all have!) 

Well, not only is Montlake releasing Everything But a Dog in December, they’ve also have or will release the earlier books in the series as eBooks and paperbacks before that date!  I loved that the series was so popular in libraries, and I’m thrilled that they will be available to a whole new group of readers now.

People say write what you know.  Well, I’ll confess, I don’t know any Hungarian cursing grandmothers and their large comedic family, but I do know Erie.  I know what it means to fall in love with joy and laughter.  And with this last book, I do know a bit about dogs.

You know, when I first wrote this very sweet humorous series, I was disappointed that it was rejected and I tucked it away.  And yet, here I am…six books later.  The last book is due to be released, and the other books will be getting a new life as eBooks and paperbacks.  Sometimes life surprises you.  And in this case, for me, this surprise has been a wonderful ride!


Finally the grand finale,Everything But a Dog


Liz Flaherty said...

What a great set of covers! I love the whole story of your stories, too. I wonder how many of us would even BE writers if it wasn't for libraries.

Good post, Holly.

HollyJacobs said...

Liz, I loved that Avalon's books were mainly bought by libraries. I found a lot of new readers there. But more than that, I was so thrilled to have my books housed in the library. That bookmobile that came out to visit when I was growing up, was so wonderful. The librarians really worked to help me feed my habit! LOL Later, when my kids were growing up, we went to Storytime at our library every week. On particular librarian, Miss Kitty, was my kids favorite. My book next Christmas (part of the Valley Ridge series) is a librarian. It's just another way to give a shout-out to some of my favorite people!!

Kate Walker said...

Just wanted to say Hi to my lovely friend - I love the way that Ethel and Ella have got their own book - can't wait to read it and I lobve the cover. But Charlie and Flora want to know when you are going to write Everything But The Cat? Hugs - Kate

HollyJacobs said...

Kate, Ella and Ethel say thanks for the props. They're pretty proud of the cover! And tell Charlie and Flora I'll see what I can do! LOL

Mary Preston said...

You must be thrilled. I would be.

HollyJacobs said...

Thanks, Mary! I am. I've loved the series, and I'm so glad that Montlake got behind the last book in the series. I really love that they put my dogs on the cover. The picture of me and the dogs is the one I sent them for the cover...they did an excellent job!!

Pat Cochran said...

You are a new to me author, so I send my thanks
to Montlake for releasing all the earlier books
of the series prior to the release of Book 6.
They have saved me trips to the bookstore to
find all of them! Hello to Ethel and Ella!

HollyJacobs said...

Pat, Ethel and Ella said hi back!! They're excited about their upcoming book! LOL And thanks for checking out the other books in the series!

Lory Lee said...

The cover are really beautiful, so pleasing to the eyes, specially the one with the cute puppy with his all-so-puppy-soulful-can't-resist eyes. :D

HollyJacobs said...

Thanks, Lory! I'm so very pleased, especially with the dogs' cover! My dogs are feeling all special that they're on a cover! LOL