WWWWWH with Bill Surie/Holly Denham

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a free copy of Holly's Inbox. The contest ends Friday, June 12, at 11:59 p.m.

Thanks to Bill Surie, for volunteering to be today's victim guest.

What would you do if you came upon a plate-sized toadstool in the woods that moved when you approached it?

Firstly, I'd want to know what I was doing in the woods, and so would my wife, and telling her I don't know how I got there, but hey there was this plate sized toadstool which moved - wouldn't really help my case.

When would it be appropriate for a hero to have the compulsion to sing top 40 songs in lieu of conversation to the heroine?

He could start singing them loudly if she was telling him off for messing up her hair after he'd just saved her life.

Where do you do your best writing?

First thing in the morning at my desk, problem is I now have a beautiful 2 yr old who gets up first thing in the morning too. So I guess never, at the moment.

Why would you try to lasso and ride the Loch Ness Monster on a dark and stormy night?

Because I was late for dinner at me Mum's (it’s not advisable to be late)

How far can you walk without thinking of something one of your characters did or said?

When I’m writing something new – I walk around in a continual dream thinking about it which irritates the hell out of my wife. I end up drinking cups of tea I don’t remember asking for, taking the wrong trains, arriving at the wrong towns, going to the wrong meetings, dressed as somebody else, wearing a false mustache and calling myself Jimbo. Ok most of it happens apart from the last bit. My wife is very patient.

I would also like Bill to tell us more about himself and his book... it sounds fascinating!
Holly’s Inbox started out as a website – with moving emails appearing in real time and telling her story (the site has now been re-launched for the USA at www.hollysinbox.com). At first we only really wanted to attract more candidates to mine and my wife’s little recruitment agency which specializes in reception staff... so it made sense for me to have heroine a receptionist. We found a chap called Ash – who is a genius website developer, and soon we had our site ready to try.

To start the site off we sent an email 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 meltdown.

The site was running for around 5 months, but then I began to panic. The story would soon reach it’s climax 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!!!!

Thank you so much for reviewing my book and for having me on your website – I had lost of fun answering your questions!

X Holly/Bill

Denham’s novel, written entirely in e-mails, began as a serialized Web site, www.hollysinbox.com. The story revolves around Holly Denham, the new receptionist at a London bank, and through her correspondence, readers get to know her daily life. She befriends Trish, the other receptionist, and begins a relationship with James, a charming higher-up. Between organizing meetings at the bank, she trades hilarious, risqué e-mails with her friends Jason and Aisha, assures her parents she’s getting along well, helps her grandmother decipher the Internet, and offers her siblings much-needed advice. Her e-mails even reveal a life-altering event from her past. While the premise can be tiresome—who doesn’t have to slog through enough e-mails of their own?—the story becomes more engrossing as fresh details come to light. The author, a placement-agency owner writing under a pen name, explores a new format with compelling results. A second novel is planned, and Holly’s adventures continue online.