So, you have all probably read the book Holly’s Inbox by now, or taken a peek at the fictional world of receptionist Holly Denham online via her personal emails at www.hollysinbox.com right? Well perhaps you’ve been wondering, who is this Holly? Is she real? Is she really a receptionist? I bet one question that you have yet to ask yourself however is: Is Holly Female?
Well, that’s question that I did ask recently, and you’ll all be very surprised to learn that the author behind Holly’s Inbox and its sequel Scandal in the City is actually a man!!
Yes folks, its true, author Bill Hutton-Surie has sensationally spoken to us and revealed what it was like writing from a woman’s point of view for so long, how ‘Holly’ came to be, and exactly what inspired one of the biggest internet phenomena’s of all time. He also revealed the exciting news that Holly’s Inbox is being released in the USA!
My wife was jealous and angry because she felt neglected, there was a new woman in my life and it was all about her now…
“If I hear her name mentioned one more time, I’m going to wring her bloody neck!” She started slamming things down, “Why, why don’t you just go marry her then if you care so bloody much about her, you and Holly bloody Denham.”
My wife was being a tad unreasonable. I couldn’t go and marry her even if I wanted, because she didn’t exist and everyone knows you can’t marry fictional characters in books. I was quite sure trying to strangle them could also prove a bit tricky and was going to point that out but decided against it.
I understood where my wife was coming from though. I had begun a new life as a writer of women’s fiction and would often drift off during parties, at dinner, going to work, coming back from work, at most times really. My conversation tended to be a lot about what was happening next in the book, I guess you could say to me, it was all suddenly about the plot and nothing else seemed to matter.
While my wife continued to rant at me I realised what she was saying made a lot of sense, in the way that characters often got miffed at other characters and was about to start making notes (and was actually going to ask her if she minded me recording it for later) but realised I could end up dead. Or worse. So I didn’t.
It had been only a few months earlier when we’d first realised we were in trouble. My wife and I ran a small independent recruitment agency specialising in providing receptionists, but as recruitment slowed down so the market became even more competitive. If we were to stand any chance of survival we needed to come up with a new way of attracting candidates and fast. That’s when the idea struck us….
We were going 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.
I had always wanted to be a writer, but with no success had give up writing. Now here I was going to try again… but this time as a woman. I was nervous. We built a website which looked like someone’s email account with emails coming and going in real time.
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 meltdown. However after five months, the story was reaching it’s climax and 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. Since then it’s been an incredible dream come true. Holly’s Inbox has now been translated into 6 different languages and this week is being launched in the USA by Sourcebooks.
The site www.hollysinbox.com is once again running, so feel free to take a peak at Holly’s emails!! Emails are sent and received in ‘real-time’ (however is co-ordinated with US working time) trust us, you’ll love it!!
You can also buy the books yourself here: