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Tour: Bill Surie on Writing...

June 12, 2009
drey's library is happy to participate in the blog tour for Bill Surie's (a.k.a. Holly Denham) Holly's Inbox!!

holly's inboxAbout the book: (from Amazon)
System alert: Inbox full of scandal, romance, and office hilarity!

Meet Holly Denham. It's her first day as a receptionist at a London investment bank and inexperienced Holly is struggling. How's a working girl supposed to have a love life with a demanding job, crazy friends, a dysfunctional family, and gossipy colleagues? Not to mention that Holly's been keeping a secret from everyone - and the past is about to catch up with her.

An affair with a sexy VP heats things up at the office, but when Holly's first flame (who, she thinks, left her in the lurch) gets a job at the same company, complications abound and Holly's inbox becomes a daily source of drama, laughter and scandal.

About the author:
bill surieBill Surie is the owner of a placement service for receptionists and secretaries in London. He started the Holly’s Inbox website as a place to serialize his first novel; his second is now in the works. Bill currently lives in England and Spain with his wife and daughter. To see the site that started it all, please visit www.hollysinbox.com. You can also follow Holly on Facebook and Twitter!

What Bill says:
I remember the exact night I chose to be a writer.

I was 23 at the time, it was my fourth gig and I was scared. Next time you come across someone mean, someone who makes your blood boil, don’t get flustered, don’t insult them, just laugh at their jokes and recommend they try stand up comedy. That night we were meant to be doing five minutes each, the previous comedian lasted just two, he came off in tears. I did a full five minutes and the audience got to their feet, so they could hurl things from a better angle.

The girl after me was also new. I wanted to tell her to run for her life, but it turned out she didn’t need to, they loved her… (her name was Catherine Tate – and she went on to be a huge star in the UK). That night she gave me some advice, she told me to talk more about things people could relate to ie falling in love, getting dumped, problems at work and less about sex with gremlins. This wouldn’t have been a problem if I’d ever had a stable relationship or a job, so I had no idea what she was on about. She also said I should try looking a little bit more confident and happy (not easy with a hundred people shouting gettttofff-you-ugly-tosssssa). Either way I decided that night I was more of a writer than a performer – which was a truly fab excuse for never having to put myself through stand-up hell again.

I took a job in a bar and in my spare time began writing TV soap scripts. I tried various settings and characters but couldn’t get an agent or anyone to read them, as a last resort I took them to show my parents. My dad told me to grow up and get a proper job, so I would have something to write about, oh and to get my hair cut while I was at it.

I ignored him of course, dyed my hair jet black and began writing an edge of your seat thriller slasher romantic horror novel, full of gangsters and drugs and death; it took me a couple of years to finish and I hated every minute of it. The feedback I received wasn’t encouraging either; apparently there wasn’t a market for that kind of thing. The agency told me they weren’t interested in taking me on, but maybe I should try writing something a little bit more commercial. I listened to their advice, nodded intently then slammed the phone down, threw my keyboard across the room, and vowed never to write again.

After sulking for a good few years, I ended up getting a job in recruitment and getting married.

Now I know that finding the love of my life, and getting a ‘proper’ job, surprisingly did give me something to write about. I was 27 when I took my first office job and was bullied horrifically by a woman there. I remember telling her I would probably write about all this in years to come – which made her laugh (but not in a good way). I did though, I used her as a character in Holly’s Inbox – but I can’t really tell you which one or she’ll probably sue me for slander. She was a treat.

I wrote it much faster than anything I’ve written before which I think is a good sign; if you enjoy writing something and it’s not a struggle then you’re probably on the right track. It began as a website alongside a forum so I received some criticism to begin with, but this time I learnt from it and I think this helped me improve.

I absolutely loved writing it, it made me laugh and cry and I hope it does the same to you, and leaves you with a punching-the-air-get–up-and-go feeling.

www.hollysinbox.com is back up and running with Holly sending and receiving emails and Holly’s Inbox is out now in U.S. shops (by Sourcebooks)

Thank so much for having me,
Bill/Holly

Come back anytime, Bill/Holly! =) I can't wait to get my hands on a copy, but y'all go first...

Giveaway!
There is ONE copy of Holly's Inbox up for grabs, if you live in the US or Canada (no PO Boxes, please!). I've never worked as a receptionist anywhere--I think sometimes I might've enjoyed it wayyyyy more than the headache my current job is giving me, lol! To enter this contest, comment & dish--Have you worked in an office environment? Was it large or small? Did you like it or did the people (or job!) drive you absolutely bonkers? =)

As always, +1 for following, +2 for sharing. This giveaway ends 6:00pm CST June 25th!

50 comments:

Bingo said...

I would love a chance at this fun sounding book. I did work summers in the police department's records dept. so that was kind of like it. Not very big-only about 12 of us and everyone was pretty friendly but I was really young during college summers and I liked it OK.
I do follow.

Karen H in NC said...

I spent nearly my entire working life (45 years) as an office worker of some sort, both large companies (AT&T, GM) and small businesses. I most enjoyed working in the small office better because the people I worked with became more like family than co-workers.

kkhaas[at]bellsouth[dot]net

Karen H in NC said...

+1 I am a follower

kkhaas[at]bellsouth[dot]net

debbiesworld said...

Love to enter. I blogged about it here: http://debbiesworld.wordpress.com/other-book-giveaways/ and I already follow in Google Reader.

Yes, unfortunately I've worked as a receptionist for a temp job and an admin for a summer job and hated it. Talk about tedious work. The only thing that made it bearable was the people I worked with were really nice. Plus, I have a horrible memory so I hated having to man 10 phone lines and remember who was on hold on what line and for who. Ugh. Wincing just thinking about it.

ANovelMenagerie said...

I read and reviewed this book. I thought it was quite funny! I had no idea Bill was so young/cute!

Sheri
A Novel Menagerie

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'd love to be entered for this one. It sounds amazing. I've never worked in an office, but I have a feeling I would hate it...so thank goodness, and lets hope I never have too! LOL


-I'm a follower

Lauren

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Anonymous said...

I have worked in an office and it was small. It was okay but I got bored.

thebun at personainternet dot com

Anonymous said...

I subscribe by email.

thebun at personainternet dot com

Lisa said...

I worked as a receptionist for a doctor after college who insisted on overbooking. When he got WAY behind I was the one stuck in the front with the backlog of edgy patients while he was hidden away taking lunch breaks despite the backup.



lisamasini@aol.com

scottsgal said...

I'd love to read this! Never worked as a receptionist but always in an office. Currently I work for the President of a large manufacturing company and love it - lots of variety.
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

follower via email subscriber
msboatgal at aol.com

bermudaonion said...

I've never worked in an office, so I can't dish! I would still love to be entered. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Holly Denham said...

Thank you so much for having my on your fab site!
I'm so so sorry, I've ruined your page - it was looking so good until you pasted my awful picture on it!
Sheri - I think you must be joking - that's the only explanation.
Thank you once again for letting me on here to waffle, I'll of course be coming back to see if anyone has any questions about it
Holly/Bill
p.s Lisa - a receptionist at Doctors - all those sick people - you're brave!

donnas said...

I would love to be included. I have worked in office environments and some have been ok, some horrible and some great. Currently we are on great. But in the ok one I did have to sub for the receptionist and when it was the slow season it was ok, but when we were busy it was awful. I couldnt get any of my normal work done up there.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hey, doll. Dropping in to say don't enter me, but thanks for the e-mail. I've posted this at Win a Book for you!

Gwendolyn B. said...

Oh, boy, let me tell you . . . After decades in retail, I started working in offices. First job - receptionist. There are not enough hats in CAPS FOR SALE for all the jobs a receptionist has to do! It's a lot like being a mom! You have to handle anything anyone throws at you because it all comes under "and other duties as required" and no one thinks you're really busy anyway!
Thanks for the chance to win this book - sounds like a lot of fun!

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

I'm a Follower!

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Marie said...

I worked in an office environment for 15 years and went slowly insane :-)

marielay@gmail.com

Marie said...

I am follower.

marielay@gmail.com

bridget3420 said...

I've worked in offices and most of the time it was OK. I made a lot of friends at some and steered clear of everyone at others.

bridget3420 said...

I'm a follower

bridget3420 said...

Linked on my sidebar

http://bridget3420.blogspot.com

budletsmom said...

I would love to be entered to win this. Yes I used to work in and office and well I am happy to no longer be working there LOL. It had it good moments and bad ones.

budletsmom(at)yahoo(dot)com

budletsmom said...

I am following

budletsmom(at)yahoo(dot)com

Beth said...

I've worked in an office. I enjoyed receptionist work and meeting all the new people! However, some of the other duties were boring.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

throuthehaze said...

I've never worked in an office setting but I would love to. Some people say that it is boring but I would rather have a boring job than a physically hard job.

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

throuthehaze said...

following
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Pam said...

This book sounds like such a fun summer read!

I'm a follower

I worked in a law office as a coop student during highschool. Don't remember much about that position at all. I worked in an office in Singapore too, as a speech therapist, but it was a small office and I had to take my times at the desk answering phones. I loved the work I did there and the kids I worked with, but I despised my boss and the secretary often lied about me and drove me bonkers. The funny thing was that she then gave me a gift when I left! Wierdo.

melacan at hotmail dot com

MJ said...

I've never worked in an offive.

This sounds like fun.

I follow.

mj.coward[at]gmail.com

drey said...

Sheri! I'm so jealous--I sooooo want to get my hands on this! =) It sounds like the perfect summer read... =)

& Bill/Holly--you are too funny. Just say "thanks" to Sheri, will ya? =D

Amber said...

Sounds like lots of fun!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

Amber said...

I follow!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

olympianlady said...

I have worked in an office environment, as a telemarketer. I HATED it. If you know how people feel about telemarketers, you'll know why.

Thanks for the giveaway.

tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

Carlene said...

Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Carlene
iluvreading(at)Verizon.net

Carlene said...

I have always worked in an office and love it. I have my own space and dont have to share. The post above is supposed to say I am a follower. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Carlene
iluvreading(at)Verizon.net

Nicole said...

When I was in the military I had an office job at one of my tours. We had about 15-25 people working, depending on the day and it was one big open office with absolutely no privacy. It was okay. The job was really interesting, but it got old sitting so close to everyone else and having no privacy.

Lifestooshort said...

I worked in a small office and loved it :) I miss it very much.....

lavery328 at yahoo dot com

Anita Yancey said...

I have worked in an office, and it did drive me bonkers. When your supervisor piles their work on you, and then takes credit for doing the work right in front of you. It makes you so mad you can't see straight. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

I am a follower!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Allison said...

I currently work in an office and have for the pasy 5 years. People are, more than anything else, disgusting. They clip their nails at their desk, eat the most offensive smelling foods, burp loudly, and leave food messes. Ew!

I'm a follower! :)
allygotts567[at]hotmail[dot]com

furygirl3132 said...

This sounds like a really cute and fun read..I would love to win! I can honestly say that I have never worked in an office but I always wanted to! I think it would be a fun environment and I would love to work where I could be on the computer all day. Thanks so much for such a great giveaway!

Eloise
furygirl3132[at]comcast[dot]net

furygirl3132 said...

I also follow (furygirl3132).

Eloise
furygirl3132[at]comcast[dot]net

CherylS22 said...

I worked in an office environment many, many years ago while in college. I really didn't mind it because I was only there for the summer & didn't have much time to get involved in the office politics.

Thanks,
megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

CherylS22 said...

I follow.

megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

Holly Denham said...

Story behind that awful photo....
I have never had any professional ones done - I think you know that. And as I've always written under a woman's name - never needed one. But the US - has been telling everyone I'm a guy - even though the UK has kept that back.
So we had a few minutes to get a photo back to - Entertainment Weekly - me and my wife are rushing around the place shouting - over hear against this wall, quick, no - over here against the mountains - put a suit on - why???? - because you should look smart - but it's so hot??? Just put it on! (my wife screams) so I've got a suit jacket on, shorts (below the photo) and my little 2 year old tugging at my jacket as she wants to picked up and cuddled (very clingy to her dad)and I'm trying to fight her off with one hand and not laugh. So that's it.
x

etirv said...

I have a really peaceful office environment now and I appreciate this everyday! Please include me in this giveaway, I enjoyed reading about Holly Denham in EW and was happy to read this post and Holly's comments! Thank you!
delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

etirv said...

I subscribe via google reader!

sharon54220 said...

I've worked in many different offices all my life. I'm currently a switchboard operator at a hospital. I've been working switchboards since I was a sophmore in high school. I would really like to win this.

sharon54220@gmail.com

sharon54220 said...

I am also a subscriber.

sharon54220@gmail.com

Esme said...

I have done the small law firm experience. Everyone knows everything.

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

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