I Believe in Holly
Nearly nine months ago, I scrolled through the wide and overwhelming Internet to find an editor for my book, Somehow I Am Different. My mouse hovered over Acorn Author Services & Publishing. “We are here to guide you,” said Acorn’s homepage. Caroline Mitchell, best-selling author of Paranormal Intruder, said, “Thank goodness for Holly and Shelly who built up my fragile confidence. My book went straight to No.1 in its category on Amazon!”
I cannot say that Acorn was the only editing service I submitted my manuscript to. That would have been foolish. I must admit, though, a warmth in my heart ignited at the thought of working with women who seemed to change so many lives of fellow writers.
In the mysterious way the universe works, Holly Kammier, one of two content editors at Acorn Author Services & Publishing, replied to my query. After a few back-and-forth emails, we struck a partnership and our work together began.
Holly helped me not only to see the light in my manuscript and mission, but also to see the light in myself and my work.
Beyond her professional capacity to turn manuscripts into best-sellers, Holly is an exceptional person with an exceptional story. Realistically, it is her story that empowers her to transform the stories of others.
Holly is a child from many homes. She was born in San Francisco in the mid-seventies. As many of us imagine San Francisco to be, Holly said, “My parents were hippies and I got to run around naked a whole lot and take yoga classes with my mom.”
She lived her first five years in SF before moving to Atlanta, Georgia. When Holly was ten, she moved again to San Diego. For the next decade, she lived with her family in three distinct neighborhoods in San Diego: Hillcrest, Mira Mesa, and Scripps Ranch.
Holly’s favorite memories are of nature walks with her father. She got lost for countless afternoons with her German Sheppard mix, Farmer, collecting river rocks and searching for the perfect walking stick. She made up stories in her head about being a princess or a member of an ancient Indian tribe.
When it was time for college, Holly moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA. “I graduated Cum Laude from UCLA. That’s it,” she said. “I am one of the lease educated members of my family.”
Upon graduation, Holly lived in Washington, D.C., Oregon, Orange County, Basel, Switzerland, and finally back to San Diego where she became pregnant with her first child.
Throughout her professional career, Holly worked a variety of jobs within broadcast news—including photographer, assignment editor, writer, video editor, field producer, weather anchor, morning anchor, and reporter—in stations as varied as CNN in D.C. to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. For many years, she also worked as a publicist for authors and performed celebrity PR in L.A.
“Every job I’ve held since college has involved writing in one way or another,” she said. “That said, what led to me writing books was a desperate need to understand myself.”
In the past, Holly avoided emotional pain by burying it far beneath the surface. “I didn’t even realize it existed,” she said. “I overcame it by doing things to make myself feel valuable, like exercising so I had a better figure, or getting good grades, or pursuing an exciting career that I believed improved society and gave me the appearance of having my shit together.”
When Holly was diagnosed with a twenty-year-old anxiety disorder that caused daily panic attacks and much turmoil in her life, she couldn’t believe she hadn’t self-diagnosed earlier. Then, she turned to writing.
“I wrote about my own life to remember forgotten experiences and understand,” she said. “It wasn’t until I read my first book, a memoir, that I began to connect with and understand my own issues. Even when I was writing Could Have Been Hollywood, I didn’t really get it. I needed to write it, distance myself from it, and then read it from an adult’s perspective rather than from the age at which I had experienced it. It was a very eye-opening experience and I fell in love with long distance writing. Press releases and thirty-second news stories don’t give you that same connection to your deeper self.”
Holly’s new book, Kingston Court, celebrated its official birthday on September 10, 2015. On the surface a fun, gossipy book based on Holly’s feisty friends and neighbors, subconsciously, Holly’s own personal dynamics influenced the book. “I was writing about my own fears at the time,” she said, “and encouraging myself to believe in my own value and strength. Sometimes as mothers and wives we put so much focus on our loved ones, we lose necessary pieces of ourselves. Kingston Court is about finding that 20-year-old girl still kicking around inside of us and making some of her dreams come true, too.”
Holly defines purpose as doing something you feel passionate about that will help others. “I have found that in motherhood,” she said. “I love my children more than I love myself and I truly believe that I am raising them to be a positive influence in our world. Beyond that, if my writing touches people, well, that would make me feel so incredibly accomplished.”
First and foremost, Holly hopes that Kingston Court entertains. “Life is hard for all of us sometimes,” she said. “A fun escape is a wonderful treat.” Moreover, Holly hopes that Kingston Court inspires other women to tap back into their buried dreams for themselves.
These days, Holly overcomes trauma by feeling the pain and fear and forcing herself to keep going in spite of it. She doesn’t know what is next. “I have set myself on an uncharted path,” she said, “and I am not sure where it will lead.”
Her dream is to write books and content edit for a living while working as a full-time mom. So far, I’d say she is doing is a pretty good job at that.
Read more stories by Alyssa @ beli3f.tumblr.com