Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Missed Friend

Several years ago, like 10, I didn't know anybody with cancer. I had friends who had friends or family, but no one I directly knew. Until a few years back and BAM, death from the C-word surrounded me. It felt like every year, someone was sick.

And this is more true now. And again, someone I know has lost their hard fought battle. Today, I'd like to share a few words about my friend Holly Gilliatt.

A few years back, TMP signed a new Women's Fiction author from St. Louis. Of course, when I learned where she was from, I introduced myself. I mean, their wasn't another author from our company anywhere near me. Now, we didn't have sleepovers and braid each other's hair. No, we set out and did authory stuff.

Like book signings.

Holly invited me to do a TV taping for a local information channel to promote 2 signings we agreed to do together. The interview was the first time we'd met and I we hit it off, easily falling into discussions about books, writing and what we thought worked. And let's not forget the joys of motherhood and how we loved our oops kid!

Our first signing, at a local independent bookstore was successful. And I was so thrilled that she asked me. Gosh, I look back at this photo and at the time, Holly only had the one book. Now, she has 3 to her name.

The next signing was at a B&N, as a charity even for my childrens' school. We didn't sell as much, but we had a great time and we included three additional authors. Holly and I learned that we had a knack for planning multi-author events.

In April of 2014, Holly and I worked together again, creating another multi-author event in coordination with World Book Night. There we were, hobnobbing with local celebs and we had the best time.

Little did I know that would be the last time I'd see Holly.

She lost her fight with pancreatic cancer. A hard fight and I couldn't be more humbled or in aww of her. I'm thankful she was my friend. I'm proud I could call her a fellow author.

But I'm equally, if not more, saddened that the world lost a great woman. A loving mom. A woman who was crazy about her husband.

A friend.

Thank you, Holly, for allowing me into your world and I take peace knowing that you are not in pain any longer. You don't have to be strong. You are free to watch over us, make fun of us, and keep us safe. And enjoy all the chocolate you want!


  1. Lovely tribute to a lovely woman.

    1. Thank you Judy. I know she enjoyed working with you.

  2. I only knew Holly via Facebook and our author's loop. It didn't take long to realize what a wonderful person she was in addition to her talent as a writer. My sympathy to you and those who knew her personally.

  3. What a beautiful tribute, Jen. I only knew Holly through our author loop and of course, Facebook. She was a lovely woman, and I know she will be missed - but what a legacy she left for her family. Her books, which she wrote from the heart. RIP Sweet Holly.

  4. Cancer is awful. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman; I'm sorry I didn't get to know her better.

    1. The C word is bad and I hate that it is something we have to even face everyday. Thank you.

  5. Thank you for sharing the story of your friendship with Holly. Her family and close friends continue to be on my mind and in my heart as they grieve. Finding peace in such a situation is possible, but very difficult. Blessings, Jennifer!