Hollis Gillespie Trailer Park
 
ALL ABOUT HOLLIS
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all about hollis

bio

Hollis Gillespie is a humorist, syndicated columnist, NPR commentator and top-selling author. Her column can be found monthly on the back page of every issue of Atlanta magazine.

Hollis has appeared on the cover of numerous publications including Atlanta magazine, Creative Loafing and Tampa’s Weekly Planet. She has been profiled in Marie Claire, Bust, Writer’s Digest and Entertainment Weekly.

Her television appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, TBS Storyline, Monica Kaufman’s Closeups, Good Day Atlanta, and an upcoming appearance on TV Land. Her radio commentaries appear regularly on National Public Radio (NPR) and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

In 2004, Writer’s Digest named Hollis Gillespie a “Breakout Author of the Year.” Other accolades include “Best Columnist” (2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) and “Best Local Author” (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009) honors in the Creative Loafing Best of Atlanta Readers Survey. Atlanta magazine awarded her “Best ‘Tell-All’” in 2006.

The film rights to her first book, Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales from a Bad Neighborhod, are currently under option with a major Hollywood studio.

 

PHOTO ALBUM [top]

Jeff Foxworthy, Hollis Gillespie Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, Ron Carlson, Hollis Gillespie, Clark Howard, James Carville and Neil Cavuto Jeff Foxworthy, Hollis Gillespie
Hollis Gillespie and Jay Leno
on The Tonight Show set after her guest appearance
  Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, Ron Carlson, Hollis Gillespie, Clark Howard, James Carville and Neil Cavuto — Atlanta's Meeting of the Mouths   Hollis Gillespie and Laura Dern
in Los Angeles
         
Jeff Foxworthy, Hollis Gillespie   Elijah Wood and Hollis Gillespie, The Tonight Show on NBC   Patti Callahan Henry and Hollis Gillespie
Jeff Foxworthy and Hollis Gillespie
backstage at Good Day Atlanta
  Elijah Wood and Hollis Gillespie
onstage at NBC's The Tonight Show
  Authors Patti Callahan Henry and Hollis Gillespie take questions from a standing room only crowd at the Decatur Book Festival
         
Stephen J. Cannell, Hollis Gillespie   The Money Pit - Home Improvement Radio Show, Hollis Gillespie   Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Hollis Gillespie
Television producer Stephen J. Cannell (Rockford Files) and Hollis Gillespie reminisce about sharing the mic on Neal Boortz's radio show.   Hollis Gillespie at her guest appearance on the nationally syndicated radio show "The Money Pit" hosted by Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete (While You Were Out).   Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series) and Hollis Gillespie chat about writing at Book Expo America.
         
B-52's, Funplex, Kate Pierson   Joshlyn Jackson, Hollis Gillespie   Paula Deen, Hollis Gillespie
Hollis Gillespie and her friend Kate Pierson, lead singer of The B-52's, chat backstage during the band's Funplex tour.   Hollis and Joshilyn Jackson (The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, gods in Alabama) appeared together at the 2008 Decatur Book Festival.   Hollis and Food Network star Paula Deen at the Savannah Book Festival.
         
Roy Blount Jr., Hollis Gillespie   Amy Ray, Indigo Girl, Hollis Gillespie    
Hollis and fellow humorist Roy Blount Jr.   Hollis and Indigo Girl Amy Ray chat backstage during her solo "Didn't It Feel Kinder" tour.    

 

FAQ [top]

When is your next book coming out?
My third book, Trailer Trashed; My Dubious Efforts Toward Upward Mobility, is due out in August of ‘08.

Where do you get your ideas?

I pay attention to my brain. It’s harder than you think, because thoughts are fleeting and hard to capture. So I always have a pad and pen nearby, so I can write down chapter first sentences when they occur to me. I learned this as a flight attendant; I’d get these thoughts and often it fell to these slips of papers to write them on. So I have a giant box of these little snippets, like “Sometimes I still get mad at Lary for shooting at me . . .” printed on the backs of my crew lists, and I pluck from them when I need inspiration.

Did you always want to be a writer?
It was not even a matter of choice. I was born this way. There is absolutely nothing else I could have done as a profession. I’m forever grateful for the genius suggestion from my friend Jeff, who, after watching me fail at trying to fit in as an industry plebe after college, suggested I get a job as a flight attendant to pay my bills while I compiled the body of work that would eventually become my livelihood. Thank God the other flight attendants, who were not fooled for a second, allowed me to live among them while I found my way.

How much of your books are true?

Me: All of it is true so much as the truth can be trusted to my recollection (barring hyperbole and outright hallucinations), and almost none of it is still true. I make that distinction because, alarmingly, a lot of people don’t. A lot people seriously think that because I wrote a story 10 years ago about how I passed out in the parking lot of the Clermont Lounge, that they can go there this afternoon and find me passed out. It’s one of the bizarre consequences of having won acclaim writing stories that are based on my experience; people believe that these experiences, which are isolated in their depictions and happened in the past, represent me to this day, like as a 45-year-old I’m really gonna spend my nights horking cocktails and having sex with Australian soccer players. No, as a 45-year-old Iím going to spend my nights writing about when I used to hork cocktails and have sex with Australian soccer players. There’s a difference; the most important being that former would make me an irresponsible mother, whereas the latter makes me an ingenious businesswoman who has figured out how to translate her past into income so I can support my child.

Here is what Grant, Lary and Daniel have to say about it:

Grant Henry: “Don’t believe a word that bitch says about me!”
Daniel Troppy: “This is not a real quote. I never said this.”
Lary Blodgett: “Keep walking and don’t make eye contact.”

Is Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch going to be a television series?
We hope so. We’ve been invited to pitch to HBO twice and so far they’ve said no, but it’s never a no with a capitol “N,” and they leave the door open to revisit, so we plan to keep doing so. I just like going to L.A. so I can stay in the Beverly Laurel Motor Lodge and eat at the Swingers coffee shop in the lobby.

When do you do your writing?
I used to write all night, but now that I’m a mom I now write four hours a day, either while my daughter is asleep or in school, which is probably more productive than before, because the productivity is concentrated and not spread out and interspersed with hangovers and other dubious endeavors. I aim for 5,000 words a week, though once I wrote 30 pages in 2 days. I recommend getting away if you’re under a crunch to pump out the pages. Email and cable TV are death to productivity, get away to where they have neither of these and you’ll soar.

Who are your favorite writers?
Joan Didion, P.J. O’Rourke, Evelyn Waugh, P.G. Wodehouse, Dave Barry, Randall Osborne, Carl Hiassen, William Geist, Amy Tan, Karyn Slaughter, Jacqueline Mitchard, Beth Lisick, David Sedaris, Charles McNair, Doug Monroe, Tim Dorsey.

I wrote a novel, too! Can I send it to you for you to read?
Congratulations! I’m proud of you, though it would not be legally responsible for me to read your unpublished novel unless you enrolled in my Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy class on how to get your already-written manuscript published. Keep an eye out for our classes on how to pitch an agent!

I haven’t written a novel, but I have a great idea for one. Want to hear it?
If you have a great idea for a novel, you should pursue it in a concrete manner rather than bloviate about it to the point where it never gets written. You must, MUST, enroll in one of my Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy courses and establish the network of steps that it will take to get your book published.

Will you come do a reading in my city?
Probably. I’m a marketing machine.

Will you visit, or call, my bookclub?
If your book club is in the metro Atlanta area I would be happy to consider it if a supply of at least 20 books is purchased from me in advance. If your book club is outside the Atlanta area and would require me getting on a plane, I would still consider that, but you’d have to pay my speaker fee and provide me with copious coffee of artisan quality.

Do you really read your email? Do you answer it all?
I swear I try. Sometimes I miss one or two, and I’ll wake up in a sweat over them for years afterward. I sincerely try to respond to all emails, but I fail. I FAIL, I tell you! (sob, sob, snot, snot) There was once a reader who sent me a little toy Shasta camper, which I didn’t receive from the newsroom until almost a year after it was mailed, and I emailed the sender a heartfelt thanks, but I’ve been haunted ever since that he didn’t receive my response, and now I wanna die that there’s someone out there who sent me a gift and may not have gotten a thank you. Lord, the South does rub off on you.

I feel like I know you after reading your column and books, you seem like a great person, would you like to get together for a drink sometime? I don’t drink, and I’m not that great. I look nothing like my author photo, for example. I looked like that for five minutes once and thank God my friend was nearby with a camera so she could click it for posterity. But if you insist, here are the coffee houses I hang out at in Atlanta and Decatur: Gathering Grounds, Java Vino, San Francisco Coffee Grinders and Stone Soup. If you see me there, say Hi, but I cannot make plans to meet up, sorry. I am notoriously unreliable when it comes to showing up for social gatherings. Go bug Grant Henry, who is still a bartender at the Local on Ponce de Leon on Wednesdays and Fridays. People always go there to stare at him.

 

CARICATURE GALLERY [top]

Caricature artists love Hollis...

Hollis Gillespie, caricature Hollis Gillespie, caricature Hollis Gillespie, caricature
         
Hollis Gillespie, caricature   Hollis Gillespie, caricature   Hollis Gillespie, caricature
         
Hollis Gillespie, caricature   Hollis Gillespie, caricature    

 

cool links [top]

Visit some of Hollis' favorite online sites.