About Kristi Holl
(See also F.A.Q. and my interview on BlogTalkRadio
and my interview on "Destressing the Writing Life")
Kristi Holl is an award-winning author of 42 books for children, two nonfiction books for writers (Writer's First Aid and More Writer's First Aid), and over 150 stories and articles for children and adults, as well as conference speaker and web editor. Her stories and articles have appeared in Jack and Jill, Child Life, Hi-Call, Your Life & Health, Touch, The Writer, Children's Writer, and the SCBWI Bulletin, among others. She also wrote a mystery column and self-coaching column for the magazine Once Upon a Time.
Kristi Holl was born in Iowa, graduated from Marshalltown High School and has lived in Mason City, Cedar Falls, Red Oak, Knoxville, Conrad, and Story City (all in Iowa). In July 2003, she moved to San Antonio, Texas, where she and her husband live near their grandchildren.
Kristi started as an elementary teacher after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in l974, and began writing as a hobby when staying home with her children. She has taught writing for children for the Institute of Children's Literature since l983. In l998 she created and became Web Editor for the Institute's web site at www.institutechildrenslit.com where she monitored Open Forums, wrote articles for the Writer's Support Rooms and Writing Tips, and moderated online interviews with editors and writers. In 2000 she added web editing for the Long Ridge Writers Group web site at www.longridgewritersgroup.com. She retired as web editor in 2002. From 2008 to 2012 she blogged for the Institute. She now spends the majority of her time writing books, doing manuscript critiques and speaking at writers' conferences.
Kristi has always combined writing with parenting; personal experiences figure prominently in her 150+ stories and articles for magazines, as well as her novels, nonfiction books for middle graders, nonfiction picture books, plus her adult nonfiction books for writers, Writer’s First Aid and More Writer's First Aid. In her spare time, she loves to read, quilt, canoe, visit museums and historical sites, and hike. (And above all, babysit grandkids!)
Her books are on many recommended reading lists and have been nominated for numerous Children's Choice Awards. Her first book, Just Like a Real Family, was nominated for children's book awards in five states; it and its sequel, No Strings Attached, both were released in Japan in l996 and l997. The Rose Beyond the Wall was on the Children's Book Council list of Outstanding Books for l985, and The Haunting of Cabin l3 won the l990 Maryland Children's Book Award. Two of her books, Footprints Up My Back and Perfect or Not, Here I Come, were Junior Literary Guild selections. In 2000 and 2001 four novels were published in Tommy Nelson's TodaysGirls.com books, including Tangled Web, Chat Freak, Fun e-Farm, and 4GIVE & 4GET. Most recently, four best-selling middle grade devotionals were published by Zonderkidz: No Boys Allowed (2004), Girlz Rock (2005), Chick Chat and Shine On, Girl! (2006). Another devotional, What’s a Girl To Do? was published in September, 2007. A mystery series (Fading Tracks, Secrets for Sale, Smoke Screen, and Pick Your Poison) was published by Zonderkidz in 2008 and re-issued in 2011 as Vanished, Betrayed, Burned and Poisoned.
"After my children started school, I intended to go back to teaching elementary school, but being your own boss and setting your own work hours is just too much fun. How else can you get paid for staying home and making up stories?" Holl asks. "I love Iowa, and sometimes use Iowa settings for my novels, especially the mysteries. The Haunting of Cabin l3 is set in Backbone State Park, Danger at Hanging Rock is set at Effigy Mounds National Monument, and the Carousel Mystery Series is set in Story City."
Just Like a Real Family(Atheneum, 1983), was Ms. Holl's first book. Both her first book and its sequel, No Strings Attached (Atheneum, 1988) were released in Japan. Two of her books (Footprints Up My Back and Perfect or Not, Here I Come, both from Atheneum) were Junior Literary Guild selections.
Kristi Holl also loves to write mysteries. Mystery by Mail (1983), Cast a Single Shadow (1986) and The Haunting of Cabin 13 (1987) were all from Atheneum. (Cabin 13 won the Maryland Children's Book Award.) David C. Cook published Danger at Hanging Rock in 1989. Ms. Holl's Carousel Mysteries include A Spin Out of Control (1998), Deadly Disguise and Stage Fright (l999). Vanished, Betrayed, Burned and Poisoned were published in 2011.
Kristi's latest publication is Finding God in Tough Times, due out in 2014 from Zonderkidz.