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Holly Goldberg Sloan - Author

About the Author

Holly Goldberg Sloan was born in Michigan, USA and spent her childhood living in the Netherlands, Istanbul and various parts of the USA.

She has written and directed a number of successful family feature films. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California.

I’ll Be There was her debut novel, published to much acclaim, followed by Counting by 7s and Just Call My Name.

A Q&A with Holly

What inspires your writing?
I write contemporary realistic fiction, which means that I write from people, places, incidents and emotions that I have experienced or heard about.  I love listening to other people’s life stories.  I find nothing more fascinating than how two people met. How people find their jobs, their friends.  I’m very interested in the real stuff of life.  The moments of triumph and the pain of loss.   

What has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?
I’m no spring chicken, so I have had many moments that felt special in my work life.  I wrote a movie called Angels in the Outfield and we screened that movie in Pittsburgh at the baseball stadium outside at night during the All-Star game in front of 45,000 people.  That certainly felt like a very big deal. Counting By 7s was chosen as the best book of the year for young people this past December by Amazon.  My agent called and I remember her saying “The largest retailer in the world has picked your book for this honor.”  I felt the hair stand up on my arms.  

How did you first become an author?
My mother moved not long ago and I found the little report cards that my teachers had written when I was a child.  When I was seven years old my teacher wrote: “I hope for the rest of her life Holly tells stories.”  I was shocked. What kind of stories does a 7 year old tell?  I think I became an author at an early age.  I become a screenwriter before I became a published author, and I think that adds an element to my writing.

What are you reading right now?
I just read a book called I’ll Give You The Sun, by Jandy Nelson.  I really enjoyed this novel.  It’s coming out in the U.S. in September of 2014.  And I loved John Corey Whaley’s Noggin.  I just finished Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.  I’m late to the party on that book, which was great.

What was your earliest career aspiration?
I believe when I was really young I told people that I wanted to be President of the United States when I grew up.  This caused people to howl.  I believe what I was saying was that I wanted some power in the universe.  

What advice would you give to budding writers?
I think all writers are readers. And I think all writers are writers.  And by that I mean that you have to do it all the time.  You have to write and then rewrite.  Your work gets better and better.  Your commitment to writing is as important as the writing itself in the beginning.  You have to be all in.

What was your favourite childhood book?
I think the first book I truly loved was Charlotte’s Web.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I write sitting on my bed.  I have an office in my house.  And for a long time when my kids were young I rented an office so that I’d be forced to leave and go to work.  But my favourite place to write is sitting on my bed.  You can see the ocean from there and I look out at the vast expanse of blue grey and stories begin to tell themselves.

How do you read- print, digitally or both?
I read in both formats.

Who do you most admire?
I most admire teachers and architects.  They both change the world and don’t get enough credit.  I loved so many of my teachers as a child.  They taught me to think for myself and to dream big.

Are there any books you wish you had written?
There are many, many, many books that I wish I had written.  Anything by C.S. Lewis.  Anything by Faulkner.  

Featured books by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Other books by Holly Goldberg Sloan



Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/02/2017

Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer she'll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. This is the summer she gets cast as a munchkin in a production of The Wizard of Oz. She hasn't ever thought of herself as a performer, but as Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Olive - an adult with dwarfism who doesn't let her size define her - and with a deeply artistic neighbour named Mrs. Chang, she finds that she may not be as tall as everyone else, but she more than deserves to hold her head high.



Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan Illustrator: 0 Format: eBook Release Date: 31/01/2017

In this heartwarming and funny middle-grade novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s, Julia grows into herself while playing a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer run of The Wizard of Oz, she'll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. She hasn't ever thought of herself as a performer, but when the wonderful director of Oz casts her as a Munchkin, she begins to see herself in a new way. As Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Oliveone of the adults with dwarfism who've joined the production's motley crew of Munchkinsand with her deeply artistic neighbor, Mrs. Chang, Julia's own sense of self as an artist grows. Soon, she doesn't want to fade into the backgroundand it's a good thing, because her director has more big plans for Julia! Bubbling over with humor and tenderness, this is an irresistible story of self-discovery and of the role models who forever change us.

Appleblossom the Possum

Appleblossom the Possum

Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan Illustrator: Gary Rosen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/08/2016

Appleblossom the Possum

Appleblossom the Possum

Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan Illustrator: 0 Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2015

Fans of E.B. White and Dick King-Smith will adore this heartwarming and funny animal adventure by the award-winning author of Counting by 7s Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now its time for all of themeven little Appleblossomto make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human familyand accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brotherswho launch a hilarious rescue missionand even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinatingthe big world can be. But they're about to find out!With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial's point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

Just Call My Name

Just Call My Name

Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan Illustrator: 0 Format: eBook Release Date: 05/08/2014

The happily-ever-after of Holly Goldberg Sloan's acclaimed debut, I'll Be There, is turned on its head in this riveting, emotional sequel about friends, enemies, and how those roles can shift in a matter of moments.Emily Bell has it all. She's in love with a boy named Sam Border, and his little brother has become part of her family. This summer is destined to be the best time of their lives--until a charismatic new girl in town sets her sights on Sam. Now Emily finds herself questioning the loyalty of the person she thought she could trust most.But the biggest threat to her happiness is someone she never saw coming. Sam's criminally insane father, whom everyone thought they'd finally left behind, is planning a jailbreak. And he knows exactly where to find Emily and his sons when he escapes...and takes his revenge.