The Writing Mama: Interview Friday with J.D. Holiday

The Writing Mama: Interview Friday with J.D. Holiday

December 3, 2010

Interview Friday with J.D. Holiday

J.D. Holiday is the author and illustrator of two children’s books: Janoose the Goose,picture book and a chapter book for six to eight year olds, THE GREAT SNOWBALL ESCAPADE. A chapbook of her short stories called, Trespasses was published in 1994 and she has had short stories printed in literary magazines and numerous articles about writing and publishing published.  She is a member of both The Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators, (SCBWI) and Small Publishers of North America, (SPAN.)  J.D. Holiday lives in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania.

VS: I want to thank you for being my guest here on The Writing Mama today. It is so exciting because you are my first World of Ink Tour Guest. It’s been a fun couple of days and the tour is only getting started.

Okay, so I know your children are grown and out of the house, but I’m sure you’ve had to balance your writing life around them at one time or another. I know being a parent and writer can be hard and I find myself asking if I giving my three children enough attention throughout the day. I am sure you have been in my shoes from time to time maybe with grandchildren.

So to start here is the first question, how many children/grandchildren do you have and what are their ages?

JD: Thank you, Virginia. I'm so glad to be here!

I have one daughter, who is thirty-eight so I don't have to give her that much attention, but it's my grandson, Luke who is five that I watch while my daughter and son-in-law work.

I do find myself, while watching Luke, spending a little too much time on the computer typing. I do try and catch myself. So I know what you mean.

VS: I have to be careful as well now that I have a young baby, soon to be toddler in the house. I use to be able to put her in her playpen and just take that hour to work. But now with her starting to walk . . . I have to catch myself as well.

So J.D. how long have you been writing?

JD: It's about 30 years now. A friend asked me to help her write a book she was working on. I did and went we were done with it, I started writing one of my own. Once in a while, I would stop for a few months and then get back to it.

VS: Funny how sometime you just fall into a writing career. Well, we’re glad your friend asked you to help her with a book because you have written two really great books since.

Okay, since you take short breaks from writing, what is a typical writing day like for you?

JD: I write and paint my children's books so some of my days can be spent between writing and the artwork. I spend about 2 to 4 hours a day doing one or the other, or both.

VS: Wow, you not only write, but do the artwork as well. I’m not that talented and I don’t think my readers would like my stick people too much. So is your family supportive of your writing?

JD: Yes. They didn't always, but it's been going on so long now that it is now a way of life for us all.

VS: I understand completely. My hubby still calls my writing a hobby from time to time.  Do you consider yourself a born writer?

JD: No, but I was conditioned by watching my father write his stories and typing away on his typewriter every weekend all my childhood.

VS: That’s wonderful you had your fathers as an example. What was the first thing you ever had published?

JD: I sure can. It was short story basic on a loved neighbor of mine who had to decide if she could stay in her own home once she she could not take care of it by herself. In the story a new feline friend and some of her human friends make it an easy discussion. The short story was called, 'Where The Heart Is,' and it was  publishing in a literary magazine called Legacy in 1992.

VS: That is wonderful. Okay so what do you enjoy most about writing?

JD: The accomplishment I feel after completing all I set out to do in a story.

VS: I really like that. You’re the first to give this answer. Okay, so what is the best writing advice you ever received?

JD: That would be, Edit, Edit and Edit. A writer must learn to do it mostly themselves
or find or hire an editor to do it for them. It is not only important to catch spelling and grammar errors but you can clean up story problems as well that could stand in the way of a great story.

VS: I couldn’t agree more with you and if you’re not good with editing, I would suggest paying for a freelance editor then.

Now J.D. what would we be surprised to learn about you?

JD: That I was probably dyslexic as a child. I don't believe they knew about it. For many years writing and spelling were difficult. In school reading was a major problem. I found, early on, that if I listened in class and could remember then I could pass a test. I could not pass a test with studying at home or just reading chapters.

VS: Wow, I wouldn’t have guessed that. I think it’s great you’re not letting being dyslexic as a child stop you from writing like some would have.

J.D. what tips can you give writing parents with children at home to help them see publication?

JD: Use what writing time they have wisely. In those moments when they are "alone" on occasion, they should spend some of it researching their market and the publishing route they should take.

VS: J.D, I want to thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about being a writing mama.

JD: You are welcome, Virginia. Thank you so much for having me on today.

You can learn more about J.D. Holiday and her book “The Great Snowball Escapade” at

J.D. Holiday’s site:


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JD's Artwork!
Jd (Jan) Holiday's itemsGo to Jd (Jan) Holiday's photostream