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Monday, September 10, 2018

That Inspiration To Improve

“Other writers definitely influence my writing. What encourages me and inspires me is when I read a good book. It makes me want to be a better writer.” – Kimberly Willis Holt

Born on Sept. 9, 1960, Holt is perhaps best known for the novel When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, which won the 1999 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature.  Daughter of a US Navy Chief in Pensacola, Florida,  she spent most of her childhood in Forest Hill, LA, “growing up” experience that inspired her award-winning first novel, My Louisiana Sky.  Her experiences as a “Navy brat” are reflected in her Piper Reed series.   To date she has written 18 books for Young Adults and Children

Holt said she’s often amazed how the tiniest real life moments can grow into books, and that she always has in the back of her mind that her characters really don’t go away once a book is finished.

 “My biggest disappointment (as a writer),” she said, “is that once I’m finished working on the characters, I really do expect to see them in the flesh one day.” As many readers would agree, it is often hard to “let those characters go.” 
Holt also has some great advice for young authors who say they struggle with “wrapping up” a piece on which they’re working.  “If you're having trouble finishing a book, it might be that you're trying to hard to fix it as you go. Just finish the story, no matter how terrible you think that first draft is. Then let it cool off.  In other words, don't look at it for a while. Then you can rewrite it.”

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