Hannah Holt is a children’s author with an engineering degree. Her books, The Diamond & The Boy (2018, Balzer+Bray) and A Father’s Love (2019, Philomel) weave together her love of language and science. She lives in Oregon with her husband, four children, and a very patient cat named Zephyr. She and her family enjoy reading, hiking, and eating chocolate chip cookies.
As a child, Hannah loved building towers and staring at the night sky. When she wasn’t stargazing or constructing elaborate block cities, she frequently had her nose in a book. Sometimes her mother gently scolded her to, “stop reading and do your homework.”
Hannah also liked puzzles—whether jigsaw, a mystery novel, or a math problem. At Brigham Young University, she tried to balance her interest in science and humanities by majoring in engineering and minoring in German. While in college, she met Josh Holt. They married during his first year as a physics PhD student.
One December while in graduate school, Josh and Hannah wondered what to give family members for Christmas. Short on cash, Hannah created homemade comic books starring family members and gave them as presents.
These gifts of necessity, planted a questions in Hannah’s mind: What if I gave myself a year to make a children’s book?
After a year, Hannah felt like she needed more time, so she gave herself a decade to pursue publishing a children's book.
Seven years into that decade, Hannah sold her first picture book, The Diamond & The Boy, to Balzer+Bray. She wrote eighty-six drafts.
Eight years into that decade, Hannah sold her second story A Father’s Love to Philomel. It took her six years to write about three-hundred words.
Hannah wishes she were the type of writer, who could fully polish and finish a manuscript after a few drafts. And she really wishes she could sell stories the same year she wrote them, but that's not how it works for her.
Over the years she's written hundreds of stories. Only a small portion of what she writes is accepted for publication.
Even so, she finds great joy in the puzzle of piecing together stories...although seeing her stories published is also pretty cool.