Holly Heale

The Facts and the Fiction
What if you went to sleep as a girl and woke up as the guy next door?
The far-fetched fiction:

I'm going to admit things in this bio that might shock you - tell me that doesn't make you want to read on - but it is true. 

To me, writing for young adults is about great story weaving and I began story weaving at the tender age of five (maybe earlier, I wish I could remember). I had my kindergarten teacher convinced that I had a new baby brother at home. I would share with her all kinds of stories about him. In fact, I had her so convinced, that when my parents showed up for my parent-teacher interview, my teacher had bought a small gift for said baby. Much to her surprise he didn't exist and much to my surprise my younger brother arrived no more than a year later!

Between grades three and six I won several contests including a few public speaking contests and the Legion Remembrance Day Poem Contest - that was huge, I even got dinner and a check! Unfortunately, we moved as I was heading into grade seven and I have to admit that the next two years were the darkest of days. I simply didn't fit into the fourteen student class, who had been together since kindergarten. So to cope, I read and made stories up in my head - some more cunning and vengeful than others...

I stopped reading in high school  or at least I stopped reading books (scandalous I know), mainly because I had found a new past-time, mountain bike racing and so, I read "mtb mags". I ate, slept, and breathed riding to the point that I made it onto the Ontario team and competed nationally. Story weaving became something I did in my head while I was on long, sometimes tedious training, rides. I even asked the question, "What if I made it to the Olympics?" That would have been a great story.

I still mountain bike as well as Nordic ski and adventure race - but instead of an Olympic athlete I became a teacher, a profession I truly love. It demands flexibility, it provides loads of challenges, it keeps me young, and I get to hear about, read about and tell all kinds of stories. 

And here is my biggest admission.  It was a class of 7/8 students who pulled me back into the world of YA novels.  Without them I would still be stuck in an academic textbook and would never have found my way out to write.
Six Things You Didn't Know Aobut Me:

1. My first bike was a Strawberry Shortcake banana seat bike - with streamers.

2. I love dogs (especialy big ones) but can't stand hair balls.

3. I once worked at a waterski school but I wasn't very good at waterskiing.

4. Forget one sweet tooth...my mouth is full of them!

5. The longest multi-sport race I've competed in was 36hrs...for fun of course!

6. I have an inexplicable fear of train engines...Perhaps I was struck by one in a former life.
Just the facts

Holly attended Laurtentian University in Sudbury, Ontario where she graduated with an honours BA in Geography and English.  After meandering down several career paths she returned to school, this time to The University of Western Ontario in London, for her B.Ed.  She now teaches French Immersion at the elementary school level.  When she is not teaching or coaching one of her daughter's many sports, she writes.  Inspiration comes from getting outdoors with her husband and said daughter as much as possible.