5,4,3,2,1 Interview Jennifer L. Holm

photo (17)

I am very excited to try a 5,4,3,2,1 interview on Nerdy Book Club today. They are one of my favorite post to do on my blog (sharpread).

They work like this:

I give the interviewee 5 questions.

They have to answer the questions with a certain number of sentences:

  • 1 question with 5 sentences
  • 1 question with 4 sentences
  • 1 question with 3 sentences
  • 1 question with 2 sentences
  • 1 question with 1 sentence

They get to pick which question to answer with each number of sentences.

The final rule is that they must have fun. If they don’t have fun, they can’t do it (It’s in the rules).

Today, I am honored to interview friend and author Jennifer L. Holm about her newest book. I think this may actually be the first time she has talked about the new book publicly.

Time for the interview!

5. Can you tell us a little bit about The Fourteenth Goldfish?

Jenni's father

Jenni’s father

I’ve always loved science, probably because my late father was a doctor. When I was a kid, he kept Petri dishes with blood agar to culture bacteria in our refrigerator next to the cottage cheese. I found it interesting that he was involved in two wars in which [JG1] scientists played a significant role: World War II (J. Robert Oppenheimer) and the War on Polio (Jonas Salk). He served in the navy during World War II, and later he became a pediatrician and vaccinated children against polio. I guess this book is sort of my love letter to him, science, and bedroom slippers.

Jenni's father

Jenni’s father

4. What advice do you have for the young writers in my classroom?

The truth is: the first time you try to do something, you will probably fail. This goes for trying to swim and trying to write. The thing to do is to see the first draft as the shallow end of the pool. Keep practicing and you’ll get to the deep end eventually.

3. If you could spend one day inside the world of any book which book would you pick?

That’s easy — Lloyd Alexander’s book, The Black Cauldron. I would hug Gurgi, have a swordfight with Taran, race Princess Eilonwy on horses, and take down a few of those Cauldron Born with Gwydion. Then I would fall asleep listening to Fflewddur Fflam singing to us around the fire, wrapped in my toasty cloak on the forest floor.


2. What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?

It’s hard to spend so much of  your life in your own head. Thank heavens for Facebook.

1. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Nothing beats wearing pajamas to work.



Jennifer Holm has three Newbery honors. Colby Sharp has three kids. Jenni writes books. Colby teaches third graders. They are both proud members of the Nerdy Book Club.


Colby and Jenni presented together at NCTE as part of the Nerdy Book Club session.

Today’s post is part of a trifecta. Please visit Mr. Schu’s blog to see the cover reveal of Jenni’s new book The Fourteenth Goldfish, and head over to sharpread to see another interview with Ms. Holm.