TLA author spotlight

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Jennifer L. Holm reveals her personal Super Amoeba ahead of her Brodart booth book signing at this year’s Texas TLA conference. Babymouse will soon be continuing her middle school adventures with a new Tales from the Locker book, set to launch this July. Holm recently shared how her own life helped inspire the tale and talked about what libraries have meant to her.

In an interview with Publishers Weekly, you said the second Tales from the Locker story, Miss Communication, will focus on having a cell phone in middle school and the challenges of social media. How has your own experience as a parent informed the ideas that inspired Miss Communication?

Cell phones are a part of life for kids today. I find it interesting how the advent of texting is causing a generation to expect immediate feedback to a question or problem. Also, it’s kind of hilarious that there’s an app for practically everything under the sun (although I’m still waiting for an app that does laundry).

Having spent three years shopping your first joint venture with your brother, seeking a publisher for your Babymouse series, what are your impressions of the publishing world? How have they changed over time?

It’s taken a decade, but I think it’s safe to say that graphic novels for kids are here to stay. Huzzah!

Who’s your personal Super Amoeba?

My husband. He’ll be holding down the fort while I am in Texas at TLA. Good luck, honey.

What are some of your earliest memories of visiting the library?

My elementary school library was in the basement of the school (it was a very old school). It would flood on occasion so I sometimes associate mold and books.

How do you view libraries today? What do you most enjoy about interacting with librarians today?

I’m pretty happy most libraries aren’t in the basement these days (just kidding).

But, seriously, libraries are such a vital part of the community. My kids have grown up at libraries and librarians are their super heroes. The first place I went after my first book was published was to see my elementary school librarian who was still there!

What was your favorite comic to read as a kid? And today?

I loved the original Prince Valiant comic strip series by Hal Foster. My late father had the collected volumes. I just re-read them last month. They’re my “comfort read.”

How has visiting libraries and meeting your young fans impacted your creative process?

It’s been amazing to see generations of kids grow up on Babymouse. I especially love seeing their doodles.

What are you most looking forward to about this year’s TLA conference?

Seeing friends, librarians, and most of all …. tasty Tex-Mex food!! Yum! (I love Texas!!!)

You can meet Jennifer L. Holm at Brodart's booth (#1325) Wednesday afternoon, April 4, at 4:00p.m.