Interview With Author Holly Marlow
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Hello! I have a 6 year old biological daughter, Zoe, and a 3 year old adopted son, “J,” who joined our family a couple of years ago. My children ask a lot of questions, which have inspired me to write books about adoption, kinship care and foster care. So far I have published 5 stories, some of which have been translated into different languages.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book “Room in the Nest” was inspired by my son asking why his foster brothers weren’t also adopted. I wanted to explain the various different possible outcomes of foster care, as well as showing that the initial goal is reunification, and when that’s not possible, kinship care is considered as a possibility, before adoption or long term foster care. I also wanted to show him that in some cases foster families end up adopting the children in their care, and that these decisions are all made by a judge.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write a lot of my first drafts on my phone, while cuddling my children. Most of my stories have been created while one of my children was sick or overtired. My children are always my first reviewers, and they give very helpful, honest feedback!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My parenting style has been influenced by “The Gentle Discipline Book” by Sarah Ockwell-Smith and “Playful Parenting” by Lawrence J. Cohen.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a few different projects. One is a “choose your own path” story, which will help care-experienced children to explore some of the decisions that adults make, and how these can affect their lives. Another is a story about attachment disorder, and I also dip in and out of a biographical account of what it is like to adopt after having biological children. I find it helps to have several projects on the go at once, so that I can jump between them, and keep coming back to them with fresh eyes.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I think most of my customers buy my books after someone recommends them on social media. I usually see a boost after being tagged in an appreciative post! My books are also on the recommended reading lists for a lot of foster and adoption agencies.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Be bold! There were a few times when I thought “this might not make any money, so I shouldn’t spend money on…” (a better computer screen, illustration software, a website, etc) but my husband encouraged me to invest in myself, and it was worth it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Aside from my husband’s advice to “be bold,” the best advice I’ve ever heard is “remember, even walls fall down sometimes.” A friend said this to me once when I was afraid of failure, and I often remind myself of this. Even the people who seem strongest need help, and it’s OK to need help, even if you feel like you should be strong.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading “Custom Justice” by Amanda Blackwood. I’m about 20% of the way through and struggling to put it down!
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ve started doing talks in schools, to help children to understand adoption, foster care and kinship care. I think it’s really important that children learn about these concepts from a young age.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
“Madagascar: The Eighth Continent: Life, Death and Discovery in a Lost World” by Peter Tyson.
“Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton
“Die Wolke” (original German version of “The Cloud”) by Gudrun Pausewang
Author Websites and Profiles
Holly Marlow’s Social Media Links