The official version
Jenny Holiday started writing at age nine when her awesome fourth grade teacher gave her a notebook and told her to start writing some stories. That first batch featured mass murderers on the loose, alien invasions, and hauntings. (Looking back, she’s amazed no one sent her to a kid-shrink.) She’s been writing ever since. After a detour to get a PhD in geography, she worked as a professional writer, producing everything from speeches to magazine articles. Later, her tastes having evolved from alien invasions to happily-ever-afters, she tried her hand at romance. Today she is a USA Today bestselling author of all sorts of romance novels: contemporary and historical, straight and gay. She lives in London, Ontario, with her family. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary.
The Behind the Music version
Jenny Holiday was always a reader, probably because she was lucky enough to have a children’s librarian for a mom. Growing up in Minnesota, she used to read in a willow tree in the backyard, rigging up a canvas bag that could be raised and lowered with tied-together jump ropes, thus allowing hands-free climbing and the transportation of books and snacks.
She started writing in fourth grade, when her awesome hippie teacher, between sessions of Peter Paul and Mary singing and anti-nuclear power plant letter writing, gave the kids notebooks and told them to write short stories. Most of Jenny’s featured a serial killer who managed to murder everyone except her and her mom. There were also poltergeist and alien invasions. She showed early promise as a romance writer, though, because nearly every story ended with a happy ending: fictional Jenny woke up to find that the story had all been a dream, and that her best friend, father, and sister had not, in fact, been axe-murdered.
From that time on, she was always writing, often in her diary, where she liked to decorate her declarations of existential angst with nail polish teardrops. Eventually she channeled her penchant for scribbling into a more useful format and became the editor of her high school newspaper, where she wrote impassioned editorials against the school’s controversial new “no hats” policy. She even helped start an underground newspaper that lasted all of one issue. (It turned out that fighting censorship and The Man was less fun when it involved actual work and not just driving around in a van swooning over Christian Slater a la Pump Up the Volume.)
After college, Jenny moved to Toronto, Canada, for grad school. After picking up a PhD in urban geography, she became a professional writer. Her favorite and longest gig was promoting research at a major university, which allowed her to become an armchair astronomer/historian/particle physicist, depending on the day. After a decade of that, she decided to try her hand again at happy endings—minus the bloodbaths. “How hard can it be?” she thought? Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha. Yeah, turns out it was super hard. But after lots of rejection and an embarrassingly bad manuscript in which the hero and heroine, if one could judge by their wild and unmotivated emotional swings, clearly had personality disorders, she finally started to get the hang of it. She has published contemporary, historical, and new adult romance novels featuring both straight and gay characters and is a USA Today bestselling author.
When she’s not writing, Jenny likes to ride her bike and hang out with her family. She lives in London, Ontario. She has been known to dress up like Madonna (in Her Madgesty’s more badass years).
Jenny is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary.