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Holly Jahangiri

I write because I can’t sing, dance, paint, or do Calculus. People ask me where I’m from, and I’m never quite sure what to answer. I’m one of those rare natives of Daytona Beach, Florida. I tell people it’s not my fault I have a congenital lead foot – it’s all due to being born across the street from the Daytona International Speedway. I grew up in Silver Lake, Ohio, near the Akron/Canton area.

My parents nurtured and instilled in me a sense of wonder, curiosity, imagination, and a lifetime love of learning. They were just beginning college when I came along; some of my earliest bedtime stories were chapters from my mom’s college Psychology textbooks. If I am determined, efficient, and able to multitask, it’s because I was raised by a woman who could study, cuddle an infant, and read to her child simultaneously. I was a voracious reader. Getting sent to my room wasn’t quite the punishment it was meant to be, given how well stocked my book shelves were, growing up.

I discovered Edgar Allen Poe while listening, surreptitiously, to Fall of the House of
Usher on CBS Radio Mystery Theater. I was supposed to be in bed. Instead, I turned on
the hi-fi, got sucked into the story, and started getting goosebumps. Some of my fondest
memories include reading a leather-bound volume of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories by
candlelight, during a snowstorm. We were stuck at my grandparents’ house, blocked in by
nearly three feet of snow. The power went out, the furnace went out, and I had a cold. I was completely miserable. So, I wrapped myself up in a blanket, lit a candle, and started reading these really twisted tales. Before long, I wasn’t all that miserable anymore.

I started college at age twelve – studied French at Kent State University “just for fun”
during the summer between 6th and 7th Grades. In the mid-1970s, we moved back to Daytona Beach. I thought my parents were going to buy a motel on the beach. I had visions of sitting on the sea wall, selling Puka shell necklaces to the tourists. I quickly learned that people who live there year round go to school and work like everyone else.

What a huge disappointment that was! I remember this one guy asking where I was from, and when I told him, “I live here,” he called me a liar – “You can’t live here, you don’t have a tan!” And it suddenly became really clear to me – I just looked at him and said, “Yeah, there’s the proof that I live here.”

I remember being bored – something my mom and dad didn’t tolerate – and with my dad’s help I used my college credits from Kent State to enroll as a transfer student at Daytona Beach Community College. And again, it was mostly just for fun – for something to do; I was still attending high school at Father Lopez and, later, Seabreeze Senior High. At the same time, patience wasn’t exactly one of my virtues – I wanted to get to the finish line. In a way, I was rushing through it, but I was having a blast. I wouldn’t do it any differently if I had it to do over.

Midway through college, my parents moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma – and at 16, I didn’t feel ready to go it alone at the University of Florida, so I went along with them. There, I went to the University of Tulsa, majoring first in Theatre Arts, but switching to Rhetoric & Writing in my Senior year. Honestly, it was also the only thing I had enough credits in to call a “major.” I still hadn’t really settled on what I wanted to be “when I grew up” – I still dreamed, on alternate weekends, of being an Egyptologist, a Volcanologist, a Veterinarian, a Translator, and a Naval Officer. Honestly, Systems Engineer wasn’t high on the list. I used to tell my dad I’d never work with computers – computers were boring, dull, too much
math. He got the last laugh when I learned “Aspiring Novelist” wasn’t in high demand.

So, I went to work in the oil and gas industry, in computer operations. Years later, after a
brief detour to study Law, I figured out how to meld my passion for writing with a more
practical career, and became a technical writer. I have written hardware and software
documentation for an oil company, an airline, a software company, and two large, well-known computer manufacturers. At various points in my career, I’ve worked as a teacher; a freelance writer; a contributing magazine editor; a freelance designer for a popular, multiplayer, fantasy roleplaying game; a product marketing manager for a national online service provider; and finally, a published author with a novel, a collection of short stories, a poetry anthology, two children’s books, an eBook or three, and several blogs to my credit.

I was lucky to marry a man with the patience of a saint. On a really good writing day, I tell people I’m channeling the spirits of Edgar Allan Poe, Erma Bombeck, and O. Henry. On a bad writing day, I tell them I used up the last of my creative energy in giving birth – but I’m pretty proud of my two children – young adults, now, both of them – so it’s all good.


Holly Jahangiri’s first children’s picture book, Trockle was released in April 2008 through 4RV Publishing. A Puppy, Not a Guppy was released by 4RV in 2009.
http://4rvpublishingllc.com/Holly_Jahangiri.html

You can find her other books at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Lulu.

 

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