Posts tagged Sharon Holt

Fast Five with Sharon Holt

  • Why did you want to be a writer?

I was naturally good at it and I loved reading. I believe we are born with talents and gifts and that was one of mine. I am also very passionate about writing, reading and books.

  • What’s the best thing about being a writer?

The best thing is getting feedback that your hard work has made other people happy.

  • What’s your favourite New Zealand book?

Most things by Kate DeGoldi – at the moment, it’s The 10pm Question and The ACB with Honora Lee.

  • What do you love most about New Zealand?

Everything! The friendly people, green open spaces, positive can do attitudes and easy going lifestyle.

  • What do you love most about libraries?

Everything! I would live in one if I could! My happy place is sitting among piles of picture books. (Librarians are great people too!)

Sharon Holt is the author of novels, picture books and the wonderful Te Reo Singalong series.  Her books include two of the My New Zealand Story books, No Survivers and Sabotage.

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Fast Five with Sharon Holt

1. Why did you want to be a writer?

I wanted to be a writer because I absolutely loved reading books and being in libraries. I wanted to help other children find the joy that I found between the pages of so many wonderful children’s books.

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

There are many great things about being a writer, but the best thing for me is when children come up and say they love a story I wrote.

3. What’s your favourite New Zealand book?

My favourite NZ book is The Terrible Q by Tanya Batt.

4. What do you love most about New Zealand?

The thing I love most about New Zealand is how easy it is to get to the sea. I love the feeling of looking out over the ocean and imagining what’s on the other side.

5. What book changed your life?

The book that changed my life was a picture book that I was reading at bed time to my two toddlers. I don’t know what the story was but it was probably something by Lynley Dodd. While reading it to the children, I suddenly realised that I had forgotten to be a children’s author! I was already 40 so I very quickly started writing stories and sending them to Learning Media. Before long I was a published author and I haven’t looked back since!

Sharon has been writing for 10 years and has had stories, poems, plays and articles published in the School Journal.  Her latest novels, Sabotage and No Survivors, are  in the New Zealand My Story series and tell the stories of two girls growing up in New Zealand at the time of the Rainbow Warrior bombing and the Erebus crash.  Sharon has also written her own joke book called It’s True! You can make your own jokes, because her son kept trying to make up terrible jokes.

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My Story: Sabotage by Sharon Holt.

Rowan lives with her mother, and her best friend Alex is really into Greenpeace. She begins to write to her new pen friend Lisette, who lives in France, and finds out that her brother, Rene, is coming to Auckland! When he arrives, he seems to the world a charming young man, but Rowan and Alex become suspicious when he is seen with a French lady in the street, who hands him a parcel. Soon, the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, is bombed, and a man dies. Rowan begins to wonder- did Rene do this? Was it my fault? And, if it was Rene, how am I going to stop him?
Sabotage is one of my favourite My Story books, because it sounds like a real girl, in a real background. I thought that lots of it was very sad, but that just makes it more real. I love how My Story books are always based on a certain historical event. Sabotage is about the Rainbow Warrior bombing, and No Survivors, another excellent book by Sharon Holt, is based on the Erebus crash. Knowing that it really happened makes it more interesting, and the more realistic something is, the better a picture I get in my head. That’s why I love historical fiction. Sabotage is best for both boys and girls, and I think that children aged from 9 to 14 would love it.

By Tierney, 11.

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Sabotage By Sharon Holt

When Rene, Lisette’s brother visits Rowan in Auckland, things get a bit complicated. Rowan’s friend Alex and his family are in to Greenpeace big time! One day Rowan and Alex find out that a crew member from the Greenpeace ship was killed and with the sad news was the remaining ruins of the dearly beloved ship, Rainbow Warrior. When Rowan and Alex see Rene again with an odd looking French woman, Rene pretends that he didn’t know them and just walked away with a parcel from the lady. Things get even worse than it already was, when the bombed ship was blamed on the French Secret Service. By now Rowan and Alex were feeling very suspicious. Why did Rene completely ignore them? Is Rene really everything he claims to be? Why can’t I tell you the whole story? Because you need to race off to your nearest library and get the book NOW!!!!!!!

By Anne

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Book Character Naming Competition

Hello again everyone

I have finally decided on the names for the four main characters in my next book. The characters are four children aged 10-12.

The names will be Tierney, Rhys, Rozyczka and Fabian.

The other people who entered their names in the competition will also appear in my book. They will be friends of the four main characters.

Their names are Amy, Holly, Hana, David and Saoirse.

I would like to have an adult character named Mr or Mrs Ozich – if Lucy agrees!

And there will definitely be a dog named Biggles!

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful names. I will let you know how I am going with progress on the book.

Happy June!


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Last day of the Month – sob… sob…


It’s the last day of May and that means it’s my last day as the Star Author. It feels a bit sad to be saying goodbye to all my new Christchurch library friends, but Zac says I can come back and visit with a blog post now and then so that’s wonderful. I’ve really enjoyed blogging this month and your feedback has been excellent. My last job is to choose the names for the characters in my next book. I have about 10 to choose from, which means I will have four main characters and I will definitely use the other names in the book as well. I can’t make a final decision yet, but I plan to do that later today and create a new post then. Thanks again everyone.

Talk again soon


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Instant Poems

I assume we are all getting the rain this morning. (It just became heavier when I wrote that!) I feel inspired to give you one of my poetry secrets – and rain is a good thing to write about.

I call these “Instant Poems” – because they’re quick to write and they get your brain working fast.

Line 1: (Use one of these choices…or something similar for the opening)

The rain falls…

The rain pours…

The rain comes down…

Line 2: Hint – this is where we think of something similar to the rain

Choose one of these examples, or one of your own: tears, overflowing tap, waterfall, river…

So if we choose waterfall, our first two lines could be…

The rain comes down

Like a waterfall tumbling over an invisible cliff…

Lines 3 and 4: This is where we brainstorm a waterfall (or whichever other similar thing we chose)

Waterfall brainstorm: rushing, thick, thunderous, hidden air pockets, heavy, loud, white out, never ending, incessant, persistent, wet, vertical, soaking etc

We can do anything with these words for lines 3 and 4. Here is an example of how we might use those words together

It thunders head first to its destination below,

Soaking everything in its path instantly

Line 5: This line is about you, your feelings or your wishes.

Start with: I wish, I feel, I think, I wonder, I want

Here are some possibilities:

I wish we could return to the dry sunny silence of yesterday.

I feel scared that it will never end.

I think the ground is a magnet for the rain.

I wonder if Heaven is crying.

I want to run outside and drink every drop.

Finally: here’s how our rain poem might look…

The rain comes down

Like a waterfall tumbling over an invisible cliff.

It thunders head first to its destination below,

Soaking everything in its path instantly

I think the ground is a magnet for the rain.

So, there you are. An instant poem about the rain. You can use this technique to write about anything in five lines.  I would love to read your instant poems!

Bye for now


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