I am excited to share my interview with Sophia Gholz today. We met in our 2019 debut group when THE BOY WHO GREW A FOREST, illustrated by Kayla Harren released. If you haven’t read this book, you’re in for a treat. It’s the true, inspiring, and award-winning story of Jadav Payeng. Sophia is a lovely person and enjoyed working with her during 2019 and since then as an occasional critique partner.
Sophia is offering one lucky (and patient) winner a copy of her soon-to-be-released JACK HORNER, DINOSAUR HUNTER, illustrated by Dave Shephard. Dinosaurs have been gone for 65 million years but you only need to wait until September for JACK HORNER, DINOSAUR HUNTER. Comment on this blogpost for a chance to win. Do it as soon as you finish reading, don’t wait even 65 seconds!
What were you like at age of your target audience?
Between the ages of 4-8, I was almost always outside. I was a middle child with two brothers, and we were all very active. We loved to ride our bikes around the neighborhood, hunt for fossils in the creeks and ditches nearby, and play outside with our friends. At age five, I also began riding horses. The farm I was riding with at the time was about a mile away from our house. So, I’d often walk to and from the farm by myself and spend hours mucking stalls, grooming horses, playing in the fields and riding whenever I could. I loved being outside and allowing my mind to wander with the world around me.
What inspires you?
Everything. Ha! There’s so much to find in the world and inspiration can truly be stumbled upon anywhere if you are open to it. I find inspiration from art, music, the news, traveling, conversations, and reading other books. In other words, almost anything can lead to a story. But most especially, I find that art (in any form) inspires art.
What’s something you hope readers take away from your book?
JACK HORNER, DINOSAUR HUNTER! Shares the story of famous paleontologist, Jack Horner. What drew me to Jack’s story was that he had this dream and drive to become a paleontologist, but he struggled greatly in school due to severe dyslexia. As a result, his path to achieving his dreams was a long and winding one. I think many people don’t follow a traditional path or they blossom later in life, and that is totally okay. I hope that kids who may be struggling, especially in school, or are unsure of how to achieve their dreams, read Jack’s story and realize that there is no normal path in life and what sets us apart doesn’t have to hold us back.
What’s next for you?
More books! Hooray! In addition to JACK HORNER, DINOSAUR HUNTER! and THIS IS YOUR WORLD: THE STORY OF BOB ROSS, I have two new picture books coming in 2022, including my fiction debut. I am very excited for both of these as they are a bit of a departure from what you’ve seen from me before. BUG ON THE RUG (Sleeping Bear Press) is a hilarious and sweet friendship story about an unlikely trio with themes of inclusion. A HISTORY OF TOILET PAPER (AND OTHER POTTY TOOLS) (Running Press Kids/Hachette) is a super fun expository nonfiction picture book that humorously explores the fascinating history of human potty practices. I also have a few other things in the pipeline, but I can’t share anything quite yet. Keep an eye out on my social media for more!
Wow! You’re going to want to know more about Sophia and her books:
Website: http://www.SophiaGholz.com. Twitter: @SophiaGholz. Instagram: @SophiaGholz
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/sophiagholzauthor