Holly Jurbergs was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma to two teacher parents. Her mom taught junior-high history and civics and her dad taught wood shop and mechanical drawing. Her parents instilled three important values that have guided her life: never give up on your dreams, finish what you start, and education is the key to success in life.
Books were always at the center of her life from an early age. Her mom enrolled her in a book-of-the-month club when she was in elementary school. One of her favorite childhood memories was opening the cardboard package with two new books and running off to her bedroom to read them immediately, with a good bar of chocolate, of course. Some of her favorite books she read as a teen were “Great Expectations,” “Lord of the Flies,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” and “The Great Gatsby.” As an adult, you can usually find her in the crime or mystery section of the bookstore. Some of her favorite authors include Patricia Cornwell, Michael Crichton, Dennis Lehane, Carl Hiaasen, Gillian Flynn, and Jo Nesbo.
Besides books, two of her biggest passions were music and science. She played piano and violin and strongly considered majoring in music, but decided to take a more practical route and majored in Chemistry at the University of Tulsa. She completed her degree with honors and a TU professor strongly encouraged her to apply to the Ph.D. program in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. Five years later, she embarked on a career path in analytical chemistry that would take her into the world of pharmaceutical drug development and agricultural pesticides. Her first novel, “Cadaverine,” was inspired by her experiences working in the pharmaceutical industry and her love of forensic science.
Holly lives in Austin Texas with her husband David and her two boys, Alex and Luke. The list of family pets past and present is long, but currently includes an Australian Shepherd, an orange Tabby cat, and a hedgehog. Holly is extremely happy to live in the live music capital of the world and the long list of amazing tex-mex restaurants is the icing on the cake. In October, you can find her in Zilker Park enjoying the Austin City Limits Music Festival and looking for her new favorite band.