Menu

A video interview with

Lin Oliver

Lin Oliver has always been a storyteller. As a child, she would ask the neighbors, “Do you want to know what happened in my house last night?” Then she’d tell them all her family secrets… With Henry Winkler, Oliver is the co-author of the very popular Hank Zipzer series about a young boy with learning differences who is funny, resourceful, and smart. Winkler and Oliver have also created a new series for younger kids called Here’s Hank, chronicling Hank’s life as a second grader. Oliver is the co-founder of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

You can watch the interview below, view the interview transcript, read a short biography of Lin Oliver, or see a selected list of her children's books.

Oliver is a Valley Girl, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She started making up stories and writing at a very young age; in first grade she won a poetry contest with a four-line rhyming tribute to her dad. She earned an English degree at UC Berkeley, tried teaching for a brief period, and then made the pivot to writing. She started out as an author of educational books for children, where she met fellow writer Steve Mooser. Together they founded the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a network for writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people.

In 2002, Oliver and Henry Winkler published their first book in the Hank Zipzer: World’s Best Underachiever series.  Now there are 18 Hank books (and counting) that have sold more four million copies. Oliver says, “I love writing about Hank because I believe we all have challenges in life and what defines us is how we deal with them with courage, honesty and self- acceptance.” Oliver has written other books for young people, including the Daniel Funk series about two miniature-sized twin brothers and the Almost Identical series about identical twin sisters.

Oliver has a whole other professional life – as a television producer. She was a Vice President at Universal Studios for 11 years; she now runs her own production company, Lin Oliver Productions. She wrote and produced Harry and the Hendersons and Corduroy for television.

Oliver raised three sons and lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband Alan and their shaggy dog, Dexter Duncan Baker.

Learn more at Lin Oliver’s official website.

"You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." — Paul Sweeney