Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Newsletter

The Short Version 

P. J. (Tricia) Hoover wanted to be a Jedi, but when that didn't work out, she became an electrical engineer instead. After a fifteen year bout designing computer chips for a living, P. J. started creating worlds of her own. She's the award-winning author of PROBLEM SOLVERS: 15 Innovative Women Engineers and Coders, and Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life, featuring a fourteen-year-old King Tut who's stuck in middle school. Under the Connor Hoover pseudonym, she is also the author of the popular Pick Your Own Quest series, which are interactive adventures perfect for everyone. When not working on her own writing, P. J. writes science curriculum articles and edits amazing manuscripts for other authors. P. J. loves spending time practicing kung fu, fixing things around the house, and solving Rubik's cubes. For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website www.pjhoover.com.

Click here to download press photos.

Download High Resolution Author Photos 

Click on an image below to view a high resolution photo available for download. To download, once you click on the image, choose the "save as" option and save the photo.

Photo credit Sam Bond Photography

The Longer Version 

PJ Hoover (If you are introducing me, please don't use the below as I go over a lot of this in my presentations!)

Growing up, P. J. (Tricia) Hoover wanted to be a Jedi. After all, who wouldn't want to be able to travel in space, use telekinesis, and do cool mind tricks? But seeing as how that wasn't really going to happen, she instead spent her summers reading science fiction and fantasy books and teaching herself to program in BASIC on her Commodore 64. She learned early on that books were things other people wrote, so she contented herself with living in worlds created by J. R. R. Tolkien, Roger Zelazny, and Isaac Asimov. And she fell in love with mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton.

Me dressed up for punk day In school, P. J. (Tricia) straddled the line of nerdiness by spending her days as captain of the varsity cheerleading squad and her nights watching reruns of Star Trek and The Twilight Zone. And since she was always ahead of the curve in math, she headed off to Virginia Tech where she got her degree in Computer Engineering. Sure, she decided at the end of four years that she wanted to be an archaeologist, so she stuck around and got her History degree. But then she figured out engineering might provide better for the future, so she continued on to get her Masters degree in Electrical Engineering.

Why did P. J. want to be an archaeologist? Well, it was rooted in her first visit to see the Tutankhamun treasures back in 1977 and in her love for mythology. The King Tut treasures stayed hidden for thousands of years, back from the time of myths. Humans didn't record everything or records had been lost. We didn't know everything that happened, and that totally piqued P. J.'s interest. Archaeology seemed like a way to unwrap some of the secrets hidden back in time, and P. J. wanted to be a part of that. Still, it wasn't the path she chose.

Me as a cheerleader After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips in Austin, TX (working at Motorola and Intel), P. J. went through a turning point in her life. She wanted more. She wanted something different. But she wasn't sure what. First, she learned to solve the Rubik's Cube. Then she memorized Kublai Khan by Samuel Coleridge. Finally it dawned on her that writing wasn't just something other people did, so she decided to take her own stab at creating worlds and started writing books for kids and teens.

People tend to think engineering and writing are different, but P. J. doesn't agree. Getting through engineering school requires discipline and organization. Writing a book requires discipline and organization. Designing computer chips takes quite a bit of creativity. And yes, writing a book takes creativity, too. Computer code is a lot like a book. You write. You test. You revise. You test some more, and you keep on revising until you get it right. Sure, you might find bugs, but no computer chip is perfect. And right, neither is any book.

When not writing, P. J. spends time practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes (including 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, and 5x5), playing Wizard101, and watching Star Trek. She has two crazy puppies and two Sulcata tortoises, King Tort and Nefertorti, who will live to be 180 years old.

For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website www.pjhoover.com.

Five fun things 

PJ Hoover 1) I collect Smurfs, Bicentennial quarters, Star Trek Christmas ornaments, and antique bricks. If you find an old brick with words on it, please let me know!

2) Favorite consumables include Brie Cheese, Red Wine, and Strong Coffee. Also popcorn is the best food in the world.

3) I can solve a Rubik's Cube in under 2 minutes. And I have a 4th degree black belt in Kung Fu. The first took 2 weeks to achieve. The second took 11 years. Both are great goals :) (And if you've ever thought about starting Kung Fu yourself, I go to Austin Shaolin-Do Kung Fu & Tai Chi.)

4) I plan to hike on the Great Wall of China someday. And I'd love to go on an archaeological dig!

5) Jobs I've had include Donut Seller, Car Assessor, Dorm Security Monitor, and of course, Chip Designer.

Media interviews 

Click image to read the article from the Austin American Statesman.
PJ Hoover in the Austin American Statesman

Click to watch an Author Learning Center video with my thoughts on writing for both kids and teens.

Click to watch an Author Learning Center video about switching careers to become an author.

When I'm not Writing... 

You might find me...

Playing WIZARD101!
(My friend code is: M399D-LL662-3QM6M-7LL3Q)

PJ Hoover

Check out my interview on KI Live where I talk about fan fiction, books, and Wizard101!

Practicing Kung Fu!

PJ Hoover

Solving the Rubik's Cube :)