Author Holly Maholm grew up in a suburban area south of Akron, Ohio and graduated high school in 1967. She entered Yale University where she majored in Japanese History, Language & Culture, graduating in 1972. She then spent 2 years living and working in Tokyo, Japan, as a translator and researcher, after which she returned to the United States to attend The Ohio State University School of Law, graduating in 1977.
She returned to Tokyo and worked as an attorney in a Japanese-American law firm, working there from 1977 through 1979. In that year she returned to the U.S. to Cleveland, Ohio, where she began working as an attorney at a company which was at the time the largest sports marketing agency in the world. She worked as a senior attorney at that company until 2004 when she retired and set up her own law office.
Holly Maholm has been married twice. She has three daughters from her first marriage, and she actively co-parented her girls in cooperation with their mother. She began creative writing projects in 2005 with two screen plays, and in 2009 commenced writing narrative fiction. In 2011 she completed a novel entitled When Once I Lived and later adapted chapters from that book as a stage play.
In 2013 she began her transition to living full-time as a woman. In 2015 she changed her name legally to Holly Joan Maholm. Holly is a name she has always admired, Joan is the name her mother once told her she would have been named, had she “been born a woman,” and Maholm is the family name of Holly’s paternal grandmother.
Holly Maholm continues to reside in Cleveland, Ohio where she is active in the transgender community.