Holland talks fantasy worlds, magic, orcs and trolls
Holland, 40, is an author and business and technology teacher at Pickens High. He published his third book last month and is currently working on another book in the fantasy series. He moved to Jasper 15 years ago and lives here with his wife, Carry Holland and their children, Hunter, 14, and Sarah, 11.
After high school, according to your Amazon page, you enlisted in the United States Air Force and served four years. As with most military folks you likely traveled many places. Where are some of your favorite places you've traveled? And did any of those locales provide the setting for your books?
By far, England was one of the most beautiful countries I visited. I was able to see many of the historical sites throughout the country while I was there. I also served an overseas tour in Saudi Arabia. In my visits of Europe and Asia I saw many places that inspired me to write my first book Legacy. This book is a historical fiction story set in both present day and in ancient Roman times. It has a great love story. Some people have compared it to The Da Vinci Code because of the mystery behind it.
You've just published your third book - The Tempest: Book Two: Tide of War which was published on January 29th of this year. A previous book, The Tempest: Book One: Tide of Seasons was published last summer. Combining magic, war and love in the mystical land of the Seventh Realm, your books create a fantastic world of dragons and giants, kings and fighters. Where did the idea for this world come to you?
I have always loved the fantasy genre. I have read many book series, such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I have written short stories and poems since I was in the fourth grade and I always wanted to write a fantasy series. I am in love with this story because it has so many amazing characters and mystical places. I got the idea for the story in the spring of 2013 and I haven't stopped writing it since then.
What can you tell us about this second book in the series that was just published?
The second book picks up right where the first book left off. The realm is in chaos from the attacks of Dark Elves, Orcs, and Trolls. The two main characters of the book must work together to heal fractured alliances, and help one another heal from the damage already done to them in book one.
One Amazon reviewer said your first book read a lot like ‘Harry Potter meets Game of Thrones.’ Do you feel that's an accurate portrayal?
I would say this is an accurate portrayal. There is magic used in both of these books and they use some clever word play. The story line is also a bit edgy. It is a good PG-13 level of reading and considered young adult. The major cities definitely have a feel from Game of Thrones and the magic parts of the book read like some of the Harry Potter scenes.
Are you currently working on a third book in the series? If so, when do you expect to publish it?
I am currently writing book three of The Tempest saga. I plan on having it complete by this time next year. In the meantime Legacy 2 should be published in late fall of this year so I am happy about that. Having two series in two totally different genres is very exciting to me. This is definitely something I have always wanted to do so I am going to keep going forward as long as I can with it.
When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was in the fourth grade. Most of my earlier works were short stories and poems. I have kept several folders and composition books of those early writings.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I write in my basement office. It's somewhere that I can go to and just start my music and begin writing on the fly. I always listen to music when I write.
Have you always enjoyed fantasy novels?
I really enjoy fantasy books, but science fiction is by far my favorite genre.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
George R. R. Martin, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Robert Jordan are some of my favorite authors. R.A. Salvatore is an author I have always enjoyed reading too. It would be awesome to hang out with him.
You are now a teacher but at one time you were a student. What kind of student were you?
I was your average student when I was in high school. I made decent grades and was a member of several different clubs. I was voted most unique in my class so I guess that tells you something. I was also known to cause a ruckus from time to time during my high school years. No one's perfect right?
Tell us something most people don't know about you?
I am left handed and I play video games in my down time.
What books are you currently reading?
Between my time writing I have little time to read lately. However, I am slowly working through A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin.