Born in North Carolina, United States, J. Edwards Holt always always knew that he wanted to be a writer. After graduating high school, he attended college and pursued a degree in education, but later decided to change course and pursue his dream to become a novelist and children’s author.
Now a full-time writer, illustrator, and blogger, Holt spends his free time dreaming up stories and reading. He is passionate about spreading God’s Word through his writing, watching Science Fiction and super hero movies, and reading comic books.
What inspires you to write?
I enjoyed reading and writing from a very early age. From the time I started reading, I was always on a high reading level for my age. In elementary school, I was one of the few children who actually looked forward to the annual writing tests that were given. I saw the writing test as an opportunity to express my creativity, and very much enjoyed doing so. My teachers and instructors were impressed with my reading abilities and even more so with my love for writing.
As a child, I would write and draw comic books and sell them to my friends and family. In high school, I wrote several fan fiction stories and a novel, and also won first place in a statewide essay contest.
For years after high school, I focused on college and work, and did very little personal writing. After finding out that a friend published a book, I remembered my love for writing and decided to try it again. My love for writing came back to me as I wrote my first novel, and I remembered exactly how much I loved to write.
My publisher was a Christian company, so in order to write for them I had to write a Christian-themed book. As I wrote, I began to feel a calling to write Christian books, and decided to give all of my books a faith-based message.
My writing is inspired by many things, including the stories I come up with, but mostly about spreading God’s Word through my writing. My goal is to teach others about God’s Word and minister to them through my works.
Tell us about your writing process.
A lot of my free time I spend dreaming up stories and characters. When I think of an idea, I type it into my note taking app on my phone, eventually transfer it to my laptop, and then put it all together into a story.
My first book came to life from years of daydreaming about my characters, taking notes in my phone, and ultimately bringing everything together in Microsoft Word.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
When working on my stories, sometimes I will act out certain scenes, just to try and capture the emotions that a character might be feeling. Of course, I do this only when alone, as not to frighten people around me.
I’ve found that, sometimes, pretending to be one of your characters can really help you to sympathize with them and know what they’re feeling, which enables you to write them better.
Who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors are C.S. Lewis, Dr. Suess, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, and James Luceno. These are just a few of my favorite authors, but I have enjoyed pretty much every book I’ve read by them. Dr. Suess’ books are a great inspiration for children’s authors, while C.S. Lewis’ are amazing fantasy novels.
Each of these authors has written books that I didn’t want to put down while reading.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was originally picked up by a publishing company. However, halfway through publishing my first book, they went out of business. When this happened, I heard about self-publishing and decided to go that route.
Personally, I enjoy the freedoms of self-publishing. There’s no long wait for a publisher or an agent, and you get to be completely in charge of your works.
While many publishing routes are a great way to go, I personally prefer to self-publish.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I see the future of publishing as getting better all the time. In modern day, there are far more ways to publish a book than there were just a few decades ago. I think that this is great for new an aspiring authors, as they are now able to get their works out into the world much easier.
What genres do you write?
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Children’s
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.