Born in North Carolina, United States, J. Edwards Holt 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 follow 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 Christian messages through his writing, watching science fiction and super hero movies, and collecting comic books.
Describe yourself in five words
Determined to achieve personal success
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
Oddly enough, people that donʼt know me are most surprised to hear that Iʼm an author.
What makes you happiest?
Writing, publishing my works, and finding out that people have read my books.
Why do you write?
I write because I feel like I have a story that needs to be told. Also – itʼs something I enjoy.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Yes. I have enjoyed writing since I was in elementary school.
What motivates you to write?
Iʼve read lots of book and seen lots of movies throughout my life that inspired me. I always watched and enjoyed them, but always felt that I had a story of my own to tell.
What writing are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the books I currently have out on the market, which include “Little Men, Big Treasures”, itʼs sequel, “The Summonerʼs Gem”, and “Small Courage: A Short Story.” All three of these books are available for purchase on Amazon.
What books did you love growing up?
I always enjoyed fantasy stories, like the Narnia series and the Harry Potter books. To sum it up, I always loved reading fiction.
How did you develop your writing?
Practice. Writing is just like anything else: in order to be good, you have to keep at it.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Marketing, definitely. Writing and publishing are really the easy parts. Convincing people they need to choose your book over millions of others is the tricky part.
What marketing works for you?
I advertise a lot through social media, mostly Twitter and Instagram. I also do some public speaking to different groups that I feel may be interested in my work, which is helpful.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
I did at first. But, when people started giving me good feedback on my books, I became more confident and eager for a bigger audience to read them.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
Absolutely! From day one, my friends, and especially my family, have been behind me 100%.
What else do you do, other than write?
I also have a day job, working as a home health aide when Iʼm not writing.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
Before I took up writing, I worked as an elementary school teacher.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
Iʼve always enjoyed literature…and religion – I find that fascinating.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I do a lot of my writing by typing notes into my phone, and then later putting them all together on my laptop.
Is there anyone youʼd like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
Just my family and some of my friends. Theyʼve been behind me since I started on my very first book and they are still just as supportive.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
To me, success in writing is writing your story and getting it out there to as many people as possible. Whether you become a bestseller or not, the most important thing about being an author is telling your story.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
As I said before, most of my marketing is done on social media. I have a number of followers on all the big sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?
The last book I published is called “Small Courage: A Short Story”. Itʼs a short eBook (and only $.99), available on Amazon and free on Kindle Unlimited. I wrote it because it was an idea that came to me that features a young girl as the main hero. Itʼs an exciting story that teaches that we shouldnʼt judge others before we know them.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
Iʼm a beach guy. I love the sand and the sound of the ocean.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I hope that I can leave people with a sense of faith and happiness from my writing. I want the reader to have fun, but I also intend to teach lessons through my works.
It’s good to know that you aspire to instill a sense of faith and happiness through your writing. Thank you for participating in this author interview and we wish you all the best in your writing career.