Welcome to Untamed Publishing's Author Interviews! As a company that caters to the self-published author, we want to highlight and support indie authors. There is a vast array of talent amongst us, and here's the opportunity to connect the readers to their next favorite author! This year we have an all new round of writers from all genres so let's saddle in and have an Untamable 2018!
This interview features, Author Hollis Jo McCollum. Let's dive into the fantasy adventure of a lifetime!
Hi Hollis Jo! Let me first say it is an honor to have you interview with UP. Welcome to the UP HOT SEAT! Before we begin, please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a world travelling geeky nerd who has been obsessed with fantasy adventure novels from a very young age. Also, a former immigration officer, 21 year cosplay veteran, silly person, creative, and annoying youngest sibling.
That is an very interesting life which leads to the perfect question. Why did you decide to become a published author?
For as long as I can remember I have loved to write poetry and stories. One day, after watching a Jane Austen biography, I felt incredibly inspired to start writing a story. So, I picked up a leather journal and started writing what would become To Save a World. The story was so well received by friends, family and some people I didn't even know that I decided to start sending it out to viable publishers and the rest is history.
What genres do you write or wish to write?
I enjoy writing fantasy adventure and sci-fi stories. Though, I would also like to try my hand at historical fiction.
Now let's get to know some fun facts about you as an author. When it comes to writing, are you a morning person or a night owl?
If I have to pick one, I'd say night owl, but I'm really an all the time writer. I often carry a leather journal around with me when I'm writing and whenever I have the spare time and/or inspiration hits, I write what I can.
Tell us a unique writing habit that you have.
This might make a few writers out there cringe, but I write everything down, by hand, in leather journals first. Then, after the story is complete, I type it all up and begin the painstaking process of editing. I just don't feel creative on the computer.
Confession it makes me cringe! However, I must admit that my first 3 novels (not published) were handwritten so I can appreciate it. If you were to write a book about yourself what would you name it? Why?
I don't think I would write a book about myself. I write fantasy adventure novels, which are way more interesting than me. I mean, there's magic in my books.
Now let's talk a bit about your work. Tell us about your current book project?
"To Save a World" is a story about, well, saving the world...which is pretty obvious from the title, but it's also a story of coming of age for the four main characters, especially Eithne. It approaches a lot of internal and social struggles between the different characters as the readers get to grow and relate to them through the process. Of course, the characters struggles are exponentially amplified by having the the weighted responsibility of saving their world on their shoulders, but that just makes it a more exciting read.
What are some of your other aspirations for your writing career?
Honestly, I want it all. The whole writer life. I want to (and am in the process of) writing more books that I hope to publish and share with the world. I want to be a career author.
Would you like to collaborate with other authors on a book project?
I'd love to! Obviously, it would need to be the right team with the right project, but I love working with others and discovering the different creative findings that come out of it.
I love it! You want it all! What makes your writing stand apart from other authors?
There are so many talented writers out there, and we are all different in our own way. The best way for me to answer that is to say that no one else is me, and no else has my perspective on the world and how I interpret it.
Absolutely! That is the best way to look at it because your voice is unique. Speaking of unique, we want to get to know a little more about Hollis Jo.
Name your top 5 favorite books by indie authors.
The Girl Who Circumvented Fairy Land in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente; The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly; The Hounds of Morrigan by Pat O'Shea; The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield; and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Outside of writing, what are your favorite past times?
I volunteer, draw, play dungeons & dragons, exercise, spend time with friends and family, travel, cosplay, watch way too much TV, and, of course, read.
Tell us one thing about you that is a little known fact.
Ummm...so many secrets to choose from. How about the one where I've been to over 30 countries...and counting.
Before we go we want to get your advice as an author. What is one lesson you’ve learned since becoming a published author?
That if you want to be a successful author, you have to be pushing and trying every second of the day. Nothing will ever just happen for you. You have to make your own success come alive.
What is one myth about being a published author that you learned and would like to share?
That your publisher will take care of all the marketing for you. Yes, they do market for you to a certain degree, but as a first time author, you have to draw attention to yourself to really get your book out there. Do your own marketing in addition to what your publisher does. You are not important enough to the publisher as a first time author for them to spend extra time and money on you.
Hollis Jo, it was a pleasure to interview you. We look forward to your future works! Please connect with the author and check out her book, “To Save a World".
Hollis Jo McCollum
Instagram: @hollisjomccollum - https://www.instagram.com/hollisjomccollum/
YouTube channel: Hollis Jo McCollum, Author - https://www.youtube.com/user/hollchan1/featured
Facebook: @hollisjomccollumauthor - https://www.facebook.com/hollisjomccollumauthor/
Synopsis of To Save a World
Eithne is just a young elf maiden living in a post-apocalyptic world called Raashan. Years ago, the gods partook in the Heavenly War and destroyed each other. This left Raashan in a state of chaos on a dangerous downward spiral. Eithne, along with the ever-noble captain of the guard, Darian, embark on a journey to find an ancient artifact that could possibly be the answer that Raashan is looking for . . . But things don’t really go as planned, in the sense of not at all. The journey takes unexpected turns, they pick up some new friends, and bear a responsibility that none are sure they are ready to accept.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-save-a-world-hollis-jo-mccollum/1126795688?ean=9781635688573