Lina Holloway has recently published her book, I Know This of Myself, with the assistance of Leafless Press. She started writing poems and short stories at a young age. She always dreamed of writing a novel one day and she finally made that dream a reality.
Lina's publishing debut came in the form of a poem she wrote for a college creative writing class. The professor submitted the poem to the campus literary journal and it was accepted for publication. This helped Lina to overcome the fear she had of sharing her writing and was a pivotal point in the decision making process which led to publishing I Know This of Myself.
Lina attended Baylor University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science. She loves her alma mater and you cannot talk to her during football season without hearing about the Bears. You can be sure that she is watching them every Saturday during the season and rooting them on as they make a run for a playoff spot.
Lina lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and their beloved animals. They have two dogs, Koki and Kotin, and two cats, Bilye and Henri. Their love for animals extends beyond the ones they consider their own. They are currently fostering a small kitten for the Montgomery County Animal Shelter and hope to find her a forever home soon. They also support the aniMeals on Wheels program in Houston which delivers pet food to elderly and home bound seniors.
When Lina is not writing, she indulges in zombie movies and The Walking Dead. She considers herself an amateur prepper and likes to imagine how she would survive a zombie apocalypse. Her and her husband also love music festivals and try to attend as many as possible. Last year, they followed one of their favorite bands around the festival circuit, attending eight shows, all across the county, including Louisville, KY. Lina's time in Louisville left an impression and became the setting for her current book.
Lina Holloway is a Texas native and proud graduate of Baylor University (sic'em bears) where she double majored in History and Political Science. She and her husband reside in Houston, Texas with their two dogs and two cats. In her spare time, she and her husband binge watch The Walking Dead and talk about how they would survive a zombie apocalypse.
Nia's life has taken turns she could have never prepared for. Six months into a complete breakdown she is starting to heal and find her way in the new reality that is her life. A reality that no longer includes the love of her life, Ian. She has a devoted support system that includes her sister, Noie, and a group of friends she has had since college. They work together to reach Nia, in their own ways, and help pull her from the darkness. Will she be able to open herself to a future she didn't expect?
One would be hard pressed to find someone who has not been affected in some way by depression. It could be a personal experience or a loved one who is suffering or has suffered from depression. We live in a time where there is much more understanding and acceptance of depression, but it has not ended the stigma that surrounds it. This leads to a suffer in silence attitude. Can this ever change?
Dealing with Loss
All of the characters in I Know This of Myself are dealing with loss in some form. Each one deals with it in different ways that run the spectrum from the "Fake it 'til you make it" technique to completely shutting down. What are the other techniques explored in the book? Are any techniques healthier than others?
Sample Interview Questions
Why did you write this book?
I guess the obvious answer is because I wanted to be an author. I wrote this story in particular to explore emotions and issues I have experienced in my own life.
Who is your book geared towards?
Since the book is from the perspective of a female, I think women would be more drawn to the book then men, but I think it is a beneficial read for adult men or women. There are aspects of the book that I do not feel are appropriate for younger readers.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I had this scene in my head and I couldn't get it out. That scene became the first chapter of the book. This is how most of the book ideas I have come about. They feel like movies playing in my mind and I have to write to discover what happens.
What do you want the readers to take away from your book?
A better understanding of depression and a feeling of hope that life can get better.
Is there a character in the book you relate to the most? Why?
I cannot decide between Nia and Ian. When I began writing the book, I saw more of myself in the Ian character with his ability to put on a happy face and lie to everyone you come in contact with about what is going on inside. After finishing the book and reading back through it, I saw so much of myself in Nia. I also pull away and shut people out at times to deal with what is going on in my head. I also struggle at times to communicate any of those feelings when I do open up to people.
Being a Texas native, why did you choose Louisville for the setting of your book?
I visited Louisville shortly before writing the book and I thought the small college town was charming. Also, I am obsessed with the fall and seeing the leaves change color. We don't get much of that in Texas. Louisville does get nice fall foliage and is a college town, so it worked for the book.
Do you have other books you are working on? If yes, when are they expected out?
Yes, I am working on a book from Ian's point of view. I got a lot of negative feedback about Ian from readers and I did not intend for that reaction. I want to do more justice to his story. I plan to have it out in 2016. I have another book, which doesn't relate to this story at all, in the works as well. I hope to have it complete by early 2017.
What surprised you the most about the writing and publishing process?
How much work it is! I had these day dreams of grabbing a cup of coffee and snuggling up in front of my computer to write. It seemed like a dream. I will say, it is a dream, but not an easy one. Every step of this process has consumed my life. I don't regret a minute of it. This is a dream for me and it is a labor of love.
Most writers developed a love of reading before becoming writers. How did your love for reading develop? Do you remember the first book you read?
I didn't grow up in a home where people read novels for fun. I actually hated reading for a long time. As a teenager, I began dealing with depression and decided to pick up the only novel in my house, Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. It was very popular and controversial in the eighties, which is why my mom had a copy of it. I lost myself in the story and found reading was a way for me to escape my life. I was hooked.